Back in March last year, Fickle Friends, an indie-pop band from Brighton, played at Leeds’ Oporto bar, one of the smallest venues in the city. Just 18 months later, the five-piece have tonight sold out The Wardrobe, a venue four times the size of Oporto, and prove exactly why they deserve to be playing bigger and better stages.
As short cuts from a mixtape are played throughout the venue, the band take to the stage, which tonight is adorned with palm trees, bringing some much needed summer vibes to this autumnal night. Starting with their hit ‘Hello Hello’, the band instantly set the tone for the night; fun, lively and with lots of opportunities to boogie.
As they rattle through hits ‘Brooklyn’, ‘Sugar’ and ‘Cry Baby’, it is overwhelming how much energy the band give to their performance. As a group with five members, it wouldn’t be surprising if one person was not giving it their all, but song after song, all five of them give all the energy and enthusiasm they have. Props to lead guitarist Chris Hall whose ginger hair flicking and constant bouncing around does not go unnoticed.
The city of Leeds is cold and wet, resembling a miserable winter’s day more than an evening in Spring. But in Oporto, a bar and live music venue in the lower end of the city, the atmosphere couldn’t be further from the glumness outside. As you step inside, the warmth coming from the people tightly packed in the venue hits you, before the intensity of people chatting at the bar, mixed with the sounds of support acts PEAKES and Diving Station, sets the mood for the evening.
The reason Oporto is full to the brim with people of varying ages is because Leeds 5-piece Heir are launching their latest single I’ll Pick You Up. The alternative pop band who formed in 2015 have had a successful couple of years, gaining support slots for the likes of Honne, Lawson and The Dunwells, and have recently been announced to perform at this year’s Live at Leeds Festival.
As the audience in the sold out arena chat amongst themselves, a breaking story from Wild World Communications hits the screen. No it’s not another update on the American Presidential Election, it’s breaking news that indie-pop band Bastille are about to take to the stage.
Whilst the news reporter continues, the instantly recognisable intro of Good Grief begins to reverberate around the room. It’s quite an achievement that with only two albums under their belt, Bastille are able to play sold out arena shows. But whilst it may seem like yesterday that their debut single Pompeii was being played on the radio, three years have since passed and it’s clear the band have been honing their skills all this time, proving why they deserve to be performing to crowds of this size.
Although the band are based in London, lead singer Dan Smith and keyboardist Kyle Simmons both attended Leeds University, so in some ways this is like a homecoming gig. “We’re back in our uni town and we’re so happy to be here,” proclaims Smith mid set. A reminder of how successful the band have become comes in the shape of Smith reminiscing about once playing the O2 Academy and Stylus, popular small venues in the city. But whilst the size of their audience may have increased over the years, the band are still as humble as when they first started. Smith continuously thanks the audience and appears taken aback by their enthusiastic response each time.
Live At Leeds celebrated its 10th anniversary on Saturday, with a successful day full of live music. The annual festival’s line up boasted 180+ plus acts, performing on twenty-two different stages across the city. With such a huge variety of bands and artists for the 10,000+ strong crowds to see, there was certainly something for everyone. We headed down to the festival to catch the best up and coming artists from across the UK.
If you’re a local in the Leeds area you’ve probably either been to see local band VITAMIN or seen a tonne of posters promoting their many gigs in the city. The group, who met at school, have had a successful career so far, receiving praise from BBC Introducing and being played on Radio 1 numerous times. We caught up with lead singer Jared to talk about their return to the festival and their upcoming debut album.
Q: You performed at Live At Leeds last year – which venue did you play at and what was the atmosphere like on the day?
A: We loved Live at Leeds last year! We played the Stylus and in all honesty I had my hesitations. We’d never played a venue that size off our own back, so to walk onto that stage with a room full of people looking back at you was a real sense of satisfaction.
Live At Leeds is back again this year and is proudly celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge line up full of established and up-and-coming acts.
Live At Leeds, the award winning metropolitan festival, will take place this year on Saturday 30th April in a variety of venues across Leeds. The festival is an opportunity for fans to see new emerging artists as well as more established acts in different locations across Leeds, all in one jam-packed day!
With the festival celebrating its 10th anniversary, a huge accolade for such a small music event, the line up this year is bigger and better than ever before. With a variety of artists from across the country making their way to the lively city of Leeds, fans will be treated to some spectacular performances throughout the day.
With a line up boasting over 150 acts, the decision of who to see will be a tough one. To help you decide which artists not to miss, we thought we’d let you in on our top picks.
Scouting For Girls entertained the largely teen-filled crowd last night with classic hits from their 10-year, pop-tastic career.
Opening with the theme tune to Star Wars, the stage was set and ready for a night full of classic hits and laughter from all. Referring to the audience as the “fifth member of the band”, frontman Roy Stride made it clear that the 90-minute show was all about having a good time and dancing until your feet hurt.
The night felt like a trip down memory lane, with old classics from the band’s heyday such as Heartbeat, This Ain’t A Love Song and I Wish I Was James Bond pleasing their adoring fans. It was clear that the audience worshipped the band, as their fans answered every request from jumping up and down, to hugging the person they brought with them and telling them they loved them. Scouting For Girls clearly care about their fan base and know that they wouldn’t still be around now if it wasn’t for their support over the last 8 years.
With a newly released fourth album, the band had to throw in some new songs to promote it, with Bad Superman and Home being particular favourites from the crowd. These new songs received as great a response as their major hits did, proving that Scouting For Girls are as popular with their fans as they ever have been.