Festival Preview: Live at Leeds
Despite February providing a short, sharp dose of summer bliss in bizarre fashion earlier this year, we are finally reaching the time in the year in which days are getting longer, temperatures are increasing and the delights of festival season are drawing ever closer. Leading the way on the Saturday of May Day Bank Holiday weekend is ‘Live at Leeds’, one of the stalwart promoters of new music across the country.
Now in its 13th year, the festival has seen the likes of Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons, Bombay Bicycle Club, Royal Blood, George Ezra, The Maccabees and hundreds more grace the festival. With a host of artists returning to the multi-venue festival on Saturday 4th May, this year’s edition looks to have surpassed past line-ups with an enormous array of talent. Whilst it’s impossible to see every artist, here’s a roundup of just some of the artists to try and catch.
Topping the bill for the 2019 edition are the current crowned princes of indie Sundara Karma. The Reading band have just released sophomore record ‘Ulfilas’ Alphabet’ which has expanded their sound to stadium heights. The addictive melodies of Metronomy will be gracing the NME Stage at Leeds University Union whilst critically-acclaimed poet and rapper Kate Tempest headlines Leeds Beckett SU.
The 2019 Brits Critics’ Choice winner, Sam Fender, will be bringing his blend of analytical guitar rock for what might be the most popular set of the day. Tom Grennan’s soulful vocals will offer another awe-inspiring moment in the day as he headlines the Farah Stage, whilst Lauren Aquilina, Orla Gartland and beabadoobie are the picks of the bunch for female vocalists.
Currently on a stunning sold-out UK tour, Easy Life’s brand of jazz-infused indie and hip-hop has already been hailed as an experience not to miss. With a debut record on its way and a huge UK tour towards the end of 2019, the band are one to catch now rather than later. Other acts to catch now look to be Sports Team, who recently sold out the 1,500 capacity Electric Ballroom in London, the Slaves-supported Lady Bird, Stockport’s Fuzzy Sun, Cassia, KAWALA, Indoor Pets and Everyone You Know.
For the indie fanatics, the likes of Black Honey, The Sherlocks, The Academic, Sea Girls, Gengahr, Marsicans and Larkins ought to quench your thirst for brilliant live indie music, whilst there’s a noticeable batch of strong female-led talent across all venues which is brilliant to see. Psychedelic outfit Goat Girl and rock trio Dream Wife both released stunning debut records last year and their sets for Live at Leeds will be raucous offerings. BLOXX, Lauren Hibberd, Sophie and the Giants, whenyoung, Millie Turner, Malena Zavala and Swimming Girls all further showcase the quality of female talent currently in the music industry.
The likes of Retro Video Club, Declan Walsh and the Decadent West, Gently Tender (formed from members of Palma Violets and The Big Moon), Redfaces, The Snuts, No Hot Ashes and Wild Youth will all give huge live performances which really ought not to be missed.
More left-field suggestions come from the likes of the eclectic Ibibio Sound System, the Arctic Monkeys’ supporting Mini Mansions, The Slow Readers Club, Heavy Lungs and Confidence Man, whilst noticeable favourites Swim Deep and Drenge both will play huge sets, with VANT making a midday appearance at The Wardrobe.
The beauty of new music festivals always means that you’re likely to stumble across an artist you’ve not heard before in an intimate venue. There is a host of new talent worth checking out throughout the festival and for those who might want a few suggestions, we’d recommend checking out Ed The Dog, Another Sky, Swimming Tapes, Patawawa, Squid, Wasuremono, Saltwater Sun, Tom Joshua, Death By Unga Bunga, AK Patterson and The Hubbards.
As is the case with multi-venue day festivals, it is impossible to see every artist that you want to. It’s always recommended having a listen to those artists you might not have heard so you don’t end up regretting missing a future favourite, and with the schedule posted for the festival, which includes times and locations, you can start planning your day at Live at Leeds as it looks set to be a sensational experience.