You know what’s missing from most festivals? Density. You spend three or four days idling around a site, punctuating the hours with moments of musical brilliance and then wondering what to do with the acres of time in between the four bands you actually want to see that day. Which normally lends itself to getting so drunk you end up missing said four bands anyway.
With Live at Leeds – Yorkshire’s compact new band festival – there are no such worries. Squeezing the entire operation into a mere one-day event, there are so many exciting acts to catch, the only problem you’ll have is prioritising between them. So, to help navigate you through the buzz band sea (and these are notoriously choppy waters), here are our top five picks of what not to miss this Saturday…
Whilst it might seem tempting to save your energy for the evening’s bigger names, London quartet Blackeye will be more than enough reward for getting down early. Taking the current 90s fixation into a slightly sassier direction, the female-fronted group are like a grungy Elastica. Riff heavy and with a hefty chunk of couldn’t-give-a-fuck girl power attitude, the likes of single ‘Spin’ prove that Chloe Little and co. are already snapping at much-touted newcomers Wolf Alice’s heels.
Bit more of an obvious choice, this one, but still not to be sniffed at. Why one of the most exciting bands on the entire bill have been slotted in at such a bizarrely early time remains a mystery, but relish the chance to catch the Londoners without fear of missing anyone else. The likes of ‘Things We Be’ and ‘Be Nice’ (a New York, art rock-indebted twist on the glam-psych stylings doing the hype rounds at the moment) will have no doubt already pricked up your ears, but with the imminent arrival of debut LP ‘Clarietta’, things are sure to get a whole lot bigger for Charlie pretty damn soon.
Remember Fryars? One man band Ben Garrett turned up on our horizons around 2007, fresh faced and armed with a slew of oh-so-relevant (at the time) wonky electro-pop. Then, like many who rode that particular wave, he disappeared back into relative obscurity. Unlike most, however, Fryars has re-emerged, invigorated and with a far more intriguing set of sounds to proffer. Cleaner, sparser and yet still with the same innate sense for a pop earworm that initially brought him to our attention, the likes of new offering ‘On Your Own’ hint that Garrett’s best may be yet to come…
Again, a more popular choice, but with debut LP ‘Where The Heaven Are We’ set to drop in a couple of months (we’ve had a sneak peak; it’s ace) the B-Town boys are sure to have a whole host of new tricks up their collective sleeves. For those who’ve been living under a rock for the past nine months, Swim Deep channel the kind of baggy, 90s party vibes that are made for hazy summer days where you’ve got sweet FA to do. For the rest of the world, just be assured that the band are getting better by the day and you’d be a fool to jump ship now.
One of the more recently-tipped exports of England’s second city, Troumaca are one of many showing that Birmingham’s prolific indie wave is showing no signs of slowing down. Equally filled with good time summer vibes as their peers, but centred around a more overtly pop-based, synth-fuelled set up, Troumaca are sure to round off your festie in the most effervescently upbeat of fashions. Recent offering ‘Lady Colour’ shows off their understatedly shimmering wares perfectly, whilst EP ‘The Virgin Island’ is bringing in the sunshine with every sparkling note.
And if that’s not enough for you then there’s also a whole host of bigger names, from Peace and Everything Everything to The Walkmen and Tribes to look forwards to. 24 hour party people, indeed.