Last year in Leeds, twee bands were everywhere. It had all got a bit much. After being overridden with the saccharine sounds of multi-coloured bunting and tales about untangling collections of origami cranes, Leeds was in a state of dis-twee-pair.
This Many Boyfriends
Now there’s nothing wrong with baking to Belle And Sebastian every now and again, but thankfully this year the Leeds’ music scene has been revitalised. This Many Boyfriends have used this year to turn it up to 11 with their Jarman-inspired hooks, whilst newly formed Swimming Lessons are using their synths and polychromatic vocals to swoon the likes of tUnE-yArDs and locals in working mens’ clubs. It’s no wonder why this year’s Live at Leeds had more people talking about the emerging Yorkshire talent, than the snog, marry, avoid list of headliners.
Here are my top three Leeds’ bands at this year’s Live at Leeds 2012.
Most notably last year’s festival saw Leeds University art collective FILMS being placed prominently on the North-East’s communal radar. Back again this year, and reinvented as the MacBook conscious Alt-J, they were now topping the Live At Leeds bill. Back with their new identity, the band have fine-tuned their earlier idiosyncrasies and now represent a more confident and convincing attempt to shake up the Leeds music scene one command key at a time.
Googling ‘Fun Adults’ might lead you to some pretty harrowing results. If you manage to avoid lewd images of mid-life crises then you’ll find a maturing band that avoids such filth. They might also be young, creative types but their assemblance of elegant, well-produced music has given the Leeds’ music scene a much needed kick of sentience, with crowd members queuing on the stairs to listen to their blended soundtrack of fragmented rhythms and offbeat vocals.
Being about as elusive as J.D. Salinger wrapped in Where’s Wally? attire, Adult Jazz are part of the ever-growing dichotomy of grown up music produced by seemingly incapable beans on toast-eating students. Playing at Live At Leeds their fresh faces weren’t able to hide their all-embracing knowledge of music. Pushing, perhaps unsurprisingly, jazz, hip -hop and ambient into just one of their songs, they are the Justin Vernon and James Blake collaboration that should have worked.
Leeds’ answer to Talking Heads, the band has already supported Florence and The Machine and played in David Lynch’s club.
Dirty Projectors meets Bon Iver; with orchestral accompaniments. Lovely.
Dabbling in all sorts from running Live At Leeds to rivaling Mr Scruff with their own brand of tea, iliketrains are a Leeds staple.
BBC 6 music darlings who are a permanent fixture at the Brudenell Social Club.
An explosion of kaleidoscopic riffs, Hookworms are likely to infect with their psychedelia.