Now in its 12th year, inner city festival Live at Leeds took over the city centre on Saturday to celebrate an eccentric variety of emerging and established artists in the hottest day over the May Bank Holiday weekend ever. T’HUD went down to see what musical delights were on offer…
Heir – 12pm – Leeds Beckett 2
Kicking off the day was indie-pop band Heir, who were the perfect openers with their feel-good pop tunes, complementing the beaming sun outside. 150 odd early worms made their way to the smaller of the two Leeds Beckett stages to support the Leeds band and dance along with lead singer Tom Hammond, who is known for, and displayed, his eccentric and catchy moves avec le tambourin on stage.
Low Island – 2pm – The Lending Room
The trek all the way up to The Lending Room was worth it for Oxford quartet Low Island, who’s performance couldn’t have been more different from openers Heir. A heavier rock sound mixed with tight harmonies and a gorgeous falsetto from lead singer Carlos Posada made a beautiful and slick performance which the audience lapped up.
Superorganism – 2:45pm – Stylus
With yet another completely different performance, next saw Superorganism make their Live at Leeds debut on the significantly larger Stylus stage. With somewhat trippy visuals and lights in-between the colourful 7-piece, this set could only be described as a WTF moment, as many audience members looked at one another, questioning whatthey were watching. No doubt many had turned out to see their recent single, Everybody Wants To Be Famous, which has gathered a lot of support from Radio 1, but were met with tracks far less mainstream and more vibrant instead.
Peace – 4:15pm – O2 Academy
Returning with one of their first live performances after a four-year break, Birmingham group Peace gave an anthemic show to the packed out O2 Academy, the biggest stage on the Live At Leeds line up. Opening with newer track Power and firing through oldies such as Lovesick and Money, the band were a highlight to many people’s day, particularly with first performances from newer tracks from their latest album released just the day before.
Cassia – 6:15pm – The Wardrobe
On a sunny Saturday, there was nothing better than to hear the calypso-pop sounds of Macclesfield band Cassia, even if they were in a boiling hot underground venue on such a beautiful day. Having recently announced their signing to Distiller Records, the band were on a high, ploughing through their greatest hits to an enthusiastic, and somewhat sweaty, crowd.
Vistas – 7pm – Trinity Centre
In a new venue for this year’s festival, indie-rock band Vistas put on a fantastic performance in a shop takeover in the Trinity Centre. With the advantage of it being a free show, meaning non LAL wristband holders could attend, the Scottish four-piece gave an energetic and tight performance to the busy room. Highlights came from tracks Retrospect and Strong Swimmer, which saw many fans singing along word for word.
Blaenavon – 8:45pm – Stylus
Hampshire three-piece Blaenavon put on a roaring show at Leeds University to a crowd of devoted fans who sung along to every word. Despite the hot weather, mosh pit after mosh pit formed, as fans went wild for songs Orthodox Man and My Bark Is Your Bite, as well as unreleased tracks to tease fans for their upcoming second album.
Will Heard – 10pm – Belgrave Music Hall
Whilst many went to watch headliners The Vaccines and Circa Waves, across town in the funky and atmospheric Belgrave Music Hall was Will Heard, performing a mix of dance, soul and pop songs with his fun backing band. In 30 minutes, Heard, who has previously toured with drum and bass band Rudimental as their main male vocalist, was able to show off his vocal, dance and saxophone skills as he wowed the energetic audience. A perfect close to a wonderfully joyous day of music and laughs in the beautiful city of Leeds.