Leeds Music Scene writers Steven Knowles and Sam Monk preview this Saturday's Live At Leeds line-up, offering some recommendations with a focus on local acts.
Castleford five-piece Allusondrugs open the Leeds Uni Mine stage with their distinctive brand of hard rock/grunge. The songs themselves are full-throttle, unrestrained rockers but to really understand the band's appeal you have to experience their live show, which is loud, incendiary and occasionally uncomfortably confrontational but one thing the band never are is boring. If you want to kick start you day this is the band for you. (SM)
The Witch Hunt, who open the Leeds Uni Stylus stage, are a Leeds-based duo who deal in stark, sinister darkness. Driven by spindly guitar figures, pulsing electronics, pounding drums and emotionally fraught female vocals, Witch Hunt offer up a cathartically intense live show. The duo may not be suited to those with a light hearted disposition but those willing to travel to the darker edges of their psyches will be rewarded. (SM)
If you like widescreen, dynamically complex soundscapes of the sort offered up by Explosions In the Sky and their ilk then OtherPeoplesLives may be a band for you. The young Leeds-based five-piece will make the short trip from behind the bar to the stage to start proceedings at the Belgrave Music Hall. With new songs to unveil their set will be an ideal opportunity to check on the progress being made by this talented bunch. (SM)
If the weather plays ball and sunshine prevails and you are looking for something appropriately upbeat, then you could do much worse than pay a visit to the Faversham to see Marsicans. The Leeds three-piece are purveyors of the kind of up-beat, danceable, African hi life-inflected indie that Vampire Weekend might produce if they weren't so studiously concerned with the correct use of the Oxford comma. Their live shows have garnered the band quite a reputation, so why not take this opportunity to find out what all the fuss is about. (SM)
If bluesy folk guitar, foot stomping rhythms and multi part harmonies are more your thing, fashionably tattooed Leeds four-piece We Were Frontiers will be firmly in your hitting zone. Gracing the stage at the Leeds College of Music, the band may wear their Americana influences on their sleeves but that is no reason not to support homegrown talent, particularly when you are rewarded with a show full of riotous, hootenanny-style good times. (SM)
All this and we haven't even mentioned the second show - taking place in the impressive surrounds of Leeds Town Hall - in as many months by the re-formed Leeds favourites ˇForward, Russia!, who are supported by Leeds veterans and Live At Leeds regulars I Like Trains.
If you like your music a bit dark and dirty, there's plenty on offer at this year's wonderful Live at Leeds!
Trawling through all the early acts, it seems the darkest start available is probably the post-punk-pop of Fans at the Faversham. I'm guessing so anyway - the internet only seems to have only provided one song - debut single, 'All This Time'. It's gooood, and more than enough evidence to make them your starting point. (SK)
Cut from a similar post-hardcore cloth as Jesus Lizard or Fugazi, New Yorkers Big Ups play Leeds Uni Mine in the middle of the day, which should really lift things off. Can't wait for these. (SK)
First Leeds band on my list have to be the suddenly-emerged Autobahn. Again, there's a post-punk flavour here, and just enough available tracks to get very excited. They've existed for no time, but have already toured with Eagulls and bagged slots at Camden Crawl, Tramlines, Beacons and here - it seems I'm not the only one smitten by their early huge promise. (SK)
An added bonus is that you can swan straight from Autobahn in the Brudenell Games Room into the DIY Stage (main Brudenell room) to catch the electric Amazing Snakeheads. Now this IS down and dirty, with a voice so sandy it could strip paint. Unfortunately they are on in a bit of a 9pm/10pm log jam so there'll be big decisions to make. If you go there you almost certainly won't get to the Cockpit to see the fantastic Drenge, famously making more grungetastic racket than just two people should have any right to make. 'Bloodsports', 'Let's Pretend' and 'Backwaters' are stand-outs on an outstanding eponymous debut. Arrggh. TORN. This is what Live at Leeds does. (SK)
And it gets worse, because if you like your dark with a twist of psychedelia, hot new Peterborough 3-piece The Wytches also clash at that time. And you could wait your whole life for there to be another hot new band from Peterborough. (SK)
Honourable mentions to the likes of Darlia, (the non-dark) Ezra Furman, Fuck Buttons or some of Leeds' favourite sons, Pulled Apart by Horses, playing what for them is now a small, intimate venue. (SK)
Once again this year's Live At Leeds offers up some impossible choices but that's why we love it. Live at Leeds - you treat us so well...
Allusondrugs is a 5 piece alternative rock band
Leeds based band with a sparkly sinister edge
prog dance post punk