Well, what a year! As we near 2007, we've been having a look back at what was hitting the news in the Leeds music scene in 2006. And we're after hearing your views and opinions, what new bands rocked your world this year, what was your best Leeds single, and which album did you enjoy listening to the most?
The year started off with the Independent Leeds Music Awards ceremony, which sought to recognise those musicians, artists and backroom individuals that were contributing to the strength of the local music scene.
Two relatively new bands in Leeds during 2005 received accolades at the Independent Leeds Music Awards and for The Sunshine Underground (Live Band Of 2005) and ”Forward, Russia! (Indie/Rock Band Of 2005) the year would go from strength to strength. The bands released their debut albums during 2006 and both had chart-hitting singles including an occupancy of the top spot in the UK Indie Charts.
Although very close runners-up in a number of categories in the Leeds awards, Kaiser Chiefs were to subsequently accept national honours when they received three Brit Awards. The Leeds five-piece went on to receive the NME Album Of The Year as one of an amazing six NME Awards nominations. Although the band didn't release any new singles during 2006, Kaiser Chiefs were working hard recording their new album and touring Europe and the US. The year 2007 looks to be another busy 12 months for the five Leeds boys.
It was also to be an amazing year for one Leeds solo artist: Corinne Bailey Rae. Corinne released her self-titled debut album in the Spring of 2006, appeared on Top Of The Pops, and her single "Put Your Records On" went straight into the UK Charts at #2. The single was later nominated for two US Grammy Awards and Corinne herself nominated for a third!
The beginning of 2006 was a busy time for album releases in Leeds. Local label Dance To The Radio released their What We All Want compilation, The Research released their debut album "Breaking Up", Embrace released "This New Day" and Nightmares On Wax released "In A Space Outta Sound". Meanwhile Duels were working hard on their debut album with producer James Ford, a CD that would be released in the summer.
Two new bands that dominated the Leeds scene during 2006 were all-girl group Dead Disco and five-piece The Pigeon Detectives. Dead Disco released a number of singles this year, including "The Treatment", "City Place" and "Automatic", whilst The Pigeon Detectives toured extensively yet still found the time to record a number of now sold out singles. The band's debut "I'm Not Sorry" sold out in quick time.
If 2006 wasn't successful enough for The Pigeon Detectives, expect 2007 to be a major year for the Leeds-based five.
The year was also a busy time for iLiKETRAiNS, who also released an album during 2006: Terra Nova. The band received acclaim for their singles and even found the time to set up a regular music event at the award-winning Brudenell Social Club.
It was a World Cup summer, and it was local lads Embrace that recorded the official England 2006 World Cup song! It was also a busy summer for the Leeds music scene. A number of festivals were announced, in addition to the annual Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival. Love Leeds, Wireless Festival, Moor Music Festival, Unity Day and the city centre Across The Tracks festivals all attracted the music fans with many hundreds of local, national and international bands taking part across the many events.
As the year went on, it was duo Yes Boss and frantic five-piece and memorably named Shut Your Eyes And You'll Burst Into Flames that attracted the headlines with both bands releasing singles through the Leeds label Dance To The Radio. Meanwhile, in September Xi joined the 48 Crash roster and released their "Faceless" single. Other bands to release debut singles in 2006 were Jack Afro, Last Gang and Armstrong - keep your eyes on these boys during the next year!
In November, This Et Al released their long-awaited debut album, "Baby Machine", and The Terminals (nee Lorimer) released their debut single ("Dictator") in December.
As with This Et Al, another eagerly awaited debut album was that from fellow Leeds band four day Hombre, who managed to follow this up with their second!
The end of year also saw a first for Leeds when record label Transgressive simulcast their University Roadshow on the internet virtual world, Second Life.
A final word to new bands to emerge as the year closes, in particular Wild Beasts. Check out their debut single (on Bad Sneakers Records) and watch their progress throughout 2007.
So, as I write this piece and look through the news articles submitted to Leeds Music Scene over the year I notice many worthy articles I have not been able to comment on. And I know that there was a lot, lot more taking place in Leeds than even this summary would suggest. So why not use our comments to tell us what we missed, what were your highlights of 2006 and what you are looking forward to in 2007.
Your ed, x.