The Wardrobe was the lively, vaguely industrial setting for the announcements and celebrations as a crowd (itself a microcosm of the festival) of suited arty types, indie kids and confused regulars gathered to toast the coming of another Live At Leeds. The festival showcases both signed and unsigned acts across a faithful legion of Leeds’ venues and will play out from the 2nd to the 5th of May.
Leeds Unsigned will be covering the festival, so naturally attended and as someone with little experience of Live at Leeds, here’s what I learnt.
Over 100 bands will play across a variety of venues including Brudenell Social Club, The Wardrobe, The Cockpit, The Library, The O2 Academy and Leeds Met among others. As well as music, the festival also comprises fringe acts, crafts and the infamous 5-a-side tourment to finish, in which bands play for the Champions Trophy, on Monday the 5th.
Among the bands announced (a full list can be found at http://liveatleeds.com/) are Albert Hammond Jr (formerly of The Strokes), Blood Red Shoes, Pulled Apart By Horses, The Hold Steady, Johnny Flynn and local favourites I Like Trains. Unsigned acts will also be out in force, with notable locals including Blue Laurel and Allusondrugs.
Live At Leeds isn’t just about music and football however, an intellectual presence adorns the festivities in the form of The Unconference. This will be held at Wardrobe on Friday 3rd May and is a panel discussion. Subjects earmarked for examination so far are: Music consumption in a digital landscape and networking. The Unconference also serves as a means for bands to have their music evaluated by the panel. The demo panel will give tips to bands on recording and also the business end of the industry but this also doubles up as an opportunity for bands to be spotted by managers, journalists and labels.
The evening will culminate in a gig, free in to Unconference attendees and Live At Leeds wristband holders. Stoner rockers Black Moth, award winning blues rock duo Wet Nuns and local chaos merchants BearFoot Beware will provide an undoubtedly fitting, climatic end to what promises to be a day of variety and top drawer entertainment.