The Live at Leeds 2016 schedule has now been released, and we’ve undertaken the really difficult task of scouring the venues and the line-up to recommend where we think you should be heading on 30 April to find the best of the new talent.
Get a hold of the Live at Leeds Schedule here.
Catch our Live at Leeds Schedule: 12pm – 6pm guide here.
Those of you who are into your new music, and are up in the North of the country, may be aware of Live at Leeds, a tastemaker one-day event and the Northern equivalent to Brighton’s The Great Escape. With over 200 bands on the line-up, and 22 different locations to be attending, we understand it may be an overwhelming task to try and find who you have to see and how to plan your day. Take a look at our recommendations for the second half of the day.
6pm-6.30pm: Declan McKenna / Haus / Clay
6pm is where the serious cross-overs really start to kick in at Live at Leeds and you will be hard-pressed no matter who you choose, as there are scores of bands you’ll be missing. Try and take a deep breath, and prepare well in advance your hectic schedule.
Declan McKenna has been support for the likes of Mystery Jets and Foals, and this alone might give you a hint at the potential within this one man indie contribution. Latest single ‘Paracetamol’ takes McKenna deep into the depths of triyng to understand the world, with its fairground and 8bit sounds powering the track. Check him out at the Brudenell Social Club at 6pm.
Haus are a particularly strong five-piece from North London who we cannot wait to get a hold of. Particularly distinctive vocals from Ashley Mulimba, and with that jangling guitar tone, they breed dancing tunes. They are an easy listener and Huw Stephens is a big fan. That means you should be too. Oporto – 6pm.
Clay bring a specific breed of indie-funk to the proceedings that has a nostalgic yet modern, The 1975 feel. Brand new track, and we mean brand new, ‘Stay Calm!’ follows on from where previous release ‘Oxygen’ left off – an indie-pop contribution with strong 80s influences. Clay will be at The Wardrobe – 6pm.
6.15pm – 6.45pm: Cameron AG / Clean Cut Kid / Asylums
Cameron AG is an artist whose voice has that singular quality, with tracks such as ‘Way Back Home’ highlighting his extraordinary vocals. His ‘Way Back Home EP’ is a collection of four tracks, each with their own direction, the strongest being the EP closer ‘Lost Direction’ with the reverb quality that is added to the vocals perpetuating their twanging tone. He’s been picked up by many industry leaders, and might be worth a visit to measure your own opinion on this singer-songwriter. You will find him at the Holy Trinity Church – 6.15pm.
Clean Cut Kid are an indie-pop four-piece, with vocals, provided predominantly by Mike Halls, containing a slight Vampire Weekend likeness. ‘Vitamin C’ will probably be the track you are most familiar with, with its dominant bouncy beats and Evelyn Halls’ vocals, which usually underline husband Mike’s, taking priority at times. They are on many watch-lists, and might win you over with their light wave of pop. Luu Stylus – 6.15pm until 7pm.
Asylums are one of the bands we pulled out for artist to watch this year. With tracks including ‘Joy In a Small Wage’, an ode to the youthful absence of money and surplus of naivety, and brand new track ‘Necessary Appliances’, a satire on Western culture, Asylums’ brand of rock is sure to produce a great live show full of energy and movement. Catch them at The Key Club at 6.15pm.
6.30pm – 7pm: Hidden Charms / Treetop Flyers / Ben Roberts
Hidden Charms are a band high on our list of recommendations. We caught a glimmer of their set when they took on iNDEPENDENCE Festival in Southampton back in November, and wanted to hear more from this band. Their classic, blues-rock sound takes you back some years, yet keeps you in the present moment with that beautiful nostalgic-revival feel to it. We find ourselves alikening them at times to Blossoms in their track ‘Dreaming of Another Girl’, perhaps the driving guitar and bass lines running throughout, yet tracks like ‘Love You Cause You’re There’ have more comparisons with The Black Keys. Work it out for yourself at The Faversham – 6.30pm.
Treetop Flyers are an unfortunate clash with The Hidden Charms, as we feel that if you like one, you’re going to like the other. Their debut album ‘The Mountain Moves’ was released back in 2013, and its only recently where we’re beginning to hear tracks from this lot again, with their new album ‘Palomino’ released this year. There is a country atmosphere within some of their tracks, others remind us of Dire Straits, and sometimes Kings of Leon. Despite this, they are a real mixed bag of originality amongst all these comparisons. Their newest tracks, including ‘Dance Through The Night’ is a true classic outside of its time – fitting in amongst those tracks from The Doors and Dire Straits, with a thrumming and intriguing bass-line and organ sounds that you could picture on a The Doors album. They will be at Leeds College of Music at 6.30pm and you should too.
Ben Roberts has just uploaded his new track ‘Lovely Day’ onto the internet-sphere and we are sold within 10 seconds. It has that bouncing beat, and a typically indie voice that has all the features for a perfect summer relaxing song, and one you could perhaps expect to hear in place of Hall & Oates’ ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ on the 500 Days of Summer Soundtrack. He will be at the Social / Slate Terrace – 6.30pm.
DMA’s have been depicted as the Australian Oasis, and listening to ‘In the Moment’, you have to nod your head to this description. Perhaps it is time we fill the gap that Oasis left, and with the way people are reacting to the band, people are definitely seeming to agree that DMA’s are the most apt to fill their shoes. For a touch of what feel like 90s Brit-pop revival, drop by LUU Refectory – 6.45pm – 7.30pm.
7pm – 7.30pm: ISLAND / Mullally / INHEAVEN / Pleasure Beach / Blaenavon
You will have to try to shut us up about ISLAND. We first found out about ISLAND when they supported Palace near the end of last year and we’ve been in love since, with tracks like ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Girl’ satisfying our chilled indie-rock needs. Now, new for April, ISLAND have done it once again, having released ‘Spotless Mind’ which is typically ISLAND in its vibes and has us champing st the bit to become a part of their audience once again and take in those relaxing indie trills. Each London headline show they’ve performed has sold out well in advance and they have a good and loyal following. We think this show will be pretty packed, although they are unfortunate with the clashes. Brudenell Social Club – 7pm.
Mullally is a singer-songwriter whose music is led by addicting vocals that have a hint of Adam Levine (Maroon 5) to them. Soaring over a bed of electronic-y production, Mullally’s vocals have a Jack Garratt level of range. More pop than electronic though in its roots, Mullally often goes acoustic for sessions, and why not, with a voice that can carry a song the way his can. Check out his cover of ‘Pillow Talk’; it’s pretty beautiful. Mullally will be at Leeds College of Music Recital Room – 7pm.
INHEAVEN have struck the right chord with Julian Casablancas of The Strokes fame, who released ‘Regeneration’ via his label Cult Records. From then, tune after tune has been produced from this South London trio. ‘Baby’s Alright’ has a politically infused message layered above a consistent drum beat that carries throughout along with the motif of “Baby’s Alright”, contrasting with the discontent of the lyrics. Their tracks have you really listening to the lyrical content that flows effortlessly above a dream-punk backdrop. Leeds Beckett Uni Union Stage Two – 7pm.
You might know Pleasure Beach from their new single ‘Magic Mountain’, or perhaps already be aware of them from their promising debut single in October 2015 entitled ‘Go’. They are a fairly new Belfast band, but in their short existence, they have already been nominated for the Choice Music Prize ‘Song Of The Year’. Want to know why? Head on over to Nation of Shopkeepers – 7pm.
There’s a fair bit of noise about the young three-piece that is Blaenavon right now. Their ‘Koso’ EP contained maturity above their years and this was carried forward to its follow-up ‘Miss World’. Not only in lyrics, but the refined and defined vocal of Ben Gregory and the put together riffs from the band. They’ve released a new song just this week ahead of Live at Leeds, called ‘I Will Be The World’, which further propels Blaenavon into a must-see act on the Live at Leeds 2016 Schedule. Blaenavon will be at Oporto – 7pm.
7.15pm – 7.45pm: Samm Henshaw / Isaac Gracie / Sløtface
Samm Henshaw has got proper talent, recognised by those at Columbia Records who snapped him up for their taking. With the release of ‘The Sound Experiment’ EP last year, Samm Henshaw has soulful vocals, with elements of Gallant in some cases in his incredible high note capabilities. This name is one you will be sure to have already heard, but might not know just what the man behind it is capable of. Get down to The Hifi Club from 7.15pm – 8pm.
An unfortunate clash is Isaac Gracie who goes up against ISLAND, who they supported at Oslo earlier this month. Gracie has that James Bay/Hozier, one man and his rock, appeal, and has seen him rising to recognition with exemplar tracks ‘Last Words’ and newest release ‘Terrified’. Find him at the Holy Trinity Church – 7.15pm.
Sløtface, recently renamed from what appeared to be the too controversial ‘Slutface’, you will know them from new track under their altered name, ‘Sponge State’ and ‘Kill ‘Em With Kindness’. The Norwegian indie group are led by Haley Shea on vocals, and you’d be forgiven for comparisons to Gwen Stefani when she was a part of No Doubt, in tracks like ‘Get My Own’ and their older tracks, which exhibit more of a punk-centred intention from the four-piece. They will be at The Key Club – 7.15pm.
7.30pm-8pm: Avante Black / The Duke Spirit / Spring King / Shura
Avante Black are a London based shoegaze band, who are very fresh and in their infancy of live gigs, but Live at Leeds is not a bad place to really get stuck in. Frontwoman Ottilia’s vocals have touches of Ellie Rowsell (Wolf Alice) within them. ‘Imaginary Love’, the first single from the band, and a great introduction to what this band have to offer, has that touching line “I still adore you” drenching the chorus. We adore this lot, and hope to catch them at this year’s LAL. Brudenell Games Room – 7.30pm.
The Duke Spirit have been around for a fair while, with their first EP landing in 2003, entitled ‘Darling, You’re Mean’. The band are a bit sporadic in their releases, and they have recently taken three years off from live performance, but they are welcomed back with open arms in 2016. So far, this year has seen several strong singles from the four-piece, including latest ‘Wounded Wing’ which is calming and soothing and highly atmospheric, while ‘Hands’ is more alternative with dirty guitars, much more of what we’re used to from this lot. Leeds Beckett Uni Union Stage One – 7.30pm – 8.15pm.
Spring King were a band recommended to us last festival season and this festival season sees them one of the most promising emerging rock talents, backed by a strong following. With ‘City’ and ‘Who Are You?’ sufficient build up tracks to the main event which happens to be the single ‘Rectifier’, Spring King are a live band with tremendous bounds of energy and are ones to watch in a live setting as we’ve been promised. SK will be at LUU Stylus 7.30pm – 8.15pm.
Shura is the woman behind the track that is ‘Touch’, which recently received a remix from Talib Kweli. Synth backing with light and reminiscent, regretful vocals, ‘Touch’ has to be a track of the festival, as it is of her career thus far. It follows previous releases including ‘2Shy’, which has similar tones and breathy vocals. Shura also appeared on a recent Mura Masa single, ‘Love For That’, where her vocals are more prominent and demonstrate her fluidity as an artist. She will be at O2 Academy – 7.30pm – 8.15pm.
8pm-8.30pm: Beach Baby / Jelani Blackman / Blossoms / Catholic Action / Pumarosa
Beach Baby, new Island Records signing, have released a small flurry of singles this year, including the brilliant American rock inspired ‘Sleeperhead’, and guitar driven and light and cheery sounding despite its dismal title and downbeat lyrics ‘Lost Soul’. You’ll feel transported back some years listening to this lot. They have plenty of woo-hoo-ing to join in with live, and they are a perfect band for a Bank Holiday flick into the past. Brudenell Social Club
Jelani Blackman has songs that are perfect for the eery moment in a film that needs a dramatic and attention-grabbing soundtrack. With distorted vocals on certain tracks, there are touches of James Blake – bare with me, because on first glance/listen, you might say I’m wrong on this one – but the way he plays with the conventions of a track and expectations, there are definitely stabs of Blake in there. He is intriguing and we might find ourselves taking us off to his set despite what might seem his complete nonconformity in our genre range. We want to know more about this guy. Check out 1-4 EP and then head on to Headrow House – 8pm.
If you haven’t seen, or heard about Blossoms yet, we’re afraid there is no hope for you. 2015 saw them launch two EPs, ‘Blown Rose’ and ‘Charlemagne’, with a third ‘At Most A Kiss’ emerging early 2016, followed fairly succinctly with new single ‘Getaway’ in the build up to their debut EP. They’ve been busy, but demand has been high and the tracks are up there with strong synths, Ogden’s vocals exhibiting his strongly-apparent Stockport accent, which aligns them with Northern bands who have that power of location as backing. Take Arctic Monkeys and you can’t remove the strong Sheffield roots, or Oasis and Manchester, and the same is clear for this Mancunian quintet. Catch them while they’re everywhere! LUU Refectory – 8pm – 9pm.
Catholic Action have found themselves on some pretty hefty support slots, having supported The Libertines and Swim Deep despite their young life as a band. ‘L.U.V’ has seen some apt love since its March release. It has a perfect dance rhythm complete with subtle hand claps driving the beat. There is not much material online from this Glaswegian band, but ‘Wash’, the B-side to ‘L.U.V’ continues to set the band up as watch-worthy. Head on over to Nation of Shopkeepers at 8pm to catch Catholic Action in action.
Pumarosa are another band in their infancy with several successful tracks under their belts already. ‘Priestess’, the late 2015 release emerged ahead of ‘Cecile’, the latter twisting our expectations slightly with its introduction before refolding itself back into the sort of track we could imagine coming from this new band. In ‘Cecile’, singer Isabel Munoz-Newsome sounds like a vocalist from the 80s, perhaps we’re thinking Blondie on ‘Heart of Glass’, with a classic mix of breathy and pronounced tones. They will be at The Wardrobe from 8pm – 8.45pm.
8.30pm-9pm: Sweat / The Bulletproof Bomb
If there is one track by Sweat you have to make sure you listen to, it’s ‘Be Complete’. It is haunting, with quiet vocals coming in quite late after that pretty driving beat, which cuts out slightly, but throws you right back in in full force in the chorus. They are an eery sort of band with a definitive and specific alternative sound. “Just listen for the tambourine and it will be alright”, is the lead in to the chorus of ‘Tambourine’, which sleazy sounds and shimmering qualities that could send you off into your own world. Sweat will be at the Brudenell Games Room – 8.30pm.
The Bulletproof Bomb have clearly taken inspiration from Jamie T, with ‘Suitcase’ almost being an ode to his music. They definitely know how to conjure up a picture within their songs, with ‘Little Miss London’ as an example of this. Their tracks are raw and not refined, and this is one of the joys of the band’s music, hearing the live quality which determines that their live shows will be a storm. The Faversham – 8.30pm.
8.45pm-9.15pm: Corinne Bailey Rae / Blood Red Shoes
Corinne Bailey Rae may have had a brief interval between releasing music – her last album ‘The Sea’ was released back in January 2010 – but Bailey Rae is back in 2016, with several singles – ‘Been To The Moon’, ‘Stop Where You Are’ and ‘Hey, I Won’t Break Your Heart’ – teasing out her new upcoming album ‘The Heart Speaks in Whispers’. Multiple Grammy-nominated artist, triple BRIT Award winner, and twice MOBO Award winner, her credentials speak for herself. The album drops on 13 May, but until then, she will be at The Hifi Club at 8.45pm -10pm.
Blood Red Shoes are another band who seemed to be around and suddenly disappeared. The Brighton alt-rock duo released an album at the end of last year, featuring early recordings of ‘Don’t Always Say Yes’ and ‘Victory for the Magpie’, both big singles for the band back in their early days in 2005. They self released their fourth record, and last studio album, back in 2014 on their Jazz Life imprint, and we are left wondering whether they will be performing any new tracks at this year’s Live at Leeds. Go to Leeds Beckett Uni Union Stage One – 8.45pm – 9.45pm to find out.
9pm-9.30pm: Beaty Heart / VITAMIN / Meilyr Jones
Beaty Heart are a hot London band who are returning with their follow up to debut 2014 album, ‘Mixed Blessings’. Leading singles ‘Flora’ has a catchy and unique distinctive beat unlike any other artist around right now, with ‘Soft Like Clay’ continuing this tropical and exotic vibe. Live their performance is electric, as are their sounds, and you have to go to catch tracks from their forthcoming ‘Til the Tomb’ due out in July. They’re at Belgrave Music Hall from 9pm.
VITAMIN are one of Leeds’ latest shining stars. They’ve supported Sundara Karma and Nothing But Thieves, and their indie pop is particularly poppy and upbeat. They have 80s pop vibes that you could also find reimagined on The 1975’s new albums. Jared Laville’s voice may take a little getting used to, but once you’re in, you’re in and they are well worth catching this Saturday. Brudenell Social Club – 9pm.
Meilyr Jones’ new album, confusingly called ‘2013’ dropped in March this year, featuring the beautiful, harpsichord-laden ‘Don Juan’, a reimagining of the Lord Byron character, as well as ‘How To Recognise A Work Of Art’. Live, Meilyr Jones has been dubbed exuberant and a showman, and we think his new ‘2013’ is no doubt a work of art – not a fake, a fake, “of that there is no escape”. Get down to Nation of Shopkeepers – 9pm.
9.30pm: Anteros / Sundara Karma / Circa Waves / Fatherson
Choosing between Anteros, Sundara Karma, Circa Waves and Fatherson is like having to choose between your favourite The Beatles song. There are plenty reasons why you should run between the four Venues and as a result, miss each band.
Anteros have just released an exceedingly promising track that has an infectious hold you can’t quite shake and play on repeat, or at least in your head for a large portion of the day. ‘Breakfast’ is very shrug of the shoulders, and non-clingy in sentiment but the opposite in terms of its sonic impact. We vote heading to Brudenell Games Room from 9.30pm – 10pm.
But then you have Sundara Karma with ‘Flame’ and ‘A Young Understanding’, which would be criminal to miss. They have recently been playlisted by Radio 1 and beginning to get higher positions on festival bills. The Guardian described the band as having “arena ambitions” with the direction their music is taking them. “Hold my flame” is the leading line in the chorus to ‘Flame’, and we assure you, there are plenty of people holding a candle to this band right now. A definite must see. The Faversham from 9.30pm-10.15pm.
We find ourselves reasoning that Circa Waves find themselves a large band, one that is on the Line-up for genre-fitting and ticket-selling purposes, but one with an unfair advantage. Though of course we’d be kicking ourselves to miss seeing ‘Stuck In My Teeth’ live, as they really have that song down to perfection. 2015 was a great year for them, with the release of ‘Young Chasers’ such a game changer and pulling them into top-of-the-Bill status. They will be smashing it, undoubtedly, at the LUU Refectory from 9.30pm – 11pm.
Fatherson are the Scottish rock band behind tracks including ‘Lost Little Boys’ and ‘Just Past the Point of Breaking’. They produce anthemic rock songs, which have begun to pick up steam this year. We are all awaiting with baited breath the follow-up to their debut record ‘I Am An Island’. The new album ‘Open Book’ is due out in summer 2016, and they already have three impressive singles for this year, and a large following, as was proved at T in the Park last year. This band are a game changer and you will find them at Leeds Beckett Uni Union Stage 2 at 9.30pm-10.15pm.