Ten Bands For Ten Years - Acts to catch at Live At Leeds 2016

by - Wednesday, April 06, 2016

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I bloody love Leeds. Having dwelled into West Yorkshire for just over 4 years and Leeds itself for just over one, there is no city that has atmosphere quite like it - more intimate that London and Manchester, but so much more going on that the likes of Sheffield or Newcastle. From a musical venue, there are more venues that you can shake a proverbial stick at, which is part of what makes the annual Live At Leeds festival such a treat.

Now in it's tenth year, LAL takes over Leeds City Centre and beyond for a full bank holiday weekend of bands, talks and general japes, providing a great selection of familiar names and 'ones to watch'. If you're anything like me, the musical control freak in you will want to download that schedule and plan out a pedometer-busting watchlist, but I implore you - there's just as much reward in simply picking a venue and seeing what treats unfold before you. I'll be doing a mix of both, but for those who aren't sure, here is my list of bands that are pretty much unmissable.

Los Campesinos! (LUU Stylus, 8.30PM)
That's right, you are on safetyinsound.com - there's no way we'd miss our favourite band off this list. With a new record still a little way off, their set is sure to comprise a selection of classics and newer material, delivered with a sardonic wit. Get yourself in the mood by checking out our interview with Gareth from when the band played LAL back in 2012.

Slow Club (Holy Trinity Church, 10pm)
Turns out that Slow Club played the very first Live At Leeds festival way back in 2006 - happy birthday indeed! An unusual but instantly lovable venue, the acoustics of Leeds Holy Trinity Church are set to be the perfect backdrop for Charles and Rebecca's stripped-back renditions of tracks taken from equally wonderful 'Paradise' and 'Complete Surrender'.

We Are Scientists (LUU Stylus, 10.30PM)
Everybody's favourite comedy double act, don't let We Are Scientists 'Flight of the Conchords' style banter fool you - they've still got plenty of tunes in their locker. Whether you turn up to hear 'Too Late' for the first time on British shores or you simply want to relieve the glory days of 'With Love And Squalor', you're unlikely to leave disappointed.

RatBoy (Brudenell Social Club, 11pm)
Casting a quick eye over the headliners this year, nobody can be relied on to bring a ramshackle late-night party like RatBoy. Boasting a way with social commentary that would have made 2005's Alex Turner watch his back, expect to see sweaty t-shirts and pints fly through the air when he drops 'move.'

Shura (O2 Academy Leeds, 7.30pm)
If you're not yet familiar with Shura's 'Touch' - I implore you to listen below for reading on. Heard it? Great. Smoother than Skippy's peanut butter with a hefty dose of sexual tension, her music is so of-the-minute that this will literally be your best chance to get in there before everybody else cottons on - she's going to be huge.

Declan Mckenna (Brudenell Social Club, 6pm)
Social activist for the Tumblr generation, Declan McKenna's thoughtful ditties have seen him speak up on issues ranging from FIFA corruption to Transgender rights. Another act you'll want to turn up early for - he was a big hit at SXSW Festival and will undoubtedly be a hot ticket here in Leeds.

Forever Cult (Leeds Beckett Union, 5.30pm)
Leeds very own gang of scuffler rockers, Forever Cult have been on our radar ever since they were writing songs in the bedroom next door to this very blog. Turn up for the big grunge tunes and stay for the wig outs - they've been known to go a little crazy with the stage-trashing at the end of a set.

Spring King (LUU Stylus, 7.30pm)
Made famous overnight after they became the first song ever to be played on Beats 1, Spring King have been on an exponential increase in exposure ever since. A straight up indie-rock-and-roll band, expect to hear a ton of songs you know you've heard before even if you don't know how - those pesky little Mancunians get everywhere.

Lola Coca (Headrow House, 9pm)
Straight outta Portsmouth, Lola Coca's savage tongue is as sophisticated as it is lol-worthy - see the lyric sheet for single 'Bad Girlfriend'. Perfectly dispelling some of the relatable tropes of being a 20th-century girl, she's perfectly placed inside the achingly cool surrounds of Headrow House.

Will Joseph Cook (The Wardrobe, 4pm)
A chilled way to kickstart your afternoon, Will Joseph Cook a Tunbridge-Wells flatpack popstar with a wonderful taste in sportswear. Instantly likeable, his sunny tunes are wide-reaching and reminiscent of Darwin Deez - just enough kook to mark him out from all the other singer-songwriters.

Fancy heading to Live At Leeds 2016? Tickets are priced at £32.50 for the day and are available online at http://liveatleeds.com/ or from all reputable Leeds-based record shops. Check out a playlist for the festival below -


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  1. Wow all those band performances that is magical I was looking to travel to UK I hope my tour coincides with this band events I would love to attend a couple of this shows thanks for the heads up Jenessa.