Published On: Thu, May 8th, 2014 on 10:00 am

Live At Leeds 2014 – A review

Black Moth Live At Leeds

The highlight of Black Moth's set was the new song ‘Tumbleweave’

As the May Day bank holiday rolls around each year Leeds celebrates a special event named Live At Leeds (LAL).

It’s a three-day music festival that brings forward local and international acts as well as some of the great venues that host them over the weekend.

Throughout its years, the festival has hosted talent such as Marina And The Diamonds, Mumford And Sons and Jake Bugg.

And although the inclusion of such well-known acts is a sign of how well the festival is perceived by the music community, its real gems come from smaller acts that you will inevitably end up discovering throughout your weekend travels in the city.

Two things you will almost certainly realise whilst there is that: you won’t see most of the bands you wanted to, and you will discover plenty of new bands.

Having attended the festival for the past two years, I have realised that the abundance of music throughout the city will make you end up taking risks on who to see. That being said you will not be disappointed.

Not only does LAL host some great bands but there are also talks from music industry executives as workshops allow songwriters and bands to submit music to people within the industry.

These kinds of events give this festival a real edge over most of the typical Glastonbury and Reading festival flavours floating around.

My LAL experience started on Friday night with two-piece garage rockers Blood Red Shoes (BRS) pumping out their energetic breakneck tunes.

Announcing that this was the end of their latest tour and that this would be an after party of sorts, the set-list was diverse spanning from their early work up until their latest self-produced and self-titled fourth album.

Songs that stood out were the sludgy aggressive ‘Speech Coma’ and the alt rock power of ‘Lost Kids’. It’s almost unimaginable how a two-piece can make so much noise but BRS did a great job of shaking the foundations of the Cockpit venue.

The vibe that LAL emits is one of independent bands rather than big name acts. With this in mind my first port of call was to check out Black Moth.

This being their hometown, the Leeds Met main stage seemed like the perfect place for them. With an air of confidence the band entered the stage and began a torrent of heavy sledgehammer riffing for a good time until they were joined onstage by frontwoman Harriet Bevan.

The band began a sonic assault that was very rarely relented. The band doesn’t so much as preach the word of rock and roll as much as ferociously shove it in your face.

The big highlight of the set was a new song ‘Tumbleweave’ from their unreleased second album. It gives a great insight into the energy that their new LP will surely contain. So all-in-all Black Moth is definitely not a band you want to miss.

Indie pop rockers Los Campesinos brought their anthemic euphoria to the Leeds Refectory with a good mix from each of their four albums. The only word to really describe this band was amazing. Every song felt like a hit single being thrown at the crowd one after another.

During their set, the band relied mostly on the songs from their newest album No Blues, with their newest single ‘Avocado, Baby’ being a major highlight. The bands music is one of bittersweet melancholy, with most of their lyrics concerning loss and angst set across a backdrop of beautifully crafted pop that will have you jumping up and down for their whole set.

One of the bigger bands from this year’s lineup and definitely one for the younger crowd were Clean Bandit.

Playing at the O2 Academy, the band brought their mix of deep house and classical music to create something really special. The biggest reaction came from the bands recent hit ‘Rather Be’ which threw the crowd into a jumping frenzy.

The set-list consisted of songs from their unreleased debut album as well as a cover of ‘Show Me Love’ by Robin S.

Actor/musician Johnny Flynn has also been gaining a good amount of popularity from his association with other well-known folk acts such as Laura Marling and Mumford And Sons.

Playing a stripped down acoustic set at the packed-out Holy Trinity Church, this venue couldn’t help but pay a great compliment to Johnny’s gentle folk style. With a shy charisma about him, Johnny engages with the audience and beckons them to join in as much as they like.

His set included new numbers from his latest album Country Mile such as the soft acoustic ballad ‘Einsteins Idea’ as well as older numbers like the beautifully finger-picked ‘The Box’.

About the Author

Sam Rothery

- Musician and current Music and Engineering student at Huddersfield University.

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