Live Review

Live At Leeds 2009

With over a hundred bands across one day, Live At Leeds is one of the biggest and best music events in the north.

With over a hundred bands across one day, it’s safe to say this year’s Live At Leeds is one of the biggest and best live music events in the north. Equipped with an eclectic array of acts and some unusual venues, DIY sets about surviving this whirlwind day. So with a map in hand (that’s right, this venue hop makes Camden Crawl look like a stroll) and our handy clash guide, we attempt to fight our way through the crowds and find some of the best new music Leeds has to offer.

The first venue of the day is the quaint but completely derelict Joseph’s Well. Armed with a violinist and a wash of waistcoats, Tigers That Talked get the day off to a subtle start. With their smart suits and sensible songs, they don’t exactly thrill- however their quiet melodies leave for pleasant listening.

James Yuill is playing in a church.

Sorry, but James Yuill is playing in a church. Right now. We’re sat in the pews and a man is dancing in the aisles. Between songs, despite James’ ultra rave antics, the expectant audience are extremely quiet. From the first note, James’ songs wash over the room, with his vocals echoing through the church. Each song comes with its own unique dance pop quality, leaving us agog as the harsh sounds take over. Finally as more people gather to dance away, we find it hard to imagine a performance better than this today.

Fortunately the Brute Chorus give it a good try. Rocking up at Leeds Met like an English Gogol Bordello the band instantly bring a new energy into the room. With songs about fish and moustaches suitable for the Olympics, this band are seriously close to singing pirate songs- but there’s something about Brute Chorus which works. With their catchy hooks and gang style vocals they’re a musical addiction. However our great run takes a stall for Polly Scattergood. With her innocent pop songs, we were hoping for a change in musical direction but instead we find a girl, lost on stage in a wave of bad sound. Constantly pointing out the holes in the sound, Polly is left to simply throw shapes, as she looks wide eyed flustering in the stage lights.

After gobbling a takeaway we then rush back to the Trinity Church to find the lovely sounds of Fionn Regan - from outside. The queues are beginning to form so after no guarantee of Fionn we head to Joseph’s Well for Youves.

Looking at the most, 12, this band act like they’ve drunken too much lemonade and listened to the Rapture. As they waltz through the crowd with a over zealous cowbell, the band are very aggressive. However with their funky rhythms and dance beats we can’t help but tap our toes.

Then from euphoria to doom, the newly organised Duels bring a little heartthrob to the day with their atmospheric sounds. With new member Whiskas (who seems to be there to look concerned about the sound) the band pack out the venue with their multi layered instrumentation.

A quick taxi out of there, and we’ve just managed to squeeze ourselves into the Brudenell for Mumford and Sons. Standing on a seat in a corner, this band are clearly hot property (or at least when the Maccabees is full) but as the band whisk through their laid back set it’s hard to even hear them, never mind pay any attention to the stage. As they tootle along it’s very clear the band are very safe onstage. Equipped with a few country songs they’re as exciting as a wooden broom - that said we are getting to breaking point here.

We just about muster up the energy to head over to the Cockpit where the overhyped Baddies are thrashing out a few Young Knives inspired songs. With their sterilised uniforms and barking vocals we’re not quite ready to be shouted at for half an hour. Our legs are jelly, our head is pounding and we just about manage to collapse into bed, with a half arsed smile on our faces.

Leeds we love you.

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