Live at Leeds: A Folk Guide

So Live at Leeds is next weekend! It’s really exciting, so many good bands playing! However, sometimes you might not know who do go and see, especially if you haven’t heard of some of the bands. Then you could end up going to see someone random who you choose because you like the band name and end up missing someone you would love. This is what happened to me a little last year, and so I am going to do a guide of who I suggest are the best people to go and see at Live at Leeds! This is my list of the top 10 people to see and then a few top tips for the day. The full line-up timetable is here.

1. Blue Roses- 4:00 @ Holy Trinity Church Myspace

I am really excited about this one! If you haven’t heard blue roses before her music is so beautiful. She the voice of an angel and this is coupled with delicate folk songs. If that wasn’t enough, she is playing in the Holy Trinity Church! It’s a stunning venue and perfect for someone like Laura Groves. This really is a must see!

2. Ellen and the Escapades- 10:00 @ Brudenell Social Club Myspace

I have loved Ellen and the Escapades for ages now but they are finally getting noticed after winning the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition. The Brudenell Social club is also a really nice venue and is the first place I saw them play. They are a treat live, but get their early as it may be busy!

3. Esben and the Witch- 7:00 @ Leeds Met Myspace

Not the best venue, but I think it might be worth it just to hear Rachael Davies voice. They make the most incredible haunting music, think the XX with Florence on vocals. It’s much heavier than most of the stuff on this list, but it could be a nice alternative to a day of finger-picking guitars.

4. Sam Airey- 1:30 @ Cockpit 3 Myspace

I love Sam Airey at the moment. Listen to his song ‘Row Upon Row’, beautiful stuff. I think he’s set to be the next Johnny Flynn, catch him in this tiny venue now before he gets bigger and bigger!

5. Exlovers- 3:00 @ Brudenell Social Club Myspace

I think I am going to have to miss this as the Brudenell is a bit of a trek from the centre of Leeds and I want to see Blue Roses. If you don’t want to see Blue Roses though, I definitely recommend Exlovers as an alternative. They have sweet boy-girl harmonies with subtle instrumentation and the effect is beautiful. ‘Just A Silhouette’ is highly recommended.

6. Matthew P- 5:30 @ Cockpit 3 Myspace

Not far from Sam Airey, but more of a Johnny Flynn in the sunshine feel. Listen to ‘On Top’, a perfect summer song. I only heard him for the first time recently, but I am definitely a new fan.

7. Kill It Kid- 6:30 @ Leeds Uni Mine Myspace

Never been to this venue before but might try to catch Kill It Kid there. They are very impressive on record. They remind me of the Arcade Fire and Q magazine described them as ‘Fiddle-frenzy jazz/blues.

8. Goldheart Assembly- 3:00 @ The Faversham Myspace

For any fans of Local Natives or Boy and Bear, go and see Goldheart Assembly. With a mixture of acoustic harmonies and a whole lot of other stuff in their, they create quite a beautiful effect. They have recently recorded an album in a Norfolk Steam Train museum, which sounds, interesting. For those who don’t catch them at Live at Leeds they are playing Nation Of Shopkeepers on the 23rd May as well.

9. Woodpigeon- 8:30 @ Holy Trinity Church Myspace

I really like some Woodpigeon stuff and not others so I am curious to see what he will be like live. Some is a little like Bon Iver, some is quite instrumental and some is quite alternative. This is a really beautiful venue so I think it will be really good, hopefully!

10. Melody, Melodica and Me- 1:00 @ The Well Myspace

Such a wonderful way to start the day off! Melody, Melodica and Me are like really happy folk music. It all sounds very handmade and unproduced, which is really nice. I first heard them about a year ago and I keep popping back to there myspace for a listen so I am looking forward to seeing them live.

The bands that nearly made the list… Three Blind Wolves, Jesca Hoop, Nic Dawson Kelly, Lone Wolf, Gary Stewart, Paul Thomas Saunders, Fran Rodgers, Fool’s Gold, Darwin Deez and Maggie8.

A few tips…

  • If your planning on going to the Brudenell Social Club or Royal Park Cellars, set off a good half an hour before any band you want to see starts playing. Its quite a bus journey! If anyone needs directions, feel free to contact me and I will tell you the way!
  • For any bands after 8-ish, I would recommend getting there to see the band before, otherwise the venue may fill up and you might not get in.
  • If you want to see Wild Beasts, who are headlining at 9, get there at least an hour earlier as a there may already be a queue building.
  • Don’t forget to exchange your ticket for a wristband in the morning! You can do this at Leeds Met from 10am onwards.

If anyone needs any help or questions about it all, feel free to contact me. Have a great day!


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