This last Saturday saw thousands upon thousands of music lovers descend on the venues of Leeds city centres for metropolitan festival, Live at Leeds. It turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and I know I can be over dramatic but I 100% mean that. There was so much talent in the city that day and I feel so lucky to have experienced so much of it. 

The first band we saw were The Gallery, a 5 piece from Wakefield that I believe are all only bit older than me, and considering their age, they’re unbelievably talented and definitely are going onto bigger things. Despite the trek to get to where they were playing, it was worth it when we got there; they’re definitely good performers and I’d recommend checking them out now because there’s no doubt they’re going places. They currently have a couple of songs on Spotify and a few more on Soundcloud, so definitely have a listen because they really are an amazing band with a lot potential. 

(Not my photo, credit to @PatrickBescoby)

Next on our list was The Pigeon Detectives, a band that I’ve wanted to see for ages and haven’t properly had chance to yet for different reasons, and I have to say, they know how to put on a show. Aside from some of the slightly creepy men that were making a lot of the people around them quite uncomfortable, the crowd were great, especially on some of their most popular songs like ‘Take Her Back‘, which was definitely a highlight for me. It was such a happy, rowdy crowd and it was such a good experience all round. 

Marsicans were a band I had listened to before and really liked but hadn’t really been a religious follower of them, but after seeing their set at Stylus I appreciate them SO much more. One of my favourite things in when you can clearly see how passionate and happy a band are to be performing and Marsicans were the epitome of that; they looked so overwhelming comfortable up on that stage and I think seeing how excited they were to be up there made me enjoy it even more. ‘Arms of Another‘ was definitely my personal favourite. They’re really good at what they do too, and they have a really contagious energy- their songs translate really well into a live set and I will definitely be listening to them more because of seeing them- you should too!

We missed part of Marsicans set to go see The Night Café, a band I have absolutely adored since seeing them as a support act last year, and continue to love a lot. Unfortunately we missed most of their set because the security on the door were being really strict and overall ridiculous but fortunately we managed to get in and thanks to a really lovely woman, to front row for the last part of their set. Seeing ‘You Change With The Seasons‘, one of my favourite songs ever, whilst being close enough to have leapt on stage if I wanted to (and close enough to knock over a mic stand onto the bassist’s foot which of course I was clumsy enough to do), was nothing short of beautiful. They’re a really good live band- their harmonies are honestly amazing and every time I see them I appreciate them that little bit more. I’m in desperate need of them to tour again so I can hear a whole set properly because the bit I managed to see was amazing. 

One of the bands I was most excited about for the day were The Magic Gang, as I’ve said countless times on this blog they’re probably my favourite band. Earlier on in the day, I was lucky enough to meet them and they are some of the loveliest people I have ever had the privilege to meet. They were so so down to earth and nice to us (I was a bit of an embarrassment) and seemed so happy that we were going to see them and it was so nice to know they weren’t arrogant or anything- they came across as genuinely nice lads and I’m so pleased to have finally met them and told them how much I appreciate their music. Seeing them perform for a second time was, of course, another highlight. I feel like I’ll never stop talking about how insanely good The Magic Gang are live, and their performance at Live at Leeds just reiterated this. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crowd react so enthusiastically and happily to a band and it was nothing short of magical, which is really fitting for The Magic Gang. Seeing my favourite band in an old church surrounded by people that love their music as much as I do was a really beautiful experience and I’m so happy to have had it. 

From The Magic Gang we went to watch Jaws, who I’ve wanted to see for so long and one of the main reasons I bought my ticket. It’s safe to say they did not disappoint- their music is so atmospheric and I loved every minute of their set, although I do wish it had been longer. Being able to go on shoulders for the first part of ‘Think Too Much, Feel Too Little’ was amazing too, even though the security were being annoyingly strict about that and I had to get down soon after. I can honestly say that seeing Jaws live confirmed that they were one of my absolute favourite bands: I need to see them live again soon. To say they’ve released two albums without even being signed to a record label, they’re doing brilliantly and I can see why- I’m completely in love with their music and can’t see that stopping for a long time. 

Because we stayed for the entirety of Jaws set, I had to miss part of the next band I wanted to see, which was Get Inuit. However, the 15 minutes I did see was insane. Playing in The Key Club on the Dork stage, they were so intensely passionate and I can’t express how good they are live. The crowd was admittedly a bit of an odd mix, with not many young audience members which to be honest I wasn’t really expecting but it just shows how versatile Get Inuit are to appeal to quite a wide age bracket. Seeing ‘Barbiturates’ live was hands down a highlight of the night- it’s an absolute belter of a song, and that was amplified 10 times live. I’d definitely recommend checking them out- they’re genuinely such a sick band and I’m so glad I was able to see them now in such a small, intimate venue because I highly doubt they’ll stay in them for long with the music they’ve released over the last year or so. 

The final band I saw had me staying at the Dork stage for Vant. I really appreciate their music and think it’s refreshing how politically charged they are and they were definitely great live. I managed to really hurt my ankle somehow part way through (probably a result of being trampled on all day, so it’s worth it) so I didn’t enjoy the last half as much as I could’ve which is annoying but aside from that they were great- Mattie’s quite good at interacting with the crowd, and some of their more popular songs were really good live because of the reaction from the crowd they received. Overall they were really good live and they send out a good message, and it’s not often you get to see bands that are swiftly growing and growing in such small capacity venues, and Live at Leeds is the perfect opportunity for that. 

On a whole, Live at Leeds was a completely amazing experience that I know I’ll never forget- it gave me a new found appreciation for bands like Marsicans and Get Inuit and allowed me to meet my favourite band so buying that ticket all those months ago was once of the best decisions I’ve made. I also was able to meet loads of absolutely lovely people which I’m really happy about- it just shows how many amazing people you can meet through music, and I definitely have. I will definitely be hitting up Live at Leeds 2018 without a doubt. 

Neive x