Slept in. Woops. Need to formulate a plan. Get up. Get ready. Live at Leeds. I was already running late (a recurring theme of the day) and wanted to make the most of my £32.50 ticket. 2016 marks Live at Leeds’ ninth year running, jointly hosted by Leeds City Council and Futuresound to provide a day full of gigs and entertainment at venues all around Leeds city centre.
Actually get up and get ready! I survey my shoe collection –essentially just four pairs of shoes in a row- and decide it’ll be a Connies kind of day. Giving up the chance to be an inch taller in my heeled boots is a sacrifice I know I’ll regret, but the idea of walking in them from Belgrave to the Union and back again (multiple times) does not seem appealing.
I make my way to O2 Arena, taking note of my good shoe choice, to pick up a wristband that will work as my ticket into all of the venues.
I Google-map my way to Belgrave only to realise that King No-One’s gig is full and no one else will be allowed in upstairs. Disappointment ensues. A quick check of the group chat and I see that some of my friends made it in. I will demand a full recap later.
My friends fill me in on King No-Ones’ performance. I have on good authority that they were not disappointing, mesmerising the crowd with their new EP Stay Close. My disappointment lessens when I hear that the York based band is known for busking in various cities, and I quickly like their Facebook page to stay updated on where they’ll be next.
Heading to O2 Academy to check out Mystery Jets.
Woah that line for Mystery Jets looks pretty long.
Still walking to the end of the line.
Promptly giving up any hope of getting into Mystery Jets. Another disappointment. We rethink the game plan for the day, deciding to stay at the Refectory all night and avoid missing any other acts.
Sitting at Terrace bar for ciders and enjoying the good weather. We note that the DMA’S are sitting on the table next to us. We play it cool.
The Sherlocks appear on stage. Every girl in the crowd screams. Having never heard them before, I can appreciate their Arctic Monkey’s-esque sound and the catchiness of every song. Live for the Moment and Last Night are my personal favourites and the crowd certainly agrees, screaming every lyric with a kind of enthusiasm rarely seen at 5.30pm in the afternoon.
The signature sound of DMA’S is unmistakeable in a room packed full of denim jackets and Doc Martens. The crowd mimics every euphoric beat in their jumps working in perfect sync with the encouraging head bops of guitarist, Johnny Took. I stand crushed between more than a few people in the moshpit (suddenly envying the lead singer’s outfit choice of tracksuit pants and trainers) embracing some of the funkiest Britpop hits from their newest album, Lay Down and Too Soon.
The highlight of their set is a tossup between the soulful performance of one of my favourite songs, Delete, or the fact that three guys were pulled out of the crowd for trying to throw their shoes on stage.
Circa Waves’ Fossils erupts as everyone edges themselves closer to the stage to groove to the indie-rock sounds of the Liverpool band. Stuck in my Teeth plays and the crowd booms. Get Away plays; likewise. The audience laps up the amazing energy and sound quality in their entire set.
They walk off stage without playing T-Shirt Weather. We take it upon ourselves to scream the chorus until the band comes back on stage to a huge roar of appreciation.
They demand that the crowd forms a huge circle. The crowd obeys. A wave of people charge backwards, knocking some girls off their feet. I’m being ricocheted from every angle like a pinball and as the song chorus echoes, a few brave souls run into the centre of the circle, pumping their fists furiously to the beat.
As a first timer there were a few learning curves along the way, and next year I would definitely get to shows much earlier to avoid disappointment. Nevertheless I went to Live at Leeds not really knowing what to expect and left with a few new bands to check out, knowing exactly how long it takes to get from Belgrave to the 02, and bunch of really great memories. Success!