Thousands flood the city for annual music extravaganza

The Staves, Live at Leeds.'Credit: Ewan Jamieson
The Staves, Live at Leeds.'Credit: Ewan Jamieson

Thousands queued for tickets, bands and beer at the city’s annual music get-together, writes Lauren Potts.

Live at Leeds has proved itself a ferocious force on the festival circuit in recent years, forging an impressive reputation for booking top acts.

This year’s event was no different in that respect – except that every music lover and their dog seemed to struggle to even swap their ticket for a wristband, with queues snaking all the way from City Museum to Nation of Shopkeepers and back again by early afternoon.

Capacity problems plagued the festival throughout the day and there wasn’t a single moment I didn’t thank my lucky stars that my wristband had special powers that allowed me to see some of the event’s best talent without queuing up for hours on end.

An hour into the festival and it was already impossible to move in Shopkeepers for Menace Beach, a Leeds-centric super-group comprising members of Sky Larkin, Pulled Apart By Horses and Hookworms. Channelling Best Coast by way of Nirvana, the band proved girl/boy vocals can benefit from a smear of grunge.

Over at Leeds Metropolitan, homegrown talent Middleman shook the crowd with an early afternoon set of bone-rattling drum and bass dipped in club night style dance mania. Sound problems plagued newcomer Chloe Howl back at Shopkeepers but fragments of her dance-pop style showed promise once she grows into the frontwoman role.

Hotly-tipped electro duo AlunaGeorge epitomised the current fashion for all things 90s at the O2 Academy, complete with a rendition of R&B hit, This Is How We Do It. The biggest disappointment of the night for me – even hit single Attracting Flies left me cold.

Last up at the packed out Trinity Church were Watford’s folk trio, The Staves.

The sisters captivated the crowd with pitch perfect three-part harmonies, made all the more hauntingly beautiful by the acoustics of the venue.

All in all, another success for Live at Leeds.