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  • Katie Sarginson

Live at Leeds 2019: Livewire's Preview


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have completed one full circle around the Sun and Live at Leeds is returning for another year in all its glory! On May 4th, 2019, expect the centre of Leeds to be buzzing with thousands of people darting across the city to 20 different venues to hear 200 different musical artists and experience a metropolitan haven of new music.

Live at Leeds has been labelled as ‘one of the best events to discover the best and brightest on the UK music scene’, and they are not wrong. Since its founding in 2007, LAL has showcased the ‘best new emerging artists alongside more established acts’ from around the world. Bombay Bicycle Club,the 1975, Slaves and Stormzy have all blessed the ears of sweaty, excited music fans that have attended in previous years. Following the legacy of stonking line-ups, 2019 does not disappoint. A bit like stars in the sky, the more times you look at the poster, more and more familiar names of bands and artists emerge from out of it. Therefore, proving just how on it organisers are with spotting ‘the next big thing’ in music. Here are a few of the most exciting bands you’ll be boogieing on down to this year…

Headlining the festival are three artists who have sold out venues up and down the nation and have ultimately created big names for themselves: Sundara Karma, Tom Grennan and Metronomy. A particular buzz is being directed towards the indie-glam band, Sundara Karma, who are returning to Leeds for the first time since 2017. Tom Grennan is also returning with all his indie energy and beautifully gritty vocals after selling out his O2 Academy Leeds performance in October 2018. Get ‘The Look’ by busting all your moves to the catchy electronic melodies provided by Metronomy down at the Leeds University Union. Metronomy are playing at a whole bunch of UK festivals this year so they obviously have something great hidden up their sleeves! Why miss them here?

My most favourite hype band, Confidence Man are gracing the NME stage to lift our moods. I first stumbled across them at Latitude 2018 on my pursuit for a hammock following an 8-hour shift with Oxfam. However, my body somehow found itself in the middle of the crowd throwing shapes like I’ve never thrown before and it turned out to be one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life so far. So yeah, see them.


As you cast your eyes further down the line up poster (that makes you feel like you’re being subjected to an eye test) you will see that the line-up is full of so many hidden gems from a wide range of musical genres. Surf-rock band Black Honey and the 'feisty female foursome', Goat Girl, will be providing both danceable and dreamy, laidback bops accompanied by lucid vocals. I am particularly excited to experience a Cassia gig which will make a nice break from the slightly heavier bands playing at the festival. For me, they epitomise happiness and this flows through every one of their calypso-pop infused tracks. Gengahr is another band I’m super excited to see and hopefully I will finally hear “Before Sunrise” in the flesh. On a smaller scale, beebadoobee, whose EP was described by DIY as “seven tracks of hushed, gorgeous folk”,is another female artist to keep an eye on and will serve as pleasant break from all the walking and dancing across Leeds.


This festival is the perfect place for a mosh pit with an extensive array of punk and rock bands. If you are familiar with Estrons, then you will love The Mysterines, who lack in Spotify listeners but have a huge sound and will definitely create a mosh. After being swept into the sweaty pits of Drenge and Spielbergs you will leave feeling like you’ve just done a half marathon. Squid will also leave you gasping for breath with their crazily crafted sound that can only be described as “psyched-out math pop, ‘70s post-punk, and a dash of David Byrne”. They are basically angry Talking Heads. If this sounds crazy, that’s because it is. Forget counting sheep because all of that dancing will make you so tired you will be sleeping for at least a day. But oh boy will you have had fun!

I am fully expecting the day to be filled with multiple bands dressed in Star Wars gear and saying, ‘may the fourth be with you’ – Confidence Man I’m looking at you – but I am also expecting absolutely fab displays of new music. Hold tight and check back here for the full review where I tell you my step count, how many blisters I have and how much of a wild time I had at Live at Leeds.


#festival #festivalpreview #liveatleeds