With the streets already heaving by 12 o’clock, it becomes apparent that Live At Leeds is no longer my little secret. With much hyped acts such as AlunaGeorge and Peace on the bill, the scent of ‘serious muso’ that was thick in last years air has been replaced with youthful hipsterliciousness that makes me feel much older than my 19 years. This is not to be elitist, but when you overhear two girls arguing in the toilets over whether to watch Aluna or George, you can’t help but wonder about the changing face of the festival attendee.
|Swimming Lessons by Kevin Lawson (editradio.org)|
Snarkiness aside, lets focus on the music. The day gets off to a good start with one man band Swimming Lessons, the work of Ben Lewis, an unassuming guy sporting a Jumbo Records t shirt (hooray for Leeds best record Store). His multi layered keys create a lush bed for his subtle vocal harmonies that twist and turn in very intricate and surprising ways, another instrument rather than a different entity. Highlight song Doubles accentuates his dreamy tones beautifully, like a drowning simulation in an epic Hollywood movie. Very exciting stuff.
|BlackEye by Kevin Lawson (editradio.org)|
A wander over to Leeds Stylus allows us to get acquainted with Department M, a new project by one time member of Grammatics, Owen Brinley. Part of the bookish, elctro-fused indie scene that has made such a success of Hot Chip and Everything Everything, Brinley is clearly a thinking man’s frontman, but his experiments are simply not fully formed enough to be playing any venue of this size.
I even hear one disgruntled punter unabashedly declaring them to be ‘fucking shit weirdo nonsense’ as the rest of the diminishing audience scratch their heads at a series of mistimed and tuned bleeps and stutters. Maybe a few more months in the studio working out what he wants might help the guy.
|Fawn Spot by Kevin Lawson (editradio.org)|
|Post War Glamour Girls by Kevin Lawson (editradio.org)|
|King Krule by Kevin Lawson (editradio.org)|
With King Krule’s crowd demonstrating the swelling of Live At Leeds audience now the true entertainment is underway, here is where the difficultly begins. With hoards of punter packing in and the lineup clashing like two One Directions fans fighting over Harry Styles’ sweaty towel, it becomes increasingly difficult to get in to any of the venues. AlunaGeorge is rocking a one in one out policy at Leeds 02 Academy, Laura Mvula is 30 minutes late on stage at Leeds Met and Swim Deep are more like shoulders deep at Leeds Cockpit.
|Theme Park by Kevin Lawson (editradio.org)|
|Everything Everything by Kevin Lawson (editradio.org)|