Culture, Music

Live At Leeds: The 5 Unmissable Acts You Must See

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By Camilla Whitfield


In less than a month, on Saturday the 4th of May, Live At Leeds will be making its return, and it’s set to be better than ever.

It will mark the beginning of the festival season, kicking it off with the biggest upcoming names in the music scene. Don’t just take our word for it, though – it was rightly named ‘The Best Festival For Emerging Talent’ at the UK Festival Awards because of its first-rate array of upcoming artists.

With 21 stages for your viewing pleasure, there is certainly something for everyone – from indie dreamers Sundara-Karma and Fuzzy Sun to modern-rock patriots Black Honey and Vant, they have it all covered. However, since it would be impossible to see them all and clashes always cause a headache, here are some must-see artists who definitely deserve your consideration:

1. Sophie And The Giants

Sheffield-based band Sophie And The Giants pride themselves on relatable lyrics, which become almost cinematic in the listener’s mind. Their sound is an eclectic take on the traditional pop genre. One of the band’s earlier releases, ‘Monsters’, sums up the band’s ethos well. Commenting on the poignant lyric “the future beckons you”, charismatic frontwoman Sophie Scott explains that “the future is pulling you forward. And when you get older, you’ll be a little wiser”. Showcasing such perceptive philosophies, as also perfectly illustrated by more recent release, ‘Bulldog’, it is little wonder that Sophie and co. are becoming one of the most exciting bands exploding on the music scene right now.

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Catch them on Stage 15, Oporto between 3 and 3:30pm.

2. Dream Wife

Attitude-driven and always-punchy Dream Wife are a band who demand to be listened to. Fuelled by a punk and feminist edge, they consciously stand out on their own. Formed as an art project by Rakel Mjöll, Alice Go and Bella Podpadec while they were studying at Brighton University, creativity certainly isn’t a factor they struggle with. With shrieks, fierce riffs and crashing drums, they are reinventing punk as we know it. Their most popular track, ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, is a superb stepping-stone into their world. If you decide to go and see them, wearing a leather jacket and smouldering stare is optional but strongly recommended.

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Catch them on Stage 9, Leeds Beckett SU between 3:30 and 4:15pm.

3. Sam Fender

BRIT award-winning alt-rock star Sam Fender has been making waves ever since he released his debut track, ‘Play God’, back in 2017. He has a strikingly North Shields penchant for tackling pressing social issues, such as male suicide in ‘Dead Boys’, or the fear of being stuck in your hometown in ‘Leave Fast’. It is obvious that he has something to say, and it is refreshing to see an artist using their musical platform to share such significant views. Add in a few splendid hooks and catchy melodies, and it is easy to see why his career is skyrocketing.

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Catch him on Stage 14, 02 Academy Leeds between 6 and 6:45pm.

4. Giant Rooks

Originating from Hamm in Germany, Giant Rocks are the international indie-pop band to be watching. Preparing for their Wild Stare 2019 tour, their new release, ‘Wild Stare’, has already racked up over 11,000,000 listens on Spotify. In their five years together as a five-piece, they have been going from strength to strength. With well pieced-together guitar riffs and a melodic core their music stays true to their ‘art-pop’ genre intentions, while also remaining original through their unique vocals. You’ll certainly not want to miss this offering from the other side of the English Channel.

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Catch them on Stage 17, The Lending Room between 9 and 9:30pm.

5. Tom Grennan

Consuming one too many cans at a house party was the catalyst for Grennan swapping his football boots for a mic, and thank god for it. He is quickly becoming the worst-kept secret in the music industry, and you may recognise his raspy vocals after he lent his voice to Chase & Status’ hit track ‘When It All Goes Wrong’ back in 2016. Deep and raw, Grennan delves into his emotions, keeping his outstanding voice at the centre of his work. ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’ will surely leave you hooked. with its catchy pop-rock fusion.

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Catch him on Stage 12, LUU Refectory between 9:45 and 11:15pm.

It’s set to be the biggest and most unmissable year for the festival yet, and will be the perfect experience for making both new discoveries and enjoying the music of your existing favourites. Don’t regret it, get your tickets now!

You can also get organised and download the official Live At Leeds app, and follow the official Live at Leeds playlist on Spotify to discover even more fresh new finds:

About the author / 

Camilla Whitfield

First Year English Student| Cumbria| Music & Gig Enthusiast

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