Live at Leeds is a festival packed with new talent, set to welcome over 100 bands to stages across the city on April 30.
Yet for each of these familiar faces, there’s many more that only the most devoted music aficionado will be familiar with, sneaking in under the radar at funky venues across Leeds.
We’ve picked out eight of the best bands that you need in your life, even if you don’t know it yet. From politically-charged indie rock to tender synth pop, there’s something for everyone in our pick of the undercard.
Tickets for Live at Leeds are still on-sale, priced at £32.50.
(Also check out our Spotify playlist at the bottom of this page for a taste of each pick, plus bonus selections from across the festival.)
If you’re the type that likes to get down early doors – that means midday at Live at Leeds – then it’s Trash that should be your choice of opening band to see. Bringing jangle pop kicking and screaming back into fashion, the Chesterfield lads are a brooding mash of silvery riffs and vocal lament.
Oporto, 33 Call Lane, LS1 7BT (12pm)
Kassassin Street temper their brash alternative sounds with psychedelic and EDM influences. Making the lengthy trip from Southsea to appear, they’re bound to be met by a strong crowd keen to catch their lively, anthemic indie sounds in the flesh.
Oporto, 33 Call Lane, LS1 7BT (4pm)
Noisy post-punks FEWS bring thumping rhythms and a saturation of guitar reverb to Leeds, plus a burgeoning reputation for rowdy live performances. Latest single ‘100 Goosebumps’ has been picking up deservedly rave reviews, while they went down a storm on their recent tour with Spring King.
Nation of ShopKeepers, 29 Cookridge St, LS2 3AG (4pm)
One of the true hidden gems of the Live at Leeds schedule, Cape Cub’s chilled pop sparkles through gentle melodies and tranquillity. The singer-songwriter hails from a coastal village in the North-East and is one to watch as the rest of the country perks up to his essential sounds.
The Faversham, 1-5 Springfield Mt, LS2 9NG (5pm)
Perhaps the most exciting band to come out of Wales since Catfish & the Bottlemen, the angsty indie rock of ESTRONS drives home a political agenda and makes for a raucous live show. Hyped single ‘Make a Man’ is a furious sample of what’s to come from Taliesyn Källström and the band.
Brudenell Social Club, 33 Queen’s Rd, LS6 1NY (5pm)
If you’re looking to catch the next pop mega star at Live at Leeds, 19-year-old Scots songstress Kloe is your odds-on favourite. For fans of Ellie Goulding and Foxes, her carefree, sickly-sweet pop hits all of the right notes and will grace larger venues than Belgrave Music Hall in years to come.
Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1A Cross Belgrave St, LS2 8JP (6pm)
London quintet Pumarosa are one of the Big Smoke’s most impressive new bands – bewitching with enchanting vocals, gentle riffs and eclectic synths. Their first single ‘Priestess’ was a seven-and-a-half minute wonder and perhaps 2015’s finest début effort, with second single ‘Cecile’ only adding to the flourishing hype.
The Wardrobe, St. Peters Square, Quarry Hill, LS9 8AH (8pm)
Their late night set might clash with the red-hot attraction of Rat Boy, but as an alternative you could do worse than adding this electro-pop duo to your schedule. Their hook-laden, synth drenched singles are racking up millions of plays across streaming services, with ‘Darkest Ocean’ the catchy stand-out.
Headrow House, Bramleys Yard, 19 The Headrow, LS1 6PU (11pm)
Live at Leeds takes place on April 30
More information can be found at liveatleeds.com
Listen to the Spotify playlist:
Main image: Katy Blackwood