There’s always a sense of excitement that comes with the start of a new year; music fans across the country eagerly await the line-ups for summer festivals. Rumours abound for weeks on who might be making an appearance at the plethora of events which will be taking place up and down the UK (and abroad, if you’re adventurous) - and as the announcements are made, the excitement is heightened by the fact that you can almost reach and and grab the summer season in front of you.
Live at Leeds, held over the first May bank holiday, is always one such event for us. Perhaps the giddiness is aided by the fact there are not one, but two days off in May; but it’s one festival that guarantees a great day out with a really good mix of music to keep you going.
In a similar vein to Tramlines and Dot to Dot, Live at Leeds embraces the venues across its city; from tiny underground bars to larger venues like the University of Leeds - and everything in between. There’s something for every taste and there’s a well-curated list of artists to entertain you through the day, be it an up and coming unsigned act or your favourite Top 40 band. You can plan your day out to suit your own schedule - hey, you can even stop for a pub lunch and/or kebab on the way round.
This year is no exception. Highlights for us include the return of Get Inuit, who we discovered at LAL 2015. Their infectious guitar pop comes in quick, rather noisy, bursts - in a good way, of course. Alongside them, Let’s Eat Grandma; we reviewed their debut album last year and would love to see them recreate their mad, whimsical music in a live environment, particularly because so many instruments are involved in each track. Bigger acts include Jagwar Ma, Gabrielle Aplin and Temples, whilst Slaves, White Lies, Wild Beasts, Nothing But Thieves, and the rather well booked ahead-of-time Rag’n’Bone Man complete the eclectic line-up.
With the last acts on the line-up being announced this week - Frightened Rabbit and amongst them - you’re now in prime position to make the shortlist of bands you want to see. Venues and times are still to come, the hardest part now will be working out how many bands you can squeeze into your day.
If the prospect of the main event leaves you wanting more, the festival is sandwiched with two gigs - the Live at Leeds Welcome with Future Islands on Friday 28th April, and Maximo Park close the weekend on Sunday 30th. You’d be hard pushed to find something you don’t like.
Live at Leeds takes place on Saturday, April 29th. Tickets cost £32.50 and are available at various outlets - check www.liveatleeds.com for more information.