Live At Leeds is a multi-venue festival that takes over the streets of the northern city as music fans from all over the country bury themselves into the vast amount of music on offer. The festival for me starts in the Belgrave Music Hall, the popular venue that today will play host to artists such as Leeds' OtherPeoplesLives, Pet Moon and Manchester's Bipolar Sunshine.
With the sun out shining and with people in high spirits, the only place on my (and many other's) minds is Belgrave Music Hall. The roof terrace is crowded with Ray-Bans, dip-dyed hair and beards as they fill the deckchairs and school hall seats to look out onto the city’s skyline. The anticipation builds, as the wait to filter down and join the packed crowd for Disraeli Gears. Playing popular tunes such as ‘Mother I’ and ‘Skeleton’, their set is tapered with moody atmospheric tendencies. Their alt-rock sound twist the knees of the audience into grooving with their temping blues and delicate wails. After a promising start, the idea of taking a gentle stroll down to Oporto isn’t too taxing. York locals Glass Caves take to the stage and quickly have people queuing out of the door to show their support. Like turning up to a party without an invite, the queue outside peer through the glass window to listen in on the muffled noise created by Glass Caves.
After Lunch and around the corner, tucked away in the Wardrobe, the Tea Street Band fuse a tempting sound into a mix of influences such as New Order and The Happy Mondays vibes. Bringing with them a true Manchester party, they get the crowd dancing with ease as the Tea Street Band treat the audience to tracks such as ‘Summer Dreaming’ and ‘Fiesta’. London’s Shy Nature are up next to perform to a slightly weary audience. Ballroom dancing begins to couple off some audience members in some weird act of pleasure to track ‘Sinking Ship.’ The intimate setting acts as the perfect space to dance along to their indie-pop grooves.
Basking in the sunshine, the walk down from the Wardrobe to Holy Trinity Church sets the mood for New York folk singer, Gambles. Leaving the microphone and stage behind him Gambles steps away from the front and moves into the crowd. He works his way round the pews, playing heartfelt blues to the audience. His mesmerising vocals echo through the church as he stomps his black worn Chelsea boots on the floor. Astounded the audience are speechless. His tales of lost love personalised with his attentive, sentimental performance make it a true sight to see and a memorable act at this year’s festival.
Around the festival, Leeds becomes a hotspot for familiar faces; from spotting Palma Violets having a few drinks outside Wire, to King Charles enjoying watching Josh Record’s courageous vocals in the Refectory and The Midnight Beast chewing on some ribs in Red Barbecue, musician spotting becomes the perfect game for beating the long queue blues.
A bit of light entertainment is sure needed as the popularity of Royal Blood causes one of the day's bottlenecks. Hundreds of wishful thinking fans cue outside the Leeds Metropolitan SU hoping to get through the one-in-one-out system to catch a glimpse of Royal Blood’s menacing guitar sound and jump around to ‘Little Monster’ and ‘Out Of The Black’.
As the sun begins to set, Leeds University is buzzing with musical delicacies to feast your ears upon. Down in The Mine, The Wytches crawl their fingers along the guitar neck and thrash their way through an energetic set. Their bone-rattling heavy display of darkness takes a devious turn as they play through tracks like ‘Crying Clown’ and ‘Digsaw’. Their anticipated large crowd mosh and jump their way along to ominous guitar riffs and bass sounds that are clouded with dirt. Ending on a stage dive makes this performance (and the awaiting expectation of their debut album) all that more exciting.
Packing out the Brudenell Social Club, Pulled Apart By Horses close the festival. They turn the social club upside down as the crowd vigorously jump into each other, thrashing around to ‘V.E.N.O.M’ and popular ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’. ‘High Five Swan Dive Nose Dive’ turns the whole venue into a massive mosh-pit, flailing bodies and bruised limbs scatter about like loose change. Acting as if they haven’t witnessed 12 hours of music previously, the exhilarated audience, still sweating, plead with Pulled Apart By Horses for just one more song. Ending on ‘Den Horn’ Pulled Apart By Horses stick around for a few drinks afterwards to celebrate the closing of the 2014 festivities.
The mammoth event saw the doors to the Leeds music scene flung wide open for all to see. Playing host to the UK’s raw talent, today is bound to have afforded many people a few memories, a few bruises and a few hangovers along the way; a duvet filled, silent Sunday is all that is now left of Live At Leeds 2014.