This Must Be The Place: Flying the Flag For Leeds' Local Scene - 30/05/2016
Getting up at 5am to get the 8am coach to Leeds is, as you can imagine, not the best way to start your bank holiday Monday. Firstly you are going to Leeds, and if you have been there before I need not have to take this discussion further. Secondly it's 5am! However here I am, sat on a National Express coach heading a little bit too north for my liking, baring in mind anything north of Wembley Stadium is considered too north for me. So why? This Must Be The Place. A brand new event concept split between Belgrave Music Hall, Headrow House and Live Art Bistro. Three quirky venues around Leeds city centre. And when you look at the line up, you will finally understand my 5am wake up call.
Oh Peas is the first act I catch that day at Headrow House, her socially awkward songs set the day off to a good start. Sprinting just after her set to go catch Chest Pains, who despite being the first band on at Belgrave Music Hall, they are tearing apart a strong set. And considering it is just after midday, and most people are probably still recovering from their bank holiday weekend hangover, the room is quite full. It is good to see a city support its local scene so early in the day. Dirtygirl, a completely female based band from London have travelled a long way to show the crowd their raw husky sound and to exchange tales of £20 Ebay guitars, plus a Bikini Kill cover makes it onto their set list and it is simply spot on!
Heading back over to Headrow House to see a bit of Lail Arad, who was mildly delightful but I didn't feel the need to stick around for the full set. Stumbling back over to Belgrave Hall, I catch the end of The Orielles set and wished I stuck around for them. Clearly finishing off with some sort of psychedelic meltdown sending the crowd off into huge cheers. Local guys, Cowtown pull a extremely tight dance-indie-pop sound and get the room into a right spin to bring us into early evening. Let's Eat Grandma brings me to my first trip to Live Art Bistro, a slightly deranged venue, almost like a cross between the film Saw and a cupcake stand at the local market. It looks like a small closing down warehouse, however provides the ideal setting for a hipster music venue. Let's Eat Grandma however get off to slow start for me, but the talent with their live set up shows what great musicians they are with multiple instruments making an appearance.
With a mild break for pizza, I managed to catch the end of Weirds' set, who were tearing apart the stage like a Satanic ritual. Alex from Diet Cig is suffering this evening, injured from face planting the floor a few days previous while getting too over excited over pizza, however this doesn't slow her down. Being her usual pixie self prancing over the stage with the help of Noah on the drums to perform their usual over-excited indie pop.
I was now stuck with a challenge to choose between Julien Baker or Dilly Dally as this was my first major clash for the day. But having missed them not once but twice at Great Escape, I feel I made the right decision to see Dilly Dally. While setting up they look run down and tired but as soon as Katie screams into their first song, they bring the place down with their gritty powerhouse take on grunge. Welsh band Joanna Gruesome get the award for the most band members today in Leeds, trying to fit eight members on that stage was a struggle but it proved to not be a problem for them as they start off the first major riot, despite some technical issues, for the day with their noise punk vibe.
I had just enough time to catch both headliners this evening, witnessing Tom Vek first, I struggled to understand what he was about this, is he a visual artist or a musician? Maybe he just wasn't my sort of thing, however clearly some people love him which a super busy room at Headrow House. Sprinting back across town to catch major headliners The Wytches, who bring the day to a close with an hour long set of psychedelic grunge to a over flowing packed room of fans.
Words & Photos of Ant Adams
Let's Eat Grandma