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So Live At Leeds is over for yet another year and it’s safe to say we had an absolute blast once again. From the O2 Academy to Nation of Shopkeepers, Brudenell Social Club to Leeds Beckett University, we trekked all over the city in search of the best emerging acts and we couldn’t have been happier with our discoveries.

Kicking things off inside the city’s O2 Academy for the magnificent Black Honey was without doubt the best and perhaps only way to start the festival. In ‘Madonna’ they possess one of the biggest indie bangers in recent times so starting off their set predictably got the crowd under their spell from the off and from that point on there was simply no stopping them. From ‘All My Pride’ to ‘Hello Today’ and latest single ‘Somebody Better’, their back catalogue is already incredible and considering they’ve still yet to release their debut album that’s certainly no mean feat.

Next up we headed down the road to Nation Of Shopkeepers and checked out highly-touted Liverpool quartet The Night Café. Playing to a capacity crowd inside the intimate venue, the band’s infectious indie pop tunes did just the job and left basically everyone in the crowd singing along loud and proud. ‘You Change The Seasons’ quite quickly become the anthem of the festival for us and it’s no surprise why!

After this, we made a quick dash back to the O2 Academy to catch the last half of The Amazons’ set and they did not disappoint. The Radio 1 darlings and Sound Of 2017 longlisters were in their element playing to an absolutely rammed venue and it’s safe to say they’re destined for the big time.

Brudenell Social Club was our next pit-stop and we’re certainly glad we made the trip across. Situated ever so slightly outside the city centre, the cult venue has played host to acts including Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs over the years and with DIY Magazine taking over both stages for the day, festivalgoers were treated to the next wave of indie acts including Dream Wife, The Big Moon and Trudy & The Romance. Sadly our stay was brief but having caught sets from both Ginger Snaps and Howl we were suitably impressed, especially the latter’s frenetic live performance which was arguably one of the standout performances of the entire event.

Needs must however and we headed back towards the centre to catch Ireland’s next indie juggernauts The Academic at The Lending Room. Playing to a huge audience (made all the more impressive by the fact that Jagwar Ma and Dream Wife were both on at the same time), the incredibly talented quartet unleashed one huge anthem after another with ‘Mixtape 2003’, ‘Permanent Vacation’ and ‘Different’ all attracting a massive response from those in attendance. These guys look like the real deal for sure, check them out whenever they’re next playing your city, you won’t regret it.

Last but not least, our final stop was Leeds’ Beckett University for the majestic combination of Flamingods and Wild Beasts. One act we’re very familiar with and the other not so much, therefore it was off to check out Flamingods first up and their set was undoubtedly worth the trip. The Bahraini psych-dance outfit whipped the crowd into a real frenzy and for first-timers like us we couldn’t quite believe our luck! An incredible set by a truly unique band which left us so caught up in the moment that we nearly missed the whole of Wild Beasts’ set! Luckily we managed to catch their last few numbers and they were as impeccable as always, leaving us truly chuffed to bits with our entire festival experience.

Here’s hoping next year’s just as good as this one, roll on Live At Leeds 2018!

Words by Matty Aston

Photo credit Andrew Benge 

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