PREVIEW: Live at Leeds 2016

Here we are again. Number ten.

Between unemployment, redundancies and whatever else has headed this way in the last 12 months, until last week I wasn’t even sure if I was going to Live at Leeds this year. Then to throw a spanner in the works as an avid Guiseley AFC fan, I realised their last game, an important relegation battle one at that, is on the same day. Nightmare.

I sat down, had a good old word with myself, ‘Don’t be so ridiculous’ I said, and promptly printed out the schedule. I’ll have half an eye on Twitter from 5.30pm for the Guiseley score.

Simple things first, I love the colour and design of the schedule this year. Top marks for that. If you want to know what the hell I’m on about check it out here.

The dilemma with the end of the day is that they’re all just a bit good, if you know what I mean? I remember we used to split as a group in earlier years, go see a different band, reporting back at Starbucks (Pre legal drinking age) with distorted phone recordings.

Things have changed in the ten years since Live at Leeds started. I have a ticket from the 2008 festival I believe, £10.00 for the day but a separate ticket to a main act that night in Millennium Square. We’ve lost venues (RIP The Cockpit and Joseph’s Well, I’m still bitter), gained venues and lost the truly amazing time saver that is the Free City Bus. Okay I know it still exists, but it’s not free.

No matter what though, I am lured into the buzz, the build-up and the excitement. I just can’t keep away.

With over 20 stages this year, I’ll definitely be reaching my daily step target and probably balancing out the inevitable street food and ales I will consume during the day. Combine this with listening to endless hours of fresh music (Anybody remember Bastille at Leeds Met?).

Now onto the important element; music. I’ll say here’s a few of my picks for the day, and I will try and get to these, but you know what it’s like; I’ll probably see none of these and discover another ten bands in the meantime.

The Boxer Rebellion

Probably don’t need much of an introduction. If you do then their songs say it all. If it can be helped, my ‘go to’ headliner at the 11.00pm mark. It’s not that the other bands aren’t worthy (Believe me they are), but these guys are heading off to Europe and America throughout the rest of this year so catch them while you can.

The Jackobins

The Liverpudlian alternative rock outfit bring undeniably catchy songs which will no doubt have your feet tapping away. They’re confirmed as playing Apollo Festival at the end of June, check them out in the smaller venue of Leeds Beckett.


Headlining Stage 2 within Leeds Beckett, this Scottish trio (sound familiar?) bring big sounds, big choruses and delightful anthemic rock. Oh and they happen to be supporting Biffy Clyro this year too.


I first saw these at Nation of Shopkeepers at the end of last year. Energetic and raw Irish rock band, definitely recommend seeing. If you’re tiring from the antics throughout the day, these will definitely revitalise you.


It may be early in the day, but getting down to The Wardrobe for this time can be highly recommended. With thrashing guitars and a 90’s Brit Pop/Indie feel, it’ll be worth it

The Elephant Trees

The Guiseley based alternative rock outfit stick the rock essentials; guitars, strong vocals and the customary guitar solo. An interesting band to catch, and the venue choice of The Wardrobe Bar should be ideal for the bands sound.

Reigning Days

Thrash around in The Key Club to this band. I already have done just by watching their latest video. The line-up in this venue last year was phenomenal, I am certain you won’t be disappointed.

King No-One

Constellations is a damn catchy song. The Yorkshire Indie-Rock group will be entertaining Belgrave Music Hall with their guitar goodness. Have a little early afternoon dance around to their songs, it’s never too early for anything on Live at Leeds day.

Bring on the 12+ hours of music.

Enjoy #LAL2016 everybody!



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