PREVIEW: Yorfest, Knavesmire, York – 26th September 2015

‘Yorkshire bands, for Yorkshire people, in a Yorkshire venue’ is the motto for this new one-day music festival.

With headliners Pigeon Detectives ending the evening and supported by the likes of Sunshine Underground, Apollo Junction and The Sherlocks, it will be a case of showcasing just some of the best Yorkshire music scene in current times.

Yorfest 2015

Yorfest 2015

Now the music itself starts at 1.00pm with the infectious indie music of The Black Lagoons. We know the talents of the previously mentioned acts, however there is a range of different artists and bands gracing the Knavesmire throughout the day.

So, any other personal recommendations? Looking at the line-up, Alvarez Kings and Stop Drop Robot are definitely worth a listen. Alvarez Kings are undeniably catchy to listen to. If you’re not dancing by the end of the set, then… Well it’s simple, you will be dancing by the end of the set. Stop Drop Robot literally throw everything into their music. Electro/Synth Rock with raw and gritty vocals? I’m not really sure I can describe them. I just know that they will  definitely make you listen.

With The historic city of York as the backdrop, and with predicted weather of a balmy September day, a great day of music celebrating God’s own country.

Further line-up details and information can be found on

SINGLE REVIEW – The Vendettas ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ – OUT NOW

Revitalising the best of mod-rock, The Vendettas have released a little gem of a song. Just in time for the appearance of the British summertime.

‘Long Island Iced Tea’ brings infectious guitars,  inspired 1960/70’s rock ‘swagger’ and the general attitude that has you rolling the windows down, putting the sunglasses on and driving around in the sunshine.

Cover for 'Long Island Iced Tea' The Vendettas

Cover for ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ The Vendettas

The harmonies are spot on, supporting lead vocalist Luke Holdworth’s gritty, rocky, yet soulful, vocals. You only have to listen to the likes of The Jam and The Who to understand the inspiration for the band.

A great single from a band which we can only expect more from in the near future.

The Vendettas will be playing 360 club in Leeds on 10th July 2015. Hard copies of the single will be available exclusively on this day.

If you’re looking for a present day return to the mod era, but with a twist, The Vendettas are your band.

Find out more about the band and purchase the single digitally on

PREVIEW: Lift off for Apollo Festival 2015

When: Saturday 27th June 2015  – 11.00am – 9.00pm

Where: York Sports Club, Shipton Road

Amongst the Leeds Festivals, Glastonbury, Download, Slam Dunk Festivals there has been another festival bubbling under the surface.

Now into its 3rd year, Apollo Festival in York is gradually building. Becoming bolder and bigger as time moves on, it is now citied as the No.1 family festival in York.

This year sees Inspiral Carpets headlining with the additional extra of Rick Witter and Space all topping the bill. Inspiral Carpets, returned to the music scene with the release of a new album in 2014 following a 20 year break. They seem pretty pleased to be headlining too with singer Stephen Holt saying; ‘We’re really please to be playing the Apollo Festival in York. We’re on good form, don’t miss out.’

Known for his performances as a part of Shed Seven, Rick Witter will be providing a DJ set between Space and Inspiral Carpets, as well as running his own stage for the first time at Apollo Festival. Taken from Apollo Festival’s official website Rick said; ‘I went to the festival as a punter last year and had a really good time, so I spoke to the organisers and came up with the idea of an introducing stage. As far as I’m concerned there’s an awful lot of good local talent and if it can be put together, that’s great. The biggest buzz for me will be seeing young bands playing for 20 minutes. It’s what Shed Seven went through and it was hard to find places for us to play.”

Liverpudlian band Space return to the music scene also. Celebrating their 20th anniversary throughout 2014 with a UK tour, expect to revert to the 90’s with hit singles ‘Female of the Species’ and ‘The Ballad of Tom Jones’



Apollo Festival 2014 (C) Yellow Mustang

But it isn’t all about the household names at this festival.

The festival prides itself on giving the opportunity to artists from the Yorkshire region, however not limited to this, who are starting to make an impression on the music industry.

Popular Leeds solo artist Rupert Stroud, Wakefield’s CryBabyCry, Leeds band Apollo Junction as well York’s Hello Operator and Everlate are amongst the line-up. I mean you

do have over 50 acts to choose from so there shouldn’t be any problem finding a musical taste you like.

In fact Access to Music (ATM) have their own stage dedicated to acts who have involvement with the scheme, famous for the likes of Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora in previous years. Beth McCarthy, part of Team Ricky on 2014’s ‘The Voice’ and a past student herself, will be playing the festival also.

Known for their monstrous challenges, Huckleberry’s Diner is the main sponsor this year with plenty of support from local business as well as local breweries such as Ainsty Ales and Timothy Taylors, to name but a few.

Aside from the music, there is plenty to keep the whole of the family occupied for the day. As well as a funfair there is a full day of activities pencilled in to keep the little ones happy. A full schedule of events including creating headbands, paper lanterns and playing the likes of hoopla and tic-tac-toe has been designed to include the children at the festival, making the whole experience enjoyable and safe for the entire family.

The brainchild of Stuart Kelly, perhaps what is most inspiring is the manner in which this festival has come to life. Those behind the festival are doing so voluntarily, juggling their full-time jobs or studies during the day and switching to ‘Apollo Duties’ on evenings and weekends.

In normal circumstances it’s a full-on experience being the Festival Director. However this year has been a particular testing time for Stu. Having recently undergoing shoulder surgery with an extensive recovery time and just welcomed the birth of his 2nd child it’s been even more of an experience this year.

With the summer weather finally breaking through, who needs Glastonbury when you can treat the family to a jam-packed music extravaganza of over 50 artists?

Full line up available on

Tickets start from £5.00 available on


Vinyl vinyl vinyl time!

So Crash Records posted a very intriguing ‘Tweet’ the other day that plans for their basement would soon be revealed.

Then came this;

Crash Records

Copyright Twitter (c)


Also this simply means I will have to cater for the additional car parking charges incurred while I spend my days here. So worth it though.

Festivals this weekend… (1)

I’m genuinely devastated I didn’t work this one into my ‘live music budget’ for the month…

Although not strictly ‘Leeds’, I guess we can stretch to cover the county for one post or so?

Head into South Yorkshire this weekend and you’ll find the following;


Tramlines Festival 2014 – Sheffield  


(C) Tramlines Festival

(C) Tramlines Festival

Price? £28.00 for the weekend. £12 for a day ticket

Think of it as a Live at Leeds – in Sheffield. This festival hosts artists over the course of 3 days across the city. Highlights of the weekend include the likes of; Funeral For A Friend, Katy B, The Cribs and Annie Mac. You may also realise pretty quickly that a fair chunk of the artists that graced the stages of Live at Leeds this year are making an appearance


Actually the entire line up is ridiculously good so it’d be much easier simply to link you all to it:


I’m quite saddened I didn’t realise this was coming up as soon as this otherwise my tickets would have been booked with immediate effect. With the rare British sunshine due to stick around for some more days to come it’d be foolish to miss it

What are you waiting for? Go go go!

Weekend Gig Preview Time


There are so many gigs to choose from this weekend; Howling Bells at Brudenell Social Club, Hidden Charms at The Library to name amongst your options out there.


The highlight for me this weekend is Glass Caves who are playing The Cockpit tonight (7th). Place them in the centre of York and they may be more familiar to you. Known for busking on the streets and taking the traditional route of busking and advertising their upcoming gigs on scraps of cardboard they have gathered quite a following of fans. Having caught my eye whilst visiting York a while ago, tonight I’m off to see their presence within the Dark Arches of Leeds

Glass Caves Facebook

Live at Leeds (Part 4!)

A guilty pleasure of mine at every Live at Leeds Festival is, wait for it, to treat myself to watching an act within the haunting and mesmerizing atmosphere of Trinity Church.

 In recent years this has been forgotten about with the gradual demise of the shopping centres around it. However since Trinity Leeds opened, it almost merges in with the ornate art-deco architecture or Trinity Church.

Tracking the artists appearing during the course of the day, I made it inside the church just as Rhodes was starting. The sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows surrounded the male acoustic artist, only accompanied by his guitar.



It’s difficult enough being given a timed slot to perform at Live at Leeds, never mind within a church, where every noise is amplified. After the initial movements from the bar to the seat, gradually the noise lessened until the drop of a pin could be heard. The fixation was on Rhodes, with his emotive, haunting voice, echoing amongst the pews.

It really was quite simply stunning to hear. What I usually find is the fact fans of all kinds of music watch a performance of this style as it really is as stripped down as it can possibly be. With a humble ‘thank you’ and a smile punctuating the applause after each track, Rhodes’s voice, piano and guitar just continuously filled the church atmosphere. One to definitely keep an eye on.

Live at Leeds (Part 3!)

After an unintentional technical mishap/break (!), I shall now continue my Live at Leeds reviews

Full from my typically northern lunch of a Gregg’s pasty, surprisingly I knew where I wanted to head to next.

The Packhorse, situated by the Parkinson’s Building area of Leeds University, is immediately the kind of pub/venue I like. My immediate concern is that it may be confused with The Packhorse down on Briggate (How inconvenient having two pubs with the same name). My other concern is that as a Leeds native, I still manage to get lost ambling through the campus of Leeds University…

With a lovely local ale in tow, I head upstairs to the function room of The Packhorse. Taking a seat while the band set up, I can immediately note they are minus a member. As well as this, I’m trying to figure out how it is possible to play on a stage the size that this one is.

It soon becomes apparent. Somehow Apollo junction manage to dodge and swerve one another whilst releasing an electro-indie beat that automatically had you tapping your feet to. With catchy melodies of ‘Such a Carry On’ and ‘Here Come The Zombies’ filling the room, it’s these infectious tunes that have seen Apollo Junction receive nationwide recognition.


Bringing the beats down a gear, ‘If I Fell’ (Which saw the band received radio airplay from the likes of Graham Norton) is strong guitar-infused indie (Think Shed Seven crossed with Biffy Clyro). With their constant upbeat manner (Including climbing up onto the seats and twirling around the array of wires) you could completely hate music and it would be impossible to dislike this band.

Yes they are that infectious.You’d be foolish not to listen to them.

Apollo Junction Soundcloud 

Apollo Junction Website

Oxjam October

A little later than hoped for (due to bizarrely losing the ability to edit my WordPress!) the rest of my Live at Leeds review will be on here shortly. In the meantime, I pondered and then requested a ‘Gig Maker’ toolkit from Oxfam for their annual Oxjam Festival.

Wanting to put little ol’ Horsforth on the map a bit more, any suggestions as to where this can be held (I’ve a few ideas knocking around) and if you’d like to play in an event like it, let me know. Just at the very start of the pipeline for now but it’s best to be prepared eh?


Read more about Oxjam here