The suspense of festival season.

This appeared on the Live at Leeds social media feeds the other day.

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(C) Live at Leeds

We like this imagery. It means things are happening, all good things.

Saturday 30th April will be the 10th anniversary of Live at Leeds. Considering the success over this time period, I can imagine a significant celebration will be in order. Now is as good a time as any to prove why Leeds is still THE place to come to for music of all genres, no matter how established an act is.

The event has stood firm through the years and many of the venues once known for hosting large sections of the day have now diminished. My fear, admittedly, was at the rate this was happening, the style of the festival itself would have to be compromised.

Thankfully this has not been the case.

Extended to include a digital programme in the days prior to the one-dayer we all know the best, it really will be a week of events that show people that Leeds will always be a place for live music.

Now let’s be patient and see what is in store for what is undoubtedly one of the best metropolitan festivals across the nation.

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Independent Venue Week – What does it mean?

So this is something I’ve been really looking forward to. Quite alot if I’m honest. You all know how frustrated I am at the closer of independent music venues in Leeds over the last few years, the last 18 months in particular. If you don’t know – it’s a topic I will be addressing in more detail shortly.

IVW-logo-large

(c) Independent Venue Week

I am torn as of course it is a brilliant idea to allow independent venues to be celebrated and receive the credit and recognition they deserve. However, it does also feel a shame that something like this has to be done in order for their future to remain intact. Kind of a double-edged sword really. To avoid the ending that many pubs have faced over the last few years, it is something that has to be addressed.

These independent venues are integral to a city, regardless of how big that city may be. They provide the essential platform for musicians to establish themselves, create a fanbase and start their journey. Grafting hard selling tickets, promoting, juggling full-time jobs with band practices, playing those venues where only a fraction of the crowd have any idea who you are. It’s a valuable learning curve and one that is being seriously threatened by the closure of the independent venues.

Now since Leeds are already down a few venues in compaison to recent years, it is good to see the likes of The Library on the official list of venues for this celebration. York, Doncaster and Wakefield to name but a few in the region also have venues on offer this week. Check out the full list here .

As they say; if you don’t use it, you will lose it. After all, how many more venues can Leeds afford to lose?

Read more about Independent Venue Week here.

The return

Apologies for the extended hiatus. Finding a job and in general life seemed to sweep in and nab the end of 2015! The good news is I am back (With a job too!).

The end of 2015 allowed me to get back out into the local music scene, something I will always love. It sadly also saw the end of yet another music venue in Leeds. Don’t get me started in this article about that one…

So to kick start 2016, over the next couple of week I will be rounding up the end of 2015 musically, and look ahead to what the year will bring. I am also looking at what music venues hold the opportunities for new bands in Leeds and what the solution is to ‘stop the rot’ that is the closing of these places.

Stick with me and I’ll be back shortly with this and more.

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 www.yorfest.com

BAND FEATURE – Those Delta Wolves

Those Delta Wolves. How to describe them? You may be best just listening.

Can you imagine a ‘Blue-sy, Punk Rock ‘n’ roll’ style band’. With a bit of Grunge as an added measure? Nope, I can’t even. Until I listened that is. Then it all makes sense. Plenty of guitars and raw vocals it’s taking the best parts of these genres across the decades and creating a fresh outlook with them. ‘Yellow King’ and ‘Hide and Seek’ are definitely a couple of the recommended songs available on the band’s ReverbNation page 

Those Delta Wolves (C) Facebook page

Those Delta Wolves (C) Facebook page

A part of Oxjam Leeds Takeover on October 17th 2015 will present Those Delta Wolves with yet another opportunity to showcase their music to new listeners. Along with their single launch at 360 Club, Leeds on 31st October 2015, it’s a busy few months for Those Delta Wolves.

Without major financial backing it can be a struggle for a band trying to release the 1st album. This is why I love Kickstarter. It provides fans with the opportunity to invest in a band directly. Like a pledge. This is what Those Delta Wolves have decided to do for their first album release.

Any amount small or large is welcomed and in return as a fan, you can receive as a thank you some exclusive memorabilia depending on the amount ‘pledged’.

Go on. Listen to the music above and help HERE. You know you want to

Those Delta Wolves also play Grain Division @ Carpe Diem, Leeds on 19th September 2015 – Free Entry.

Read more about Those Delta Wolves on their Facebook page HERE

PREVIEW Bingley Music Live Festival

When: 4th September – 6th September 2015

Where: Myrtle Park, Bingley.

The progression of Bingley Music Festival since establishing in 2007 is quite frankly astonishing.

Fast-forward to 2015 and it is not only evidenced by the headliners; James, Labrinth, Super Furry Animals, but also at the rate at which the tickets have flown out of the door.

With no many incredible acts gracing the stage this year, it’s hard to select just a few to watch out for. However the beauty of only having the 2 stages makes the decision of who to see a little bit easier. Well, maybe.

Besides the likes of the headliners and Ash, Idlewild, Embrace, Funeral For A Friend and Cast to name a few, here’s a number of other acts to open your ears to;

Apollo Junction – Gracing the Main Stage on Friday afternoon, the Indie/Electro-Pop band will kick-start your weekend with addictive melodies and riffs. Having received national press recognition and more festivals planned in before the summer has officially finished, highly recommend watching these.  ‘Blood on Hands’ = Anthem.

Gallery Circus – There’s a lot of noise that comes out of this identical duo. All good noise too. Chicago to San Francisco and now Newcastle, raucous rock and roll is being brought to Bingley Live Friday afternoon on the Main Stage. ‘Hollywood Drip’ will draw you straight in.

Model Aeroplanes – Guitars and good vocals entwined with a little bit of 90’s Indie. This young band is very impressive. Supporting Twin Atlantic shortly and active on the festival scene throughout this summer, it can only been good things for Model Aeroplanes. ‘Electricity’ will give you a taster of their talent. Discovery Stage on Friday is where to be.

The Black Delta Movement  – Hailing from Hull, a good ol’ guitar ridden rock and roll band is the best way to describe The Black Delta Movement. Saturday afternoon on the Discovery Stage is where you will find this talented group. If you have chance to listen prior to then; check out ‘Sleeping Pill’.

Nothing But Thieves – Some people don’t see (Or should I say hear this). I love the fact that there is a band challenging the vocal talents of Matt Bellamy and combining it with catchy yet sometimes dramatic undertones. ‘Wake Up Call’ is a must listen. Main Stage on Sunday is where they will be at.

The Sherlocks – Unless you have been absent from anything remotely music-related recently, The Sherlocks MUST have appeared on your radar. From Sheffield you know with the city’s history it will only mean good things. The alternative-indie group played a solid set at Leeds/Reading last week and Bingley’s Discovery Stage on Sunday will be another chance to showcase just what they can do. Listen; ‘When I Call Your Name’.

Just a small taster of a truly brilliant line-up this year. With the weather more-a-less holding out what’s not to love about Bingley Music Live this weekend.

Festival Information can be found HERE

Full line up can be found HERE

EP REVIEW – Apollo Junction ‘II’

There’s no doubt about it; Apollo Junction, you could say, are having a pretty damn good 2015.

4th September sees them on the main stage at Bingley Music Live sharing the bill with the likes of James and Cast. Not too shabby at all. This isn’t the start of the festival season for them though. They kick-started their summer of festivals at York’s Apollo Festival (Headlined by Inspiral Carpets and Space), captured the audience at Oakwell Festival (The Feeling, Dodgy) and following their appearance at Bingley, will be playing Yorfest (The Pigeon Detectives) before returning to their home city with Leeds University mid-October.

Apollo Junction image courtesy of facebook.com/ApolloJunction

Apollo Junction image courtesy of facebook.com/ApolloJunction

Interspersed with stints on the radio, local and national press, they have somehow managed to release a new EP.

‘II’ available now, features 4 tracks; ‘I Could Dance With You’, ‘Blood On Hands’, ‘In Your Arms and ‘Woke Up’.

Fancy a bit of Electro/Indie-Pop? ‘I Could Dance With You’ will solve that one for you. A slow solo introduction builds into a head-bopping worthy chorus that once stuck into your head, will not leave (and is far from being a bad thing in doing so!).

‘Blood On Hands’ begins slightly darker and more sinister, with an addictive riff between verse/chorus and vice-versa. I’m no expert but I would release this song as soon as possible, it does need to be heard. Royal Blood crossed with Biffy Clyro and maybe a bit of 3rd album Kaiser Chiefs?

‘In Your Arms’ in contrast slows completely down, but it works. A soothing ‘ballad’ (Kind of) until about 2 minutes in, at which point the song gradually picks up a little bit of temp. The vocals and harmonies on this track are extremely impressive.

‘Woke Up’ returns to a catchy ‘Indie-Pop’ number with yet another lively chorus and melodic bass line. There’s a nice little exchange of vocals and harmonies again towards the conclusion of the song making it an ideal ending.

An impressive EP release from Apollo Junction and following local and national coverage over the last few months, one that has not gone unnoticed

So what’s next for the band? Who knows, however I think a full-length album and tour is probably what most fans are desperate to see.

Apollo Junction ‘II’ is available for a limited time free HERE

The unique animated video for ‘In Your Arms’ can be found  HERE