As Live at Leeds 2018 draws near we are cranking up our pre-coverage, starting with our personal picks of the very best talent set to play on May 5th. These are our favourites for LaL.
Worcester four-piece who essentially owned indie rock in 2015 thanks to second album Happy People and irrepressible lead single ‘Lost On Me’. Expect to hear that album in all its glory, as well as some newer material since the band joined an indie label. With their new album dropping the day before, expect them in good spirits. Get there early.
Check Out: ‘Money‘
Singer-songwriter turned most exciting act in pop, Rae Morris’ sophomore Someone Out There is probably the best album of the year. We caught her in Brighton recently and were smitten – there really is no one quite like Rae – and her note perfect live renditions are spellbinding. ‘Do It’ is a good singalong but watch out for ‘Lower the Tone’, which is bound to send shivers down the spine.
Check Out: ‘Lower the Tone‘
Following Portishead down the trail of ‘Name Your Band After a Sleepy Town’, Blaeners have played to grateful crowds in Leeds before. Their debut That’s Your Lot is fresh in the memory and their bizarre melodicism marks them out as one of the cast-iron must sees of the festival.
Check Out: ‘Orthodox Man‘
Hosting a fest in May and in Yorkshire is always a gambit: will we get a downpour, a drizzle, or just overcast gloominess? Who can tell but at least Cassia will be there to lighten the mood. Calypso styled pop fusion, wonderful choruses and a real crowd pleaser – capable of bringing in #lads and fans of pop as well. Expect a lively set.
Check Out: ‘Moana‘
The Oddities are from Sheffield and therefore basically locals – at least when you’re from the North East and don’t get how seriously Yorkshire is taken by people from Yorkshire. Geography aside Oddity Road write hard-hiting indie rock with pleasing choruses that a crowd can get a handle on. They tour persistently – often to sold out shows – and are guaranteed to raise a rabble on the day.
Check Out: ‘Don’t Hold Me Down‘
Of all the bands performing, everything about Pale Waves suggests an imminent, massive breakthrough. With the hooky groove-driven indie pop of The 1975 and the heavenly voice of singer Heather Baron-Gracie, Pale Waves seem destined for very high office indeed. Catch them while you can.
Check Out: ‘Television Romance‘
Tonnes is a bit of a personality, and while that word is often used euphemistically, it’s the only way to describe his irreverent charm. The Dylan influences are clear in his whimsical, evocative style of writing, whilst the guitar tone is pure ’60s bliss. ‘Born To Lose’ is bound to win him new fans at the fest – a real indie anthem.
Check Out: ‘Born To Lose‘
The Old Pink House
TOPH are difficult to categorise – often thrown in with lad rock – they are more ambitious. Their brand of ‘cosmic pop’ (their words) is synth-heavy and symphonic, though big choruses and spindly riffs will be familiar denizens of The Key Club (R.I.P. The Cockpit). ‘Cruel’ is their signature tune, but see also the spacey ‘Talk’ and arty new single ‘Expectations’.
Check Out: ‘Cruel‘