Our Guide to Live at Leeds 2018: Meet the Locals

By Jack

We are just weeks from Live at Leeds and the hype is real. Year on year the festival has continued to grow, showcasing a range of local talent and headlining acts from all walks of music. In the coming weeks we will look at the venues, the best local bands, a well as a roundup of our personal faves.

Part of what makes Live at Leeds special is the chance to see the local talent. The local scene is vibrant and ripe with exciting diversions into pop, rock & everything in between. Live at Leeds offers plenty of local bands to check out, and here are some of our picks.


Leeds Beckett Stage 2 12:00


Arty lads Heir are scene-setters. They have a collaborative arts night coming up, obviously. A Metronomy sort of sound. Hooky, irresistible, and inventive. Bound to go down well with the Uni crowd they’ll be playing to. Plus, they’ve hinted at some new tunes.  You know what to do.

Honey Arcade

Hyde Park Book Club 12:00


There’s a lot of honey in this world– and this lot have plenty and then some. Hugely exciting local band with an energetic, engaging indie sound. Hard-bitten melodicism. Fuzzed out bass and punchy riffs. Check out new track ‘What a Waste’ (which is anything but).

Martha Phillips

The Wardrobe 2:45


More often flanked on stage by her bandmates in The Elephant Trees, as a solo performer Martha has opened UK tours for Boyce Avenue and KT Tunstall. With her band the sound is very much riff-heavy indie but expect something a little more stripped back here. Her astounding pipes and stage presence should make for something personal and very special.


NME Stage – Headrow House 1:00


Agit-pop to wrap your brain around. Rubbery bass, polished hooks, husky vocals. Polo are pretty left-field and their success has opened up a whole vein of art-pop on the local scene.

Pulled Apart By Horses

Leeds Beckett Main Stage 8:30


The definition of hometown heroes. The band cut their teeth and (probably) took their name from The Packhorse, a venerable Briggate boozer. From there PABH have enjoyed sold-out tours in Europe and supporting the likes of Muse, Foo Fighters & Foals. Their hard-edged sound always draws a crowd and as this year marks their tenth anniversary, they’re sure to be in fine form in their old stomping ground.


Oporto 1:00


Quirky yet icy, oddball yet hummable. Choice lyric: “You don’t always have to fill the cup you’re pissing in.” Indeed. Imagine the unease of Alt-J’s ‘Fitzpleasure’ expanded, expounded on, and encapsulating a very peculiar and quite entrancing style of percussive pop.

Dream Estate

The Chapel – 1:00


Atmospheric, hushed indie-pop with pastel production and electronic edge. Despite having a breezy, contemporary sound – expect tightly wound lyrics and a depth far beyond your average pub-rockers. Dream Estate are onto something different.

Part 1 of our Live at Leeds 2018 guide here.




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