By Imogen Goulding
Image credit: Liveatleeds.com
We’re now edging into the summer, which should’ve ordinarily seen us reflecting on all the good times had at Live at Leeds. Alas, we’re here — let’s give a big hand to coronavirus, which has rubbished that reality. However, the show is scheduled to still go on this November. So, why don’t we take a look at what to expect from the esteemed 2020 line-up?
One of this year’s Live at Leeds headliners is an indie-pop band hailing from Manchester. The silky-smoothness of ‘There’s a Honey’ and ‘Television Romance’ aren’t dissimilar to that of their label buddies, The 1975, which means Pale Waves are a must if you’re a fan of Matty Healy and co. Their 2018 album, ‘My Mind Makes Noises’, is bursting with sugary melodies.
Laid-back hip-hop is what’s promised when you go and see Ghostpoet. This guy’s been on the block a while and has impressed the experts to the point of having two Mercury Music Prize nominations up his sleeve. ‘Nowhere To Hide Now’ is his latest release and has risen in popularity, but ‘X Marks the Spot’ and ‘Survive It’ showcase his cultivated sound particularly well.
We are not worthy! The brains behind the uber-cute indie hit, ‘Two Doors Down’ will be on the billing and, yes, that means boogies are on the agenda. That song alone should be reason enough to add them to your list. But from their more recent offerings, ‘Screwdriver’ might be what earns your nod of approval. It’s much grungier than their usual.
The Pale White
This trio from Newcastle have a series of indie-rock EPs to their name, which means a set from them could involve any of their top tunes. For me, I’ll be there to clap along to toe-tapper ‘Swim For Your Life’. During lockdown, I’ve been rinsing ‘Polaroids’ too, which is a seriously punchy number. I’ll be making a beeline for whichever venue’s hosting these chaps.
Local talent that’s riotously energetic and all too willing to show you a good time? That’s Fudge., a four-piece from Headingley/Burley. While they err on the side of controversy, these lads bring a dramatic performance to all their gigs. Feisty riffs, impeccable drumming and powerful, northern-twang vocals are what to expect, in short. Don’t forget to grab a piece of fudge while you’re in the crowd...
As if Pale Waves aren’t enticing enough, Fickle Friends will also be at the festival. Their sweet hooks are gold dust in the indie-pop spheres — especially ‘Swim’, which gets stuck in my head for days. These compelling tracks will no doubt be even better raw and live. ‘Say No More’ is another that should get you in the party mood.
Glam rock, indie, folk, pop — it’s a colourful medley that you’ll get from King Charles. Among a pretty rock-heavy list of artists at Live at Leeds, this Prince-esque man might well pepper your day with something a little different. ‘Lady Percy’ was the big 2012 single, boasting quirky, tinkling sounds and steel drums, which should hopefully be wheeled out in November.
No chilled indie playlist would be complete without Van Houten now — I’m certain of that. The infectiously dreamy ‘Moon’ is one you’ll be gently swaying to in no time, while ‘Ever Changing Light’ and ‘Running Scared’ both give a masterclass in unwavering riffs and wistful lyrics. They’re another band from Leeds, in turn ticking another box for local flavour.
After they supported Polo last year, I became familiar with Artio. The Leeds-based trio have spared no expensive on the synths in their arsenal, so you can bet all the tunes are absolutely enchanting. ‘Blood Brother’ is sharp and impactful, while the fierce electronics of ‘Dancing in the Ashes’ and ‘Scissor Kill’ will have everyone on their feet.
I get a bit of a young Justin Timberlake vibe from Alex Gough. He’s an upcoming rapper that plays around with a lot of electronics and soulful beats. His funky tracks will surely bring a totally different ambience to most of the other artists, so I can see this being the set where people really let their hair down.
I’m sure all those artists have whet your appetite — and, believe me, they’re just the start of what to expect. Now we just need to sit tight and keep our fingers crossed that the festival definitely goes ahead this year...