Live at Leeds highlights
On 30th April, Leeds city centre was transformed into a hub of pulsing soundsystems and guitar feedback coming from every one of your favourite venues. For one day and one day only, all indie kids of the north united, clad in an armour of skinny jeans and Doc Martens, to boldly fight through crowds to get that sought-after front-row spot at the O2 Academy. Live At Leeds is an annual day festival that opens up the city’s music venues from morning til sundown, showcasing new talent and old favourites. You will burn as many calories as you drink simply from running all the way from the Brudenell to the Wardrobe at the other end of town, and consequently remain sober for the entire day despite your best efforts, but the experience of seeing all your favourite bands, plus some new favourites, for under £40 is a winner.
In spite of arriving 20 minutes late due to traffic and thus only being allowed to play two songs, the long-haired rockers sprinted on-stage and set up within five minutes, with the opening words, “Hey Leeds, sorry we’re fucking late.” Short and sweet, the band’s extreme enthusiasm and high-volume tunes gave the audience an adrenaline shot to the heart.
Wading through reverb and flopping energetically over their instruments, the Nottingham trio brought it to the Brudenell. They declared it’s been “a dream of ours to play this stage”, and they fulfilled that dream in excess. Their blend of heavy yet accessible tunes was added to by the play-off between the female and male vocals.
The fact that the mosh pit was sustained for a full 45 minute set is a testament to the pure energy and magnetism of Spring King. The high octane heavy rock had the crowd on each other’s shoulders, belting out every one of the almost indistinguishable lyrics, drowned in guitar feedback and bass drum.
Performing at the Faversham Patio in the middle of the afternoon is a tough feat in itself, but Felka more than rose to the challenge. Providing a chilled out bluesy contrast to the loud guitars of the main stage, their vocal harmonies complemented each other perfectly, each knowing when to hold off and when to belt it out: both extremes were managed with force.
Words by Jemima Skala
Image by Bella Spencer