The great Northern city of Leeds has been enjoying a resurgance of late, the creative types that reside in the city have founded a new inspiring hub – a place to create, to breed new ways of thinking, to celebrate the arts and in doing so, have built a strong community where like-minded creatives thrive. We wanted to shine a spotlight on some of those bright sparks, and today we focus in on Leeds-based promoters Pizza for the People and their brilliant new live music and pizza showcase, Indie Banquet.
As they gear up to launch their second event, this December. We chatted to one of the masterminds and founders behind the culinary and live initiative, Ryan Morgan.
First off, we love the idea of a pizza and live music party. Brilliant thinking! What inspired you to go out on a whim and start Pizza for the People?
Thanks, Charlotte. Myself (Ryan) & Julia’s decision to start Pizza for the People basically stemmed from our two favourite things – listening to live music and eating (…particularly the pizza variety)! We realised that we’re not the only ones to share these two obsessions but that there weren’t many places where you can do both at the same time. They are also the two things that help us through the daily routine that is work, and rather than going through life wishing we’d have done something about it, we decided to grab the bull by the horns and create our first night called Indie Banquet which we hope becomes a regular thing!
With the second event happening in December, there seems to be a more festive focus surrounding Indie Banquet II. Will there be a Christmas tree?
Well, we love Christmas too so we wouldn’t rule it out!! One thing we do know is that there’ll definitely be tinsel galore going on, especially if I’ve got anything to do with it!!!
The line up for the next event is looking pretty sweet – so you have Cowtown, Party Hardly, Team Picture, Yard Wars and The Orielles gracing the stage. How do you decide on the bands that will play the events?
Yeah the two line up’s that we’ve had so far have been awesome and something that we’ve been really proud to have pulled together, alongside the great food traders we’ve got on board. When it comes to picking our line ups we like to pick music that we’re really excited and passionate about and try to get as many local bands involved as we can along the way. It’s made a lot easier when there is a wealth of great bands on our doorstep.
The Indie Banquet comes across as a real community get-together. It’s not only about celebrating the local music scene, good food and the city’s cool, interesting spaces. Would you say that the Indie Banquet is more than just an average gig?
Yeah we’d like to think that our nights come across that way. For us it’s about sharing and celebrating seriously brilliant independent talent and giving people a great experience that differs from your average night out. We’re loving the opportunities it’s giving us to explore the city and discover even more new bars, creative spaces, cuisine and music which we naturally want to share with like-minded people.
Why is Leeds the perfect place for events like the Indie Banquet?
Years ago people would just look to London for inspiring and new things to do but in recent years, Leeds has really started to shine. There is an ever-growing amount of things for people to do and it’s becoming a real hub for people to grow their trades and have a go at new things. It’s got a thriving arts & music scene and there’s a constant abundance of new, interesting places popping up in and around the city which is complimented by Leeds staples like the Brudenell Social Club, Oporto, The Wardrobe and Nation of Shopkeepers.
It’s a really exciting time for Leeds and when you combine these places with some of the cool record labels that are operating within the city like Clue Records, Healthy Eating Records and Hide & Seek Records you get a strong feeling that it’s the beginnings of something really special.
Do you see the event expanding to the other cities in the future?
That’s not out of the question and is something that we would definitely consider doing in time, but for the moment we are having a great time organising things around Leeds. That’s not to say that we wouldn’t be up for collaborating in the near future in other Northern towns and cities, so if anyone out there wants to collaborate on future things give us a shout – we are always looking to collaborate where possible.
Forgive us but we have to ask, what’s your favourite pizza topping?
Oh boy, that’s the toughest question of the lot. A different one for each day of the week – we just love Pizza! But, if we had to narrow it down Julia’s is a Florentine (the runnier the egg, the better…) and for me anything that’s loaded with meaty toppings!
Finally, explain why we need to attend Indie Banquet II?
You need to come down to Indie Banquet II to support some of the best talent around on-stage and sample some truly awesome food. Cowtown are renowned for putting on a brilliant show and bringing a vibrant atmosphere with them and that’s not forgetting the other four super exciting bands we’ve got. As for the venue, there’s nothing quite like Wharf Chambers. It’s a hidden gem in Leeds and a place everyone should check out and support. And then there’s the food…The Pizza Guy & Vegan Fried Chicken aka heaven. Basically it’s like Christmas has arrived a week early, so come enjoy some great live music and culinary treats before you get offered left over turkey & cold pigs in blankets for a week!
Photo credit: John Jowett