FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Live at Leeds 2017

The award-winning metropolitan showcase for emerging talent returns on 29th April 2017, ushering together a 200-strong billing of international artists and homegrown musicians. The festival sees music fans flocking to the Yorkshire city in search of hopeful new findings and known favourites, this year in particular the line-up boasts a hefty barrage of big names including Brit award winner Rag’N’Bone Man, indie favourites White Lies, ’60s psychers Temples and young blooded rockers Nothing But Thieves.

We know it is a tough task to sift through a programme of this weighting, so rather than giving into what can easily become a time consuming stress, we’ve pulled together an easily digestible snapshot of who to look out for at this year’s Live at Leeds.

Rory Butler 

The intimacy of Butler’s minor chord compositions resemble the aching delicacy of Keaton Henson, his more joyful outlooks present a Jamie Lawson-esque pop moment but when delivered with the Scottish tongued beauty of Paolo Nutini, it’s impossible to resist the charm. Wandering vocal lines measure the breadth of intensity we feel but it’s within the silences we begin to shiver and reel with great understanding for what Butler sings of.

Rory Butler plays The Social at 6pm.

October Drift 

Somerset shoegazers fuel their brooding tunes with pensive bass and drawling vocals, sometimes bouncing with energy, other times lagging with emotional weight but live, it’s always a juggernaut. The four piece never fail to push the boundaries of what we come to expect from a live set – there’s always a few tricks to be revealed, a few strings to be broken and a crowd to jump into. It’s time to meet that dread head on, join the community, you’ll be glad you did.

October Drift play The Lending Room (WTGR Stage) at 8pm.

Be Charlotte 

Dundee made but internationally received, Be Charlotte redefines the field of Scottish electro pop. With an industrial DIY flair to the recordings, the vision remains pure – to make music that’s true to the artist’s own self. The reality that the music is neither shy of brilliance, nor devoid of originality is what stands Be Charlotte apart from the pack, this teenager isn’t to be underestimated or underwritten.

Be Charlotte plays The Faversham at 5pm.


Popularity is not a pipe dream for Bradford’s cosmic hippies Fling. With a growing reputation building around their live shows and a sound that prances amongst the blissed-out serenade of Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’, with songwriting that feels closer and closer to the premium standard of The Beatles, Fling bare all the knack to tackle the current and turn it to their advantage. Now is the time to join this fraternity, the early stages are the most defining after all.

Fling play Leeds Beckett Union Stage 2 (Dr Martens Presents Stage) at 1pm.

Faux Pas 

Local Yorkshire lads find ’90s grunge gloom and slacker indie still goes down a treat. It’s more than worth it to check out a few bands that are on the outer rim of familiarity, generally these are the good decisions that pay off the best. Already playing back-to-back with The Sherlocks, it won’t be much longer till Faux Pas are taking on the bigger stages solely off their own name. Look out for staple crowd-jumper ‘I Hate Dancing’, it’ll cause those fingers to graze the ceiling.

Faux Pas play Oporto at 12pm.

Jade Bird 

She’s supported Tom Odell and made quite the impression, now London’s Jade Bird is ready to take her adorable flow, soulfully soaked vocals and uplifting folk pop to new audiences. For a combination of the contemporary and the traditional, a sound that combines the maturity of The Staves with the raw evoking qualities of Lisa Hannigan. Jade Bird is the real deal and won’t leave the stage until a smile is beaming on each and every face.

Jade Bird plays The Faversham Patio at 4.30pm.


New wave pop is the name of the game for this sister trio, a nuanced set with thrills and twists is what’s on the cards. Jagara are here to revive the market for smart-minded pop as the hyperactive counterparts to Bat For Lashes and La Roux, a subversive design in lyrical intrigue sees relevant marker points to The Naked and Famous peak through also. The result is sensationally achieved.

Jagara play Brudenell Social Club (DIY Stage) at 8pm.


Hartlepool might not spring to mind initially as the origin for the epic sounds of which Plaza excrete, but the small town indeed has played part in the band’s creation. Reverb and atmosphere are important characteristics in the sonic patchwork of Plaza’s story, fixing their gaze on the areas of post-rock and alternative indie. It’s their differing approach, away from the tried and tested models we’ve seen since the rise of Foals, that speaks much more to their fantastic ability. Plaza stupefy convention, leaving behind the algorithm of tired math rock and launching into an assault of tightly measured rhythms and soaring melody.

Plaza play The Chapel at 12pm.

Bad Nerves 

East London’s Bad Nerves are frantically messy and invigoratingly raw, and we love them for it. Parking themselves next to the likes of Spring King and FIDLAR, there’s sure to be a few mosh pits erupting during their stay. Hostile with melody and urgent with sharp vocal cuts, ‘Can’t Be Mine’ is a shoot from the hip success, one that will only tantalise in a live format.

Bad Nerves play Brudenell Games Room (DIY Neu Stage) at 4.30pm.

Indoor Pets 

The Sittingbourne troop are sure to appeal to both the indie kids and the mainstream pop heads with their relishing brand of super hits and humbling likeability. Fronted by the ever-bubbling personality of Jamie Glass, it’s a wild, frank and intimate show from Indoor Pets every time. Don’t miss out.

Indoor Pets play The Key Club (Dork Stage) at 8.15pm.

Live at Leeds takes place across multiple venues over the course of Saturday 29th April 2017. Priced at £32.50 for the day, it’s a good deal for the amount of music that’s on offer, for more information and to purchase tickets head here.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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