Live At Leeds 2016 spanned all genres, with everyone from the likes of emerging indie act Rat Boy and up-and-coming soul singer Samm Henshaw fitting the bill.
Live At Leeds 2016 shined a light on the city’s underground and underrated music scene. Obscure venues included garden patios, churches, rooftops, refectories and ‘Wardrobes’. All within walking distance (ok – the occasional Uber when feeling lazy, drunk or in a hurry).
Celebrating its 10th birthday, the festival was well organised. Live At Leeds is a metropolitan festival at the top of its game, setting the bar high as the first of the summer.
Unfortunately, headliner Jess Glynne pulled out of the festival at the last-minute due to illness, winning our award for ‘most cancelled festival performances’.
We’re always talking about where to find future headliners, and Live At Leeds 2016 was the ultimate showcase. Find out the new artists we rated below.
Leo Kalyan (Kal-ee-yan)
Despite it being his first time in Leeds, daydreamer Leo Kalyan drew in a large afternoon crowd at Headrow House. Leo’s dreamy tropical beats give you a glimmer into the world inside his head. This guy’s artistic vision will take him wherever he’s reaching.
On the ‘new band’ front, Flawes set the bar incredibly high for the rest of the day, drawing people into Wardrobe’s basement with songs from their dark, intense and moody electro-tinged EP, ‘Ctrl’. Definitely recommend you give them a listen.
Clean Cut Kid
You can’t watch this band and not feel happy! Clean Cut Kid’s love for another and for what they do is compelling. Hit songs ‘Pick Me Up‘ and ‘Vitamin C‘ were met by groovy dance moves, lots of clapping and fist pumping in packed out Stylus.
Our new friends DMA’S hail from Australia, but don’t let that misguide you – this ambitious three-piece know all about Yorkshire Puddings and Britpop (interview here). DMA’S opened for Blossoms, so obviously the venue packed out. That’s not to say DMA’S haven’t grown their own loyal following. Every song dating from original EP to debut album went down a treat, with fans old and new feeling the cool vibe.
Blossoms are a band on the tip of major success. It seems everyone at Live At Leeds 2016 wanted a piece of the Charlemagne action, with LUU refectory packed out at capacity. It’s only a matter of time before Blossoms headline main stages at the bigger festivals.
Benjamin Francis Leftwich
The perfect setting for a Yorkshire boy returning to his roots. Ben played a perfect stripped back set at Holy Trinty Church, with the venue operating a one-in, one-out policy.
Highlight of the day. Sundara Karma will headline major festivals and sell out arenas. Sundara Karma’s unreleased debut album is highly anticipated, and we were lucky to hear new material including future favourite, She Said. Sundara Karma’s flame is frontman Oscar.
We ended Live At Leeds 2016 where we started, back at Headrow House – this time for a set from All Tvvins. Another act starting as strangers to Leeds, and leaving with desire to return for more. Even at 11pm, the venue stayed full, with hardcore fans singing along to all the words. The 30 minute set was far too short, and we can’t wait to follow this band’s movements.
Most venues were at capacity throughout the sunshine-filled day. Other highlights included an in-store Dr. Martens intimate Mystery Jets set, a packed out o2 Academy for Shura, a beautiful performance from Corrine Bailey Rae and delicious wood fired pizza served in the sun.
For more information on Live At Leeds, you can visit the official website here.