Live at Leeds 2016 Roundup (Part 2)

By on Thursday, 12th May 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

If you missed the first installment of Rebecca’s roundup of Live at Leeds 2016, you can catch up on it right back here.

Following Mystery Jets at the Academy, I arrived early for Clean Cut Kid’s set at Leeds University Union and caught their soundcheck, which consisted of a stripped back version of ‘Vitamin C’, showcasing Evelyn and Mike Halls’ impeccable vocals. The crowd had already built up before the end of the soundcheck, and I’d bumped into a couple of people on my way in who were looking for the stage and excited to catch the band in action. The set was bookended with the band’s two most popular tracks, opening with ‘Runaway’ and closing with ‘Vitamin C’. From start to finish, it was an indie-pop filled half hour of fun, bright guitar hooks and vibrant vocals, and there was an abundance of dancing, clapping and singing along from the crowd.

I caught Catholic Action at Nation of Shopkeepers, the kooky bunting-trimmed venue in the city’s centre. Catholic Action are one of those bands who sound good on record, and even better live. Their upbeat, pop/indie blend was well suited to Nation of Shopkeepers, which was probably my favourite venue of all that I was able to visit on the day. A friend of mine recently described the band as a “Scottish Weezer”, and after hearing them perform, I can’t say that I disagree. Their set was a standout for me on the day, from the jingling guitars to the clap-inspiring drumbeats and crisp vocals.

Back over at the Brudenell Social Club I arrived partway through Vitamin‘s set. The dreamy indie pop quartet are Leeds locals and were in full-flow by the time I arrived, having drawn in a medium-sized but enthusiastic crowd. Lead singer Jared Laville was decked out in a double denim stonewashed ensemble and was charismatically wooing the crowd. During the final song of the set, the band’s latest single ‘Waterfall’, Laville descended into the crowd, with people reaching out to touch him like he was the messiah of dream pop.

After Vitamin was Anteros on the Games Room stage across the hall at Brudenell. As with The Velveteens earlier in the day, it took a while for the crowd to build and required prompting from lead singer Laura Hayden to bring the crowd forward. Hayden was vibrant and commanded attention, standing before the crowd with just a microphone in her hand, occasionally bashing a drum. The whole band looked like they were having a great time. Stand out tracks were ‘Breakfast’, the band’s latest single, and their previous singles ‘Fade to Grey’ and self-titled ‘Anteros’, which is such an excellent track and sounds even better live, showing off Hayden’s brilliant voice. The band has created an iridescent variety of wistful indie-pop that’s just edgy enough to avoid being too sweet. Their performance was another standout for me, but I can’t help thinking that they might have benefitted from a stage closer to the city centre that would have drawn in a larger crowd.

The first and only other time I’ve seen We Are Scientists live was in 2010 on the NME stage at Leeds Festival, so I was determined to make it back to Leeds University Union to catch them before I had to leave. I made it to the Union in order to get a decent spot on the stairs, which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea as I was constantly bumped into by people trying to make their way up and down the staircase, struggling against the tide of people that had also decided on the same viewing spot as myself. But the struggle was worth it. From the minute Keith Murray and Chris Cain walked on stage they built up a cheeky back and forth between each other and the audience, with Cain immediately going over to the audience at this side of the stage and shaking hands with members of the audience.

We Are Scientists opened with ‘The Scene is Dead’, before following up with other hits such as ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ and ‘I Don’t Bite’, and ‘Buckle’, the first single from their latest album ‘Helter Seltzer’, released in April. I had to leave shortly after, but I was happy to have experienced the 20 minutes or so in the band’s presence, which was the cherry on top of an already great day.

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