Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Live at Leeds starts the summer with a day full of blissful live music

The 2023 festival season has officially begun, and Live at Leeds in the Park was the perfect day to celebrate the start of a fantastic summer filled with exciting line ups! 

Thousands took to Temple Newsam to see some of the best indie bands sing their greatest hits in sunny northern style. 

The weather was perfect and so was the setting! Overlooking the festival site was the grand Temple Newsam Tudor house which made a beautiful backdrop to the already aesthetic scenery of big tents and colourful flags. Live at Leeds did an amazing job at immersing gig goers into the festival universe just for 1 day, and the line-up they had planned made that even more memorable.  

The first band of the day on the DORK Presents stage was the epic Opus Kink. A masterful postpunk experimental jazz band from Brighton that bought whimsical filth with tracks like ‘1:18’ to Leeds. Their stage presence alongside their pure musical talent made an insane opener to the festival.  

This festival journey continues from the gritty punk sounds of Opus Kink to the summery shoegaze notes of Gengahr. The indie quartet from London have the perfect festival sound filled with joyous keys and dreamy vocals from lead singer Felix Bushe. One of the highlights of the festival was hearing ‘Icarus’, ‘Before Sunrise’ and ‘Heavenly Maybe’ performed back-to-back which felt somewhat nostalgic. Gengahr’s 4th album ‘Red Sun Titans’ is set to be released on June 9th and the alternative music makers performed their latest release ‘In The Moment’ from the upcoming record which had a wonderful reception from fans.  

Next on The Big Top stage was Australian surf rock band Lime Cordiale. The chaotic yet madly talented 5 piece fronted by brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach. A combination of sounds from indie rock mixed with hard jazz provided by impressive trombonist Nicky Nighttime. One of the most iconic moments from the whole festival was during ‘Ticks Me Off’ where the Cordiale siblings saw themselves in a brotherly dispute, slam dunking each other and falling to the floor which had the audience in hysterics. Lime Cordiale are masters of the stage and the energy they gave their fans was something unforgettable.  

Next on the bill was New Zealanders The Beths. Their most recent album ‘Expert in a Dying Field’ was highly talked about for every right reason as The Beths really found their unique style in this record. The production of the record is crystal clear, and they even managed to portray this in their live set. The Beths took to the stage with a massive blow-up fish behind them to signify the ‘Expert in a Dying Field’ album cover as well as their latest single ‘Watching the Credits’. The band started their set with one of their old classics ‘Future Me Hates Me’ which is a flawless opening number filled with bopping rhythms and transparent vocals from front woman Elizabeth Stokes. The upbeat sunny rhythms continued during tracks like ‘Silence Is Golden’ which has the ultimate festival feel to it.  

The Big Moon took to The Big Top stage to perform their introspective indie tunes like ‘Your Light’ and new records from their outstanding recent release ‘Here is Everything’. The London based quartet are familiar with the UK festival scene and know how to produce a brilliant setlist perfect for a big tent after starting out on the music scene almost a decade ago. Their hazy yet dreamy sounds are perfect for a springtime festival, and they really set the mood on a late Saturday afternoon. 

One of the most unique and alternative rock bands of recent years made their appearance at Live at Leeds to give the crowd a formidable set of pure rock heaven! The Hives are well known for their charismatic appearances and interactions with the crowd, and they sure lived up to expectation in the Big Top on Saturday! As you saw The Hives’ ninja’s (aka their sound technicians) slowly disperse from the instruments, the crowd was getting more buzzed for their emergence. The band appeared in glow in the dark suits with an unmatched energy. They got straight into their superb set and frontman Pelle Almqvist was running and jumping all around the stage from the get-go. Not many bands like The Hives perform to the quality and consistency that they do which is why they are so special to witness live.  

Following the phenomenal Swedish rockers was one of the greatest UK festival bands that has the most spectacular discography. Two Door Cinema Club opened their incredible set with the indie classic ‘This Is The Life’ and to start a show with a song that famous and loved was great move by the 3 piece Northern Irish band. The band performed tracks from all 5 of their epic albums including bops such as ‘Undercover Martyn’ from one of the best debut albums in history ‘Tourist History’. This album is so iconic that whatever song TDCC sang from this record, the crowd would go wild for them! Two Door Cinema Club closing a fabulous day of extraordinary live music was the best possible ending to the festival.  

You can get more Live at Leeds action this October as they bring their beautiful festivities to the city for more wonderful live music action.  

Alice Mason 

Instagram: @alicemxson /@alicegoestogigs 

Image: Two Door Cinema Club @ Live at Leeds via @dannypaynephoto 

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