Live At Leeds 2012 Preview

Spread across the bank holiday weekend of 4th-7th May, Live at Leeds has expanded from a fairly small festival spread across a few venues in the city to its current elevation as one of the most important city festivals on the music calendar.

Kicking off with The Unconference on the Friday, this year the role of digital platforms in the distribution will be a major discussion, alongside the marketing and promotion of music. This will provide a forum for networking with industry experts and registration is free. Full details can be found here at the Unconference page. Later, the fine and funky King Charles will kick off the weekend music with a gig at The Cockpit with discounted entrance for Unconference attendees.

Then we come to Saturday 5th May and the main event: over 100 bands playing all across the city. Wristbands for this event are a mere £20 and are available at the usual outlets for a mere £20 (+ fees).

Trying to work out who to see when is a challenge of biblical proportions so let us guide your way with ten acts that get TMF’s seal of approval!

I Like Trains - Venue: 02 Academy Time: 3PM

With a mid afternoon slot on the biggest stage of the festival, Leeds' finest epic post-rockers I Like Trains will be keen to prove that they are worthy of a higher billing as they unveil songs from their upcoming third album The Shallows. If there is any justice in this world, this will act as a stepping-stone to a greater appreciation for their grandiose and beautifully performed storytelling. Climb on board, the ride will be magnificent.

Marina & The Diamonds - Venue: Leeds Met Time: 10PM

Marina’s theatrical stage presence coupled with a set of songs that simply sparkle in the live environment means that this well deserved headline set is quite likely to prove one of the big draws of the weekend. Arrive early if you want a good spot to witness a show that will highlight the skill and bravura performance of a truly great pop presence. Florence may have her Machine but Marina and her Diamonds offer a far more enjoyable and poptastic experience.

Lianne Le Havas - Venue: Holy Trinity Church Time: 10PM

Now here is a dilemma and one of the big clashes of the day, as brilliant newcomer Lianne Le Havas takes to the stage at the same time as the aforementioned Marina. Check out our review of her recent support slot with Bombay Bicycle Club to see why this is going to be one of the last chances you are likely to get to catch such a beautiful singer in such intimate surroundings. Lianne on TMF

Blacklisters - Venue: The Well Time: 10PM

If neither of those fabulous chanteuses tickles you fancy then wend your way over to the recently re-incarnated confines of The Well to check out one of TMF's picks for 2012, Blacklisters whose scuzzy, angular hardcore is amongst a glut of top class heavy music coming out of Leeds. It's probably best you invest in some earplugs and boxing gloves to fend off this fearsome lot.

We Are Augustines - Venue: Leeds Met Back Room Time: 9.15PM

The second of TMF's picks for 2012 appearing this weekend are We Are Augustines whose debut album Rise Ye Sunken Ships has garnered favourable comparisons The Gaslight Anthem, The Hold Steady and even Springsteen himself. With a deeply personal, tragic yet uplifting collection of songs, this is a band on the up. Catch them now before they move on to the bigger stages.

Sound of Guns - Venue: The Wardrobe Time: 5PM

One of the most exciting and exhilarating acts around, Liverpool's Sound of Guns are definitely a must see. With their big, beautiful sound coupled with singer Andy Metcalfe's electrifying stage presence you'll be hard-pressed to find a group who put as much effort into their live sets. They'll have you singing along to crowd-pleasing anthems such as 'Architects' and 'Alcatraz' as well as new tune 'Sometimes' from their second album Angels and Enemies.

Ellen & The Escapades - Venue: Holy Trinity Church Time: 4PM

Leeds' own Ellen & The Escapades return home to showcase their critically acclaimed debut album All the Crooked Scene and prove that their brand of acoustic pop/rock is worthy of their buzz-band tag.

Gabriel Bruce - Venue: Leeds Met Time: 4.45PM

With a deep and gravely voice that bleeds gravitas and despair, Gabriel Bruce will appeal to fans of Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave. Add in the fractured and sparse nature of his arrangements and he is unlikely to be a party riot but should provide a wonderfully gloomy and understated set.

Chew Lips - Venue: Leeds Uni Mine Time: 1PM

The early start isn’t likely to phase London electro-pop duo Chew Lips. Their upbeat and bouncy style will help shake the hangovers and get the crowd jumping and nicely primed for the excesses of the day to come.

Ghostpoet - Venue: Brudenell Social Club Time: 11PM

With the return of Reverend and The Makers likely to see the Faversham full to the gunnels, why not head down to the Brudenell Social Club to finish the day off with one of the UK’s finest young MCs Ghostpoet who will sooth your aching body with his stylishly lo-fi brand of hip-hop.

If you are still standing after all that then the Brudenell Social Club is holding a couple of ‘hangover’ shows with the unashamedly retro rockabilly/punk riffs of Dan Sartain headlining on the 6th and Male Bonding carrying out those duties on the 7th. Entry to both of these gigs is free to anyone with a LAL2012 Saturday wristband.

Finally, on Monday 7th May, the Live at Leeds 5-a-side football tournament returns to Goals on Kirkstall Road with a host of bands battling out to take over from last years champions Pigeon Detectives.

What a weekend it promises to be and you can keep in touch with The Music Fix via twitter @themusicfix or our intrepid reporter @theGoodson who will be reporting on the main event.

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