Category Archives: Music previews

Celebrating 20 years of The Leaf Label

This year, Leeds-based independent record company The Leaf Label commemorates its 20th anniversary. To celebrate, it has announced a special 14-record box set and a series of gigs at Headrow House.  I chatted with The Leaf Label founder Tony Morley about how he brought the influential label to Leeds, and what we can expect for the future.

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Recon Festival: the lowdown

This October sees Recon Festival return for another series of intriguing and inspiring musical and artistic performances across Leeds and Bradford.

The diverse line-up features performances from Warp Records electronica pioneers Plaid and Clark, Leeds locals Hookworms, legendary US street musician The Space Lady, and lots more.

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‘Hidden Music Gems’ published by Marketing Leeds

A piece I wrote on where’s good to experience live music around Leeds has been published in Style Guide to Leeds: Live It, Love it 2012.

Produced by Marketing Leeds, this annual guidebook is available free from tourist information centres, airports and other locations around the region.  Should you find a copy, you’ll find what I’ve written on page 98 – but if you can’t get hold of one, just click here to read it!

Be sure to check out the rest of the articles, too.


Galaxians to play British Wildlife Festival on 4 March

My band, Galaxians, will be on the bill for the awesome British Wildlife Festival in Leeds this March.  Spanning three days, it’s the sixth annual weekend of exciting music from all over the world (and Leeds).

We’re going to be playing Oporto on Sunday 4 March.  Doors are at 3pm and it’s a donation entry.  My bandmate Matt Woodward will also be performing as part of Azores on the Saturday.

More info about Galaxians can be found here – and here’s a copy of the flyer.  Roll on March!


Culture Vulture: Leeds Music City

Published on Saturday 1 October on The Culture Vulture

There’s a swathe of excellent gigs happening this autumn in Leeds, and not without good reason.  Leeds is a fine musical city, and alongside household names such as the Kaiser Chiefs and Corrine Bailey Rae, there’s a thriving DIY music scene bubbling underneath the surface.

If you’re looking for something a little different from an overpriced bar and funky house, then don’t worry, you’re spoilt for choice!  Here’s a pick of the plethora of events coming up in October:

Raise The Roof Festival

7 October, Leeds West Indian Centre, Chapeltown

If you’ve never been, then you have to go.  Simple.  Held every year at the West Indian Centre, this year’s title is ‘The Twisted Ballroom’ – there’s a circus, theatre shows, visuals, healing areas…like a little Glastonbury under one roof.  And of course, there’s the music, with headliners this year including the legendary DJs Utah Saints and 7-piece Radio 1 favourites Dub Pistols.  ‘Dubious attire and fancy dress recommended’, they say.  Tickets and information available from

Brainwash Festival VI

14 – 16 October, The Brudenell Social Club / Royal Park Cellars, Hyde Park

What happens when you take a huge lineup of artists that you’ll never see on Jools Holland, some of the finest bands Leeds has to offer and sprinkle it with respected underground musicians from around the world?  The answer is probably Brainwash.  From grinding rock to electronic experimentation, the bill includes Glaswegians Dananananaykroyd, Chicagoan multi-instrumentalist Juffage, a side-project from someone in Pavement and much more.  It’s a great opportunity to discover music you’ve probably never heard of, and to buy a round of ludicrously cheap beers while you’re there.

Zun Zun Egui / Runners / Ex-Cissy Band

20 October, Wharf Chambers, Wharf Street, Central Leeds

Fomerly the Common Place, this old pie factory in Central Leeds has been saved from becoming another set of swanky apartments and is instead home to a new live music venue.  Literally centimetres away from the gaudy (and much more expensive) Call Lane area, it’s miles away in terms of music.  Bristolians Zun Zun Egui are, according to what I’ve read, ‘a multi faceted, all night kaleidoscopic party rock band that consume musical and cultural styles like they do hot meals’.  That’s reason enough to go, surely.  Also appearing are Leeds’ excellent synth quartet Runners, and a set from the remnants of local funk band Cissy.  Membership is required for entry, but it’s just a pound, and you get unrestricted access to a well-stocked Sam Smith’s bar.  More details at and here.

Jeramiah Ferrari / Cowtown / Tantz

21 October, The Packhorse, Woodhouse Lane

Raising funds for a good cause, in support of the UK Youth Climate Coalition’s mission to the UN climate change talks in Durban, South Africa this November.  And there’s an excellent coalition of music on offer: headliners Jeramiah Ferrari blend upbeat calypso and reggae with heavy, head-nodding rock, and tore the roof off Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival earlier this year.  Also appearing are Leeds’ favourite electro-synth rockers Cowtown (all with matching jumpers), and probably the only klezmer fusion band in the city, Tantz, laying down Eastern European grooves with some hip-hop thrown in.  Plus, there’s a raffle, the prizes up for grabs including two free tickets to the West Yorkshire Playhouse, a chocolate making workshop and much more.  Just a fiver, and all proceeds to the UKYCC.  More details here.

…and many more…

All the larger and more established gigs and clubnights are well publicised and can easily be found.  But there’s plenty more independent events not mentioned in detail above due to lack of space.  So,here’s a brief list:

14 October: Rainbow Road, Wharf Chambers, Wharf Street, Central Leeds

Excellent new clubnight at the former Common Place from the people who used to run ‘Let’s Be Friends’ there.  Membership or guest entry required.  More here:

22 October: Empire Strikes British Wildlife, Empire, Bridge End, Central Leeds

All-dayer at the new Empire live music bar, opposite the Adelphi pub in central Leeds.  It’s put together by those responsible for British Wildlife Festival, a multi-venue DIY festival in central Leeds each year.  Star Wars fancy dress recommended.  Check out the lineup at

29 October: Runners / Lazarus Clamp / Chips for the Poor, The Fox and Newt, Burley Road

Lovely little pub with its own brewery, just out of the city centre.  Excellent bands covering electro to Fall-esque rock.  More details here.

Support your local music scene!






First Croon piece: British Wildlife 5.5 preview

My first Croon piece was published last week –  a preview of British Wildlife 5.5, an all-day event at The Brudenell Social Club.  It is, obviously, a little out of date now (it happened on 18 June), but here it is nevertheless.

Originally published on Friday 17 June 2011 at

You know it’s going to be a good gig when the official website describes it in terms of fruit and toothpaste. “When you want apples, you go the greengrocer. When you want toothpaste, you go to the chemist. When you want a full day’s worth of some of the most interesting underground noise-rock and experimental music, you go to British Wildlife”.

Kicking off this Saturday 18th June, British Wildlife 5.5 is the latest incarnation of one of the most exciting music events in Yorkshire. Forget Leeds Festival and the £4-a-pint tepid lager. British Wildlife follows in a rich tradition of homegrown DIY events, and over the past five years has been treating discerning music fans to wonderful new noise from around the world.

In March this year came the British Wildlife 5 weekend. Standing out among the many artists were the incredible Three Trapped Tigers: imagine the essence of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher being forced through three amazing musicians. The whole weekend cost a fraction over a tenner, with around 30 bands performing in a host of reasonably-priced drinking holes for that money.

For 5.5, there’s just one venue – the Brudenell Social Club. A legendary location, it’s pretty much the place to go for anybody wanting to experience the freshest live music in Leeds. The line-up: artists with impressive names (The Hills Have Riffs, Guns or Knives), and, overall, a pervading air of experimentalism. The Trumpets of Death, for instance, are not so much a conventional band as an experience. Yet they nestle comfortably with headliners Silent Front, a trio of extremely heavy riffers from the capital, and solo performances from members of Shield Your Eyes and That Fucking Tank respectively.

Besides the music, there’s some homemade falafel, cake and films, plus the legendary Brude bar prices (£1.80 a pint). For just £5.50, what better way to spend your Saturday?

– Doors at 3pm at The Brudenell Social Club, Queens Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, LS6 1NY. More info: