This past Saturday Leeds was host to Live at Leeds, a multi venue music festival featuring dozens of artists and genres.
My overall review is simple – it was great. Well executed and lots of fun. I have been to a similar event in north London – the Camden Crawl. It works well in Leeds with lots of varied venues and not too much drama getting between them.
I spent quite a lot of the day at the Brudenell Social Club and got a sense that there was, for a festival, an unusual amount of female artists performing. Unsatisfied with my own impression I spent some of Sunday with the programme and a highlighter to try and get a fuller picture. Notwithstanding my occasional highlighting errors and the challenge of finding out the full details of acts, I discovered there were a reasonable number of women represented. It’s not where it should be (I don’t think any festival is yet) but I was pleased.
The stand out acts for me were Freak and Dream Wife.
My enthusiasm for Freak demonstrates the light I carry for punks rocking out and tearing it up remains undimmed.
The stars of the day for me were, however, Dream Wife. I recognised so few of the acts playing on the bill I was a regular Google-er throughout the day. A Guardian profile of Dream Wife explained that they were art students who set up a “fake girl band” as part of an art project. And clearly they were too good and they became a ‘proper’ band.
They were scintillating. Loud. Scuzzy distorted guitars. Shouty. Boisterous. Rude. Aggressive but playful.
It is rare that I feel drawn to a mosh pit these days but it would have been so fun!
What was also great was how they moved – clattering around the stage, bouncing and FREE. So different to how women in music are usually showed moving.
Their performance left me feeling energised and liberated. Not a bad gig.
So Live at Leeds – see you next year. Maybe I’ll even get in a mosh pit.
The Guardian profile about Dream Wife can be found here https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/feb/19/dream-wife-new-band-of-the-week