Live At Leeds: Various Venues, Leeds

By the time The Crookes took to the stage at The Cockpit Live @ Leeds was starting to get into full swing, and the queues for the bigger venues were growing rapidly. The Cockpit was full to the brim and there was a fair sized queue forming in the sunshine outside. The Crookes are a lively bunch, on my way to their gig I walked past them jamming together round the back of the venue, and they soon got into their stride treating us to a joyous half hour of their music.

By the time The Crookes took to the stage at The Cockpit Live @ Leeds was starting to get into full swing, and the queues for the bigger venues were growing rapidly. The Cockpit was full to the brim and there was a fair sized queue forming in the sunshine outside. The Crookes are a lively bunch, on my way to their gig I walked past them jamming together round the back of the venue, and they soon got into their stride treating us to a joyous half hour of their music.

Lead singer George Waite’s energetic and expressive vocals are instantly accessible and endearing, as you can clearly hear the emotions he is expressing within them. They opened with their new single “Bears Blood” which got the crowd in motion straight away. I got the impression that the audience were not the only ones having fun as George ferociously shook his hair and staggered round the stage, bouncing off the other members and their equipment, completely caught up in the moment. They then went on to play some of the favourites from their album, “American Girls” and “Where Did Our love Go” went down well but “Sofie” got the best reaction.

As I made my way back to The Cockpit to see The 1975 the queue was now snaking back to The Prince Of Wales pub and seemed to consist of hundreds of people. This was mainly due to the vast popularity of the band, it came as a surprise that they weren’t scheduled for The O2 Academy. Many people had seen the queue and decided that there was no chance of getting in to see them and they were right to do so because the majority of the crowd members from The Crookes gig had stayed put to see both bands.

There was huge anticipation within the venue as The 1975 took to the stage and it was justified as they were on their usual brilliant form. From the moment they began with “The City” there was plenty of hand clapping, screaming and audible singing from the audience. This vocal accompaniment was at its most prominent and rowdy during “Chocolate”. “Sex” also got a huge reaction from the fans which the band reveled in giving an energetic performance, complete with Matty shaking this long mane from side to side in his trademark fashion.

They ended an uplifting set with “You”, they built the song up until it flourished into a big rock ‘n’ roll ending. Lead singer Matty Healy emotively screamed the final chorus before letting himself fall into the loving arms of the front row.

After such an enthralling gig I was excited to go see another band tipped for big things in the future The Neighbourhood. This one was at Leeds University’s Refectory and the crowd there was much smaller and more silently appreciative than the noisy The 1975 fans, preferring to nod and sway along to display their appreciation. As they arrived with their distinctive 80’s ska style dress sense complete with skinhead and immediately enticed the crowd within their atmospheric, driving and moody music performed with evident passion. Their performance didn’t just rely on passion however, it was rich with quality musicianship and vocals which were of the exact same quality as their recordings.

I then returned to The Cockpit where a real party atmosphere was developing, to see Peace. You could tell that the crowd were intent on enjoying themselves when they were singing to “Come On Eileen” and doing the actions to “Y.M.C.A.” as they played over the venues speaker system as the band set up. Spirits were high and Peace certainly didn’t disappoint.

They made a vibrant start with “Delicious” and the crowd responded well. Peace then took it up a notch with an energetic rendition of “Follow Baby”. The fans had probably spent a decent proportion of the day in queues and Peace rewarded them with a high energy 12 track set which rounded a great day off perfectly.