Leeds Music Scene Spring 2016
7 March 2016
Discover New-Age Indie, Vintage Fusion and Old-School Rock During a 4* Stay at 42 The Calls
It’s no secret Leeds has produced talented musical acts over the years: from Soft Cell to Kaiser Chiefs, Corinne Bailey Rae to Alt-J, this northern city has rhythmic tastes as eclectic as its inhabitants. With two outstanding venues in the city centre – the O2 Academy and First Direct Arena – fans are spoilt for choice when it comes to diverse live music, and both are conveniently close to our boutique Leeds hotel.
This spring there’s an array of exciting gigs on the way, so whether you want to see acts from the up-and-coming London indie scene or you’re holding out for rock legends, there’s something for every musical palette in the ‘Capital of the North’ over the coming months. And if you’re not averse to a little spot of luxury, why not combine a stay at 42 The Calls Leeds hotel with an unforgettable night of music?
Postmodern Vibes: Fusion Acoustic and Pop Mix-Ups
If you’re enjoying the recent wave of mash-ups and genre-bending vibes currently popular in all corners of the music scene, chances are you’ll enjoy Father John Misty’s gig. He plays the O2 Academy on 11th May, just a 9 minute drive from our luxury Leeds hotel. You may recognise him as the drummer from folk-rock band Fleet Foxes or one of the other dozen groups he’s played with, but now he’s touring solo. His 2015 album I Love You, Honeybear was critically acclaimed and is hailed as a concept album about the artist himself.
His style is raw and personal, painting an honest portrait of the man usually hidden behind other performers. With elements of Country, Blues and Jazz, Father John’s music is both individual and political – it celebrates key moments in his life, such as his relationship with his wife in I Went to the Store One Day, but there are bigger civil messages here too, such as comments on the power of white men in America in Bored in the USA. His music has depth, he offers his soul up on a plate – this gig is not to be missed by anyone who cites Nicks Drake or Cave as inspiration.
If it’s mainstream pop, R&B or rock that you prefer, then Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox might just be for you. Also, performing at the Leeds O2 Academy on 20th March, this talented group create new songs using the music of artists such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Radiohead. They transform songs by changing the genre, often adding a vintage vibe: you’ll hear Umbrella switched to a tap-dancing swing number from the 1940s, Thinking Out Loud turned into a lazy New York jazz piece and even Talk Dirty translated into Yiddish with a Klezmer revamp.
The musicians are highly talented, male and female singers are versatile and the whole show is enhanced with high-energy dance routines. Check out the YouTube channel first to acclimatise to this new fusion style – you won’t go back to the original versions once you hear these. At the end of the night, it’s just a 15 minute stroll along the peaceful riverside back to our luxury Leeds hotel.
Animal Beats: Wolves and Birds are Freed in Leeds
Two bands with beastly titles hit the stage in Leeds this spring: Camden-based indie band Wolf Alice, and Noel Gallagher’s post-Oasis group, High Flying Birds. Wolf Alice will hit the stage of the Leeds O2 Arena on 19th March after being widely dubbed ‘the next big thing’ by music critics. Steadily rising to fame since 2012, the four piece group, fronted by female vocalist and guitarist Ellie Rowsell, have a hard-to-pin-down, electro-rock sound. In 2013, they were the most blogged-about artist in the UK and in 2014 they received their first award at the UK Festival Awards for ‘Best Breakthrough Artist.’ Songs such as Moaning Lisa Smile, Freazy and Fluffy are well worth a listen. Elements of both folk and grunge tinge their music, with comparisons to The xx, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Pixies – so if you’re a fan of those artists, you can grab your Wolf Alice tickets here.
Also a convenient 9 minute drive from our boutique Leeds hotel (we’ve timed it), is the impressive First Direct Arena that hosts an action-packed agenda of concerts all year round. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (that’s their full title), Gallagher’s band since 2011, will be performing a night of alternative rock music at this striking venue on 27th April. You can expect to hear some of your favourite Oasis tracks at their gigs too – this band have their own sound and direction, but with the notoriety of the Gallagher brothers, and tracks that have withstood the test of time, they know how to keep their audience happy.
Whilst this is very much Noel’s dream-child, he is joined by eminent musicians, amongst them Russell Pritchard from The Zutons and The Lemon Trees’ Jeremy Stacey. Together they make a sound described as baroque or psychedelic rock – a medley of contemporary and 70s/80s rock, taking inspiration from Pink Floyd, amongst others. Tracks to listen out for include The Death of You and Me and If I had a gun… All their songs are penned by Noel, who has recently been nominated at the 2016 NME Awards for Best British Solo Artist – watch this space…and book tickets now. For those who want to make a night of it, or just want to take in the night air post-gig, it’s just a short stroll back to your luxury hotel room at 42 The Calls when the night draws to a close.
Gold Rush: Folk-Rock Legend Lands in Leeds
One of North America’s most enduring folk-rock icons, Neil Young, lands on UK shores in June. One of the first dates of his European tour is 10th June at the First Direct Arena, Leeds. The 70-year-old Canadian musician released his 35th studio album in 2014 and his hits, old and new, will be performed for fans in what is sure to be a night to remember.
The eternal symbol of hippydom, who has twice been recognised in the Hall of Fame for his contributions to music, will play his diverse hits, including After the Gold Rush, Oh Lonesome Me and Cinnamon Girl, bringing a touch of 1970s bohemia to the north of England. Take your mum, dad, son or daughter, and rock out to the familiar tones of Young’s high tenor voice, acoustic guitar and soaring harmonica. You won’t find a better excuse to plan a visit to our luxury Leeds hotel this season…
The Best Restaurants in Leeds
Get set to depart on a tasty tour of south-western India, Paris and of course, Yorkshire, with 42 the Calls' guide to some of the best restaurants in Leeds. Featuring firm favourites: Shears Yard, Kendells Bistro, Crafthouse, Tharavadu and the Michelin Starred, The Man Behind The Curtain.Click here for more
Food & Music Festivals in Leeds
This May and June, enjoy a food and music filled escape to Leeds, as the city welcomes the return of Leeds Indie Food, Live at Leeds, Slam Dunk and The Yorkshire Food and Drink Show! Taking place across the city, which all readily await during a luxury stay at 42 the Calls.Click here for more