On Saturday, May 6, Live at Leeds returned to the cities shining centre for the 2018 edition of festivities. The festival saw the likes of Peace, Anteros, and Hey Charlie performing across the metropolitan all-dayer.
Early on in the day, Peace took to the O2 Leeds Academy. The lights dimmed, purple lasers beamed and the band entered the stage. Wearing a red velvet shirt and black shades, frontman Harrison Koisser punched the air before thrashing the chords to ‘Power’. With beer being flung from all corners of the crowd, the band rolled into fan-favourite ‘Money’ – which seen a contrast of summer vibes being emitted in the dark, enclosed venue – ‘Don’t Walk Away From Love’ and ‘1998’. Taken from their seminal 2012 EP Delicious, ‘1998’ was one of the sets’ highlights, as the psychedelic trance of instruments created a wholesome atmosphere.
After the buzz of Peace, synth-pop stars, Stereo Honey – with their nonchalant melodies and falsetto vocals – were a breath of fresh air. Performing at the designated Dork Magazine venue (a church fitted with latex curtains no less), Stereo Honey wowed with ‘Here I am’ and produced an effortlessly captivating set.
Succeeding Stereo Honey in the Live at Leeds stage schedule was King Nun, followed by London trio, Hey Charlie, who both performed at the dingy Key Club. The former, King Nun, famed for their militant and heavily distorted power chords, played around with gloomy lyrics and unbalanced lashes of instrumentation at a break-neck speed. Hey Charlie swiftly followed in King Nun’s wake with the same high-octane energy when launching into tracks ‘Hey’ (their debut single) and ‘She Looks Like A Dreamer’. The latter track involved the lyrics ‘Girls can be pretty/girls can be cool/but don’t fuck with them/because they’ll fuck with you’ which was both empowering and banished objectification of women.
Over on the Dr Martens stage at Leeds’ Wardrobe, Seagirls performed a variety of flamboyant, upbeat new tracks (‘Eat me Whole’ and ‘Lost’), experienced a variety of technical difficulties (Frontman Henry Camamile:”it’s okay, everyone makes mistakes”) and seen a Seagirls-created, uncontrollable mosh pit.
Our final act of Live at Leeds was dream pop quartet, Anteros. Sprawling into their 2017-released ‘Love’, a sharp power stance was conducted at the forefront of the stage by Anteros’ bassist and guitarist, before frontwoman, Laura Hayden (adorning heart-shaped sunglasses) skipped onto the stage, and the rampage commenced.
“I’d like to say thank you to DIY [Magazine] for bringing so many women on stage,” Hayden says, before introducing ‘Bonnie’. As usual to their live sets, a plethora of women of varying ages, were welcomed onto the stage with Anteros for this number. ‘Drunk’ followed suit, with a Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Were Made for Walking’ introduction, the new and powerful ‘Wrong Side’ and finally the closing track, ‘Anteros’.
Live at Leeds 2018 was amazing. We cannot wait for next year.