As good as a nice cup of tea, and a sit down.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Bramham Underground

Picture: WESTM

It's nearing the end of July, and Festival season is well underway. The big one round here has always been Leeds Fest (of course). A strange parallel universe filled with anyone you have ever known, brushed past and went to school with, yet devoid of normal social convention; Leeds has always been a stomping ground of the musical Yorkshire Folk.

If, like us, you're probably not going to be first in the queue for Guns N Roses or Blink 182 then allow us to suggest some alternative local produce for your consumption:



As we write, it remains undecided. But Futuresound's yearly comp for a place on the bill will no doubt be a sure bet. It's always a close run race but this year is especially hard to predict: The competition is just so bloody good! Holy State, Blacklisters, Castrovalva, Sketches, Club Smith, Blood Oranges and Loose Talk Costs Lives are all fine examples of the extended musical renaissance Leeds is enjoying. The only tricky thing will be deciding on who deserves it most.

Picture: Hannah-Rachel Sunderland

PULLED APART BY HORSES Sunday 29th, Festival Republic stage.

Now officially the worst kept secret in underground music, PABH's awesome, muscular punk rock has netted them an army of 14 year old fanboys. Odds are that you've either seen them live hundreds of times (like us) or you've at least heard about their shows. If you're the latter: all the rumours are true, if you're the former, we'll see you at the front. RADICAL!

Picture: Bangers and Mash

THE CROOKES Friday 27th, Festival Republic Stage

Richard Hawley smiled upon these lads by collaborating with them on Steve Lamacq's Evening Session. Let's face it: Richard Hawley doesn't like anything shit. The Sheffield dwellers have beautiful, succinct little pop songs, reminding you that occaisionally 'kitchen sink' music, when done well, can be heartbreaking, memorable and funny all at once.

Picture: The Art Of Agency

ROLO TOMASSI Friday 27th, NME Stage

They might also be from the Steel City, but when compared to most of their successful contemporaries, Rolo Tomassi may as well be from Planet Zog. They may also be young with shiny hair and clean teeth, but their corrosive hardcore is terrifying, and all the more impressive considering their tender ages. Bring some earplugs if you're a wimp and prepare to thrash around like a rag doll.

Picture: Lost at E Minor

WILD BEASTS Saturday 28th, NME Stage

As this is going to press it has been announced that Two Dancers, Wild Beasts's second album, is nominated for this year's Mercury music prize. As the Mercury rarely goes to the most deserving act, it's doubtful that the Beasts will actually win. Never mind though, the album is one of those that comes along once in a while where the planets seems to be in alignment. A rare, blossoming triumph of beautiful songwriting, fresh experimentation and craft. On top of this, they are some of Leeds' most cherished adopted sons: all the ingredients of which make for a very special show.

...and also, for fairness, a taste from t'other side of the Pennines:

Picture: Alt Sounds


Coincidentally, The Low Culture discovered Everything Everything for the first time at Leeds Fest 2009. Stumbling past in search of a kebab (don't do it, just don't), our ears were pricked by the spiky, angular pop this quartet produce. Like the Futureheads before them, their harmonies are so pleasing to the ears that it is impossible not to watch with wide eyed, stupid look on your face because they are so very, very clever - much cleverer than you.

Picture: The Pigeon Post

EGYPTIAN HIP HOP Sunday 29th, Festival Republic Stage

Now it's always advisable to approach 'buzz-bands' with caution. They're unreliable creatures. However Egyptian Hip-Hop seem to have something more going on than just haircuts. Their single 'Rad Pitt' was pretty decent, and they cite Late of the Pier as influences. If they can match their source of inspiration for inventiveness and catchy hooks, then you might just be able to believe the hype. And they're only 17, bless.

Here endeth our guide to Leeds Festival 2010. Go to for day tickets and coach packages, starting at 75 quid. You also might like to try Scarlet Mist or viagogo for weekend resales at reasonable prices.

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