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A guide to the best live music in Leeds this month


Leeds’ vibrant live music scene always has something exciting to offer, be it up and coming guitar bands, more established artists or the incredible musicianship of local jazz acts. We therefore thought we’d bring you a taste of what’s on offer for the rest of April. This is just a handful of gigs and nights that caught our attention- It’s by no means a comprehensive list, but there’s certainly no shortage of diverse live prospects on offer to Leeds residents this month..

Brudenell Social Club hosts the peculiarly brilliant, abstract and often improvised sounds of Volcano the Bear (tues 10th). There’s a couple of notable shows for fans of the neo-folk scene with  Laura Gibson bringing lush vocals in the vein of Joanna Newsom (thurs 12th), as well as Ellen and the Escapades (Sun 15th). Francois and the Atlas Mountains (Mon 16th) bring blissed-out French guitar vibes that will be well worth catching, and the most eagerly anticipated gig comes in the way of Kwes on Thursday 26th (pictured). As Warp Record’s hottest new signing, soulful vocals are meshed together with irresistibly intricate beat making. It’s leftfield music with beautiful pop sensibilities. Check out his gorgeous single ‘Bashful’, due for official release later this month.

‘Nation of Shopkeepers’ consistently showcases innovative as well as hard edged live music. On Wednesday 4th Salem Rages provide some heavy rock, contrasted on the night by the local Serious Sam Barret performing his engaging style of folk. Runaround Kids (Wed 11th) come over from Wakefield with a grungey indie not far from Pavement in sound, and American anti-folk pioneer Lach (tues 10th) plays a free gig that’s sure to generate keen interest.

At ‘The Cockpit’, Sea of Bees bring lush melodies similar to US counterparts Beach House and Wye Oak (Wed 11th), and 2:54 play the following night with a shoegazey sound reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. Tribes bring indie rock from Camden (Sun 29th), and Little Comets (Mon 23rd) play a jagged guitar pop that’s a cut above the plethora of bands around today perusing similar sounds.

‘The Wardrobe’ hosts a diverse range of acts this month, starting with an acapella performance by The Futureheads this Thursday (5th ), which is sure be an interesting live spectacle. Rev. Chunky plays some Bluesy Funk with his band on Sunday 8th, and prolific Dub producer Mad Professor (Sat 14th) brings us ‘The Roots of Dubstep’. (Check out his live rework of Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s going on?’ on You Tube..)

‘Sela Bar’ is always a great place for free live music. On Sunday 15th, one man busking band Lewis Floyd Henry plays heavy, raw versions of T-Rex, Jimi Hendrix and Wu Tang Clan songs- definitely one not to miss. Also, as part of the ‘Sela New Orleans Jazz Fest’ Louis Louis Louis perform live (Thurs 26th). The brilliant Mojah Reggae Band also commence a weekly residency starting this Wednesday, so there’s no excuse not to get down to see them at least once!

At the ‘Hifi’ club the ‘Soundwave’ launch party takes place (Thurs 5th) with OM Unit, Mouse Outfit and Bamboo Man bringing Dubstep and Hip Hop vibes as part of a small taster of what’s on offer at the summer festival taking place in Croatia in July. Sundays are always a great night out at Hifi, it’s always free entry, and you get the best end of week late night party in Leeds with some superb live music. For up-tempo fusions of soulful Jazz, Hip Hop, Funk and Reggae check out Extra Love on the 15th, Renegade Brass Band on the 22nd and Cantaloop on the 29th.

‘Seven Arts’ in Capel Allerton sees the super talented trumpet player Sue Richardson perform the music of Chet Baker (Thurs 5th), and Jazz guitarist Howard Alden teams up with New York vocalist Jeanne Gies  on Thurs 12th.

One of the city’s newest music spots, ‘Musiquarium’, is definitely worth a visit this month. The people running the place say of the venue, “We wanted to create a comfortable and friendly environment to become acknowledged as one of the country’s finest intimate music and art spaces, made by musicians for musicians with the audience in mind”, and it’s worth checking out for this alone. Upcoming gigs include Polaroid 85 (fri 27th) supplying a dazzlingly accomplished live electronica set, and CODA playing their intense live dubstep on tues 17th.  

Highlights from other venues include Cold in Berlin at ‘Northern Monkey’ (thurs 12th), a high energy punk band out of East London. The brilliant Of Montreal come to the ‘Irish Centre’ on Monday 23rd.  ‘The Library’ pub hosts Swedish desert rockers Truckfighters (Thurs 5th), with support coming from Leeds band Black Moth, rising last year from the ashes of The Bacchae. Up and coming band The Arrogance of King Canute also play the venue on Friday 27th. Duo Ben Butler and Mousepad throw out live electro jams with just a drum kit and a synth at ‘Oporto’ (tues 17th), and the Brute Chorus play urgent indie rock numbers at ‘Eiger Studios’ (Fri 20th). Techno legends Orbital are supported by excellent electro trio The Japanese Popstars at the ‘O2 Academy’ (fri 6th), and Leeds locals The Sunshine Underground return for another big show at Leeds Met University on Sat 28th.

We hope to expand the list of venues for May, as well as bring details of the best club listings for the month.

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