Northern Soul

Live at Leeds: we talk to Larkins, Slow Readers Club and Confidence Man

April 28, 2019 Music Comments Off on Live at Leeds: we talk to Larkins, Slow Readers Club and Confidence Man
Live At Leeds

With a reputation for showcasing some of the UK’s best new musical talent and a whole host of other established bands, all against the backdrop of one of the North’s most dynamic and exciting cities, Live at Leeds has been entertaining festival-goers since 2007. The good news is, it promises more of the same this May Bank Holiday weekend.

Fresh local and national talent, warm summer days (I mean, May technically is British Summer Time) and some of the hottest hangouts this side of the Pennines all make for an proper fun weekend. Still not convinced? We’ll let the acts speak for themselves. Here are our chats with some of the artists performing this year.

Confidence Man 

Northern Soul: In three words, describe yourself as an artist.

Confidence Man: Sexy, silly, sassy.  

NS: What makes Live at Leeds such a great gig to play?

CM: The Brits (especially the Northerners) really know how to party. It’s in their blood or something. It’s also perfect for stumbling across sick new bands. 

NS: Any other acts you’re looking forward to seeing?

CM: Body Type, great hometown band and I can’t wait to see them in a different continent. Dream Wife – absolute fire, always good. Metronomy – we’ve all been obsessed with these guys for a good decade. These New South Whales – more hometown heroes. If you haven’t seen their show yet, go and watch it now.

NS: What first got you into music? What are your inspirations?

CM: We’ve all been music nerds for ages, finding inspiration across the board from Chemical Brothers to Gram Parsons. This love of music exploded in our dodgy home studio one Sunday afternoon and the rest is history.

Confidence Man. Image from Futuresound MarketingNS: If you had to pick one of your records as your favourite, which would it be and why?

CM: I’d say Confident Music for Confident People is probably my fave. It’s a cracker and it’s also our only record.

NS: What’s your proudest moment (as an artist) to date?

CM: Playing the 3am set to a sea of people at Primavera last year was pretty crazy. One of our favourite festivals of all time.

NS: Why should people come and see you at Live at Leeds?

CM: People should really just follow their hearts, but if they like to have a damn good time then they should really just come and see us.

NS: Aside from playing Live at Leeds, any plans while you’re in the city?

CM: We’ll briefly be sampling the local parks, pubs, cappuccinos and probably Uber Eats a bit.


The Slow Readers Club 

Northern Soul: In three words, describe yourselves as artists.

The Slow Readers Club: Indie doom pop.

NS: What makes Live at Leeds such a great gig to play?

TSRC: It’s got a good reputation for championing new and upcoming bands which is a really important thing for bands trying to get on decent stages in front of new people. It’s obviously good for us.

NS: Any other acts you’re looking forward to seeing?

TSRC: There’s a few I’d like to catch if it’s possible. One band in particular, who we’re a fan of but haven’t seen live, are Metronomy.

NS: What first got you into music? What are your inspirations?

TSRC: There was always a lot of music on around the house and quite a mix of genres, probably helped by our (mine and Aaron’s) dad doing bits of DJing and he also taught us some chords on the guitar and that set us on the musical path. The band that inspired me the most was The Beatles. Obviously, they’re from a different era but discovering all their great albums when I was first learning to play the guitar and eventually write songs was hugely important.

NS: If you had to pick one of your records as your favourite, which would it be and why?

TSRC: Cavalcade – this was our second album and it was the one that helped establish us. 

NS: What is your proudest moment as an artist to date?

TSRC: That’d have to be headlining the Manchester Apollo at the end of 2018.

NS: Why should people come and see you at Live at Leeds?

TSRC: Without wanting to sound like a big head, we always seem to go down well at festivals and win over new fans. We’ll be playing Live at Leeds off the back of our UK and European tour, so we should be in fine form.

The Slow Readers Club NS: Aside from playing Live at Leeds, any plans while you’re in the city?

TSRC: No plans as yet, but we’re open to recommendations.

NS: Do you have any advice for young, up and coming acts onto the scene?

TSRC: My advice would be to play plenty of gigs and not get disheartened along the way because it can take a long time to progress and there will be plenty of forks in the road. If you believe in what you do, you should try to make it work.

NS: How would you sum up the music scene in Manchester at the moment. What makes it stand out? What are the things about the North of England that make you proud to be Northern?

TSRC: The music scene in Manchester seems to be pretty strong. You can go out any night of the week and find some good live music – and not just in the city centre but the suburbs, too. It will always carry its reputation based on the big bands of the past but even in the absence of a ‘scene’ like Madchester, Manchester and the North always keep  producing great bands with something to say.


Larkins 

Northern Soul: In three words, describe yourself as an artist.

Larkins: Bold, atmospheric, family.

NS: What makes Live at Leeds such a great gig to play?

L: It will be our first time playing the festival, but we actually went last year just to watch, and the city was buzzing. Peace played at midday and then venue just exploded with energy. There are some great venues across the city and it’s always a good time in Leeds.  

NS: Are there any other acts you’re looking forward to seeing?

L: Loads. Sam Fender is bringing out some cool stuff and our good friends Marsicans always bring huge riffs and energy. Looking forward to seeing VANT as well and the new sounds they’re creating. The lovely No Hot Ashes lads always offer up some funk and I’d like to catch Tom Grennan if possible.

NS: What first got you into music? What are your inspirations?

L: I guess our parents got us into music. Whether it was Led Zep or Bob Dylan on in the car, I suppose we were accustomed to great music from an early age. Our school was also amazing for music. Whereas other kids were playing football at break time we headed to the music department, often just to listen to new music. I remember at the time we were listening to Foals and Crystal Fighters non-stop, sharing earphones while walking round the school corridors. Dom basically taught me how to play the guitar properly and we went from there. There was no way we weren’t going to start a band eventually.

NS: If you had to pick one of your records as your favourite, which would it be and why?

L: TV Dream. Not just because its new, but because it sounds the best and its filled with lyrics that I really mean and on a topic I think should be spoken about a lot more.

NS: What’s your proudest moment as an artist to date?

L: Headlining Manchester Academy maybe? Selling out venues on tour or just releasing new music that we’re super proud of. I think we’re a band that feels lucky more than proud. Come back to us when we’ve headlined Glastonbury or something like that.

NS: Why should people come and see you at Live at Leeds?

L: Because we’re super loud and we promise that for half an hour we will do everything we can to get you moving. Now there’s a good pitch.

NS: Aside from playing Live at Leeds, any plans while you’re in the city?

L: We love Leeds, but I imagine we’ll be running around trying to see as many artists as possible. 

Live At LeedsNS: Do you have any advice for young, up and coming acts onto the scene?

L: Write, write, write. And only release stuff you’re happy and proud of. I guess just really enjoy what you’re doing. I’m not sure we’re quite qualified to give advice just yet, so just keep doing what you’re doing.

NS: How would you sum up the music scene in Manchester at the moment. What makes it stand out? What are the things about the North of England that make you proud to be Northern”

L: Manchester is the music powerhouse of Britain. Great venues and an amazing view towards new bands and artists. The music community in Manchester is alive and it’s so strong right now. We adore the city, but I guess this whole north versus south thing I’ve never really understood, it’s all just a concept, right? We love going south, especially places like Brighton and Southampton. Must admit though, the North knows how to make a proper brew.” 

By Sarah Clapperton

 

Live at Leeds takes place on May 4, 2019 at venues across the city. For more info and tickets, click here.

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