I love bank holiday weekends. Especially this one as living in Leeds meant that I could spend the weekend surrounded by lots of my favourite bands at Live at Leeds festival. Buying a wristband for the Saturday gets you into all of the main music venues in the city centre where an endless list of bands are playing throughout the day. I went last year and saw more bands than you can shake a stick at, this year we didn't manage to see quite so much, partially due to not waking up until lunchtime (we were really sensible and went on a pretty heavy night out the night before...) but also because both The 1975 and The Pigeon Detectives attracted huge queues that I don't think the organisers had quite anticipated which meant that there was a massive backlog of people who were forced to queue for miles to get into the venues for the acts that were later on in the day. Inevitably we ended up stuck in all of these queues since all of the bands that we wanted to see were inevitably playing at those venues later in the day.
But really, its quality over quantity at these things (at least that's what we had to force ourselves to believe during our hour long wait to get into The Cockpit) and the acts we did manage to see put on a brilliant show. We managed to catch Backyards who are a great little band that we went along to support because one of my friends is good friends with the drummer plus they're a really talented bunch, Tribes (who I've seen about four times now but still really love the energy they have on stage every single time), Swim Deep (singing along to their songs after our horrendous Cockpit queuing experience was exactly what I needed) and Peace. Peace were the absolute highlight of the day, I've loved them for ages and have been dying to see them live after missing out on seeing them at a tiny little venue in Leeds way back in October and they completely exceeded my expectations. They're still a pretty new band, their album hasn't been out for long at all but they've really exploded in popularity lately and so the venue was absolutely rammed with fans singing back every word of every song. Plus, they snuck in a cheeky few lines of Daft Punk's Get Lucky (which forces me to dance like a loony every time I hear it!) and sent the entire room crazy. Perfection. There's no way they'll be playing a venue as small as Cockpit again from now on, they're destined for far bigger things!
After another night out and a much needed Nando's to recover, we discovered that The Pigeon Detectives were playing a free set in the tiny Made in Leeds shop in Leeds Trinity. After missing out on seeing them the day before we decided that the chance to see them playing in a really tiny venue would more than make up for being caught out by the enormous crowd. Somehow we ended up on the front row, close enough to see the beads of sweat dripping off the lead singer's hair...sometimes being so close has its downfalls...
To top off our weekend, we had tickets to see The Vaccines playing in Millennium Square in Leeds so after our little encounter with The Pigeon Detectives (and a stop off for a few bottles of cider and a slice of cake) we headed into the arena. The sun was shining and there was a great atmosphere because of it, it felt like we were at a real festival but with less mud and more buildings around us. The Vaccines were bloody incredible. I didn't think I liked their second album quite as much as the first but seeing them playing all the songs live completely changed my opinion and made me love some of the newer songs just as much as the first. If you ever get a chance to see them live then go, go go- they know exactly how to make the crowd have the best time watching.
My photos aren't exactly the best I've ever taken, I was mostly relying on my phone as there was no way my SLR was being let loose in the thick of the crowds I'd been stood in, but also because I was too busy singing until I lost my voice to be bothered about watching the whole show through my camera lens. In fact, it gets on my nerves when people do that at gigs... just enjoy the show and focus on the music rather than missing out on a good boogie for the sake of a few pictures.