This is my Leeds themed #leedsplaylist. Attending gigs when I was a teen is one of the main reasons I care about and work in the city today. The songs I’ve chosen aren’t obscure, experimental or profoundly depressing, they’re the songs I associate with fun memories, ‘did I really do that?’ moments & growing up.
Note: my music experiences are inextricably linked to my friendship with @wastexyourxtime so when I speak collectively, I probably mean the two of us.
1. Delays – Lost in a Melody 23/10/04
My first proper gig in Leeds. It was Delays at The Cockpit. They were a band @wastexyourxtime liked. We had no idea which entrance to use & were lucky that one of the security kindly directed us to the right door, after seeing that we were a little baffled (& nearly ended up on the stage). That security guard became a familiar face over the next few years as we attended more gigs than we can remember. Lost in a Melody was probably their biggest single at that time & is one of their songs which you can more easily sing along loudly (& badly) to.
2. The Others – This is for the Poor 19/01/05
Sometimes there’s a moment that comes to define the following years. This was it. For some reason, earlier in the day, I’d developed some bravado & cheek (it didn’t last, I’d like to think I’m too polite). I don’t know how @wastexyourxtime had obtained it, but for some reason we had the roadie’s number. I think it must have come from an Internet friend who had said to ring to get backstage. Who knows. It was me that made the call. Now, in hindsight, it was probably pretty naive of us to do, and potentially rather unsafe. You could say, that luckily, even aged 16, we looked about 12, so we were safe from anything too rock and roll. Dom informed the people entering the backstage area (through the rotating aaa pass policy they became known for) that they shouldn’t do anything hard due to there being young ‘uns in the room. The revolving backstage policy & the filling the guest lists with fans was one of the ways the the band reinforced their 853 community & ‘this is for the poor’ approach to nurturing their fan base. Remember the security guard from The Cockpit I mentioned for the last song? He had begrudgingly let us backstage & had obviously seen things over the years that we were completely naive and ignorant to. When we left that gig, he said he would never let us backstage again because he worried too much about us, he stuck to his word.
3. The Bravery – Honest Mistake 25/05/05
This gig was unplanned & I ended up in real trouble for going. In the early days of gigs, we bought our gig tickets en mass from Jumbo Records (the budgeting skills I developed from receiving EMA sadly haven’t remained to the same degree). On our way back to the train station we would detour by The Cockpit to nosey if anyone was playing/sound checking. This time it was The Bravery. As we heard the sound check someone was walking to the stage door. One of us asked him to get the band to sound check Honest Mistake as we weren’t attending the gig. The man returned & informed us that they couldn’t sound check it as they were rehearsing a set for radio, but he’d put us on the guestlist. Now, this guy, the merchandise seller, may have jumped to the conclusion that we were a certain type of girl. He was proven wrong when our school bags were put under his merch desk for safe keeping (who wants a bag full of A Level text books on their back during a gig?) & we bailed straight after the gig for our trains home. Don’t worry, we were polite enough to say thank you for the free entry.
4. Thee Unstrung – You 20/08/05
We all have a band that bond you and a friend. @wastexyourxtime & I have a few but this is one of them. This song is one of our favourites. About half way through the song there’s a gap where Steve & Ben chatter. The chatter varies dependent upon which version you have from ‘lets all talk at the same time’ to ‘with our reputation, on a Sunday?’. In August 2007 at The Faversham, the gap was utilised to wish me Happy Birthday. I think it’s that kindness & thought that has always meant @wastexyourxtime can’t avoid smiling when we reminisce about the band.
5. 10,000 Things – Dogsbody 20/10/05
You knew a band you liked were doing well when they were playing the big room at The Cockpit. You knew that if they were really going to make it, you had to make the most of those gigs whilst you could, before there became security & barriers between you & the bands you were watching. This could have been it for The Paddingtons. Josh was dating Agyness Deyn & the band were regularly in the press. I rarely remember support bands. For this gig, I do, well, one of them. 10,000 things. Hailing from Leeds, the band’s sound complimented The Paddingtons’ & the frontman had a great stage presence. Dogsbody stuck in my memory for a long while afterwards. The frontman, Sam, is now probably more well known for his role as Ian Curtis in Control and role of Pinkie in the latest film adaptation of Brighton Rock.
6. Young Knives – She’s Attracted To 29/07/06
For one year only in 2006, in Granary Wharf, where there’s now city centre apartments, a hotel & amenities, there was a music festival. It was called Across the Tracks. I went for just one of the days and it was lovely weather. It made me wonder why no one had done a music festival there before. Sadly, it was its’ only year. The Young Knives we’re headlining but they were on the main stage late afternoon. That Summer, She’s Attracted To seemed to be being played everywhere and it’s the song I most associate with the festival.
7. Franz Ferdinand – Do You Want To – 26/08/06
When you’re trying to cram in as many bands at possible, you sometimes find yourself making a bit of a task out of visiting Leeds Festival. Just me? I think by 2006, after doing a trip to Nottingham to see The Vines after setting up our tent on the Thursday & then returning on the Friday, we were definitely at the point of trying to enjoy the festival side of things. Franz Ferdinand headlined on the Saturday. It was around the time when Do You Want To was stuck in most of our heads & instead of getting in the main crowd, we decided to sit in front of the big screen half way back & sit down dance. It become one of our highlights.
8. The Pigeon Detectives – I Found Out 07/11/06 I used to spend hours listening to music on last.fm. You could get quite competitive about it if you really wanted to, be the person who played your favourite band the most times etc. It used to be a good way of discovering other bands too, through its recommendations based on what you’d already listened to. Last.fm recommended that I listened to The Pigeon Detectives. I did, decided that I liked them & started going to their gigs. My favourite Pigeon’s moment is from their first gig at Leeds Met SU. Matt used the fire extinguisher on stage & as I was near the front I could hear the conversations between the security. I vividly remember them saying ‘they’re never going to play here again’. They’ve played there at least twice since.
9. The Strokes – New York City Cops 28/08/11
@wastexyourxtime loves The Strokes. LOVES them. We’d seen them in Doncaster & London & been to Julian’s solo gigs in Leeds, Manchester and New York. You can imagine the excitement when they were announced to headline Leeds Festival last year. Needless to say, tickets were booked as soon as they went on sale. There’s plenty of songs I could choose but I think this is the song where I encouraged @wastexyourxtime to muster all the pent up excitement & energy built up since their last gig & bloody well bounce like she’d never bounced at a gig before.
10. Kaiser Chiefs – Oh My God 10/09/11
Back in the day a lot of bands used to do signings. It was a good way of getting you to buy the CD’s & vinyls. You got something signed & a free gig. The first signing I went to was for Oh My God at HMV on Albion Street (21/02/05 if you were wondering). You queued in the morning for the store to open, collected a pair of wristbands & returned that evening. For this signing, Oh My God was quite literally on a loop to the point where you were unsure if you actually wanted to hear it again once you left the store. Even so, it was the single I remember from when we first started listening to the Kaiser Chiefs and it seemed perfect last year that when they played Kirkstall Abbey, it was the final song of their encore.