Tag Archives: Leeds

272. PP Arnold: The Wardrobe, Leeds [16.10.17]

272a_PP Arnold [161017]Artist: PP Arnold

Support: Carys Crow

Venue: The Wardrobe, Leeds

Date: 16.10.17

A back-catalogue of soul and rock tracks spanning a remarkable career – interspersed with memoirs and tales of incredible times and collaborations. Truly a living legend.

272b_PP Arnold [161017]

272c_PP Arnold [161017]


266. CUD: The Leeds Show, Temple Newsam [29.7.17]

266a_The Leeds Show [290717]

Artist: CUD

Support: Glass Mountain

Venue: The Leeds Show, Temple Newsam

Date: 29.7.17

Last time I paid £3 to see CUD was during the late 80s at a packed-out ‘Duchess’ gig in Leeds. Nearly 3 decades later I’m one of merely 30 people in a field at Temple Newsam Estate. Ever the indie-rock stars, the band played on regardless and on fine form.

266b_The Leeds Show [290717]

263. The Stone Roses: First Direct Arena, Leeds [20.6.17]

263a_The Stone Roses [200617]Artist: The Stone Roses

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 20.6.17

Let’s gloss over the extortionate ticket prices which didn’t appear to fund an illusive third album, or the abundance of middle-aged men in bucket hats (it never was a good look).

Having compromised on cheap seats in ‘the gods’ (where angels play), we soaked up the incredible atmosphere as The Stone Roses played the best of both their albums to an ever loving and loyal crowd.

Adored indeed.

263b_The Stone Roses [200617]

263c_The Stone Roses [200617]

Setlist: I Wanna Be Adored / Elephant Stone / Sally Cinnamon / Mersey Paradise / (Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister / Where Angels Play / Shoot You Down / Waterfall / Don’t Stop / Begging You / Elizabeth My Dear / Fools Gold / All for One / Love Spreads / Made of Stone / She Bangs the Drums / Breaking into Heaven / This Is the One / I Am the Resurrection.

A few days later the band announced that they would no longer play live: “Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy that it happened.” Ian Brown

263d_The Stone Roses [200617]

263e_The Stone Roses [200617] 2


262. Let’s Rock Leeds: Temple Newsam, Leeds [17.6.17]

262a_Let_s Rock Leeds [2017]

Artists: The Human League / Tony Hadley / Howard Jones / Kid Creole & The Coconuts / Imagination / Roland Gift / From The Jam / Hue & Cry / Nick Heyward / Hazel O’Connor

Venue: Temple Newsam, Leeds

Date: 17.6.17

A hot summer’s day of 80s nostalgia and merriment as numerous pop legends from my youth performed their greatest hits.

262d_Let_s Rock Leeds [2017]

262c_Let_s Rock Leeds [2017]

256. The Cribs: First Direct Arena, Leeds [20.5.17]

256a_The Cribs [200517]Artist: The Cribs

Support: Slaves / Pulled Apart by Horses

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 20.5.17

Appropriately raucous support slots from Pulled Apart by Horses and Slaves.

Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Forever – 10 Year Anniversary Tour: Awful sound for the first half of The Cribs’ set, which is a rare occurrence at Leeds Arena. Less is more in the case of volume vs clarity. However, they seemed to sort it out and make amends for the latter part of the show.

256d_The Cribs [200517]256e_The Cribs [200517]256f_The Cribs [200517]256g_The Cribs [200517]

Big is not always best – as The Cribs would prove by returning to their roots for their next Leeds shows . . .

253. Richard Ashcroft: First Direct Arena, Leeds [22.4.17]

253a_Richard Ashcroft [220417]Artist: Richard Ashcroft

Support: Black Grape

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 22.4.17

A reminder of how Richard Ashcroft and (The) Verve transcended their ‘90s Britpop peers – with a setlist ranging from ‘Urban Hymns’ to his latest album. Whilst Blur and Oasis bickered, and the Gallaghers’ sibling rivalry tore them apart, Ashcroft has always let his songs do the talking.

Setlist: Out of My Body / Sonnet / This is How it Feels / Space and Time / A Song for the Lovers / They Don’t Own Me / Ain’t the Future So Bright / Music is Power / Velvet Morning / Break the Night with Colour / Lucky Man // C’mon People (We’re Making it Now) / History / The Drugs Don’t Work / Hold On / Bitter Sweet Symphony

253b_Richard Ashcroft [220417]

253c_Richard Ashcroft [220417]

252. Haçienda Classical: First Direct Arena, Leeds [14.4.17]

252a_Haçienda Classiçal [140417]Artists: Graeme Park / Mike Pickering / Peter Hook / Rowetta / Manchester Camerata Orchestra / Bez / MC Tunes

Support: Peter Hook [DJ Set]

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 14.4.17

Manchester’s legendary Haçienda crossed the Pennines for an evening of old school club classics in classical style. Timeless tunes from a misspent youth, adapted for an adult audience. ‘Strings of life’ indeed.

252b_Haçienda Classiçal [140417]252c_Haçienda Classiçal [140417]

252d_Haçienda Classiçal [140417]

249. Peter Hook & The Light: O2 Academy, Leeds [18.3.17]

249a_Peter Hook [180317]Artist: Peter Hook & The Light

Venue: O2 Academy, Leeds

Date: 18.3.17

Substance [Live]: Continuing his quest to eventually play every Joy Division and New Order song live, ‘Hooky’ (& co.) played an epic gig featuring the ‘Substance’ (best of) albums of his former bands.

The fact that the band played the Joy Division set after the New Order tracks implies that Hook’s true loyalty lies with his earlier work – but what a choice to have. A substantial back catalogue indeed.

249b_Peter Hook [180317]249c_Peter Hook [180317]

Joy Division_New Order [Substance]

249d_Peter Hook [180317]

248. Pet Shop Boys: First Direct Arena, Leeds [18.2.17]

248a_Pet Shop Boys [180217]Artist: Pet Shop Boys

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 18.2.17

Incredibly, during a career spanning 31 years of pop perfection, Pet Shop Boys had never played live in Leeds – until now.

It was worth the wait, to see and hear decades of electronic anthems performed in spectacular style. Remixed and revamped for the modern day, with sensational lights and lasers.

Setlist: Inner Sanctum / Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) / The Pop Kids / In the Night / Burn / Love is a Bourgeois Construct / New York City Boy / Se A Vida É (That’s the Way Life is) / Love Comes Quickly / Love etc. / The Dictator Decides / Inside a Dream / West End Girls / Winner / Home and Dry / The Enigma / Vocal / The Sodom and Gomorrah Show / It’s a Sin / Left to My Own Devices / Go West // Domino Dancing / Always On My Mind / The Pop Kids (Reprise).

248b_Pet Shop Boys [180217]248c_Pet Shop Boys [180217]

248d_Pet Shop Boys [180217]

243. The Ordinary Boys: Lending Room, Leeds [25.9.16]

243a_The Ordinary Boys [250916]Artist: The Ordinary Boys

Support: Benson

Venue: Lending Room (The Library), Leeds

Date: 25.9.16

It would be fair to say that lead singer (Preston) well and truly had his 15 minutes of fame during his Britpop and Big Brother days.

Recently reunited, The Ordinary Boys took to the stage at the Lending Room, before a crowd of merely 100 people, many of who were there for local support band Benson. However, the intimate venue and no frills performance took ‘the boys’ back to basics, with the focus on live music, rather than the trappings of fame and fortune.

Less is more. Ordinary is fine.

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243d_The Ordinary Boys [250916]

243e_The Ordinary Boys [250916]

242. OnRoundhay: Roundhay Park, Leeds [17.9.16]

242a_OnRoundhay [170916]Artists: James / Primal Scream / Wolf Alice

Venue: Roundhay Park, Leeds

Date: 17.9.16

With sponsorship from John Lewis and Puffin Books, and an emphasis on being family friendly, the inaugural OnRounday event had a somewhat middle-class feel, but proved to be a rather pleasant one-day festival.

It was nice to see so many kids enjoying their first experience of live music, from an excellent selection of bands. The family-friendly vibe (or possibly the expensive drinks) seemed to ensure that the event was devoid of the usual herds of drunken knobheads – always a plus-point!

OnRoundhay would be a welcome annual event, so long as they can match the high standards of its first year.

242b_OnRoundhay [170916]242c_OnRoundhay [170916]

238. Centre Stage 2016 – The Final: O2 Academy, Leeds [27.7.16]

238a_Centre Stage [270716]Artists: The Mallrats / Tree / The Elephant Trees / Faux Pas / Lewis Crossley / The Indigo Project / Big Bad Rabbit / Shaarks / Liberate / Territory / Blyss

Venue: O2 Academy, Leeds

Date: 27.7.16

Centre Stage is an annual ‘battle of the bands’, curated by Martin House Children’s Hospice. The competition showcases fresh young talent, many of whom go on to greater success in the music industry. The winning band receive the prestigious prize of playing live at that year’s Reading and Leeds Festivals.

The 2016 final kicked-off with a set by the previous year’s winners; The Mallrats.

The winning band of Centre Stage 2016 was Faux Pas.

238b_Centre Stage [270716]

238c_Centre Stage [270716]

236. Ocean Colour Scene: Millennium Square, Leeds [24.7.16]

235a_Ocean Colour Scene [240716]Artist: Ocean Colour Scene

Support: Shed Seven / The Bluetones / Reverend and The Makers

Venue: Millennium Square, Leeds

Date: 24.7.16

“When you find that things are getting wild, don’t you want days like these?”

Back to Millennium Square, for the second big gig of the weekend, as Ocean Colour Scene celebrated the 20th anniversary of their ‘Moseley Shoals’ album.

235b_Ocean Colour Scene [240716]235d_Ocean Colour Scene [240716]


235e_Ocean Colour Scene [240716]

OCS [Moseley Shoals]

235f_Ocean Colour Scene [240716]

235. The Cribs: Millennium Square, Leeds [22.7.16]

234a_The Cribs [220716]Artist: The Cribs

Support: The Thurston Moore Group

Venue: Millennium Square, Leeds

Date: 22.7.16

Not quite their home town of Wakefield, but The Cribs played their biggest headline gig to date at Millennium Square, Leeds.

Local boys done good!

234b_The Cribs [220716]234f_The Cribs [220716]

This gig was later released on DVD as part of the limited edition CD version of the ‘24-7 Rock Star Shit’ album.

The Cribs [24-7 Rock Star Shit]

233. An Evening with Marc Almond. Accompanied by Leeds College of Music Contemporary Orchestra and Pop Choir: Leeds Town Hall [8.7.16]

232a_marc-almond-080716Artists: An Evening with Marc Almond. Accompanied by Leeds College of Music Contemporary Orchestra and Pop Choir

Venue: Leeds Town Hall

Date: 8.7.16

Generations of home-grown talent took to the stage of Leeds Town Hall – as local legend, Marc Almond performed a stunning set of re-arranged classics, accompanied by some of the city’s finest musicians.


226. Simple Minds / The Stranglers: First Direct Arena, Leeds [27.11.15]

225a_simple-minds-271115Artist: Simple Minds

Support: The Stranglers

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 27.11.15

Starting the evening on a high note, The Stranglers performed a support set of classic, timeless tunes, still sounding edgy but brilliant.

Simple Minds upped the ante and delivered a full on stage show, flaunting an outstanding discography spanning decades. A spectacular showcase, bordering on glitzy but with a sense of celebratory style.


225. CUD: The Wardrobe, Leeds [26.9.15]

224a_cud-260915Artist: CUD

Support: John Parkes

Venue: The Wardrobe, Leeds

Date: 26.9.15

Asquarius [Live]: To celebrate the 25th anniversary of its release, CUD performed their third album in full, followed by a selection of other favourites.

The Wardrobe’s sound system struggled to cope with the mighty CUD during this intimate, but somewhat distorted gig. Hence my film footage ended up as a silent movie.


223. Madness: Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds [18.9.15]

222a_madness-180915Artist: Madness

Venue: Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds

Date: 18.9.15

Unbelievably, this was the first ever live concert to be held at Headingley Cricket Ground.

Always the showmen, Madness never fail to deliver a nutty selection of their classic tracks. Although, in my opinion, the absence of Chas Smash from the lineup left them ‘one step behind’ their former glory.

We opted for premium tickets, including tour merchandise and exclusive access to the Gladness Beer Garden, which served the band’s own brand of craft lager.




219. Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular: First Direct Arena, Leeds [27.5.15]

218a_dw-symphonic-spectacular-270515Event: Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

Artist: BBC National Orchestra

Compere: Peter Davidson

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 27.5.15

An excellent orchestral performance of classical scores and melodies from the Doctor Who timeline, with an emphasis on the music of Murray Gold.

The show was hosted by the 5th Doctor (Peter Davidson), and invaded by an array of aliens from different dimensions of time and space.


New Dawn Fades: City Varieties, Leeds [15.5.15]

x06a_New Dawn Fades [150515]Artist: All Roads Meet

Venue: City Varieties, Leeds

Date: 15.5.15

New Dawn Fades was a play rather than a gig but the cast did perform live versions of classic Joy Division tracks.

A brave and successful attempt to retell a sacred story that has already been expertly covered by Tony Wilson, Deborah Curtis, Michael Winterbottom and Anton Cobijn. The minimal cast and simple set design captured the promise and pain of the Manchester music scene’s finest.

x06b_New Dawn Fades [150515]x06c_New Dawn Fades [150515]


212. Jake Bugg: First Direct Arena, Leeds [19.10.14]

211a_jake-bugg-191014Artist: Jake Bugg

Support: Hudson Taylor / Skinny Living

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 19.10.14

Brilliant to see that a stripped down performance by a true musician, such as Jake Bugg, can fill an arena and captivate a sizable audience.

Free tickets for first direct customers, to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the new Leeds Arena.


205: Peter Hook & The Light: The Cockpit, Leeds [25.10.13]

204_Peter Hook [251013]Artist: Peter Hook & The Light

Venue: The Cockpit, Leeds

Date: 25.10.13

Movement / Power Corruption & Lies [Live]: Another chance to see the first two New Order albums performed live in their entirety. Followed by an encore of Joy Division favourites. I will never tire of hearing such tracks played live.

201. The Scandal: First Direct Arena, Leeds [22.6.13]

200a_The Scandal [220613]Artist: The Scandal

Support: The Puppeteers

Venue: First Direct Arena, Leeds

Date: 22.6.13

A public open day, to test the facilities at the brand new Leeds Arena; a long overdue addition to the city’s music venues.

Upcoming bands; The Puppeteers and The Scandal had the privilege of being the first ever acts to play live at the prestigious new venue.

As the audience, it was our job to test the venue’s acoustics, toilets and fire exits.

Although I prefer smaller intimate venues for gigs, I would visit First Direct Arena more frequently, were prices for tickets, refreshments and merchandise no so ludicrously expensive! However, on the plus side, the venue does attract larger bands, who would otherwise not play the city.

200b_The Scandal [220613]

157. The Pigeon Detectives: Millennium Square, Leeds [3.5.08]

157_Pigeon Detectives [030508]

Artist: The Pigeon Detectives

Support: The Twang

Venue: Millennium Square, Leeds

Date: 3.5.08

The evening required a choice between two hometown bands: New indie upstarts The Pigeon Detectives or the ‘last ever’ gig by veterans CUD.

Years later, The Pigeon Detectives still have to live up to their debut album, and CUD have made more comebacks than Rocky Balboa.

145. Juliette & The Licks: Leeds Metropolitan University [5.10.06]

145_Juliette & The Licks [051006]

Artist: Juliette & The Licks

Support: Humanzi

Venue: Leeds Metropolitan University

Date: 5.10.06

Hollywood actress Juliette Lewis and her alternative career plan to be a rock ‘n’ roll starlet.

The ticket featured the actress’s full name, most likely in attempt to draw a bigger crowd. Originally planned to take place at The Cockpit but switched venue to Leeds Met.

131. Kasabian: The Blank Canvas, Leeds [16.10.04]

131_Kasabian [161004]

Artist: Kasabian

Support: Trap2

Venue: The Blank Canvas, Leeds

Date: 16.10.04

The Blank Canvas was a pop-up venue in the ‘Dark Arches’ at Granary Wharf, Leeds. The moody setting was well suited for Kasabian to promote their eponymous debut album. The band were relatively unknown at the time, but word was spreading fast and the arches were packed with those in the know.

130. Carling Festival: Bramham Park, Leeds [27.8.04]

130_Leeds Festival [270804]

Artists: Supergrass / The Von Bondies / 50 Cent / Placebo / The Streets / Dropkick Murphys

Venue: Carling Festival [2004], Bramham Park, Leeds

Date: 27.8.04

Memorable moment: A field full of middle-class white kids attempting to get down with 50 Cent & crew’s gangsta rap. Fail.

112. Naomi / Dragster: The Duchess, Leeds [1.7.98]

Artist: Naomi

Support: Dragster

Venue: The Duchess of York, Leeds

Date: 1.7.98

This was the last gig I attended at the legendary Leeds venue. Following the demise of The Duchess there was a void of equally intimate live venues on the Leeds music scene for a number of years. As we neared the Millennium, the building was converted into a Hugo Boss store. A sad sign of the times, as bands were replaced by brands.

086. Super Furry Animals: The Duchess, Leeds [20.2.96]

Artist: Super Furry Animals

Support: Bis

Venue: The Duchess of York, Leeds

Date: 20.2.96

Talking to the band back stage after the gig, Super Furry’s lead singer (Gruff Rhys) revealed that they were taking it easy as they had to be up early the following morning to record an interview with Zig & Zag for The Big Breakfast.

082. Supergrass: Brighton Beach, The Cockpit, Leeds [4.8.95]

Artist: Supergrass

Venue: Brighton Beach, The Cockpit, Leeds

Date: 4.8.95

A secret show. No ticket stub for this gig, as those in the know simply headed down to Brighton Beach at The Cockpit, and paid on the door. The length of the queue implied that the word was out, but even as the band took to the stage, many of the in-crowd were unaware that Supergrass were about to play.

082_Supergrass [040895]