Review – Live At Leeds 2022

Dinosaur Pile Up, Live At Leeds | Photography Credit: Sarah Oglesby (@sarahoglesby_creative)

A busy city filled with excited individuals dressed in a variety of outfits travelling from venue to venue. If you know, you know, but if you don’t, you’re probably feeling a little confused and perhaps intimidated as you see groups of alternative people congregate around the city centre. But then again if you don’t know then what rock have you been living under? Live at Leeds was back for another year where a range of venues from the 02 Academy to the Brudenell Social Club to The Wardrobe host a variety of alternative artists for the day.

Starting out our day we began at the aforementioned Wardrobe at what may as well be the crack of dawn: 12pm. At this point in time, we’re still waking up and coming to our senses as we prepare for the day ahead, so it would only be fair to expect the first band to be chilled and laid back… Ha-ha, you thought wrong. The Hara kicked things off in the most dramatic way with lead vocalist, Josh Taylor, appeared onstage in tight leather trousers with suspenders and a huge red cloak. Any hope of a chilled start is dashed, and carnage ensues. Performing a variety of tracks from their Eps as well as a teaser for their upcoming album to be released early next year, The Hara were able to wake everyone up in the best way through a series of mosh pits, circle pits, the classic crouch down and then jump, as well Josh himself running around the venue and jumping into a pit himself, they had everyone hot and sweaty and ready to go for the rest of the day. 8/10

Live At Leeds 2022
The Hara, Live At Leeds | Photography Credit: Sarah Oglesby (@sarahoglesby_creative)

Moving over to Leeds Beckett now where you would be greeted by a huge line of up to 500 people, with some even queuing up since 6/7am that morning. “Why would that be?” you wonder. Well, they’re all here to see Lovejoy, a band who, thanks to the YouTube fame of lead singer, Wilbur Soot, have already made an impact since debuting last year with their headline tour selling out in seconds. Now some of you may hear “YouTube fame” and groan to yourself, “not one of them” you might say but we say take that prejudgement out of your mind as their performance was one of the most wholesome sets we saw all day. Sure, there were some young fans (well teenage) in the room, but they created such a lovely atmosphere. Looking around there were groups of friends happily singing and dancing along, LGBT flags and an LGBT squid hat, frogs and someone filming on a Nintendo DS; it was such a friendly, warm atmosphere. The band themselves are simply lovely to listen to, even if you’ve never heard of them before, their songs can put such a huge smile on your face. 9/10

Lovejoy, Live at Leeds | Photography Credit: Georgina Hurdsfield (@tinyraindropphotography)

Taking a mini food break before continuing on, we returned back to Leeds Beckett, only this time it was to the smaller stage to see Bears In Trees. In a short summary they are like if Dodie were to meet Fall Out Boy, so imagine upbeat Indie-Pop music with a ukulele featuring emo lyrics in relation to life, love, and existentialism. Again, a genuinely wholesome performance where you can see the crowd filled with friends smiling, dancing, and singing along together, with the band themselves feeding off that energy and looking so happy. Having said that though, just in comparison to other artists seen, they weren’t as memorable with stand-out moments, but still overall a pleasant performance. 7/10

Bears In Trees, Live At Leeds | Photography Credit: Eddy Maynard

Next up is a band who last year performed at the festival to a room of only 8 people, but this time had nearly packed out a 1K capacity room. Crawlers, a band whose song blew up on TikTok, more specifically the line “Take her name out of your mouth, you don’t deserve to mourn,” and earlier this year opened for My Chemical Romance. A lot to live up to but, wow, they did not disappoint. With a performance filled with both attitude and vulnerability, we experienced a catalogue of songs that touch on a variety of topics that hit close to home, reiterated by frontwoman, Holly Minto’s, introductions of “Here’s a song about my trauma”, “Here’s for the anxious bitches,” and “Here’s for those who can’t drive!” Essentially you stand in the crowd feeling very seen, and a little targeted to be honest. With raw power of fusing different elements of punk, rock, and riot grrrl, Crawlers are a band to be reckoned with and a band to be excited about!  10/10

Crawlers, Live at Leeds | Photography Credit: Georgina Hurdsfield (@tinyraindropphotography)

Now we move onto our final band of the day, The Hara. No that isn’t a typo, nor have we made a mistake. It was announced after their set at 12pm that would now be doing a second set at Key Club due to a different artist pulling out the night before. We heard the announcement and thought “why not?” What ensued was similar to their first set, only this time we were a lot more awake and had some alcohol in us so we were ready to go. More mosh pits, more circle pits, more running around and chaos of climbing on the venue’s pipes. Although Josh did get a bit of telling off but hey, it was all good fun. Once again it was such a memorable performance, The Hara are natural performers and know how to get the crowd going. We’re certainly excited for the release of their debut album in March 2023! 9/10

Another year done, and now to wait until next year. Although it won’t be a full year of waiting as the one-day festival aims to return to their usual time slot of April/May. Hopefully, we’ll soon see you again!

Listen to the Live At Leeds 2022 Playlist on Spotify

If you enjoyed this, check out more reviews from IAMUR here… You might just find your new favourite artist!

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