What festival?

With a vast array of festivals spread across the UK and Europe this summer, the question for many music lovers is which one do I go to?

MetMusic want to help, and over the next few weeks we are going to review lots of festivals and live music events to make it easier for you to choose.  From Croatia to Scotland and everywhere in between we have scoured the festival scene to provide you with the best information about who to see, where to sleep, what to drink and what to avoid.  Starting with Liverpool Sound City and ending in a blur at some point in September this festival season promises some great undiscovered bands and some monster hangovers.

Let’s go…

Festivals we recommend

Liverpool Sound City – 19th May  @Soundcity

Download Festival – 8-10th June  @DownloadFest

Rockness – 8-10th June  @RocknessFest

Parklife – 9-10th June @ParklifeFest

Beach Break – 14-18th June @BeachBreakLive

Isle of White festival -22– 24th June

Rock Werchter – 28June – 1st July @RockWerchter

Hide out Festival – 28june – 1st July @HideoutFestival

T in the park – 5 – 8th July @Tinthepark

Secret Garden Party – 19– 22nd July @SecretGardenHQ

Boom Town Fair 9-12th August @BoomTownFair

Green Man Festival – 17 – 19th August @GreenManFest

V Festival – 17 – 19th August @Vfestival

Reading and Leeds 24 – 27th August @OfficialRandL

Bestival 6 – 9th September @Bestival

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Live at Leeds 2012

100 Bands, 11 venues, 1 city

May day bank holiday 2012 saw Leeds host its 4th annual Live At Leeds festival and thousands of music enthusiasts engulfed the city in anticipation of unearthing a hidden gem. With the likes of The Enemy, Reverend and the makers, Ladyhawk and Example headlining the event was a huge success.

The event began in some of the smaller more intimate venues around Leeds, Nation of shop keepers in the heart of the city had a great crowd all day and an incredible sound for such a small venue. Their courtyard was alive which added to the atmosphere inside and when bands like The Likely Lads and Broken hearts began to rock, the excitable crowd hung on their every chord.

Fast forward to 6pm and it was the turn of the big boys, Spector were on stage in the 02 arena and drew the biggest crowd of the night. With their catchy sing along lyrics and bright Hawaiian shirts songs like Chevy Thunder and Celestine sent the crowd wild. The Enemy had a huge task following such a class act, and they knew they had to deliver on all fronts, and that they did. With a huge opening and 5 songs without pausing for a breath they announced their arrival and proved why they were the biggest name on the bill. Aggro, Away from here, Technodanceaphobic and It’s not ok grabbed the crowd by the scruff and stirred them into rock n’ roll frenzy.

Before the Enemy could leave the stage, fans were rushing for the exit to get a place in the Faversham, a small venue nestled behind the University of Leeds in order to see Reverend and the Makers who have a huge following throughout Yorkshire. The venue was packed and many people were forced to listen from outside whilst John McClure, in trademark fashion entertained the baying crowd, saying in between songs that he was sorry it was so rammed and that he would come back and play a gig for those who could not get in. True to his word The Reverend played an acoustic set on the steps of the Faversham which has surely won him new admirers and reassured fans why they love him so much.


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… Kurtis Reid

Remember the name, because MetMusic are sure that you’ll be seeing it on a billboard in the not too distant future. The 21 year old singer songwriter, a music student at Leeds Metropolitan University, has big ambitions for a career in the music industry. He states his role models as Adele, Stevie wonder and James Morrison which is no surprise as his powerful vocals could be likened to those of his peers.

Reid recently launched his first album, ‘returning to base’  at the Well in Leeds city centre and can often be found at open mic nights around the city. Never far from his supporting band, he has surrounded himself with exciting young musicians who are masters of their chosen instruments. Josh Appleby, 21 plays lead guitar and compliments the lead singers powerful vocals with electrifying solos , whilst Simon Benfer, 22 keeps a rhythm that brings the whole set together. Adam Greenhead and Ben Bowers are the heartbeat of the band on the base and drums respectively.

Although there are no plans for any upcoming gigs over the summer, we hope to be seeing them back on the stage again at some point during 2011. With ‘returning to base’   released on 23/05/2011 their return will be eagerly anticipated by what is sure to be a growing fan base. Metmusic are certainly huge fans and cant wit to hear more from Kurtis and the band.

You heard the name here first!!

You can download the album ‘returning to base’ for a small fee from www.kurtisreid.bandcamp.com

Noah and the Whale Live

Noah and the Whale

Gig Review

Once again the Brudenell are hosting a band currently raging through the charts, with the ability to easily sell out a venue of this size, making this gig something special, as this could be the last time any one sees Noah & the Whale is such a intimate setting.

The place is packed to the rafters and full of energy. The excitement kicks in with the first notes of an orchestral version of the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody”, leading to every man, woman and child singing their heart out, with an almost national pride, quite fitting for a Queen song.
Front man Charlie Fink an co. waltz on to the stage, all wearing 3 piece suits and big smiles across their faces, the young girls in the front row almost explode with excitement, and then proceed to swoon at the mere though of the set to come. Opening with “Blue Skies” and the “Tonight’s the Kind Of Night”, they immediately knock any critics off their feet, proving that these Twickenham boys are not just one hits wonders.
Frequently removing his suit coat and slowly rolling up his sleeves due to the intense heat caused by so many screaming fans in such a small building, the young ladies are delighted at the thought of such intimacy.

Backing vocalist and violinist Fred Abbott quietly rotates between instruments with ease, proving how incredibly musically talented the band are as a whole.

“Waiting for my Chance to Come” and “First Days of Spring” erupt before the set comes to a close.

Chants and screams fill the room, all for the chance just to hear one more song.

Secretly, every one knows they will come back to the stage, and every one knew exactly what songs they were going to play to bring this house down.

As expected, the southern quintet return to the stage and lead us through chart hits and sing along anthems “LIFEGOESON” and “5 Years Time” before they finally make their exit.

The doors bust open and the crowds flood out, teenage girls giggle to each other and discuss the bands outfits, everyone who was there despite the looks of the band themselves left impressed, and even I wasn’t expected their sound to be as fresh as it was.

The Hold Steady @ Leeds Met Student Union

Brooklyn born rock underdogs The Hold Steady are here at Leeds Met’s The Stage on the tail end of the European section of their enormous world tour, promoting their latest album “Heaven Is Whenever”, and showing the UK how they do it on the other side of the pond.

Bursting straight into “Constructive Summer”, the faultless opening track from 2008’s “Stay Positive” album, immediately everyone in the audience could see The Hold Steady are one of the greatest live bands around.

Front man Craig Finn, who is 40 years old this year, is still as explosive as ever, and as full of energy as any other front man half his age.

Roaring through such hits as “Girls like Status”, “The Swish” and the opening track from their latest album, “The Sweet Part of the City” it was all systems go for The Hold Steady, continuing to amaze the crowd with their exceptional musical live talent.

Roughly 20 songs hand selected songs from their five studio albums later and around 90 minutes on stage it seemed like a bit of a whistle stop tour for the Brooklyn band, they were here and now they’re not, I don’t know whether its because “time flies while your having fun” but believe me it didn’t feel nearly long enough and whilst some of the younger fans may not have heard a lot of The Hold Steady’s older work tonight, it’s unlikely they’ll stay unheard for long after tonight’s performance.

Alexisonfire @ Leeds Met Student Union

Local Leeds lad’s Chickenhawk play their hearts out to a completely sold out venue, something which seems to be a common occurrence throughout this tour, and you can tell they are no where near out of their depth. Front man Paul Astick manically runs through the crowd as if the place was his own, flawlessly energising them for what I can tell is going to be an amazing night. After a short break the atmosphere is raging and the packed out room is bursting with excitement, the majority of the crowd can hardly contain themselves and screams are flooding the air, Dallas, Wade, Chris and Jordan take to the stage and the volume of the screams doubles. An intriguing instrumental introduction silences the shrieks, almost as if the air was drawn out of the room, everyone watches in awe of their obvious musical talent. The silence is once again broken as they then break into one of their most successful recent singles “Young Cardinals”. Front man George Pettit then mans the stage, in nothing more than jeans and shoes, pair this with his manic look, piercing eyes and dribbling mouth, and the majority of the crowd is immediately thrown into a pit of fear for their own well-being, in a good way of course. Crowd favourites such as “Boiled Frogs”, “Drunks, Lovers, Sinners and Saints” and “This Could Be Anywhere in the World” get the audience swirling in a pit of sweaty limbs and relentless energy, and the continuous “mad man” look worn by George seems to spur them on if anything. New track of their upcoming EP “Dogs Blood” shows Alexisonfire have gone back to their old school roots and have taken things heavy once again, Dallas Green’s vocals however are still beautifully enchanting and no matter how heavy a song may be, with Dallas on its side, it will always be able to cut to the soul of even the toughest metal head. Going down as well as any of the seasoned hits, “Dogs Blood” is a clear hit, I can imagine downloads of the track after this gig are going to improve instantaneously, never a bad thing, even for a band who have reached god-like status amongst rockers across the world. Still, after this unbelievable set, a set filled with classics, new tracks, sweat and blood, no one in the audience was prepared for an ending like this. Debut album tracks “44. Calibre Love Letter” and “Pulmonary Archery” send the crowd into a haze of euphoria, an impressive feat for such a heavy act, smiles sweep the floor, the balcony, and the higher tier, everyone is ecstatic. It is then a beautiful rendition of “Happiness by the Kilowatt”, sung with ghostly intensity by both guitarists Dallas and Wade that ends the night on an all time high for the Leeds Met stage. Walking through the warm and sweating crowd, post gig, only praise can be heard for the hard working Canadians, and the general consensus is obvious, Alexisonfire know how to play one hell of a show, and the next time Dallas, George, Wade, Chris and Jordan grace the stages of Leeds, it will never be a disappointment.

Jack Penate @ Leeds Met Student Union

The Leeds Metropolitan Union’s lights are lowered, and a peaceful blue light illuminates the performance area.  The suspense that has been building up thought out the night is about to be broken and the crowd who have been waiting all day for this moment erupt.

Jack Penate coolly walks onto the stage, wearing his hood up and looking sharp, he gives a kind nod to the crowd as the band get ready.

Ecstatically, they burst into the second album smash Everything Is New, the man everyone has gathered here tonight to see dances around like a lunatic, leaving the crowd with a universal smile. The Londoner’s level of energy matches that of any member of this already buzzing audience, surprising most with his unusual, red-bull fuelled dance moves.

As the opening song draws to a close, everyone is impressed, Jack’s vocals are spot on and his relentless energy was obviously not expected.

He then informs the crowd that he is in fact, nursing a hangover; his extremely high levels of energy become even more impressive.

A stage hand strides on to the stage and thrusts a shot of alcohol into hand, a previous request or a practical joke, no-one is sure. Smirking, he turns to the crowd, raises his glass and sees it off in one; he obviously appreciates the age old hangover remedy “hair of the dog”.

The rockabilly king then proceeds to play one of the best sets the Leeds Metropolitan University Union stage has ever seen. Hits from the first and second album are fused together perfectly, proving that even though Jack’s new album took a different direction to his earlier work; both are perfect example of what he does best.

Indie-pop perfection such as Torn On The Platform and Spit At Stars are among the crowd favourites, leaving them begging for more when Jack and his band depart from the stage.