Leeds Sound

20 Leeds Bands You Need To Hear Now

Tuesday 19th July 2016

Leeds band, Fizzy Blood

We continue to look to the emerging music scenes of cities around the UK for new bands you may, or may not, otherwise be aware of. This time we're concentrating on Leeds, the city that gave us Soft Cell, The Sisters Of Mercy, The Wedding Present, Gang Of Four and Kaiser Chiefs. So without further ado here's what we found.

Fizzy Blood
Kicking off the list - one of the best, surprisingly sophisticated yet rockin' rock songs we've heard in a long time, Fizzy Blood's 'I'm No Good' was released at the end of 2015. You should also check out their equally surprising track 'Sweat And Sulphur' which was released through Come Play With Me, a Leeds based social enterprise putting out music from the region on split 7 inch singles.

The Barmines
A name that came up again and again, The Barmines play blazing energetic raucous Brit-Rock that will please attendees of This Feeling, in fact, if you're going along to Tramlines Festival in Sheffield later in the month, you'll probably see them playing as guests of This Feeling. Watch out for a new single from them in September, and check out their big track, These Days And Nights. 

The Velveteens
A five piece who wear their 60s influences on their sleeves without sounding like a tribute band! The Velveteens manage to avoid the pitfalls of nostalgic novelty and make something that sounds modern, refreshing, new and edgy. Recent outings have included support slots with Subculture faves The Spitfires at The 100 Club. Listen to The Velveteens' quality songcraft on Soundcloud.

The Velveteens backstage at The 100 Club recently (photo: ©Derek D’Souza at www.blinkandyoumissit.com)

Happy Daggers
Another band that arguably make reference to another era's music to great effect, Happy Daggers make quick slick funky indie-Disco bangers that will make your feet move involuntarily. If you don't believe us 'Get Yourself Together'.

A band with a soulful jazzy sound that sounds like it might have been conceived on a hot breathless Summer's night somewhere between Miami and New York, PNEUMA are in fact from Leeds. Their new single 'Party All Night' is out now, just in time for the British Summer, if it ever arrives.

The Chessmen
Another band that you may have come across at This Feeling. The sort of 60s psych-garage that pleases mods and rockers alike, The Chessmen boast an endorsement form Hofner Guitars to validate their rock n' roll credentials. Watch the suitably trippy video for their latest song 'GONZO'.

The Brazen 
Describing themselves as 'anthemic indie rockers' that's exactly what The Brazen are. Here's their song 'Get High'.

Apollo Junction 
Skilfully executed anthemic indie with a sprinkling of Duran/Killers-esque electronic wizardry. If you need further endorsement they've just supported Britpop heroes, Shed Seven.

Edgar Duke
A band, as opposed to a man, Edgar Duke describe themselves as psychedelic funk, but on further inspection, despite song titles such as 'Physchedelic Spaghetti Western' the psych and funk takes a back seat with quality songwriting and a nice Beatles vibe to a lot of their songs. That's not to say they don't have a track subtitled instrumental cosmic jam. Like many of the bands in this list they'll be playing at Leeds' Kazoopa festival in November - well worth a look.

The Mexanines
Another band who will be at Kazoopa, and Kendal Calling, indie rockers, The Mexanines are winning over fans with their British accented bluesy guitar riffs - and a vocalist to match. They have some pretty nice tote bag merch too.

Technically from Huddersfield, but let's not get pedantic, Palmes released their first single 'All Grey' in May this year. Solid indie with a shimmering electronic finish.

The Dangerhounds 
More young indie rockers, The Dangerhounds only formed in 2015 but already have their debut EP, 'Big Bad Wolf' (sticking with the canine theme). 

Young Amphibians
Listing references that include Radiohead we assume these guys are referencing Thom Yorke et al, rather than Kanye, with the title of their track 'Pablo's Honey'. Their new single End of Today, Start of Tomorrow has just been released. You should also check out their song 'Please Remove The Plastic' for its masterfully constructed lead guitar parts.

One of the more fully-fledged bands on the list, Carvella are another This Feeling alumni appearing on their stage at Isle Of Wight Festival. Their single 'Born and Raised' is a pleasantly smooth measure of a song with a killer Northern indie vocal.

The Strawberries
A great band name that makes you wonder how it wasn't bagsied years ago by fans of Magical Mystery Tour era Beatles. The Strawberries do display a heavy late 60s influence both musically and in their presentation. Psyched up Merseybeat via Hyde Park Leeds.

Neon Dolls
The indie rock four-piece appears to be very well represented in Leeds, and Neon Dolls were another name that cropped up more times than not, clearly pleasing audiences with their own brand of 'sleazy indie'.

Red Light Revival
Described as Northern Rock, Red Light Revival appear to owe more lineage to The Who than The Beatles, if their track 'Come On' is anything to go by. Solid songs for audiences of all ages.

Moving towards the more contemporary and less conventional, Deadwall's 'Ballad Of Kasumi' brings things right up to date, and recently appeared on a compilation to raise money for victims of flooding around Calder Valley. The beautiful track was produced by MJ of Hookworms and Menace Beach fame.

More proof that Leeds produces more than just indie-Brit-rockers. Call it electro, call it hip-hop, call it post-dubstep - label it what you will, but do check out this artist's impressive re-imagining of Paul Simon's '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover'. Watch out for his album 'DHLI SND' later in the year.

Lastly, but in no way least, Harkin, AKA Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin, who also found time last year to be the fourth member of Sleater Kinney. Harkin is another artist to release through the Come Play With Me project, and her hugely emotive version of Apostle of Hustle's 'National Anthem Of Nowhere' is a fine way to bring this list to an end.

Proof, again, that new bands are out there, and not just in London. As ever, any list like this is never going to be exhaustive or even comprehensive. If you think we've missed someone out let us know at @FredPerry_Sub. Click on the band names above to link to their Twitter profile.

Huge thanks to all of those who made suggestions or got in touch to be involved.


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