On a Wednesday night in December two Leeds based bands played at the Brudenell with a supporting cast of incredible local talent. Both gigs sold out but the night was a symbol of the subtle change in power that has taken place in the Leeds Live Music Scene over the last few years.
In the main room was Necktr, an afro-beat-jazz-hip-hop infused nine piece who’s energetic live show has gathered them a devoted live following in Leeds where they rarely fail to sell out events they play. In the community room there was Fizzy Blood, a band you would think were just about ready to break out of the Leeds scene and go national with extensive support from BBC Introducing and Radio 1.
I went to both shows because Fizzy Blood and Necktr have two of the best live sets in the city and I wanted to see how the two shows would compare next to one another. To me, the result was clear on the night. The show with Necktr, Long Legged Creatures and Tall Talker had a younger, more energetic and more enthused crowd than Fizzy Blood, The Golden Age of TV and Household Dogs.
There could be nothing more to this than the fact that Fizzy Blood are no longer a new proposition to the Leeds audience. The band have been playing here for more than twice as long as Necktr (over four years) and are now bigger than a community band meaning that people going aren’t just going for a drunken dance to their mates band but to actually try and listen to their music.
On the other hand these shows could symbolise a definite change in the Leeds scene as the indie music that has dominated the commercial live music scene in this city for the last 15 years gives way to something all together jazzier.
The story of The Golden Age of TV is an interesting subplot to this tale.
GAOTV are a wonky indie band in which most of the musicians are also involved in the Jazz scene (See Garde Dog and Tight Lines) alongside the indie tracks they make with that project. It’s this crossing of genre boundaries and community of eclectic musicians creating music collaboratively across a wide range of genres that is particularly interesting in the Leeds scene.