It’s not long until Leeds is transformed into a cornucopia of musical talent. On May 4, Live At Leeds is back in business with a line-up to get your pulse racing and your feet moving. The venues and stage times have all been announced, so now all that’s left to do is start planning your schedule. Assuming you have your tickets. If not then that’s the first thing to be cracking on with.

To help you decide who to see, we have hand-picked our favourite acts, the ones we will be catching no matter what. This is aside from the headliners, because you don’t need us telling you to go see Metronomy, Tom Grennan or Sundara Karma, do you?


Venue: Momentum & Independent Stage – Leeds Beckett SU
Set time: 9:30 pm10:45 pm
Key Track: Europe is Lost

Possibly the act we are most excited for. Or at least I am. When her name was added to the poster for the second wave of artist announcements, we knew Live At Leeds was taking this whole line up business serious. Tempest is quite a step sway from the upcoming guitar band that usually grace the Leeds venues. A rapper, song writer, novelist, poet, spoken word artist, playwright… Kate Tempest is a true creative prodigy and a multi-talented mastermind of the 21st century. And also a multi-nominated mercury prize artist for her two studio albums to date. A pure talent – best enjoyed live. Her Tiny Desk Concert flaunts her catalogue of gifts:


Venue: Leeds Festival Presents Stage – O2 Academy
Set time: 
3:15 pm4:15 pm
Key Track:

The boys from Castleton are northern rock icons and one of Britain’s most underrated garage bands. They embody the true spirit of the festival – they are loud, DIY and perform with full energy. The Loveless brothers, Rory and Eoin along with their live band have been touring relentlessly since their self-titled debut and have since formed a catalogue of anthems over three albums – primed for the Leeds festival. Be sure to expect classic singles such as ‘Fuckabout’ and ‘We Can Do What We Want’ in the set, intertwined with tracks from their horror-themed latest album Strange Creatures. For anyone who hasn’t been to a Drenge show, you can expect it to be wild, raucous and of course very loud, which Eoin Loveless explains is key to Drenge.


Venue: Dr Martens Boot Room – Brudenell Social Club
Set time:
11:15 pm – 12:00 am
Key Track: 

The Leicester band and our recent podcast guests have been on the radar since their Creature Habits Mixtape released last year, featuring the infectious single ‘Pockets’. Masterfully blending genres, Easy Life mix DeMarco-esque instrumentation, hip-hop influenced beats, and Jamie T style lyrics on relationships and 21st century living. They have recently been announced to be headlining the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury so its worth witnessing them now before they inevitably blow up. They are also hella’ fun live and their latest mixtape, the Spaceships Mixtapeis a vibe-filled teaser before they start working towards a debut.


Venue: NME Stage – Leeds University Union
Set time:
9:00 pm9:45 pm
Key Track: 
Don’t You Know I’m In a Band

A favourite of ours at The VLM, Confidence Man are pure bonkers and we love it. Since appearing as one of our ‘Eyes On’ artists of 2018 the group have gone onto release a stellar debut album and a peculiar yet captivating Christmas single. Fronted by a pair who go by the names of Janet Planet and Sugar Bones, Confidence Man might seen like a spoof band but their music has proven to be irresistible. We are talking Tings Tings mashed with LCD Soundsystem, wild, crazy but with an underlying and undeniable finesse. The Aussie four-piece (two of whom remain anonymously veiled) are a spectacle live and certainly worth catching in Leeds.


Venue: Momentum & Independent Stage – Leeds Beckett SU
Set time:
3:30 pm4:15 pm
Key Track: 

Don’t go missing punk icons Dream Wife. Their self-titled debut from January last year featured in many ‘best of’ lists for its relentless energy, and ‘badass bitch‘ vibes. The trio have reinvented punk on their own terms and each track of theirs not only carries a raw energy but an underlying message of power, freedom and individuality. From the feminist anthem of  ‘Somebody‘ to the explosive anti-patriarchal track ‘F.U.U.’, the trio deliver their messages with no frills, just volcanic riffs and an awe inspiring stage performance. Front woman Rakel Mjoll is lightning on stage; both captivating and fearsome, and together the band radiate the true spirit of punk.


There are still tickets remaining for the festival – but get them fast. To see the full line up head over to the website.