TO MARK INDEPENDENT VENUE WEEK - WE'VE HAD A THINK ABOUT WHICH INDIE MUSIC VENUES MAKE LEEDS THE ACE CITY IT IS.
As avid gig goers here at We Love This, we each have memories of seeing newcomers, as well as our favourite bands at our local back street venues. For me, The Cockpit, The Faversham and The Dark Arches were where I have the most fond memories, from my early gig-going days in Leeds. From seeing Hayley Williams belt out what are now my favourite Paramore tunes in the echoing arches of The Cockpit; to watching The Kooks rebel against the typical stage set up in The Dark Arches. Swinging around the industrial columns with speakers wired into exposed brickwork. I loved the rough-around-the-edges atmosphere of the venue; feeling like you were 'hanging out' with the band, rather than watching them from afar on a screen.
Sadly, only one out of the three mentioned venues still exist (at least, not in their original form.) So - here are a few of the venues still running, which we hope never disappear...
The Faversham is a live music venue and night club/bar situated on the edge of the city centre behind Leeds University. It hosts a wide range of live music nights, both at their weekly Saturday night new band showcase Bad Sneakers, Sunday acoustic/folk/country session In The Pines and regular week night gigs.
The Brudenell is a lively and fun loving venue that embraces music and art under a wide and diverse umbrella.
The Wardrobe opened its doors in 1999, and has been serving up great drinks, great food and great music ever since.
The second Hop venue to hit Yorkshire (the first being The Hop Wakefield) is housed in the famous Dark Arches beneath the tracks of Leeds City Railway Station. Spilling across 2 tunnels, the flagship venue sits within the new Granary Wharf development on Leeds Waterfront. Every Friday and Saturday night, live cover bands take to the stage at The Hop Leeds to provide the best in live music from across the decades.
After many years of neglect, the former recreation hall and nursery school built to provide childcare support for the working families of Leeds has been restored to its former glory and reopened under the name Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, with a hope that it will provide artists and performers with a unique new platform in one of the UK’s most creative cities. Another reason to love this? It's a stone's throw away from our offices in Mabgate.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out your local gig guide now.