By Callum Martin
Live at Leeds has been a successful venture for a decade and a half now. The sprawling city festival, which started in 2007, gives a stage for emerging acts to perform whilst promoting the independent music venues that Leeds has to offer. It’s a wonderful symbiosis that helps sustain the local music scene in Leeds, an industry struggling to keep itself afloat in other similarly affluent cities.
Such has been the event’s success, it has now got its own spin-off daytime version of the original festival: Live at Leeds in the Park. Based within the scenic grounds of Temple Newsam and under the warm early June sun, its inaugural edition played out.
Spread across four stages, there was a wide variety of acts that made the most of the concentrations of people on the site. With the ‘DIY big top’ and the aptly named ‘Hill Top stage’ in very close vicinity to each other, it was easy to float between the two and just follow your ear to decide on what to watch. The hilltop also gave a great view of the MTV main stage, providing the perfect place to recharge and watch some of the better-known names from the day's lineup.
The surprise of the day came from scouse punk rockers, STONE, who ripped through an astounding set at a sprinter’s pace supported by the effervescent voice of lead, Finley Power. From Power’s thick accent giving each word extra drops of venom to their fantastic bass riffs, it was easily a highlight of the day with STONE’s music translating brilliantly to a live setting and no encouragement needed for the crowd to really get into the spirit of their tracks.
Arlo Parks was also a standout performer. With a beautifully balanced set that elevated her already ethereal sound and excellent performances from every member of her backing band, it was not one to miss. Although, the early stages of this set did fall foul to the closeness of the stages on the hilltop, with Park’s sound not quite filling the ‘DIY big top’ space and allowing the nearby set from The Snuts to cut through some of the quieter parts of the music - although this was resolved by the later stages of the set.