Six of the Best: Leeds music acts

Dave Beer.
Dave Beer.
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Bob Dylan might have scooped a Nobel Prize for his lyrics but Leeds boasts its own lists of music acolytes. Neil Hudson takes a look at some of the bands, groups and musical movements shaped by our proud city

BACK TO BASICS

Henry Rollins- August 13th, 2006
House of Blues
Chicago, Illinois United States
August 13th, 2006
Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage.com

Henry Rollins- August 13th, 2006 House of Blues Chicago, Illinois United States August 13th, 2006 Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage.com

CLUB NIGHT

Founded by the inimitable Dave Beer (amongst others), the club night had a major impact on the British music scene, quickly achieving legendary status, showcasing cutting edge DJs. It is also the longest running club night in the UK and is still going strong after 24 years, having recently taken over The Church, Woodhouse Lane. The club night is credited with discovering the likes of Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx and Groove Armada. Dave is still subverting trends, saying of his new club: “Nightclubs have become quite blueprint so this is fresh and new. It is going to be like clubs used to be.”

KAISER CHIEFS

BAND

The Leeds Festival at Bramham Park, David Gedge the lead singer of the Wedding Present on stage at the festival 26th August 2005

The Leeds Festival at Bramham Park, David Gedge the lead singer of the Wedding Present on stage at the festival 26th August 2005

“I predict a riot” has to be one of their most famous and oft-quoted lyrics. The band is named after the South African football club of the same name, the first club of ex-Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe. They formed in 2000, with lead vocalist Ricky Wilson being noted for his athleticism on stage. Their album Employment sold over 3m copies and won them three Brit Awards.

They were one of the first acts to play Leeds Arena and in March next year will become the first act to play the venue three times.

CORINNE BAILEY RAE

SINGER

Born in February 1979, she came to prominence in 2006, releasing her self-titled debut album, which won critical acclaim. The following year she was nominated for three Grammy Awards and three Brit Awards and won two MOBO awards. She was married to fellow musician Jason Rae from 2001 until his death in 2008. She began her musical career while working as a hat check girl at a local jazz club while studying literature at the University of Leeds. ,She returned to the music scene in February this year, releasing The Heart Speaks in Whispers. She will appear at Leeds Town Hall on October 28.

THE WEDDING PRESENT

BAND

An indie rock band formed in 1985, led by vocalist David Gedge, of whom radio DJ John Peel once quipped: “The boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of the rock n’ roll era – you may dispute this, but I’m right and you’re wrong.” He was born in Bramley, grew up in Manchester then returned to Leeds to go to university, where he studied maths and is now 56.

They once released 12 singles in one calendar year, equalling Elvis Presley’s record for the most UK chart hits in a 12-month period. They also released an EP of songs in Ukrainian.

CHUMBAWAMBA

COLLECTIVE

Probably most famous for their hit Tubthumping and also for drenching then deputy prime minister John Prescott at the 1998 Brit Awards with a bucket of ice cold water (and this even before the Ice Bucket Challenge was even invented).

Former in 1982, the group had an anarchic, political quality. They formally split in 2012.

They say: “Chumbawamba was our vehicle for pointing at the naked Emperors, for telling our version of the truth - it gave us a chance to be part of a broad coalition of activists and hectors, optimists and questioners.”

HENRY ROLLINS

FORCE OF NATURE

Musician, actor, writer and TV and radio presenter, he has courted the limelight since his youth and for a time lived in Hyde Park, Leeds.

He famously founded the Henry Rollins Band but was co-opted as lead vocalist with Black Flag after being invited on stage to sing one of their songs back in 1980.

Known for his outspoken style, he is quoted as saying: “Pizza makes me think that anything is possible” and “Let’s pretend my career in music is a bell. Whether you like my music or not... I rang that bell pretty hard and pretty often.”