Musical heritage of Leeds is explored on the buses

Concert venues and clubs are on the routes as bus operator First Leeds encourages customers to take a musical journey.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 6:13 pm
The Duchess of York in Leeds city centre was a popular venue where artists including Steve Marriott of Small Faces and Humble Pie fame played.

Bus passengers can download Sonic Stops - a mix of special audio and visual arts which explores the musical heritage of Leeds - while taking trips on two bus services which pass some of the city's famous musical landmarks.

Sonic Stops has been created to support the Sound of Our City exhibition currently on display at the Abbey House Museum at Kirkstall Abbey.

An online audience was the first to watch and listen to the exclusive compositions reflecting the route of the number 2 service operated by First Leeds which crosses the city from south to north, and the west-to-east journey of the 50A.

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Leeds Irish Centre

The Sonic Stops soundscapes are available to download at and

Music industry landmarks on the 2 service from Middleton to Roundhay Park include the legendary club Back to Basics, The Duchess of York and the West Indian Centre.

The 50A travels past iconic venues such as Brudenell Social Club and the Irish Centre as it heads from Horsforth to Seacroft Bus Station.

Sonic Stops has been produced by Better Songs, run in Leeds by music and sound producers Rosie Parsons and Verity Watts.

The Brudenell Social Club in Hyde Park

The visuals are the work of Split Design, the Leeds studio of designer Oli Bentley.

They were commissioned by Music:Leeds, a not-for-profit organisation that fosters music-based arts in the city.

Samuel Nicholls, founder and director of Music:Leeds said: “Using bus routes to imagine the journey through the city’s cultures and sounds, telling the story of music in the city is inspiring and will be a brilliant way to enjoy the work.”

Martin Hirst, commercial director of First West Yorkshire, said: “It’s fascinating to listen to how the artists have used music to bring to life these two journeys that thousands of customers make every week.

"We always do our best to give customers a pleasant journey when they travel with us, but I would encourage everyone on the 2 and 50A to give these a listen and discover something more about the trip they make and a new experience.”