Radio 1 DJ bigs up city’s music scene ahead of Live at Leeds

Radio 1 DJ Phil Taggart will be heading to Leeds this weekend as part of Live at Leeds, where he will be speaking about his new book, The Slacker Guide to the Music Industry, at The Wardrobe. We caught up with him to get the lowdown.

By Neil Hudson
Tuesday, 14th May 2019, 2:50 pm

Tell us why you’re coming to Leeds?

I’ll be appearing at the Leeds Unconference as part of the Key Note on Friday (May 3) at 1.45pm. It’s a day of panels, workshops, presentations and networking for those working, or aspiring to work in, the music industry. I’ll be staying around to check out some of the amazing music at Live at Leeds after too.

What do you think of the Leeds music scene?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Currently i’m really enjoying bands like Marsicans and Fizzy Blood. I absolutely loved Eagulls but haven’t heard anything from them in a few years, are they still going? I hope so. One of my all time favourite bands The Cribs are technically from Wakefield but we all know Leeds have taken them on as their sons.

Any other Leeds links?

The last time i was in Leeds i went to Stinky’s Peephouse to record a documentary on hardcore dance music for Radio 1. That was a really long time ago and we put ‘a donk’ on it. I’m glad to be coming back this time to experience a completely different side of the musical spectrum.

Why have you written the book?

I couldn’t really figure out why it hadn’t been written before. There’s hundreds of thousands of bands and artists out there trying to make music their life. Why was there no industry guide to help them? This book is written to power up artists with really on point information from some of the biggest artists in the world and insider tips and advice from some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry – from musicians, to record label bosses, tour managers and sound technicians. I played in bands for years and I know it’s the book I would have wanted when I started slinging a bass at 15 years old.

What’s the best thing about being a DJ?

It’s got to be having the freedom to pick whatever records I like and getting to share them with the audience. I love that you get instant feedback in this job – if you play a dud, people will absolutely let you know.

Tell us about growing up?

I grew up in Omagh in Northern Ireland. Me and my friends started skating and playing in bands because to be honest, there was absolutely nothing else to do. We played, we won, we lost, we broke up. When I got a bit older I moved to London and got into working in radio. I still head home to visit family - my sister Jane works as a singer on a cruise liner and my Mum writes crime thrillers.

What was your first ever job?

My first job was as a paper boy when I was 11 years old. I was so bone idle as a kid that on more than one of my days firing newspapers through peoples letterboxes I would get my mum to drive me around the route. How lazy is that?!

What was your worst ever job?

I actually didn’t hate it at the time but looking back, it would have to be when I was paid to lift rocks from one field to another. I grew up beside a farm and the rocks needed to be taking out of the field so it wouldn’t damage the plough. I think I got something like £7 for the whole day. It’s a tad different from what I do now.

Tell us something that might surprise people...

I was once in a movie with Johnny Depp. Check my IMDB.

What’s in the future?

Hmm - Global warming and for me, probably re-watching Game of Thrones.

Anything else?

My book The Slacker Guide to the Music Industry is available to buy now at - It’s a book for anyone who makes music or wants to get involved in the music industry and is supported by Help Musicians UK.

Live At Leeds, which is part of Leeds International Festival, takes place at various venues in the city centre on May 4. For the full line-up and ticket information go to