Gig preview: Hope and Social present The Fairytale of New Yorkshire at Canal Mills, Leeds

Hope & Social. Picture: Shot By Sodium
Hope & Social. Picture: Shot By Sodium
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Last Christmas Leeds band Hope & Social spread some festive cheer by playing 12 gigs around the city centre in one day.

This year the six-piece have decided to throw a seasonal party at an 18th century mill in Armley.

“We’ve had some wonderful Christmas experiences in the past,” says Ed Waring, the band’s keyboard player. “We wanted to do something different from the one before.”

The show, dubbed The Fairytale of New Yorkshire, will take place at Canal Mills – “a really lovely venue” – on Friday December 11. “We’re going to have all kinds of excitement,” says Waring. “We’re basing it on the top five things to do in New York according to the Lonely Planet but just making it all a bit more Yorkshire.

“We’re going to be joined by the New York Brass Band, who are from York, a New Orleans-style street band who make an awesome sound. We did a week with them at the Durham Brass Festival this year, which was a collaboration set up by the festival, and we had an absolute blast, we had such a lot of fun which is why we wanted to bring it to Leeds and let all our friends go ‘Whoah, amazing!’”

There will also be street food provided by several Leeds-based vendors and craft ale “and hoepfully some surprises as well”.

Hope & Social. Picture: Shot By Sodium

Hope & Social. Picture: Shot By Sodium

Via social media the band have also been encouraging fans to get involved as much as possible. “There’s going to be opportunities to do stuff on the evening and we’ve got some other plans,” Waring says.

“When we do something like this it’s far too big for just us, there’s too many things for us to do, so we’ve actually got a lot of other people involved behind the scenes and that’s one of the reasons why we like doing it.”

Money raised at the event will go to Refugees Start, a Leeds based refugee charity.

Hope & Social are currently “in the process” of making a new album. Waring says: “We decided to try something a bit different and give ourselves a bit more time to experiment, that’s just taken us more time.

“The last few albums that we’ve done we’ve had a very limited time in which to actually make them and in some ways that’s really great, we’re big believers that musically most constraints are actually very helpful, but this time we decided to be a bit more expansive and a bit more experimental and it’s just taken us time.

“There’s six of us in the core band and everyone’s very busy, everyone does lots of different things so we’ll get four weeks then it might be two months before we all get ourselves in the same place again for a long period of time.”

After a busy year doing projects for several arts organisations, Hope & Social are “already booking festivals in for next summer”.

“It’s all good,” says Waring. “It has a slightly unstoppable momentum.”

The Fairytale of New Yorkshire takes place at Canal Mills, Brandon Street, off Armley Road, on Friday December 11. For details visit http://www.hopeandsocial.co.uk/2015/11/20/the-fairytale-of-new-yorkshire/