Pop Talk: It’s a great time to be a music lover in Leeds

Bruce Springsteen on stage at Leeds Arena
Bruce Springsteen on stage at Leeds Arena
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Band members! Gig lovers! Music Obsessive’s! Real Ale Enthusiasts! I’m sure you’re all aware of this but I feel I must emphasize the fact. You are very lucky to be in Leeds right now.

Our City is buzzing. It seems like there’s a new great bar, or restaurant to try out every week. The hipsters are slowly making the previously decrepit parts of town into trendy hotspots and the Yuppies are spoilt for choice when deciding which Cocktail bar to spend a tenner a drink in. As for music, well where do I start…

Bruce Springsteen! Never in my life did I think that I would have the opportunity to watch The Boss perform 10 minutes from my house, but last year I was proven wrong. I think we can all agree that The First Direct Arena has, so far, been a rousing success. The 13,500 capacity venue has brought the cream of the crop of world music (and Nickelback) to our fair City, thus finally putting an end to arguments all around West Yorkshire as to who’s going to be the designated driver when you go watch Kasabian at Sheffield Arena or The M.E.N.

The O2 Academy continues to provide great atmosphere when hosting chart topping bands and classic bands. It also lends its ample amenities to help a new generation of local kids in bands fulfill their ambitions, with the Annual Centre Stage competition, in which young bands compete to win a slot at Leeds Festival. A prize the infamous Futuresound competition, held at The Cockpit, also offers to three lucky winners.

New bands have their choice of great small venues to perform at in Leeds; The Brudenell Social Club, Cockpit, Carpe Diem, Belgrave Music Hall to name but a few. Also there are an abundance of recording and practice studios excellently equipped for all your rehearsing and demoing needs; Cottage Road Studios, Mook, Soundworks, Old Chapel, again to name but a few. It is no wonder that so many Leeds-based bands achieve success, when this treasure trove is at their disposal.

I have been to pretty much every Town and City in the UK and I can tell you with no (OK, a Little) bias that Leeds holds one of the richest and plentiful bounties a music lover could ask for. No matter what tickles your fancy, from Dub-Step to Death Metal, 2014 is a great time to be a Loiner. Now lets just get that blummin’ football team sorted!

Kim Wilde is back with a new album, Here Come The Aliens. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

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