PICTURE THIS, it’s a cold Saturday in December - the 3rd to be exact - crazed Christmas shoppers are out in force and Wizzard is playing on repeat in just about every store like some Black Mirror nightmare.
Sounds like hell, right? Ditch that and join the musical merriments of new festival, Us vs. Them. The first in a new series of artist-curated all-dayers, with stupendous septet Los Campesinos! taking the reigns.
With five albums under their belts and countless shows this year, you’d think this lot would appreciate some downtime before the busy Christmas period; instead they’re bringing some of their best band-friends to Leeds for a very special curated extravaganza held at Leeds’ very own cultural beacon, The Brudenell Social Club.
If the ever-wonderful, energetic Los Camp and the almighty Brudenell didn’t already have you sold, wait til you see the rest of the lineup.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing these guys before, you’ll know that Martha are some of the most passionate pop-punks around. New album, Blisters in the Pit of my Heart, a sound that’s equally fierce as it is peppy, and exudes the band’s effortless ability to mix pop and politics - they’ll have you hooked on their catchy riffs, anthemic lyrics and overall honest outpours.
Much like Martha, the Shopping trio create a smart, direct approach to their art-inspired anthems, using catchy hooks and political undertones. Describing their crafty pace, fuzzy guitars and post-punk tone as something to “shake off their oppressors” by dancing away their politic-fused blues, Shopping are certainly a band for these confusing times.
Then there’s the ethereal Fear of Men whose woozy sound falls perfectly within their dream-pop genre, depicting everything from moody shoegaze to a fusion of ambient beachy melodies. Lead singer Jessica Weiss’ delicate, flighty vocals wisp above the ominous heavy synths giving a real dark, atmospheric feel to their music. Check these guys out for sharp lyricism, 80s infused synth, hypnotic guitars and an overall mystical musical experience.
The lovely Trust Fund were also recently added to the bill, rounding off a truly special curated show. With an already established following on the Leeds scene, singer Ellis Jones really knows how to create tracks that are not only honest and authentic, but also real pop bangers. A band with such talent, incessant hooks, catchy lyrics and an overall eclectic mix of indie and pop, it almost “Seems Unfair” that one band can produce so many equally great songs in such a short space of time - with two superb albums released in the space of 8 months last year.
Joining this lovely lot are a whole host of other great bands including: Hot Shorts, The Blue Period, Weddings and Leeds faves, Hookworms. And if you’re just not bovved about the music (sorry what?) there’s plenty of bantz planned throughout the day - dig out your best football shirt and join LC!’s frontman Gareth’s football pub quiz. Sian Parmar
Us vs Them Curated by Los Campesinos!, 3 Queen's Road, LS6 1NY