A swift trip across the city allows us to catch a chunk of Lisbon's set in the Brudenell Social Club's backroom. With one of the strongest bills of the day, the venue's location right at the top end of the venue spread is the only thing holding us back from spending a lot more time there today and with building work clearly underway, there could be a third offering of Brudenell cheer come next year's festival. Lisbon themselves hail from Whitley Bay, hardly a hotbead of musical output! Their soaring pop rock swirls along on a bed of swelling keys and meandering guitars and you're sure to hear a lot more from them in the future. Next door, Manchester's boyfriend/girlfriend duo Luxury Death are sharing their glitchy electro beats, like debut single 'Radiator Face'.
We head back into town in the hopes of catching The Pigeon Detectives, but it appears that most of the city had the same idea, so we have to trudge past the returning hometown heroes and make a beeline for Belgrave Music Hall for KYKO's tropical infused pop. His debut EP 'Wildlife' was released earlier this year and 'Dive In' is an undoubted highlight. The crowd is relatively sparse this afternoon, but we've a sneaky feeling that a lot of absent folk will be claiming that they were here in a few months time.
Brighton's Black Honey are our next stop and we're joined by a writhing mass of bodies as the O2 Academy borders on maximum capacity. Black Honey have been touring relentlessly for the past two years and it appears that they're about to reap the rewards for their relentless hard work. Tracks like 'Somebody Better' certainly weren't written with the mosh pit in mind, but they certainly provide an appropriate soundtrack for a riotous crowd reaction this afternoon. A triumphant run-through of 'Corrine' brings the set to a close and we're left in no doubt whatsoever that Izzy Bee and co. are on the absolute cusp of a mainstream explosion.
The Magic Gang are another band destined for big things, a feature of Live at Leeds year after year, and their set at Church is understandably packed out. Tracks like 'All This Way' are geek rock for the cool kids and their youthful audience certainly enjoy their breakneck set the day after the band released the latest in their trio of EP releases. At The Key Club, IDLES have a queue a mile long outside; in fact they could have filled the venue at least twice over. Inside, their vitriolic punk ebbs and flows. Equal parts aggression and brooding menace, tracks like 'Well Done' have rewarded years of slog by beginning to force the band into a more mainstream appeal.
Clean Cut Kid are another band who have been touring relentlessly in recent months. As with Black Honey, that hard work is paying off and their slot at Live at Leeds 2017 is near top billing in the festival's largest venue. They may take their lead from the classic pop rock of bands like Fleetwood Mac, but there's something undeniably original about their quirky Scouse pop. This week sees the release of their debut album, 'Felt', but it's clear that a big chunk of their huge crowd is already familiar with a number of the tracks.
Frightened Rabbit are veterans of Live at Leeds and it falls to them to conclude our evening at the 2017 installment. The set draws heavily from last year's 'Painting of a Panic Atack' and this does result in a few lulls in the action, as it doesn't quite pack the emotional punch of tracks like 'Poke' from the earlier sections of their back catalogue. Having said that, there's still more than enough on show to keep Church engaged from front to back and 'Holy' provides a particularly fitting highlight given the setting. Live at Leeds keeps going from strength to strength and the difficulty getting into some of the venues this year is testament to the continually growing popularity of the event. With early bird tickets already onsale for next year's event, we suggest getting in early.