Brudenell Social Club
Sitting at the heart of the student-orientated Hyde Park community, the Brudenell Social Club is arguably the jewel in Leeds’ music scene crown, acting as the epicentre of the city’s indie music community. Whereas the O2 Academy and the First Direct Arena play host to the big names, ‘the Brude’ has the character, pulling in new bands and established cult acts from both sides of the Atlantic. In the recent past, the Brudenell has hosted secret gigs by indie rockers Franz Ferdinand and Leeds’ own Kaiser Chiefs. Most nights of the week, though, the Brudenell puts on small gigs by artists from all manner of musical disciplines. Check out who’s playing in the coming days.
First Direct Arena
Recently voted Best New Venue in the World 2014 at the Stadium Business Awards, first direct arena has played host to some incredible artists since opening in September 2013, including Sir Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Bublé, Sports Personality of the Year, Gary Barlow, Prince, Miley Cyrus, Le Tour De France Grand Depart, Lee Evans, Championship Boxing, Queen + Adam Lambert, Fleetwood Mac, Premier League Darts, Lionel Richie, Bette Midler, Paloma Faith, Morrissey, 5 Seconds of Summer, Pharrell Williams, John Legend, The MOBO Awards, and Mumford and Sons. You can find out more information here.
02 Academy Leeds
Having spent the 90s as the Town & Country Club, this gothic venue was refurbished and opened as the O2 Academy in 2008. Old bands reuniting to pay their mortgages seems to account for half of its schedule, and tickets are normally quite pricey – nearly £30 to see the The Boomtown Rats, for example – but it also attracts more current names. In the past 12 months, it’s hosted chart stars such as Clean Bandit, Sam Smith, The Courteeners and a two-night Christmas extravaganza by local indie icons The Cribs. There are a range of big names coming this year so don’t miss out, find your gig.
This St Peters Square pub has enjoyed enduring popularity in a rather challenging location, thanks to solid word-of-mouth reviews of its menu, a packed calendar of gigs, and excellent cocktails whipped up by friendly staff. The upstairs bar has a trendy, unbuttoned vibe, hosting live funk acts on Saturdays, while monthly burlesque show The Wet Spot and a number of larger gigs held downstairs mean the venue is regularly packed. As you can see it has everything you need.
Belgrave Music Hall
When the Belgrave Music Hall opened in 2013 it responded to a need for a large-room music venue with a decent bar and reliable food. What was once a large nursery school in the city’s Northern Quarter is now a vibrant, youthful, multi-storey hangout that, after having only been open for a year, could be considered the city’s best live music venue. Larger than its closest Leeds counterpart, Nation of Shopkeepers, Belgrave is the brainchild of the Beacons Festival organisers, and offers all the socialising opportunities and entertainment of an outdoor event without the rain, mud and portable loos. Check them out
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