The temperature’s in single digits, the rain showers are heavy and the forecast for the rest of the day isn’t much better, it must be time for the first festival of the year, albeit thankfully indoors.

Spread across 19 venues around the city, Live At Leeds (not to be confused with THE Leeds Festival) is a metropolitan, mainly 1 day event with over 150 bands playing and at a mere £27 for a wristband, excellent value for money.

Following a trip to the wristband exchange, then a hearty breakfast to set us up for the day ahead, the first decision was where to start? 8 of the venues had bands starting at midday, so we plumped for possibly Leeds’ newest venue The Key Club, which is rapidly getting a reputation for excellent rock nights. Local new band Forever Cult were on, a shouty, noisy three piece garage-rock band, not dissimilar to other local favourites Eagulls & Hookworms. This was both a good start and a scene setter for the day.

On the way to one of the larger venues taking part today, the O2 Academy, we popped into The Nation of Shopkeepers where a band called Ngod were playing, and impressing the large crowd in there with their indie/electronic hybrid brand of music.

So then to the Academy, where we joined the queue and intended to stay for most of the afternoon. Gaz Coombes opened the show, and was typically very polished with an excellent band and light show. Sadly no Supergrass songs were played, however with only a 45 minute slot he had to showcase mainly the new album.

After a 30 minute break, we made for row 1 for what was my wife’s anticipated band of the day, Dry The River. Elation turned to disappointment as mid set the power on stage completely went off, so like the true professionals they are, from the edge of the stage they performed an acoustic version of Weights & Measures from Shallow Bed. This only seemed to add to the magic of the performance, and when they ended with an electric version of the same song, the roof was nearly blown off.

Stornaway were next up, and we retired to the seats on the balcony. This is a band I love on record, but for some reason they don’t grab me in a live setting. This was the third time I’ve seen them, and the 3rd time I’ve left before the end of the set.

So that was the end of the Academy for us, so we had a big decision to make…where next ? So many venues, so many bands - probably enough bands to have a 3 day festival with. Leeds Beckett had : Menace Beach, Genghar, Hookworms, Eagulls & Thurston Moore, The Brudenell had Pinkshinyultrablast, Spring Kings, We Were Promised Jetpacks and Slaves and The Town Hall had Dutch Uncles, Palma Violets and The Cribs….we decided on the 2 stage venue of the university.

Model Aeroplanes were first for us, sounding like a younger Bombay Bicycle Club and the small but enthusiastic crowd was won over.

Misty Miller, a 20 year old Londoner was one of the finds of the day. Accompanied by a full band she has no right to have that powerful a voice and such an assured performance. Excellent.

Manchester’s Man Made were up next, and possibly another tip for 2015. A 3 piece guitar band, again they impressed hugely.

Next up were my 2 anticipated bands of the day : Blossoms & Hooton Tennis Club. Blossoms, from Stockport, had an Oasis thing going on, with added keyboards, and with the same assuredness and stagecraft of the aforementioned. Looking forward to the album release. Liverpool’s Hooton Tennis Club followed on in the smaller stage and to a criminally small crowd. Energetic, sloppy, noisy, tuneful and youthful scousers. Again, bring on the debut album.

And finally for the Uni, up were Fransico The Man from LA. A blistering wall of shoe gaze noise and guitars. Exhilarating.

So this takes us up to 9pm, and fatigue is setting in, so back to The Nation of Shopkeepers for a change of pace and 1 final band Jagaara. They might well be London’s version of Haim, but again another find for the day.

I’d love to have finished off with The Cribs, but the queue outside the Town Hall told you the venue was at capacity, so off we went to get the train home.  All in all, a fabulous day, some great finds and some fantastic performances were seen. This will definitely be a regular in the calendar from now on.

Keith @kjsmith4082