Leeds Festival’s spotlight on rising talent

Winners of this years Centre Stage competition for Martin House Hospice, GirlsOnDrugs -  Luke Lount and Kat McHugh. (TJ100458d)
Winners of this years Centre Stage competition for Martin House Hospice, GirlsOnDrugs - Luke Lount and Kat McHugh. (TJ100458d)

By Graham Chalmers

This year’s Leeds Festival isn’t just about big names such as Arctic Monkeys, Paramore and Queens of the Stone Age.

As always, it’s turning the spotlight on a whole welter of unsigned and emerging talent on two stages - BBC Introducing and the Festival Republic Stage.

Leeds Festival supremo Melvin Benn gathered all the local bands for a photocall a couple of weeks back.

Sadly, there was no space for Harrogate’s hopefuls - The Wilde, Hell Fire Jack and Dukes of Bevington who narrowly missed out in the Futuresound competition which gives the winner the chance to perform on the Festival Republic Stage and five runners-up the chance to open over on the BBC Introducing Stage.

But it’s congratulations to local Ont Sofa favourite Billie Martin whose haunting vocals mean she will be appearing on the BBC Introducing stage on the Friday.

The overall winners of Futuresound were Leeds’ piano bashing, rock ‘n’ roll five piece Carnabells who have been awarded the opportunity of a lifetime - being the opening act on the Festival Republic Stage on Friday.

The latter stage will also see this year’s winners of this year’s Centre Stage competition for Martin House Hospice, GirlsOnDrugs, aka Luke Lount and Kat McHugh.

Meanwhile, the BBC Introducing Stage on Friday has Hull-based garage/punk band Mother and Leeds-based Mod band Vendettas.

Saturday has the Black Keys -meets-Nancy Sinatra sounds of Wakefield-based trio crybabycry plus Allusondrugs, the five-piece alternative rock band from Castleford.

Sunday has York-based Hello Operator and Liverpool’s The Guardian-championed All We Are.