VIDEO: Leeds Festival 2014 preview

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Exciting former dance punks The Sunshine Underground not only love Leeds Festival - they’re big fans of the Leeds music scene which spawned them.

Eight years after The Sunshine Underground rose to fame with debut album Raise The Alarm, the band remain one of the big names to have emerged from Leeds during the musical indie revolution of the early Noughties – along with The Kaiser Chiefs, Alt J, The Music and Wild Beasts.

Arctic Monkeys will headline Leeds Festival 2014

Arctic Monkeys will headline Leeds Festival 2014

The latter have also gone ‘electronic’ on their most recent album – albeit in a more reflective way than The Sunshine Underground.

“It’s a great album,” says Craig, “the new sound suits them.”

His remark is typical of the unusually friendly nature of the Leeds music scene though, ironically, both bands aren’t from the city itself, hailing from elsewhere and meeting and forming at university.

“We knew each other at college in Telford and were all friends but we didn’t write any songs together until we moved to Leeds.

“As soon as got here bands and promoters took us under their wings. We were overwhelmed by the community spirit. It was amazing.

“The great thing is, there is no one Leeds sound. It’s got such a flourishing live scene. We owe the city a lot.”

Fans who want to hear these original dance-punks play new album Finally We Arrive live on stage - Craig and Matt using pads and keys as well as guitar and drums with Stu turned programmer - can catch them at Leeds Festival this month.

Thankfully, the band are playing the Festival Republic stage, not the main stage.

I say this because most, though not all, of the best performances I’ve seen at Leeds Festival over the years have taken place indoors.

It’s a sentiment, Craig agrees with.

“Festivals are great. There’s so many different things to see. But watching a band indoors is definitely better than standing outside on a windy hill at the main stage.

“The thing I always say to myself when it comes to live shows is “at least it’s got a roof on it!”

The Sunshine Underground will be on after 9pm on the Friday night at Leeds – all ready to blow the roof off!

The Sunshine Underground play Leeds Festival on Friday, August 22.

They also play The Cockpit in Leeds on October 10.

The Sunshine Underground.

Big-hitting stars such as Blink 182, Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys will all be gracing the stage at next month’s Leeds Festival.

But, for many fans, the annual music bash at Bramham Park also offers a chance to see bands that are just starting out on the road to rock ‘n’ roll fame.

And the up-and-coming acts appearing on the event’s BBC Introducing Stage were revealed by organiser Festival Republic.

They include Scottish synth-pop trio Prides, London soul singer Moko and Bombay Bicycle Club collaborator Rae Morris.

Jason Carter, head of live music and events at BBC Popular Music, said: “BBC Introducing are delighted to be bringing our stage to the festival for another year.

“Over the past few years it has been fantastic to see bands that have been completely unknown move up the stages at the festival, right up to the Main Stage, and this is another phenomenal new band line-up.”

The additions to the bill were announced as Festival Republic managing director Melvin Benn kicked off the countdown to the Leeds event in earnest with a press conference at Bramham Park.

Mr Benn said: “[The BBC Introducing Stage] is full of bands who graft really hard to get on these stages and it is a huge moment for them because a lot of young bands play in front of their mates and other people from the local area, and this time they get to play in front of strangers and if they can engage the strangers they’ve got the future.”

Asked for his personal favourites from the overall festival line-up, he said: “Inevitably the Arctic Monkeys, it will be the third time I’ve seen them in as many months.

“I’m a huge fan and they are the best band around in the world for me at the moment, so for them to close the festival on Sunday here in Leeds will be a massive moment for me, especially when they had their first chance playing the Festival Republic stage as a new band many years ago. So, for that, it will be a really special moment.”

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