Death by house
Is Leeds’ Indie Scene dying out because of the rise in the House? JACK BLURTON argues yes.
As house music runs rampant across Leeds, indie nights are dying out.
Closure of ‘the Session’ at Cockpit and Propaganda’s movement indicate students in Leeds would much prefer to get down to the monotonous pumping of House Music in an abandoned warehouse on the city outskirts than mosh in a booze-fuelled riot to Arctic Monkeys in town.
The Cockpit and The 02 Academy are the best live music venues in Leeds, having hosted some of the biggest bands in the world (from The Killers to Queens Of the Stone Age). However, it seems as though unless the bands are live or on our iPods, students in Leeds aren’t as interested in a good old-fashioned Indie night out.
House music has been refurbished in Leeds, having had rises and falls since the 1980s, but now more than ever the genre holds many of the ideals of the indie scene. New artists and DJs appear almost bi-weekly, the sub-genres are hard to decipher and the ignorant “it all sounds the same” complaint is just as prevalent as it is with indie music.
Leeds is now able to “boast” itself as the leading city for Mandy, Pot and Ket (there’s a ‘pot, kettle, black’ joke in there somewhere). Drug influence is surely one of the main differences between house and indie nights out. As a whole, house nights seem to be a lot more relaxed, which is what a student prefers in all aspects of life – no hassle. Heavily student-populated, the likes of Flux and Deep Fever nights seem to remain sedate, whereas, (being a flyer-er… my bad) I’ve witnessed some dismal drunken fights outside of Propaganda at close.
There are adverts for house nights everywhere you look in Leeds at the moment. Though I’m as into House Music as any other student in Leeds seems to be at the moment, I can’t help occasionally venturing to a guitar-brandished bar in Call Lane or pretending I know how to jive in Smokestack. Obviously there is now a refurbished Propaganda Attic and a return for the 02’s Pet Sounds (after a four year hiatus) but they’re cut from the same breed as ‘The Session’ at Cockpit. They may be popular enough now, but so was The Session 5 years ago… how long can the checkered shirt Saturday night blur continue?
Whilst we might slowly be brushing the indie club-nights under the rug, Leeds will always have its roots in the Indie scene; the north in general maintains a steady home for British Indie Music, just last year supplying bands that have dominated Radio 1. Leeds University being able to brag the likes of Alt-J, and Bastille’s lead man – Dan.
House music will have its time in Leeds, and we should embrace it while it lasts, but underneath the trends that come and go in Leeds the indie culture remains.