A guide to navigating Leeds’ indie boy archetypes
Did someone say gaslight?
Before anyone kicks off, I’m using indie as an umbrella term here. Essentially, I’m just referring to any guy who doesn’t listen to mainstream music – and makes sure everybody knows it.
But how do we distinguish between these men? How do we know what to expect when meeting them? Well, The Leeds Tab have produced a definitive guide to the indie guy:
The Dark Fruits Boy
Now this is truly indie-core, the one and only blueprint for every sub-genre of alternative guys. I’m talking bucket hats, endless cans of dark fruits, and lots of Liam Gallagher. Most commonly spotted at O2’s Indie Thursdays, you’ll find him wearing his dad’s old Pretty Green jacket, which he’ll tell everyone is “from back in the 90s when gigs were still good” and “has been worn to see the Stone Roses at Spike Island.”
How much of this is true? You’ll never know, but it’s safe to assume a level of exaggeration has taken place. Unlike some of the other indie boy archetypes, these men still have the smell of toxic masculinity lingering on them and are guaranteed to leave you alone in a mosh pit at some point because “you just can’t get stuck in like the lads and I can.”
The Soft Boy
First and foremost, I must warn you that the name is extremely misleading. Granted, these guys tend to be more in touch with their emotions than the previous archetype, which, from the perspective of the female gaze, is a very attractive quality. However, you’d be mistaken to assume this means deep, profound conversations at 3am and amazing communication skills. I hope you’re good at giving advice, because you’re about to become this man’s therapist.
And after you’ve spent what feels like the longest three hours of your life silently listening to a guy you’ve just slept with trauma dump on you, you’ll be hit with the classic “I’ve never met anyone like you before” line. At least you get a compliment out of it, eh? And a really comfy Tyler, The Creator hoodie too.
The Skater Boy
This is, arguably, the most dangerous indie boy archetype of them all. You know the saying “we always want what we can’t have”? Yeah, well, the skater boy’s heart is buried deep inside a giant bag of weed, and he’s not letting anyone take that from him. The unholy trinity of skater boy culture consists of the three golden Hs – hash, hoes and Hyde Park.
It can all be very alluring: their lack of care, their emotional unavailability, their floppy hair and Thrasher hoodies. All I can say is prepare yourself, because you’re in for a whole lot of toxicity with a sprinkling of “you’re overreacting” and “it’s not a big deal” here and there.
Sometimes confused with the skater boy archetype, the e-boy shares the same “nothing matters and everything sucks” attitude, which you’ll find edgy and deep at first, until you realise that it’s making you hate every single aspect your life.
Admittedly, the e-boy does have some perks: you’ll always be able to find them by following the sound of silver chains jangling against each other. But when all is said and done, it doesn’t get much better than listening to him scream the lyrics to his favourite Yungblud song so loud that even James Baillee residents think it’s too much.
The ‘Born in the Wrong Decade’ Boy
I might actually go as far to say that this is the most jarring of all the indie boys, primarily due to the fact that you’ll automatically be viewed as inferior simply because you exist in the 21st century. You use Instagram? Delete it. You listen to music through a speaker? Throw it away.
This boy’s love language consists solely of vinyls and charity shop clothes, and he will undoubtedly guilt trip you for days on end if he catches you listening to any song released post-1980s. Say goodbye to Pryzm’s indie floor, or any club for that matter, because you’ll get about two minutes into 7 by Catfish and the Bottlemen before he starts to audibly retch at how “overplayed and mainstream” it is. Maybe you should’ve just gone out with your flatmates after all.
You’ll likely meet this archetype at the Leeds Music Union Library, attempting to give off main character energy as he browses through records, purposefully pulling out Tame Impala’s least popular album to make it clear that he’s a true fan. His opening line will be something similar to: “Did you know it’s only one guy? His name’s Kevin Parker.” You’ll pretend to be impressed and oblivious, because at some angles he looks a bit like Timothee Chalamet.
He’ll subsequently invite you to watch his band play at some dusty, neglected pub and you’ll feel giddy at the prospect of going out with a lead singer and guitarist. Hold onto those few hours of bliss, because you’ll soon find out that there’s another 15 girls that he’s invited, and suddenly you’ve turned into a groupie watching a bunch of teenage boys rip off an Arctic Monkeys song. Free entry, though!
There are many more indie boy archetypes to be discussed, but out of fear of writing an entire novel that sends me spiralling about my previous encounters with these men, I think it’s best I stop here. You probably should too.