From Tom Zanetti to the White Rose Centre: Everything you’ll know if you’re from Leeds

L double E D S

Leeds has been named the ‘best city for quality of life’ and it’s no surprise really. Our lives are pretty great. We’re fashionable, cultured and a little bit fitter than everybody else. People from Leeds are the life and soul of any party and can often be found on the dance floor or talking about Greggs. Home of tourist attractions such as the Otley Run, Canal Mills and Dixy Chicken… it’s no wonder the rest of the UK are so jealous of us.

But not everyone can qualify as a certified 0113 guy or gal… So here’s how to find out if you do:

You can never just have one drink

Pacing yourself? What’s that? Getting as drunk as you can for as cheap as you can is the aim of every night and you rarely go anywhere without your hip flask. Whether you prefer the chilled atmosphere of Headrow House or a night of slut dropping around Oracle, what unites the Leeds locals is a love and deep appreciation for alcohol. You’re the first to suggest tequila shots and Call Lane is always calling. You probably spend your Sundays claiming you’ve been “spiked”… but you’re fooling no one.

Those Leeds wine measures

Most of your stories start with “At Tiger this one time.. ” 

Take yourself back to 2012. Tiger Tiger was the only place worth putting your fake eyelashes on for. The build up would consist of a few arguments in group chat about who was gonna host midweek pre drinks, extensive outfit decisions and BBM broadcast telling you its gunna be a “big one”. Eventually, someone would take one for the team (despite their parents having work at 7am) and you’d descend on their house straight after period five, armed with a bottle of Glens Vodka and a new LBD. Tiger was a bit like Wacky Warehouse, but on crack. There’d be fun, there’d be fights and there’d be some questionable decision making. Everyone you’ve ever known would be spread the two floors of the iconic club, but you could probably be found in Kanaloa vybzing the DJ in the hope of a free vodka cranberry.

If you ever made it, it was the talk of the Sixth Form common room every Wednesday. And there was always that one member of the squad who was a bit too keen to spread the gossip… snakes don’t hiss. So before you knew it, your English teacher could name every single person you’d got with. Pictures of you swinging yourself around the pole had somehow ended up on the Smartboard for the whole year to see.

You’re in love with Tom Zanetti OBE 

He’s not actually got an OBE. But if it was up to you, he would. You know every single lyric to every single song and when he comes on in Mission you actually come alive. Hearing You Want Me on the radio for the first time was like winning the lottery and every time he mentions “the city of Leeds” in a song you genuinely feel like an A-List celeb. We’ve made it boys and girls. You try and explain to all your uni friends that you and the local legend are practically related… i.e. you use the same sun bed shop (that one near Debenhams). Welcome to FUNKYTOWN.

Leeds Fest was more important than GCSE results day

No one gave a shit about your A* in R.E because all you really cared about was getting to Leeds Fest. Aged 16 with a Strongbow Dark Fruit, Bramham Park actually felt like Magaluf. Fun, freedom and lots of famous faces.

Yes, it is

Were you a “Briggate Basher”? 

Lyle and Scott jumper on,  Juicy Couture bag in hand. You’d spend your Saturday afternoons standing outside top-end McDonald’s. And standing there was literally all you’d do.

You love to hate No Curfew 

It’s Friday and the start of the weekend. But your overdraft is already in minus figures and you’ve sensibly decided that you’re staying in tonight. You could be persuaded for a few in Napa or the Box, but you’re “100%, definitely not, going into town.” This is until the aggressive Facebook statuses and notifications start rolling in. No Curfew manage to hit you where it hurts every single week, with the promise of queue jump and cheap vodka mixers. Nothing about Leeds screams Ibiza, but the No Curfew boys are the kings of promo and will genuinely have you believing that Space is the next Ocean Beach. And so, before you know it, you’re in an Uber heading straight to the Lane of dreams.

All the gear, no idea

Mint Warehouse has probably ruined your life once or twice 

Don’t know your limits, do you?

Every summer you’ll do the Otley Run 

The Otley Run is a rite of passage for any Leeds Local. A two mile pub crawl of 19 bars, fancy dress and a lot of chundering. Admittedly, the Otley Run is ambitious, but in Leeds, we like a challenge. You’ll start off on the ciders, “taking it easy.” But by the time you get to Arc, you’re already on the tables reenacting Wannabe by the Spice Girls. Its only 3pm, you’ve got double vodka orange in one hand and a jagerbomb in the other… it’s only ever ending one way.

You laugh when someone suggests the White Rose Centre on a Saturday

So. Many. Prams. If you stay on the 13a for too long, you’re soon heading for the hell that is the White Rose Centre. There’s more characters than Disneyland and queues all the way to Elland Road. The Topshop never has your size and the staff in Zara are all unnecessarily rude. You’ll definitely see at least three people you’ve slept with. And as if this all wasn’t bad enough… Before you know it, you’ve lost your mum.

It’s literally all you talk about

Imagine going on a night out and not mentioning you were from Leeds. It’s your go-to conversation starter and you’ll bring it up at any opportunity. Whether its a subtle mention that your mum’s sister’s friend’s neighbour used to babysit Mel B or a not-so-subtle outburst of Marching On Together. In Leeds, we’re obsessed with Leeds.

Did I mention I was from Leeds?