A two-location, Leeds-London event curated by This Feeling brought indie to Leeds on 13th August, all while 30-something-degree heat blazed outside. At the iconic Brudenell Social Club, the all-day festival was split between the Main and Community rooms, which were both very welcomely air-conditioned. Perhaps the coolest place in the city for multiple reasons.
Throughout, it was a literal revolving door of talent. On one side, a tiered landing pad for emerging artists and, on the other, a glittery curtain backed a stage that was graced by so many youthful outfits.
You knew who was performing because they were not only branded with orange wristbands instead of white, but they were sipping cans of Red Stripe. Lots of cans. That’s the This Feeling way. And while I was there as a guest of The Sheratons*, I gladly stuck around to see more of the line-up.
The Facades provided a strong start to the event for me, right before The Sheratons explosively tore up the room, laying on hits old and new. The might behind the riffs of ‘Her Mind’ and ‘These Kids’ in particular really stole it for me. And through masterful six-string manipulation, ultra-tight drumming and piercingly smooth vocals, it was a cocktail of pure craftsmanship. No wonder The Sheratons have been ruling the festival roost this summer!
They move around the stage with such conviction and they drip seamless skill, so you’d be daft not to get them on your radar ASAP, if they aren’t already. You can also catch The Sheratons giving a warm, supporting welcome to their pals Cascade and Camens on the Leeds leg of their co-headline tour, alongside Wolforna, this October.
Manchester’s Rosellas were good old-fashioned indie from the modern era, if you will. They supercharged their sound with synths and there was palpable energy at one end of their setup, where their frontman and keys player let loose a bit more. The bodies in the room were more than pleased to groove to the band’s tunes alongside their two covers.
When it came to powerful voices, Komparrison’s impressive delivery through the dual mic responsibilities of Elise and Kaitlyn was really quite something. Their set was fuelled by angsty guitars, stacks of character and some really deftly crafted, oh-so-honest lyrics. And the blue tick of verification doesn’t lie — they’ve got the recipe just right.
As the evening began to draw in, the music and fresh supply of energy was down to Lock-In. Their vibe was very much shades on, hips shaking and a solid injection of summer songs to get the bucket-hat boppers in the front row going.
Much like The Sheratons, I’d promoted ROLLA a fair bit during the pandemic, so it was good to finally catch the loud festival favourites. You could tell they were used to a steady diet of Red Stripe by now.
As frontman James Gilmore roared, “Have we got any mosh pits in the house?”, it was further evidence that he’d certainly received the frontman’s toolkit and accepted it willingly and brilliantly. Call this controversial, but I’ve never been the biggest fan of Oasis. They’re not a Marmite band to me; they’re decent but that’s all. So, while I’ve read the rightful comparisons, vocally, between the Mancunian indie heavyweights and newcomers ROLLA, what this up-and-coming five-piece does so well is raise the bar. You get this Oasis hybrid on steroids. ROLLA have the coats-and-sunglasses-indoors swagger and they own it. The crowd was eating out of the palm of their hand.
Gen and the Degenerates are one of Marshall Records’ rising stars, who warmed up for Gallus at Oporto last September. In spite of a few mic cable problems (ironically creating the need for a rewire), they understood the plan and absolutely shredded — especially on ‘God Girl Gun’. It’s no wonder they’re an outfit on everyone’s lips right now!
And it was a frenzy for photographers to snap the best shots, in turn, to furnish their portfolios with “I saw them first” flexes. I’m not ashamed to say I’m doing that here. Get used to seeing this band everywhere, because they’re outstandingly fierce, devastatingly punky and every bit high octane — and that’s putting it lightly.
This Feeling is a promoter that does such a stellar job of championing fresh-faced, through-the-ranks indie artists, and Rewired was a superb demonstration of just that at the Brude.
*With thanks to The Sheratons for the press invite