Here’s my very sporadic not at all regular post (which should change this year I promise!). We have a seriously amazing year ahead with Youth Anthems. We have four incredible gigs already booked for you (the first of which has already sold out!) alongside four incredible t-shirts from four amazing local designers for four amazing local charities (the first of which has already sold a ton of!).
I can’t wait to kick things off on January 20th and am so pleased to liven things up even more with some serious pushing of our musical boundaries!
Enjoy and see you all soon.
It’s such an amazing time to be a gig-goer with Children in Leeds at the moment, alongside our own gigs there’s an ever growing number of suitable gigs.
Last weekend Nicky Bray put on a great matinee gig with Biscuithead and The Biscuit Badgers, Captain of The Lost Waves and Nicky herself (what a line up!). It was such a great afternoon and reminded me how incredible all three acts are (from the new Biscuithead material the next album could be the best yet).
Coming up on March 18th Made with Music have a young person focused matinee at The Brudenell and then Blyth Power (I know!) are playing a family friendly matinee on June 10th (more information here) at Wharf Chambers.
I should really just auto-format these posts so they just start with an apology for slackness! Thank you so much to everyone who came to our last gig. It really blows my mind that we’ve had two sell outs in a row now and once again it was such a special afternoon. It was so great having our first workshop and Jemma was the perfect person to start these off. I can’t believe that was my first time seeing the Captain of the Lost Waves, even getting me up dancing (all videos have been removed from the internet and future offenders will be begged to stop so please don’t!) I was mesmerised, such a talent.
We’ve added our May gig so please get involved with tickets, we’re going for a chilled out psychedelic/indie so enjoy! We are also so lucky to have Kelly Boyle running an art workshop so get in touch ASAP as there’s only ten places available for that.
In other news our Summer gig (July) will be our fifth (!!!) Birthday party so for the first time we’re having some bands return. No names allowed yet but I can confirm that all three have HEADLINED previous sold out gigs from different years. Believe me this one will sell out within a few weeks after being announced so you might want to get your ticket at our May gig where they will be on sale first.
Ooof. Sorry for no updates for a whilst, we’ve been juggling new babies, older ones starting School and woorrrrk (boo!). However we have these two amazing line ups for you in both Brighton and Leeds so head on over to the gigs page to find out more then get booking your tickets as the Autumn/Winter gigs are pretty popular (well it’s this or soft play so you decide!).
I also intend to sort out our record club as I have a load of albums I want to recommend so will be finding some time soon to get those written up. In the meantime though I’d love to hear your record suggestions so if you wanted to write a review of any album you think would be good for fans of Youth Anthems gigs then email them over to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post them on this website.
OK folks it’s nearly time (this SUNDAY!). Here’s what to remember:
1. Have fun! Honestly that’s what it’s all about. Just enjoy yourselves and try and help other people enjoy it too.
2. If you have any spare change there will be cake, FACE PAINTING (!), lovely hot drinks (much needed coffee!) as well as merch from the bands (including our own CD and colouring in books).
3. We’ll have our Free Shop so feel free to come down and peruse the stock. Any items left over will be going to a range of local charities.
4. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring ear defenders for your Children. There are foam ear plugs at the bar but these are really only suitable for older Children (around 10+) so make sure you have suitable protection for younger ones. The bands will be at a suitable a volume as possible but this is live music so will still be on the raucous side at times.
5. Get down for 2pm to see all the bands (and get a good spot!).
6. If you want some peace of mind then tickets are on sale from Jumbo Records (in person or online here: http://buff.ly/2tk7Ms1) until 4:30pm on Saturday.
7. Have fun!
Here’s a lovely (I really do use that word waaay too much) review of Youth Anthems #15. I think it sums it all up rather nicely indeed:
Well it’s been two weeks now since Biscuithead & The Biscuit Badgers, Gerrard Bell-Fife and Nicky Bray graced the stage of Wharf Chambers for us and I don’t even know where to begin! We were sold out within minutes of the doors opening and without pouring any badness on any of our previous gigs – this one was seriously special!
Sadly OPS had to cancel their set for the gig (I’m sure we’ll have them back very soon though) so Nicky Bray (who you will have seen at previous Youth Anthems as keyboardist in Penny & The Sausages and bassist in The Pop Up People) very kindly stepped in to perform a solo set of food based songs. I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect but any ideas I did have were totally exceeded with this incredible performance. Luckily the set was videoed so you can all watch it again:
Next up we had Gerrard Bell-Fife who I’ve wanted at Youth Anthems for quite some time. He had to battle the sound levels a bit (I don’t want to shush grown ups at the gig and I know we all want to catch up with our mates but lets use our indoor voices for the acoustic acts!) but played a stunning set of beautiful folk and judging by all the lovely comments I heard from the crowd, you all had a good one too.
Then the band of the hour! Biscuithead & The Biscuit Badgers. I’ve been told by nearly every band who’ve played at Youth Anthems we needed to get them down, so get them down we did! Just to give you an idea of the crowd size here’s a shot the band took from the stage just before they began:
…and then awesomeness began!
Or your view if you are a four year old:
They were everything you wanted and more, hilarious, charming and they had the music to back it up! I could have watched them for hours and it’ll take every fibre of willpower I have to not break my “no repeat guarantee” of bands for Youth Anthems and not have them back at some point.
Nice one! I did think it was a tiny bit too busy and the reserving tickets vs. buying tickets thing got a little bit chaotic but I’ve had some thoughts on both those things and reckon it’ll all be a lot smoother for the next gig. We also have some money now to get some t-shirts made (aiming to keep them a reasonable price but with some profits made so we can donate to charity) so keep your eyes peeled!
Speaking of charity you also donated so much to Leeds Baby Bank that we filled all these boxes!
If it helps that stack was taller than me (admittedly I’m only 5″7 but that’s a lot of donations so thanks everyone! Youth Anthems #16 will be in July and has an incredible line up so follow us here, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (or best of all sign up to our mailing list) to find out first.
ICYMI (that means in case you missed it if you’re clueless about all that online chat like me) we recently spent a week picking apart our top five Biscuithead and The Biscuit Badgers videos in preparation for their set at Youth Anthems next week. So here’s a recap so you can practise all of your dance moves!
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand in at NUMBER ONE!
They describe their aim as: “To support families in and around the Leeds area who are in need of urgent baby essentials such as Nappies, Wipes and Infant Formula. We also support Leeds families by sourcing baby equipment and clothes.”
Find out more on their website http://leedsbabybank.org/ and if you have any items that they need that you no longer need then please bring them along and we’ll make sure they get to the Baby Bank the following day.
Much as I wonder whether anyone reads any of these end of year lists I’m a sucker for them so couldn’t resist putting together a list of records which I stumbled across this year. In all truth some of these came out well before 2016 but I’m often late to the party (only with music, I’m always awkwardly first at any real life party). Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section or via Facebook or Twitter. Enjoy!
Youth Anthem’s Top Records discovered in 2016 (in no particular order!)
Nervous Twitch – Don’t Take My TV
I’ve been a massive fan of this Leeds garage rock band since we met a few years back at The Fenton. I’m now lucky to consider them friends and have been super happy to see them grow and grow as a band. Now slimmed down to a power-trio their latest album “Don’t Take My TV” is their finest hour yet. 60’s Bubble-Gum pop mixed with 70’s garage and 90’s Riot Grrl with riff after riff after riff. They played to a sell out crowd at one of our gigs this year and I might even break my rule of not repeating bands by having them back again soon.
I saw Ganglions play a pub basement a few months back and immediately (well after watching the other bands and then playing a set myself) went home and downloaded this EP. Ganglions have the full package, lovely people, incredible at their instruments, confident playing live and in spite of playing a genre of music which can often (for right or wrong reasons) be written off as inaccessible, cliquey or pretentious their songs are utterly welcoming, joyfully challenging and having all the jangly bits and the sing along bits in the right places. New favorite band!
The Cut Ups – The Nerves
I think it must be about ten years ago now that I first saw The Cut Ups play at the Windmill in Brixton. I remember putting their first album in my car CD player and listening to it the whole way through on the way back to Brighton. I was blown away but how urgent the music was; It was clearly punk rock but amongst all the riffs and noise were some of the most heart felt and important lyrics I’d ever heard. Every time I saw them thereafter I became a bigger fan and each album pulled me in even more (full of nostalgia I remember picking up their second album at another gig at the Brixton Windmill and listening to that one on the way back to Brighton). The Cut Ups have been in my life through three bands, a marriage, a Child and a move from Brighton to Leeds but they’re still one of the most important bands in the world and this album seals the deal.
Andew Cream – Self-Portrait
Even if Andrew wasn’t someone I’m lucky to call a pal this 12″ would still be on the list. Andrew has been plugging away as a solo singer/songwriter for quite some years now and over the last few he’s been backed on many occasions by the rhythm section from the ace Bolton pop-punk band Don Blake which gives his songs a bit more drive on record and lends the songs some lovely harmonies. This eight track album brings together all the songs Andrew’s been playing over the last couple of years and it’s a fantastic package (both musically and aesthetically). Musically we’re talking acoustic guitar, drums and bass playing folk influenced indie-pop with the odd touch of early 2000 “emo” ala Drive Through Records (to my ear anyway!). Nice one!
Martha – Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart
I have a feeling this cheeky little collection of bangers might be on a few other end of year lists but hey I’m not missing out! We were mega lucky to have Martha come and play at Youth Anthems way back when with Penny & The Sausages (a mega packed out one if memory serves me well). Their debut album “Courting Strong” was an absolute game changer – Beautiful South inspired indie-punk with a hefty touch of Motown and “Blisters in the pit of my Heart” repeats this trick; Instead of just giving us more of the same this time round they up the riffs, giving us solos and power chords that wouldn’t be out of place on an Iron Maiden album before throwing four part harmonies, acoustic breaks and moments of shoe-gaze all over the place. It’s no mistake that this one is produced by MJ from Hookworms, his incredible sound is all over the show here making an incredible album of songs one of the best of our generation. Unmissable.
Biscuithead and The Biscuit Badgers – Dinosaurs Ate My Caravan
I’m very aware that this came out in 2014 and this might look like a shameless plug for our February gig but I genuinely only discovered this album in 2016 after being badgered (ahem!) by members of Nervous Twitch, The Pop Up People and numerous other Leeds acts to get the band to one of our gigs. I genuinely listen to this album 4-5 times a week with my Daughter who loves it nearly as much as me. If the idea of a band mixing up They Might Be Giants, The Magnetic Fields and The Tiger Lillies with songs about Hermit Crabs, the science of snow and Soy Milk is up your street then tuck in!
Bon Iver – 22, A Million
I was really into the first Bon Iver album but found I really needed to be in the right mood for it as it’s a HEAAAAAVY listen (maan!) so I was mega delighted when the second album came out and instead of being more maudy lo-fi, ‘Ol Bon Iver had gone full 80’s synth. It did leave me wondering what tricky album number three would bring (a maudlin version of Duran Duran perhaps?) but instead this absolute classic came instead. Blending glitchy 90’s beats with a Daft Punk vocal sound (at times) over a rollercoaster of heartbreaking (and thankfully inspiring at times) lyrics the 80’s influences has moved from a fun pastiche to an art in itself. This is the soundtrack to a damn weird party but he’s more than welcome to come and play one of our gigs whenever he wants.
Crumbs – Demo
When I heard that Gem from Fancy Clap promotions was in a band with Stu from Molars and Jamie from Travels By Telephone I was very excited but then when I heard that Ruth from The Cost of Living was on vocals I began screaming SUPER GROUP! They are indeed super as this first demo shows (and I’m glad to hear they’ve been recording an album recently with everyone’s fav Leeds producer MJ at Suburban Home). With a lo-fi sound reminiscent of Beat Happening they also have a lovely spread of a Talking Heads via Devo new-wave sound and a whole lot of fun. They’re also amazing live as well as being some of the nicest people in Yorkshire.