Blog: The Yorkshire music scene and why it’s thriving in 2012

By May 10, 2012 September 7th, 2016 Culture

Yorkshire’s indie and rock music scenes are flourishing and it seems everyone’s in chipper mood. It could just be something in the tea, mind…


The Cockpit venue in Leeds, alongside Fibbers in York, 1 In 12 Club Bradford, Fruit in Hull and Corporation in Sheffield are regularly selling out this year, thanks to the attraction of indigenously sourced, top-draw talent such as North Yorkshire’s Asking Alexandria and Leeds’ Blacklisters; both recent signings to esteemed labels – Sumerian and Brew respectively. Alongside established world-beaters Rolo Tomassi and 65daysofstatic, both from Sheffield, and Helmsley’s One Night Only; they represent the Yorkshire music scene defiantly through touring around the UK and Europe before returning home to sold-out crowds.

There are emerging unsigned artists with ever-climbing credibility as well: anthem-penning Bradford alt-rockers Talk To Angels, featuring Embrace’s Mickey Dale, and Leeds’ electronic act Officers, who hit the road with Gary Numan this summer.

Worth a mention too are Sheffield’s prog-indie maestros Hey Sholay (pictured) who are currently touring around the UK and Europe. The latter band’s guitarist Laurie Allport assures us there’s always been an exciting element to music from the area: “Whatever the approach of Joe Cocker, Saxon or anything Warp records-related, Yorkshire has always (more importantly) retained a creative autonomy – one of expression, originality and creativity.”

Hull’s Late Night Fiction, who have been getting Radio 1 airplay following the station’s recent takeover of the city, are being championed for their live presence and diverse, progressive song structure. The post-hardcore group’s guitarist, James Thompson, says that despite the buzz they’re generating, it remains important to tour as much as possible around the county to increase exposure.

“There are still some great small venues and promoters around that will support musicians who have promise,” Thompson muses. “The scenes in York, Leeds and Sheffield are firmly on the big touring circuit, and venues in Hull are attracting bigger shows now. As an artist, the opportunities are always there.”

Musicians and fans alike are impressed at how modern technology (including music sharing and social networking) have been key to the positive development of Yorkshire’s bustling performance scene. More showcases are being set up, and thus, dedicated acts are emerging to fill slots.

Guitarist Adam Wilson of York “indie oddballs” Hungry Ghosts comments: “There has definitely been an improvement with regards to the amount of people we are seeing at gigs around Yorkshire. There’s loads more stuff going on, too! This is partly to do with bands promoting themselves and using social media, but it’s also because venues and promoters are pulling together more than ever before.”

Jamie Baker of Officers also vouches for the all-hands-on-deck approach of those passionate about the region’s music scene: “Anyone creative in Yorkshire seems to have an ethic in them to help each other and transcend specific scenes, cultures and prejudices. That spirit, and word of mouth, has helped us uncover some great new bands.”

Or, y’know, it could all just be something in the tea?

Did we miss out any venues or bands worth mentioning? Let us know.

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