This weekend (27th May), we’re off to Live At Leeds In The Park. Not content with diving into one of the first proper festivals of the season, we’re bringing along some of the best new bands on the planet, too. The Dork presents… stages are firmly becoming one of Temple Newsam’s most iconic serves – two back-to-back monuments to new music, with something brilliant and fresh always on, no matter when you rock up. We’ve got fifteen acts appearing across the day. Really, we should insist you see them all – but just in case you do want to check out something else, here’s a run through what’s on when, and why they’re essential listening.
Dork Left Stage, 12:35pm
Brighton six-piece Opus Kink aren’t just a unique blend of punk, jazz and rock – they’ve been described as a “sax-pissed slack-jawed sharp-shot groove outfit”. It fits, too. They’ve also been referred to as “barnstorming” by Steve Lamacq, and drawn praise from critics and fans alike. With a mash of genres, they’re sure to kick off the festival with a bang.
Dork Right Stage, 1:10pm
Leeds’ Bug Teeth don’t just offer up dreamy, emotional, shoegazy ambient pop. They’re also the act that Dork selected to play the stage out of a whole heap of submissions. Officially approved. That should be enough to get you down the front, right?
Dork Left Stage, 1:45pm
Youth Sector, a Brighton-based art-rock five-piece, have been combining “beeps with boops” since 2018. Meeting at at university, their music features razor-sharp analogue synths and a blend of new wave, post-punk, and indie rock. Their debut EP, ‘Mundanity’, released in 2020, immediately caught the attention, while recent effort ‘Free Parking’ should punch through nicely.
Dork Right Stage, 2:20pm
Brooklyn-based Psymon Spine are known for their fusion of psychedelic pop and deep dance grooves. Their music is a blend of electronica, experimental pop, indietronica, and psychedelic pop, creating a sound that’s as intriguing as it is catchy. With their 2021 release ‘Charismatic Megafauna’, Psymon Spine continue to push the boundaries of electronic pop.
Dork Left Stage, 2:55pm
Ireland is always a fertile ground for exceptional bands. Yet again, it’s gifted us with the emergence of Kingfishr. Hailing from the vibrant city of Limerick, the trio has swiftly ascended as one of the most promising acts on the scene. Their music, characterised by expansive atmospheric dynamics, is poised to send shivers down your spine at this weekend’s festival.
Dork Right Stage, 3:30pm
Modernlove. are a four-piece hailing from Drogheda, Ireland. Childhood friends who have won hearts with their youthful indie-pop romanticism, their debut EP, ‘Monochrome Blue’, established their promise. Last year’s ‘Oh My Mind’ and recent release ‘Nightlife’ only ramped that up a few gears. If you’re a fan of The 1975’s big, bombastic tumblr-core moments, you’ll find plenty to love.
Dork Left Stage, 4:05pm
DEADLETTER channel the potent fusion of punk’s raw fury and indie rock’s off-kilter rhythms into a winning strain of post-post-punk brilliance. Originating in Yorkshire and now based in South London, the band was initially a three-piece formed by core members George Ullyott on bass, Alfie Husband on drums, and Zac Lawrence on vocals. Now expanded to a six-member ensemble, DEADLETTER have been setting the music scene ablaze with their fervour.
Dork Right Stage, 4:40pm
Leeds’ The Kites may have stepped in last minute for Low Hummer, but they’re still set to fly high. Recent single ‘Living Room’ drips with indie brilliance – the sort of bright, catchy dynamic that sticks around long after the music stops. A mid-afternoon diamond.
Dork Left Stage, 5:15pm
Prima Queen should need no introduction around these parts. After crashing a birthday party for our recent Hype cover feature, we’re already on best mate terms with the duo – fast making a name for themselves with their brilliant debut EP ‘Not The Baby’. Expect them to be one of the bands of the weekend.
Dork Right Stage, 5:50pm
Close friends Dolores Forever make the kind of glorious indie-pop that should be made for festivals like this. Emotionally charged lyrics and infectious melodies push them to the very top of the tree when it comes to potential superstars. Expect big things.
Dork Left Stage, 6:25pm
Popster Rose Gray manages to be both fresh and nostalgic with the same glorious swagger. Originally drawn to big pop stars with big voices, Rose has now created her own sonic landscape – a hedonistic, intoxicating blend of house, pop, and R&B. Already making a dent in the BBC Radio 1 playlist, this is one Londoner we’ll welcome to Leeds with open arms.
Dork Right Stage, 7:00pm
Afflecks Palace – the four-piece psych guitar band, not the building full of cool little shops in Manchester – jangle through like a runaway train of Mancunian brilliance. This year’s ‘The Only Light In This Tunnel Is The Oncoming Train’ wears its heart on its parka sleeve, standing tall with confidence verging on the right-sort-of-arrogance. Festivals were made for this.
Dork Left Stage, 7:35pm
Born out of jam sessions between guitarist Joe McVeigh and singer Fionn Reilly, Enola Gay are known for their socially aware vocals and a bed of reverb-soaked buzzsaw guitar. Their music is as uncompromising as it is unforgiving. With influences ranging from underground hip-hop, left-field electronica/techno, to Irish folk tunes, Enola Gay are sure to captivate.
Dork Right Stage, 8:10pm
Industry plants? Fuck off. Panic Shack are a force of nature. Rattling out of the traps and providing a live show that will stick in the memory for a long time after the adrenaline fades, they’re quite probably one of the best bands at what they do around. It doesn’t matter how big the name or how bright the back catalogue – nobody will bring it to Live At Leeds In The Park like Panic Shack.
Dork Left Stage, 8:45pm
Brooke Combe’s blend of intoxicating, soul-infused alt-pop has caught many an eye over the past few years with an increasingly impressive live show that has seen the Scottish singer grow into a seriously formidable performer. That focus on gigging and honing her craft has taken her from performing covers in her bedroom in Edinburgh to headlining stages and playing at SXSW only a couple of years later. Now, she’s set to top one of our two stages at Live At Leeds In The Park. She’s a future icon. Promise.