Gold Sounds Festival, Leeds, 25.05.15

Gold Sounds Leeds Festival line-up

Gold Sounds festival brings new life to Leeds with Fat White Family, Hinds, PINS and more

Gold Sounds is a brand new festival featuring the “best in guitar fuzz, noise and hooks” in the heart of the Leeds University grounds. A few floors down in the students union, you can find the Mine – the home of the main room of the night’s festivities. The line-up promised a lot of the coolest names around, including the sweet sounds of Hinds, or the apathetic chaos of the Fat White Family.

First band of the late afternoon was Big Deal, a band that can be suitably summed up as a teenage Urban Outfitters rebellion, with their shiny jaguar guitars and messy hair, eyes pinned straight into the lights above the audience below them.

PINS felt like a band full of rockstars, each musician having a strong personality of her own, their specialty being Garage rock late ’60s style with pop hooks aplenty, reverberating guitar and a no-nonsense attitude. PINS are a band to keep an eye on in the future, with their music taking them across the USA this June and on a tour of the UK in the Autumn ahead. PINS website, more info can be found there.

Honeyblood, a duo hailing from Glasgow, also brought a lot of catchy and cool sounds to the Gold Sounds festival. Their music is low-fi, focusing on memorable melodies, rolling rhythms and perfect harmonies over any flash or gimmick. Strong drumming from Honeyblood adds a heartbeat to the Mine room under the university. Check out Honeyblood’s website here.

Hinds step up next, their happiness a contrast to the seriousness of previous acts. It’s too common in rock music for everyone to be moody and low. Hinds have skills – adding a heavy dose of summer to a low-ceilinged room underground in Leeds is no easy feat. Their peppy indie meets garage rock sound, again with a bit of fuzzy effects, left a question in the air – why isn’t this band more well-known? Check out Hinds on Facebook here.

To throw in a curveball, the festival presents next a complete contrast: The Wytches. The Wytches were a wall of sound, aggression, anger – modern angsty noiserock.

The headliners of the Gold Sounds festival were none other than the Fat White Family, not long returned from their tour of the USA. The Fat White Family are sort of anti-rock whilst their shows still have an air of an old Stooges gig, both wild and tired at the same time. Communism, underage sex – it’s like their lyrics are set up to piss off parents all over. The Fat Whites ease in the audience with “Auto Neutron”, like the soundtrack to a strange psychedelic 60s love-in, before warming everything up to “Touch the Leather”, the audience bouncing and shouting along. The band hardly interact with the audience (not even a hello) but they still seemed enthralled, eager to experience everyone’s “anti-favourite” band for themselves.

Even from this partial selection of the line-up, The Gold Sounds festival truly did offer the best guitar fuzz, noise and hooks around. Here is hoping that there will be a second festival in the next year. ‘Like’ the Gold Sounds festival Facebook page to remind yourself for next year here!