While being a non-profit organisation, Brudenell Social Club retains the community atmosphere of its origins as a working men's club. It's regarded as one of the most influential and important live venues in the Leeds music scene and vital part of the city's D.I.Y. culture supporting local newcomers.
The Brudenell regularly showcases an eclectic mix of up-and-coming bands, hip or soon-to-be-influential names and the acts that first inspired them, from Rock to Punk, Metal to to Hip Hop. Every band playing the stage is treated the same, regardless of their status and fame. Plus, unlike most venues, the Brudenell doesn't ask for a cut of the money bands make from selling merchandise. Renowned artists playing gigs include Franz Ferdinand, British Sea Power, and Kaiser Chiefs as well as local The Cribs.
The club is split into three areas: a 400 capacity concert room, a bar area, and games room section as well as a second concert area, known as the Community Room. The club's current logo features dog Charlie, the owner's King Charles Spaniel.
Jumbo Records is a centrally located, independent record shop with a huge range of vinyl and CDs. Running for decades now, it is a real paradise especially if you are an enthusiast of old stuff or current vinyl. There are loads of records to browse. Jumbo covers the whole spectrum of Rock, Indie, and Pop to Dance, Jazz, and much more. Also strongly supporting local artists and newcomers.
The Fav is located close to the universities, a compound of bar and kitchen. Serving excellent fresh home made food from local suppliers, wherever possible. When weather permits, the large outside terrace is a lovely place to eat and drink. Also home to a small venue with occasional live music.
Best choice for staying some nights in Leeds: Radisson Blu which is within walking distance to major sightseeing spots such as Town Hall and Leeds Cathedral, plus in neighbourhood to record stores and numerous bars and restaurants. The breakfast is scrumptious.
A real hot spot is Nation of Shopkeepers. One of the best choices in Leeds for a pre gig dinner or some drinks after the concert. Weather allowing, enjoy a cold drink or one of the fancy burgers in the wonderful outside courtyard. The inside is a inspiring mix of art and live music.
Irish pub Shenanigans is an overwhelmingly friendly place with Irish and Folk music sounds. Have a snack and a beer and if you're lucky, there's also some kind of live music on today's event calendar. They carefully pick their bands and musicians for their talent, so perhaps you'll discover some new favourites tunes tonight.
Situated on the edge of Hyde Park, near Leeds university campus is The Library, a students' spot. Definitely a nice place to have a break and grab something to eat. There is a variety of ales on tap and amazing food all day from breakfast to dinner. Also various vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.
One of Leeds' oldest pubs, The Pack Horse offers a variety of drinks plus scrumptious pub food. Packed with students due to its proximity to the universities. Also regularly hosting live music shows. After their formation in early 2008, the band Pulled Apart By Horses rehearsed above The Pack Horse pub several times and also had their first ever gig there.
Leeds University is not only a place to study, but also to enjoy live music in three different venues, with The Refectory the most popular one. Situated in the heart of the campus, it hosted legendary performances since the 60s such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. The venue is highly renowned for The Who live album Live at Leeds which was recorded there.
When the Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen opened in 2013, it responded to a need for a large-room live music venue with a decent bar, craft beer, and reliable street food. What was once a large nursery school in the city’s Northern Quarter is now a vibrant, youthful, three-storey hangout and one of the city’s best live music venues. Ultimate highlight: the spectacular roof terrace.
Leeds University, really? Yes, it's not only a place to study, but also to enjoy live music in three different venues, with The Refectory the most popular one. Situated in the heart of the campus, it hosted legendary performances since the 60s such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. The venue is highly renowned for The Who live album Live at Leeds which was recorded there.
The arrival of this first large-capacity venue was undoubtedly long-overdue. Before, Leeds was left behind as huge Rock bands toured the country, who were forced to play in Sheffield, Liverpool, or Manchester, instead of the city equally famed for its contribution to music. The calendar of First Direct Arena has a strong emphasis on Rock ‘n’ Roll.
It's an impressive Gothic building that hosts O2 Academy Leeds. With global superstars as well as local newcomers on the event calendar, this is one of the most renowned venues in town. Also centrally located in walking distance to main sightseeing attractions, shopping options and numerous bars and restaurants, O2 Academy is a hotspot for both locals and tourists.
Leeds Festival alongside with its twin Reading Festival, marks one of the most iconic British music events. Basically a Rock festival, it also showcases a line-up that spans various genres including Metal, Punk, Indie, and House. It's a true Hall Of Fame that have graced Leeds Festival famous main stage. Among them AC/DC, Metallica, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Green Day, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, just to name a few.
The Wardrobe offers a full event calendar of gigs, combined with excellent drinks and food. Also a great choice if you are looking for smaller shows - whether music, comedy, or art performances. The basement venue hosts bigger, yet intimate live performances. As for the kitchen, The Wardrobe provides a delicious selection of pre or post gig snacks, salads, and burgers on its menu.
Headrow House opened up in 2015 and has since become one of the most popular music venues in Leeds, helped by it’s amazing beer hall, cocktail bar, restaurant, and rooftop terraces, no doubt. For a really cool relaxed feel and definitely worth a visit. Also hosting numerous live performances from both renowned and upcoming artists and bands.
Since its beginnings in 2007, Live at Leeds is an award winning metropolitan festival held annually within a variety of venues and spaces in Leeds city centre. Most of them even in walking distance. It showcases the best new emerging artists alongside more established acts from around the world.
This is the place when you are fond of heavier music. May it be Punk or all variations of Heavy Metal - this intimate live music venue is all about a great gig experience.
Brudenell Social Club (Photo by Bachmeier / Ramsthaler)