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TLDP June 2023 Brennan Bucannan 4

Ten artists to see at this year's Live at Leeds

18 September 2023, 08:00

From Benefits and Aziya to Shanghai Baby and The Last Dinner Party, this year's Live at Leeds is where you'll see the best new music in 2023.

One-day city event Live at Leeds might just be the best showcase festival in the UK right now.

The event – launched in 2007 to celebrate the 800th birthday of its home city – sees more than 100 of 2023 best rising stars play at over 20 venues. Best Fit is also joining the our friends at BBC Introducing Live, DORK and Sofar Sounds in hosting a stage for the 14 October event featuring some of our die-hard music crushes right now.

Tickets are on sale now but we're offering two pairs of VIP tickets to two lucky readers by answering one easy question.


We've also sifted through the entire line-up to bring you our very guide to what you need to see if you're heading there next month.


Aziya Aldridge-Moore should be an example to any artist trying to intelligently use TikTok to build their fanbase and get their music heard. The East Londoner’s blueprint for her career is resolutely DIY and she’s a product of talent and hard work rather than the worse-than-crack social platform. We first chatted to her back in 2021 and this year she’s now riding high on a string of solid leftfield indie bangers that nod heavily to Peter Hooks basslines and Chris Stein hooks.


At a more extreme end of the musical spectrum but no less DIY, Teesside Sprechgesang noise project Benefits dropped one of the year’s best debut albums back in July. Nails, which dropped via Geoff Barrow's Invada labe is driven by the polemic of hard-but-empathetic frontman Kingsley Hall and their live shows are uncompromising and brilliant.

Fat Dog

At the forefront of hype this year, Fat Dog earned their live stripes gigging around London and playing support to the likes of Viagra Boys, Shame and Yard Act. 2023 has seen them sign to Domino and their performance at this year's End of the Road Festival was one of the weekend's most talked-about sets.

Gretel Hänlyn

The dark indie ballads of West London singer/songwriter Gretel Hänlyn owe a debt to the likes of Nick Cave and Tim Buckly as much as Nirvana and Wolf Alice. Hanlyn makes music to process her emotions and has ridden on the success of a string of incredible EPs over the last two years.


Among the bands pushing forward guitar-led music in 2023 is Hasting trio Hotwax. They’ve already supported The Strokes and got a nod from Beck – who wrote the song they’re named for – after covering him for a recent Best Fit session.

Picture Parlour

Now the hype has died down – along with industry plant accusations – Picture Parlour are finally being appreciated for their impressive USP, largely down to the superlative musical talent of band leader Katherine Parlour. Vocally, she sounds like nothing else out there right now, and the band remain one of the year’s most exciting prospects in British music.

Shanghai Baby

Ex-Hinds bassist Ade Martin was showcasing her new project Shanghai Baby back in the summer of 2022, way before the announcement of her departure from the Madrid four-piece this July With ubiquitous producer Paco Loco on production duties, Martin’s debut EP announced a different sound too – more aligned to Strokes-tinged indie than the lo-fi garage rock n roll of her former band.

Nell Mescal

20-year-old County Kildare-born Nell Mescal jump started her career signing a management deal with the same people that look after Foals, Muse and The Last Dinner Party. Her tender, honest take on a folk-pop sound has won her legions of fans – among them her actor brother Paul who can often be seen dancing with wild abandon in the front row at her shows.


DIY artist tinyumbrellas – AKA Norfolk-born, and now Leeds-based 20-year old "DT" – makes indie pop with their trademark melodies and gentle vocals, inspired by the world-building of Studio-Ghibili and the kaleidoscopic memories and feelings of their teen years.

The London five-piece have more than proved their worth as a live band over a summer of festival shows, winning over the naysayers and building legions of fans with their approach to theme: audiences are invited to dress-up and match the show they’re attending. Beneath the flounce and fun is a hard-working, serious band with the songs to match and the bones to go the distance.

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