Review : Kazoopa Festival, Leeds 25/11/2017

On the 25th November, independent promotions company Double Denim Live hosted the multi-venue inner city festival, Kazoopa.

Kazoopa is an inner-city festival which features upcoming bands, predominately from around Leeds with over sixty acts booked for one day, showcased across four unique sounding stages hosting music artist varying in genres and style all coming together to create an eventful day.

With the harsh winter weather beating against the festival goers, including myself, the inviting sounds of indie melodies allured myself and the crowds into the various venues of the festival. As you walked past the various bars the mellow strums of guitars tuning would entice you in. At the beginning of the day there was an air of somberness. From the walk to Hyde park, progressing to the city centre. The weather wasn’t going to get me down. Wearing a pair of fishnets and a mini skirt I was in festival mode.

I found myself first venturing down to Santiago’s, an alternate little bar. Santiago’s, I found, was the host to the heavier material of the day. The sheer volume and screaming from a band called Kram drew me to the venue, the two-piece’s angst laden rock styling was an act which allowed anyone to shake off the cold and mosh out to their set. I was warmed up after jumping around, smashing into the bodies of the crowd around me. We were all moshing the cold out.

After, I felt slightly warmer and far more into the festival, so I decided to walk to the Pack-Horse. I managed to catch the majority of Naked Six’s set. Their trade of heavy and filthy blues was intoxicating. The harmonies between the vocals and guitar riffs were beautifully conducted especially with these bouncing against the frenetic drumming. The duo made the most of their time slot and effortlessly worked the crowd.

After a quick drink, I returned to Santiago’s for a while, not just to shelter from the cold, but to enjoy the alternate bands on offer. Next up was This Time Last Year. Despite playing to about five people, they gave the performance their all. Their brand of pop punk was joyful. Perfect to bop along to, the band, although having a small turn out worked the room well. By the end of their set the band decided to let get go before moving on to their next gig in York. Through playing well known classics the band had managed to double their audience for their final song.

The boys were worth a watch if you like a cheeky performance.

As I was heading off from the venue I caught the first two songs of Furr’s performance. The band were furious in their execution. Heavy chords signaled me off the mellower indie sounds on offer. I found the rest of my afternoon split between the Lending room and Verve with a quick interval at Milo’s. The lending room was my next stop and became my hub for the day. I would say this was the main stage for the festival. It was the perfect place for feel good vibes. The crowds were larger, and the acts were more well known.

Sets from The Hyde and Berries presented the opportunity to check out Verve Bar. These were not full but had fans which enjoyed their acts. Both bands I saw had psychedelic undertones, softly played and enjoyed themselves. They didn’t light the world on fire, but I enjoyed the more laid-back styles they had to offer.

I had the pleasure of seeing The Jackobins, Glass peaks, and Vida. Ongoing with the trend throughout the day, the bands were phenomenal. The Jackobins delivered a particularly convincing set filled with whirring hooks and hammering drums. The crowd loved it. Glass peaks followed, euphoric hype continued. The crowds had wild jumping pits accompanying their energetic ballads and ecstatic dancing. The mood was toned down through Vida’s sensual set. Sedated tones cocooned the room, creating a hazy backdrop for their performance. Overall, this cluster of bands provided excitement and relief over their time slot.

Returning later in the day to The Lending room, I saw Sheafs and Avalanche party. Entertainment was provided by the Sheafs as ‘This is not a protest’ was played. A hoard of men were on the stage, creating a riot with, shouting tambourines flying and flailing legs adorned the crowds. Although slightly pitchy throughout their performance the lack of skill was made up for by the band’s ability to shock. This provocative sound was followed by Avalanche party kicking and screaming their way through the set. Bodacious chords blitzed the room producing a beautifully chaotic scene.

I caught Carnation at the home of conventional rock, Milo Bar. Carnation harnessed their indie pop sound with a twist to their advantage. The fast tempo tracks and distorted themes gained them a large crowd, probably one of the largest at the entire festival. I’d say their performance was my favourite of the day due to the atmosphere and skill they performed with.

Overall, Kazoopa festival impressed me. The array of upcoming bands was an absolute steal at the price of £12. Yet, none of the venues were anywhere close to capacity, overall it was the previous band that formed the crowd for the acts following. Despite the talent that was on offer, it is unfortunate that the lack of atmosphere let the day down, certain bands added excitement to the festival but there wasn’t a buzz a crowd could feed off. With a touch more advertising, closer venues and more time, Kazoopa will become a well-received hit like to Live at Leeds or even Slam dunk.

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