Hot new acts Slaves and Clay for Live at Leeds

Slaves.
Slaves.

By Graham Chalmers

It’s not just bigger music names such as The Cribs, George The Poet and Palma Violets who are making this year’s Live at Leeds fest on May Bank Holiday Saturday sound so tempting, it’s the up-and-coming acts.

Leeds band Clay,

Leeds band Clay,

From opposite ends of the spectrum geographically and musically, Clay are a set of young lads from Leeds delivering a joyous, melodic, dancey mix of Jungle and The Charlatans.

Slaves, meanwhile, are the hot duo who earlier this year were nominated for the BBC Music Sound of 2015 and the NME’s Best New Band award.

Packing more energy on stage than fellow duo Drenge, Slaves are also a bit more punky.

I say “punky” but talking to me on the phone, Laurie Vincent says there’s a lot more to this energetic duo than raw, in your face, guitar riffing and a bit of banging and shouting.

“Growing up our reference points were bands like The Jam and The Sex Pistols and Grunge. People did seem to have more things to say then but they had less to fear in those days from social media.

“I think we’re primal rather than punky. We’re simple and straight-up but we’re also into rap and rave and hip hop.”

While the four-piece Clay, who’ve already won the support of Radio 1’s biggest DJs for their new single Sun Dance, sound upbeat and romantic, Slaves offer acerbic social observation, albeit with a sense of humour.

Laurie said: “Who knows what anyone really stands for anymore? It’s a hard time to be a voting in an election. I’ve got a feeling the system we’ve got in this country is completely ****ed. ”

Unfashionably for these times, Laurie and Isaac Holman, his co-partner in Slaves, seem to stand for a lot. They even take clothes seriously.

Laurie said: “We’ve always been into the different styles of English sub-cultures. I think it’s important that bands are visually attractive but in a way that’s in keeping with their music.”

As well as catching this barnstorming duo at Live at Leeds on Saturday, May 2, anyone wanting to see what all the fuss is about should get Slaves’ forthcoming debut album, Are You Satisfied.