The wide, long and deep musical culture of Leeds is known by its inhabitants as well as the backs of their hands; its people need look no further than the ever-changing, ever-innovating cabal of venues and promoters that line Leeds’ streets from Queens Road to Merrion St and far far beyond. These places, their contemporaries and (both literally and figuratively) their forebears played and yet play host and home to that culture. The Brudenell has passed a century in age, and been a rite of passage for any Northern band really worth their salt. The Belgrave, having opened in recent memory, offers up its booming popularity as proof that this city’s still the same, yet entirely different at the same time – generations of music come and go and change the landscape but keep that all-important Leodiensian je ne sais quoi. And the terraces: street upon brick-lined street of basement gigs and bedroom practices, the muffled thump of distant bass drums and thrum of bass guitars. It is stories like these that Hebe Works and The City Talking want to tell in their upcoming documentary.
The City Talking: Made In Leeds was announced in the free newspaper’s most recent issue, and promises to tread where journalists and documentarians of the 20th century never quite managed. It promises to talk of a scene that never dreamt of multilateral appreciation and worship, a scene and a history that instead permeated the city in the most honest and meaningful manner. It promises to talk about Utah Saints, Forward Russia and Sisters of Mercy in closely-linked breaths. It promises to be an entirely different kind of story, an entirely different documentary, than any of its relational ilk.
The City Talking’s Editor Daniel Chapman is responsible for Made In Leeds’ script, and with affiliations with East St Arts, the BBC, Hebe Works and Leeds College of Music, the hands on deck are most certainly adept enough to promise us an insightful, worthwhile and long-overdue glimpse into a cultural pedigree set apart from any other.
As yet, there is no formal release date for Made In Leeds, but you can safely expect to see it this autumn.