Kazoopa Festival 2017 – Review

The Doors to the Lending Room open at 11:30 sharp to allow people to begin picking up their wristbands for the second Kazoopa Festival. After a great turn out for the first year Kazoopa was back with an even better line up and enough bands to keep everyone busy all day.


We kicked off the day with our top pick of the festival The Elephant Trees, opening The Lending Room seemed a little bit of a small slot for a band doing so well especially in their hometown. That didn’t stop them packing out the venue at 12:30. In retrospect such an opening act definitely set the tone for an amazing day had by all. With their unique sound and extremely high energy performance they proved why they’re destined for great things. Describing themselves as Acoustic led alt rock, they proved you don’t need a heavy sound to have huge riffs and captivating hooks on every single song.


The Elephant Trees  - Kazoopa Festival - 25-11-17-1

One of the first bands of the day, coming from Leeds, who were sadly playing their last show that afternoon, was a unique sounding heavy indie duo named KRAM. Their highly energetic set made for a great start to the day. Even though it was early afternoon the venue had a decent crowd, everyone was getting into the vibe of their music, making causal onstage conversation with the band, general positive vibes. This being made better by a solid performance from both members, they work well as the duo they are. Producing loud hard hitting indie rock with strong aggressive vocal work, the songs they played were well structure, catchy and easy to get into. Got a good reaction from audience.



The Brazen, A proggy indie five piece hailing from Yorkshire/ Birmingham areas, solid first impressions of them right from the start, they produced a brilliant instrumental piece and this was just sound check at the time, showcasing a tight performance from all members before their set even properly started. There wasn’t too much of a crowd at milo’s at the time, but that easily was made up for with the amount of energy from the band members, always interact with each other, or giving audience members reasons interact. While I was watching them, I feel like their music adds quite a fresh sound to the genre of indie rock their music thanks to the use of some rather tasteful guitar work. Clear influence from stone roses, queen, stereophonics, etc. Generally just producing some rather enjoyable music to be honest. Probably one of the best audience reaction to a band from the day because of how the venue the was situated, there is a street level window, so even a few passersby were able to join in.



Following on from The Elephant Trees at The Lending Room we have another local band making waves Atlanta House. These guys have a very unique sound which clearly comes from their varied influences, this in turn gives them great blend of different genres throughout their set. As they mentioned multiple times throughout their set they have dropped a debut EP called Home which is available on all streaming platforms.


Atlanta House  - Kazoopa Festival - 25-11-17-1

My first thoughts while I has watching Furr, was I bet the Foo Fighters sounded a lot like this when they were first starting out, these guys very much have that vibe about them. Straight away, lots of visible energy coming out of their live performance, like that infectious kind of energy, really gets everyone in the mood for them. Constantly talking to the audience, bridging the gap, keeping us engaged throughout their set. Their style of music provides a template which everyone can relate to, to thoroughly enjoy. From what i got from it felt it has Foo Fighters/Queens Of The Stone Age mixed with variations of pop punk. All the general enjoyment that was coming from the band has made better by their absolute solid performance, as a band and as individuals, the songs they played were well structured and catchy.



We’ve heard a lot of buzz about newcomer Tom Lumley so he was a must on our list of acts during the day and he definitely lived up to the hype. After recently winning “Best male solo artist” at the NMG Awards Tom had some big shoes to fill in our minds. Kicking off his set to an unfortunately sparse looking room didn’t stop Tom giving 110%. To the delight of the band and everyone in the venue after 1/2 songs the room filled up to and we were hardly able to move. The silky smooth harmonies and soulful voice definitely dragged people in from the street to see what all the excitement was about.


Tom Lumley  - Kazoopa Festival - 25-11-17-1

Mint were easily by far one of my favourite acts of the evening, the four members produced a lively upbeat performance, full of positive vibes. They reminded me a lot of the band that did the intro music to casino royale. I found quite a uniqueness in the way the guitar pieces composed for their songs, mainly the use of effects pedals, made for a rather intriguing overall tone. The vocal work was wonderful, it was a shared job throughout the band, you were able to pick up on all sorts of different tones. The band’s overall musicianship was fantastic, immensely tight set, huge amounts of energy from all band members made for an incredibly comfortable positive atmosphere for everyone. Heavily engaging with the audience right from the offset of, my favourite part was when they throw an inflatable alligator out into the crowd, the lead singer also did a bit of crowd surfing that was a fun time. It has a packed out venue, they had an extremely strong audience reaction, everyone seemed to love them.



After hearing about the hiccups at the Milo bar venue we were worried we wouldn’t get to see Benson but Kazoopa pulled it back and sorted the venue out meaning we could get our fix of these energetic, crazy bastards. Even though Milos isn’t the venue it once was, that didn’t stop Benson getting everyone on their feet and even dragging in a few people from the street to come join in the madness.


Benson - Kazoopa Festival - 25-11-17-1

Blank Atlas was next on our agenda, we just couldn’t go through the day without hearing these guys amazing blend of smooth harmonies shared evenly throughout the band and their heavy riffs perforating our ear drums. Right from the get go, their heart pounding drums had everyone head banging. Breaking two strings on two different guitars didn’t slow these guys down one bit. They powered through and kept their raw sound throughout. Their basslines and fuzzy guitars made the hairs on our neck stand on end. We’ll be keeping an eye on these guys, if this performance is anything to go by, they will be huge.


Blank Atlas - Kazoopa Festival - 25-11-17-1

The Franklys, coming from London are a all female indie punk four piece, the music that they played felt like it had noticeable unique sound, from my perspective sounded quite fresh in the genre. Even from the offset of their performance it was rather noticeable, it felt like their music had a lot more of focus on the instrumental aspects of their songs. From what I heard there was some rather intricate drum segments, made for some rather interesting grooves, and welcoming change to listen to, however though i did find the vocal work to be lacking in points but has easily made up for in with their performance as a group. The music they were producing was catchy and easy to get along with, just generally enjoyable to the ears, it resonated well the with the audience that has there at the time, especially coming off the back of Mint, everyone was still rather hyped. There wasn’t too much crowd interaction from the band but that was easily made up for it with their performance and energy.



Nova Hands came as a quite nice unexpected surprise for me, I saw three guitars, and thought this could be interesting if they all play well together, but what wasn’t to my surprise is that they absolutely did play well together. Wonderfully solid performance from all members, the music they were producing from their set was musically intricate full of catchy hooks and riffs, it was music that felt rather unique in genre that can feel rather stale at times. Because I felt their music was rather technical, I’d like a to compare their music to bands like Dance Gavin Dance or least the lighter side of them, it felt just generally very enjoyable and easy to get set into the groove of their style of music. The music itself, the crowd reaction and the band’s audience interaction were all met with equal amounts of energy. The high amounts of energy made for a rather positive atmosphere, giving audience members a reason to want to interact, mixed with a highly charismatic front man provided solid grounds for an overall positive show.



We decided to take things down a notch and give our ears a rest so we headed to Bad Apples which was the acoustic stage for the festival. This was about to be headlined by Martha Phillips whom is the lead singer of The Elephant Trees. After a few technical difficulties with the venue PA Martha powered through and showed her excellent vocal range and insane talent with a loop pedal. It was a pleasant surprise to hear The Elephant Trees tracks done acoustically but still hold the huge hooks they’re known for. Martha even threw in a few covers which all went down a charm.


Martha Phillips - Kazoopa Festival - 25-11-17-1

Kovax provided quite an unexpected show that evening, as well as rather welcome upbeat change of pace. My first thoughts were that they might have been another regular indie band, because that it would fit the rest of the festival, but I was rather mistaken, they probably caught a few people off guard i would imagine to be honest, Kovax came in with big heavy riffs and absolute solid vocal work, made for a lots of energy been produced throughout their set, was infectious energy amongst everybody that has watching, made it very easy to get to keep up with the fast pace of their music. I feel this helped them gain a good relationship with audience, there was laughs and jokes exchanged between the two. I found their style of music somewhat unique as I felt in a lot of the songs that they played contained little bits of mathcore elements which you wouldn’t really find in either hard rock or indie. The music that Kovax played for us was just generally loud, engaging and enjoyable. The audience that was there made for a packed out room and everyone seemed to be taking quite well to the vastly different change of pace in music.



Carnation are a three piece indie rock group from Manchester, they were the second to last band I saw that night. Bands like the Arctic Monkeys were easily recognisable influences in their overall sound, which I can imagine helps an audience quite a lot in been able to connect with their music that bit more. They weren’t a massively energetic band, but I felt that has made up for with the overall quality of their music and crowd interaction. Just generally good musicianship from all three members. They produced some interesting music, from the aspect from the instrumental pieces mainly, I found the tones coming from the two guitars to be rather unique and different to what you would normally hear in this genre. They had some solid, well written songs throughout their set, just simple and enjoyable stuff to be honest, digestible for everyone.



Late Night Legacy, a funk rock four piece, hailing out of Leeds, one of our last bands of the night, and quite easily one of the best bands of the night even. Just right off the bat just so much energy and groove, easy to see why these guys are progressing in the industry the way they are. All band members just charismatic as each other, constantly interacting with audience whenever performing wasn’t necessary, a tambourine was handed out to audience members in couple of songs to get things started. They were there just out to generally creating a super positive atmosphere for the venue, making everyone feel like they should be involved. This atmosphere was backed up by an extremely solid performance all the way through their set, even with just picking up each band member’s individual piece of music they sounded fantastic, I couldn’t say anything bad their musical abilities even if I wanted to. There was what felt like a lot of influence from the early funky side of Red Hot Chilli Peppers floating around in their sound. Again though that’s a sound a lot of people can relate, so that’s going to always work in their favour.



Headlining the whole festival, we had the pleasure of seeing the enigmatic The Wholls. We’ve seen these guys a couple of times before and knew they we’re going to one of the highlights of the festival for us. We knew they would pull a crowd but we never expected to see The Lending Room so full. The band entered the stage and greeted the organiser of Kazoopa Mick with a Happy Birthday message then kicked straight into what turned out to be one of the best performances we’ve seen all day. Their raw charisma shone through and had half the crowd off their feet singing almost every word back to them. It’s unusual to see such a varied blend of genres in one band which is clear with these guys with a slight hip hop edge to their indie/Alt rock sound.


The Wholls - Kazoopa Festival - 25-11-17-1

Kazoopa Festival Preview

Kazoopa Festival is returning for a second year on the 25th November. This metropolitan festival held in all your favourite venues around Leeds City Centre and held by your favourite Leeds promoters Double Denim Live. Kazoopa is hitting hard with their incredible line up of indie/rock/alt bands to quench your thirst during the winter months where most bands go into hiding to write new tracks.


Check out the full line up below

Musicology’s Top Pick

We’ve chosen our top band from the whole line up that we think you should check out on the day (or just in general). Along with 4 more that you definitely need to add to your playlist.


The Elephant Trees

The Elephant Trees are a Leeds based band (recently relocated to Manchester) who are taking the scene by storm at the moment. With three tracks currently released all of which are absolute bangers these guys will be huge in no time.

Check out their video for their latest single Open Up below

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/theelephanttrees/


The Wholls

Check out their video for their track X21 below

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thewholls/



Check out their video for their track Milk below

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDarma/


Late Night Legacy

Check out their video for the track I’m an Eagle below

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LateNightLegacy/



Check out their video for the track Elise below

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WeAreJustMint/


We had a chat with one of the organisers Mick Dolman (Double Denim Live) about the festival and what it means to the scene. Check it out below.

For anyone who isn’t aware of what Double Denim Live/Kazoopa is, what do you do?

Double Denim Live are National promoters putting on the best new bands at venues across the country in cities such as London, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds, which is where we are based, plus many more. Kazoopa is a project of Double Denim Live and its a multi venue inner city festival bringing the best new bands to Leeds for a full day of some serious rock n roll.


What was the main reason behind starting Kazoopa Festival?

We see a lot of festivals of a similar style all over the country but none really focusing on new bands. Most if not all these kind of festivals always have a few big names on playing the big stages so we thought we would create Kazoopa Fest where all the focus is on new music.


Are there any plans to increase the size/location of Kazoopa? Maybe adding a second city to the mix.

This is the second year for kazoopa and we have increased from 5 venues to 8 which is a big step forward. As for taking Kazoopa to other cities, we have spoke about it and maybe its something we could look at in a few years, i think we need to build its reputation first and then see where it takes us, but yeah, its definitely a possibility.


How did you decide what bands you wanted to play this year’s Kazoopa Festival?

It was a tough one this year, we had over 1000 applications which is madness. We wanted bands who work hard in promoting themselves by constantly playing shows and making a name for themselves. There would be no point booking a band that plays once or twice a month because there would be no buzz about them. Look at the likes of Sheafs or Avalanche Party, every week there’s something up on social media about a gig they just played or tour dates etc, as a promoter thats what you want to see when putting on something like Kazoopa.


Where would you like to see Kazoopa go in the future?

It would be fucking insane if we got to a point where we would need to book a venue like O2 Academy or Stylus for the main stage. When we do get there we will still give you a press pass dont worry.


Any last words for the readers?

Yeah, keep supporting the scene, keep supporting live music because when its gone you will all be moaning, especially the ones that stay at home and watch x factor instead of coming out to a venue and enjoying the atmosphere and smell of sweat at a proper gig. Support small venues. If you do go to gigs dont just go to the venues where its cool to be seen, go visit small venues because trust me, some of the best gigs i have been to have been in 100-125 cap venues….and last but not least, please buy a ticket for Kazoopa Fest 2017. We are totally independent with no financial backers so we rely solely on ticket sales to keep kazoopa going.



Pick up your tickets for Kazoopa Festival here – https://www.kazoopafest.co.uk/tickets/


Social Media Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kazoopafest/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kazoopafest?lang=en

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kazoopafest/

Website – https://www.kazoopafest.co.uk/

Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/160829974391692/324355478039140/?notif_t=admin_plan_mall_activity&notif_id=1511123805131705