Our most comprehensive guide yet. In fact there's so much info, we'll let Graphic Designer and Lecturer Paul Heys tell you about himself and his favourite places in Leeds. Take it away Paul...
Name: Paul Heys
What do you do? Graphic Designer / Senior Lecturer at The University of Huddersfield, UK
Describe Leeds in 3 words:
My Kinda Town!
What do you love about the city?
The citizens of Leeds might hang me for this but bear with me.
I see Leeds as a big town rather than a city. It's big enough to house all your favourite lifestyle choices, but small enough to still feel personable. Leeds has had a huge impact on music and design throughout history and has always been at the forefront of contemporary culture, and with the arrival of the 'Leeds festival' Leeds is a noted city and a stop-off point for international artists and performers whatever the preference.
I've recently swapped the city for the country living 30 minutes from LS1. I lived in Leeds for six years. It holds a lot of dear memories for me and I still have a lot of friends there. So now I get the sense of a changing city every time I visit. If you've never been, it should be on your list.
Most memorable moment in Leeds:
There's been quite a lot. If I'm put on the spot I think 'At The Drive in' at Royal Park Cellars 2000. They had just finished a US tour with 'Rage Against the Machine' and my friends were putting on the gig in a cellar that
fits about 100 people in it - a true northern welcome! I think there was about 200+ that night. It's not so much the gig, even though it was quite a special night all in all, but it was at the time I'd just moved to Leeds. It was an exciting time for music. There was a real buzz in the air and everyone worked together to make the scene stronger. There was less segregation and not many bands knocking around back then so gigs were one or two a month, something to really look forward to, and the bill would be super varied. Also, if I didn't mention the three day 'Out of Spite' festival that Simon Russell and crew organised for 10 years straight at Joseph's Well it would be a crime. This guy is pretty much responsible for most of the good punk rock that put Leeds on the map from the late '90s onwards. So I think my Most memorable moment in Leeds: is 1998-2008-(09). A.Mazing!
What would be an ideal day for you in Leeds?
It's all about the people. Due to work I don't get to see everyone as much as I would like. So:
12:30 - Meet for Lunch.
13:30 - Onwards Pub-Bar.
It's a basic unimaginative answer, but it's worked for over 10 years and I've never been disappointed.
What would you like to do/see in Leeds that you haven't had the chance to do yet?
I would love to collaborate in making a book that would document the history of Leeds alternative culture and explore the more interesting, less commercial elements of the city and the LS6-Hyde Park district. There are so many great stories that should be shared.
If you could create a soundtrack for Leeds what songs would be on it?
Side A / Now and then
01: The Chap: Courage and Modesty
02: The Firebird Band: Obsessive Compulsive
03: Battles: DANCE
04: Kumiko Kit: Andrea's Kit
05: Shy Child: Pressure to come
06: Stateless: This Language
Side B / An ode to the past
01: Alkaline Trio: Snake Oil Tanker
02: At the Drive-In: Napoleon Solo
03: Leatherface: Not a day goes by
04: Dugong: Tonight is perfect
05: Kelly 8: Roadkill
06: Voorhees: Black Days