Image © Reading and Leeds Festivals/Marc Sethi
One of the greatest things about a musically diverse weekender like Leeds Festival, is that you’re almost certain to stumble across some exciting new music on your travels between acts and stages. Our case in point this Saturday: Californian two-piece The Bots on The Lock Up stage.
Featuring brothers Mikaiah (guitar/vocals/occasional synth) and Anaiah Lei (drums), this band has style – Mikaiah’s wide-brimmed hat is a shoe-in for headwear of the weekend - and substance in spades. Their performance is razor sharp, and subtle too; their sound a complex mix that reaches its high points when Mikaiah’s Hendrixian lead guitar parts are layered over looped backing and drums that reference the exalted likes of Death From Above 1979. They’re well-practiced, they’re charismatic, and they run the gamut from Prince-tinged pop, through indie rock, to more alternative sounds with aplomb.
These guys play with real flair and an effortless togetherness, utilising loose tempos, dynamic contrasts and playful evolutions in song structure. The vocals are a little low in the mix, but this does little to detract from the experience of a truly exciting and interesting performance. An emphatic guitar-flinging outro underscores a great set from our find of the festival so far. Thanks for the good times, Bots – we’ll be listening again.