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In The Spotlight: Live & Loud

York's flagship Freshers event looks set to be bigger than ever before. We speculate on the move to Hes East and what you can expect from the bands on offer.

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Katy B(2)

Live & Loud is a Freshers' Week event set in a large, outdoor wind-tunnel between other, more architecturally picturesque wind-tunnels. It includes such delights as "a massive outdoor stage" and a "photo booth", this year's event is shaping up to put a field between Badger Hill and the A64 on the live music map.

YUSU's optimism aside, L&L appears to have potential. The question is, however, whether underneath the endless hype a worthwhile Fresher's Week headline event exists. Inside the Ron Cooke Hub, you'll find URY musically jousting with York's big-name club DJs... silently. A silent disco in a building akin to modern-day hospital foyer (complete with water fountains and reception desk) would probably be considered a strange experience at any other time of the year, but in the context of Freshers' Week, it's just another evening out.

Expect to pay £2.50 for a vodka mixer, and don't even consider trying to BYOB: security teams on the gate do full-body pat-downs. If tickets are still available at the time of printing, you can purchase them from and probably from the YUSU building in James College. We'd recommend the latter - Kallum often looks lonely in his office. £26 gets you a sexy wristband for entry to the event and an easy conversation starter for the rest of the year.

Headlining L&L 2013 is Katy B, a familiar name to those with one eye on the mainstream. She's known for her soft vocals plastered atop garage and dubstep-inspired beats. With a new album on the horizon, expect mid-set announcements along the lines of "here's another new one from my upcoming album", proceeding to awkwardly sway and pretending like you give a shit. Second single '5AM' is due to be released by the end of the month.

Having previously duetted with the likes of Mark Ronson, and won NME's Dancefloor Anthem Award in 2012, the tone of the set is likely to be fixedly house and R&B-based. A BRIT School graduate, Katy suits any self-respecting chartster and those in need of something easy on the ear.

Listen out for such well-known hits as 'Broken Record' and the rather reflexively-titled 'Katy on a Mission'. Success on Saturday night will depend on Katy's stage presence, an absolute necessity to tame the Hes East stage.

Shy FX

Although a name some may not recognise, Shy FX's sounds have been much closer than you think over the last 12 months; DJ Fresh's (incidentally, a former L&L performer himself) 'Gold Dust' from a couple of years ago was remixed by Mr FX into a track fusing reggae brass with an aggressive drum 'n' bass beat, leading to it taking the coveted position of Kuda favourite.

Shy FX has also profited from various production jobs, ranging from tracks on Dizzee Rascal's albums Maths + English and Tongue N' Cheek to Yasmin's 'Light Up (The World)', which features Ms. Dynamite.

Additionally, this summer, a track with Liam Bailey - namely 'Soon Come', made it onto Radio 1 and 1Xtra daytime playlists. Having honed his craft since '92, expect a set filled with non-stop jungle and drum 'n' bass and no filler, in what promises to be the highlight performance of the evening. Definitely the one to watch from the 2013 line-up.

If it's indie you're yearning for at this year's L&L, look no further than Pigeon Detectives. The rocky five piece offer a change of tone from the rest of this year's acts, with catchy, garage-y tracks. Having done the rounds this summer, from Kubana Festival in Russia to V Festival closer to home, the band have set out to promote their relatively newly released album, We Met at Sea.


As resident West-Yorkshirians, Pigeon Detectives also offer an opportunity for freshers to dip their toes in to the wide pond of local music that the county boasts. The boys are proud of their Leeds heritage and often perform locally, once calling it "their little thank you to those who have stuck by us".

While the album has been met with mixed critical response, (NME commenting that it's "more of the same minus the big hooks") many fans are arguing that this is their best work to date. Definitely the alternative option for this year's festival.

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