Coming soon: Sounds Like THIS Festival

Note: This article refers to Leeds College of Music (LCoM), the former name of Leeds Conservatoire

By Kath Hartley

Updated Posted

AWATE and Unusual Ingredients join Plaid and Ligeti Quartet in festival line up

9-20 March 2020 | Leeds |

The award-winning Sounds Like THIS festival returns to Leeds in March, with a diverse line-up exploring the breadth of exciting new music. Created by LCoM, the two-week event includes performances ranging from an amplified string quartet or brand new compositions for glass sculpture, to the world of circuit bending and turntablism – and much more.


A brand new partnership with the British Library brings us AWATE, following his five-month residency as part of the Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project. Nominated for ‘Best Urban Act’ at the UMAs 2018, his Happiness EP was praised as a ‘British Rap Masterpiece’ by Trench Magazine and he has been featured on BBC Radio 1, 1 Xtra and 6 Music. AWATE joins the festival bill for The Unearthed Odyssey; a special evening of music discussion and performance at The Venue at LCoM on Monday 16 March.

Festival headliners, electronic duo Plaid, have chosen their support acts from a call for artists, and will perform at Brudenell Social Club on Friday 13 March. The selected artists are Catenation – who present the world premiere of Cumulated Breath – in which Sylvia and Jeanne use bass recorder and live processing to create an arresting, brutalist noisescape. Also in support is artist Jack Breeze, who intertwines his love of classical music and experimental electronica with his ability for sound design to create melodic yet experimental electronic music.

Electric Storm

For the third year running, we partner with music charity Brighter Sound to present work as part of their gender equality programme Both Sides Now. This year’s performance, Electric Storm, will bring together 14 of the North’s most innovative music creators, producers and digital artists to showcase a bold new audio visual work inspired by electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, and White Noise’s 1969 seminal album ‘An Electric Storm’. Produced in collaboration with Delia Derbyshire Day, this is their first full-scale performance following a 5-day collaborative residency.  

Unusual Ingredients

Unusual Ingredients is a collaboration between food artist Caroline Hobkinson and musicians Jacob Thompson-Bell and Adam Martin, which explores the relationship between sound and taste. The piece will guide the audience through a menu of popping candy, honey, coffee, seaweed, tamarind and more, each paired with a specially composed piece of music to dramatise and amplify its flavours and textures in extraordinary ways. LCoM Saturday 14 March.

In 2018, Sounds Like THIS won a prestigious Drum Experience Award for Best Small Festival, whose panel commended the festival team’s commitment to new and exciting music which is underrepresented in the mainstream. 

This spirit is threaded throughout the entire festival, and the variety of events include Ligeti Quartet – a contemporary classical quartet who perform in a club setting at Belgrave Music Hall. Local Leeds-based artist Territorial Gobbing wrangles charity shop tapes, mixed clutter, broken FX pedals and slurping vocal improv into a delicate and transient climate of explosive hyper-dynamic noise musique. Psychiceyeclix is experimental video and sound artists using hacked video gear to make visual and hacked toys, synths and drums to make audio. Queer performance artist Oberon White presents multidisciplinary performance winegod, tracing the ancientness of queer identity.

House of Europe presents the fruits of a three-year songwriting project of four conservatoires across Europe around the theme of human understanding. The opera Romeo & Her Juliet is a reimagining of the classic piece, with both Romeo and Juliet portrayed by women.

Sounds Like THIS is proudly supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

The full line-up can be found at

By Kath Hartley

It'll be fantastic to seeing our @LeedsDrama studios come alive again.
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