Band’s big gigs at Leeds and Reading

The Mexanines, James Brander, Elliot Roper and Rory Senior, will be playing at Reading and Leeds Festivals.
The Mexanines, James Brander, Elliot Roper and Rory Senior, will be playing at Reading and Leeds Festivals.

A HALIFAX band have been chosen to play at Leeds Festival today in what will be their biggest-ever gig.

The Mexanines will open the BBC Introducing stage before travelling to its twin festival Reading for a slot on Sunday.

Singer and guitarist James Brander, bassist Elliot Roper and drummer Rory Senior won the coveted spot on the bill in Martin House Hospice’s Centre Stage competition.

James, who lives in Northowram, said the two gigs would be the biggest they had done “by quite a mile”.

“It will be a massive amount of exposure for us,” he said.

“We’ll get to draw in crowds from both sides of the country.”

The 19-year-old bandmates met as pupils at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School and have been making music together for three years.

The trio describe their sound as “bluesy rock‘n’roll” and count The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys and Foo Fighters among their influences.

The band are well-known on the West Yorkshire gig circuit, and performances at last year’s Bingley Music Live and the final of the Centre Stage competition at the O2 Academy in Leeds have helped to prepare them for the big crowds that await them this weekend.

The hotly-tipped musicians are featured as a ‘band to watch’ in the festival’s programme next to Halifax-born singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

The star, who spent his early childhood in Hebden Bridge, will play on the Festival Republic stage at Leeds today and at Reading on Sunday.

His debut album, titled +, will be released on September 12, featuring his hit single The A Team - which is the highest-selling and highest-charting debut single of the year.