Updated: Dec 18, 2021
From Jazz and Blues to Reggae and Soul The Domino Club introduces a dazzling new side to Leeds' music scene yet making sure that Jazz is their backbone. The stage is given each week to a variety of individuals, duos, and bands to give a voice to future stars of all ages and backgrounds whilst celebrating the full spectrum of Domino's sound. I ran across this underground bar whilst walking through the Grand Arcade in the city and if it weren't for the oddly long queue and booming sound of Funk soul under my feet I wouldn't have looked twice. I recognise this sounds rather rude but what makes this live music bar so unique is
how it completely fools you into think it's the complete unexpected...a mens barber shop.
I wasn't exactly dressed in the most jazzy, stylish and fashionable outfit as I was admittedly shopping for food in my pyjamas but I was determined to walk through the barbers and find what sang through the staff doors. I decided to make an evening of it and go for my close friend and I's big 20th birthday and it did not disappoint. Confessedly I have never truly been one to listen to anything revolving around the jazz scene, living in the student scene of Hyde Park I've adjusted to the constant House and DnB booming from our basements so this was definitely a change. Walking down the candlelit stairs you enter a whole new dimension (only a little different to the rubble of the students' houses), we all took on an alternate persona of a mysterious group of friends strolling in slow motion down the streets of New Orleans, or in other words just to our table. Although this was not the case at all and in fact we looked a bit lost we immediately fell in love with the bustling and warm atmosphere that made you feel Leeds was merely miles away. The band, originating from Yorkshire, was called The Fergus Quill Trio and managed to make Elvis Presley's sound brand new adding a new groove to his music I hadn't heard before. This bar may not be everyones original taste but its completely transformed the genres I typically enjoy and was the bar to encourage me to keep digging for more local undercover music venues.
Northern Guitars Cafe Bar
This hidden escape was one I have been returning to throughout my first semester at Leeds as a second year student who absolutely adores guitars and rock. Having come from a family who live and breathe music and set out a mission to play every type of guitar available from electric to bass, this bar made me feel like I was at home again. The bar is cosy and intimate as soon as you step in off the cobbled streets of Call Lane but the live music and the exuberant neon lights truly make the atmosphere original. The bar reminds me of London, one of my favourite cities for exciting new venues, and it almost takes you back in time to the golden era of rock ranging from the 1940s to 1960s.
The seating is rather limited but because it is so hidden this is no problem and I always find it to be very social and welcoming often meeting students of older years. The band rarely takes breaks and when they do they are determined to get to know their crowd adding to the homely atmosphere of the bar. What makes this bar even more inviting is its shop upstairs where you can shop for your very own guitars and vintage bits and pieces which I know Leeds loves.
Although this bar is not quite yet recognised in the student scene I believe this is simply down to the fact not many people know about it! I'm passionate about getting these smaller venues the attention they deserve and encouraging the students to try something new to challenge your taste.