“Taxi’s here!” I rush out and hop in. The guy starts backing up out of the road, “Backwards to Leeds please”, he’s not having it. He’s having a hard time doing this actually. “Got any good Leeds on bars?” We’re on the case…
We get dropped off in Leeds and it’s instantly a smash hit. No need for the bardar here. The streets are packed with people chanting and singing. I’m sure the England victory today has heightened the atmosphere. Turn the corner and there is a row of bars with patios right on the street. This looks like the place to be.
We head into a place called Brotherhood and blitz to the toilets. Seems like a decent bar but a quick scan from upstairs reveals that the clientele is 98% obnoxious drunk dudes. I think we’ll move on to the next place
Next up is Manhatta. We walk in and it’s going off. People dancing throughout the place and singing along to some classic 80’s pop. We grab a drink and ‘Like a Prayer’ comes on <Queue 80’s singalong montage>. We’re dancing and belting it at the top of our lungs along with everyone else. Yes! Classic party vibe that always works, thanks DJ. Play the hits and let people sing.
We have a few more drinks and dance-mingle but once the contemporary hip hop hits the mood kind of shifts and we’re ready to move on. Fortunately there’s another insanely good bar next door called Mean Eyed Cat.
Really cool wooden interior with soft back lighting, a good cocktail list and a DJ playing all the other greatest hits. Ok, it’s back on!
We continue our dance and singing binge through Harder Better Faster Stronger and some Gorillaz Feel Good Inc., but then Lap Dance comes on and upon hearing our Mongol Rally anthem the energy levels start pushing into the stratosphere. Sweating dancing rapping not caring.
Ok that’s two killer bars, Leeds, what else you got?
We go outside and the seats from the street are all packed up and moved out of the way. This just leaves a ton of broken glass and sticky mess to walk through over to a bar called Mojo. There’s a one in / one out rule going on right now so we give it a minute. K, we’re in.
There seems to be a theme here in Leeds. Design awesome bar interiors, blast all the music people love, get those people drunk and let them sing. It’s simple really. But holy fuck does it make for a good time.
We come into Mojo and this place takes the Leeds template and drops the ultimate version. Everyone in the bar is singing. We just look at each other with shit eating grins, a nod at the bar confirms it’s drink time.
There’s something tangibly euphoric about being in the midst of a huge group of people singing unabashedly with all their hearts because they really really love a song. And there is no better good mood generator than your favorite songs.
Common People by Pulp comes on and we all get wide-eyed and high-fived. “This might be the best song ever”, “Oh fuck yeah!” And everybody’s slaying it. Dance and drink and screw because there’s nothing else to dooooooo!
We continue to shred our throats out to the likes of Sweet child of mine and Smells like teen spirit. Summer of 69 comes on and we’ve now surrounded ourselves with a group of like minded karaoke types, heads tilted back and wailing our tarnished voices against the ceiling. At the three quarter mark of Mr Adams epic one of the girls is leaving. She’s motioning to her friend. Yep, the pop culture posse is dispersing. “Maybe it’s time we should go too?”, “Hmmmm it is 3am”
Leeds checks out. This place is a blast.
Being snockered off vodka sodas, we double down on the terrible drunk idea from last night and go for another kebab. Adam gets a zingy burger. With this combination of shit in our guts I’m sure we’ll feel like a brazilian bucks tomorrow.