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Open House on the Headrow

5 October 2015
Open House on the Headrow
With queues into the thousands, it seemed like the majority of Leeds turned out for the opening weekend at Headrow House. The weekend, greatly anticipated by many unveiled the beginnings of an interesting and diverse venue.

Headrow Beacons-NCH 7369Photography by Mark Wheelwright

Lighting was incredibly soft and low key, with candles glinting off the four Pilsner Urquell tanks. In the beer hall, where these copper vats are kept, one wall is entirely covered by chopped firewood. Raw slabs of wood seem to be the trendiest and most efficient of materials, and runs throughout the venue,giving the space its low-key vibe. The beer hall offers a Scandi-Germanic vibe to drinking and socialising, with large scrubbed benches to accommodate a healthily sized group clinking their perfectly chilled pints of Pilsner. This house drink is a buttery smooth Czech lager, which is drawn from the tanks and refreshed monthly.

Headrow Beacons-NCH 8160Photography by Mark Wheelwright

The first floor is a space initially dedicated to various Beacons Metro dates this winter (and many other dates thereafter), which were kicked off on Friday with free gigs from East India Youth and Ghost Culture, who both played to packed out crowds who were clearly up for some music. Keep your eye out for these reviews.

Headrow Beacons-DSC 8426Photography by Mark Wheelwright

Along with Belgrave, one of the pre-requisites for the franchise must be a rooftop; home to not one but two roof top terraces, the mystery of the venue, and its slightly shrouded shop front, continues when you can step out into the open air. Eventually the first large terrace, which sits just below roof level, will ascend onto a second, higher rooftop ‘Kennedy Meadows’, where views of Leeds are eye wateringly panoramic.

Headrow Beacons-NCH 9547Photography by Mark Wheelwright

Saturday night proved a little quieter than Friday, being the first ticketed night at Headrow House. Lonelady had more company than suggested however and played to a sold out crowd at the beginning of the evening, before the night owls arived for a live set from Christian Loffler and DJs Ralph Lawson and Tristan de Cuhna who all clearly enjoyed their stage time despite a smaller crowd. Nevertheless, feedback for the space was positive from both the crowd and the artists, and is set to be a clear choice for future gigs.

Headrow Beacons-DSC 8909Photography by Mark Wheelwright

While slightly unfinished, the space certainly has great potential; as time goes on, yet more features will be unfurled, such as the greatly anticipated Ox Club Kitchen, with a chance to fully realise the meaty potential that Belgrave Feasts have hinted. Elsewhere on the second floor, a fully-fledged ‘Redondo Beach Cocktail Bar’ is also planned for a touch of sophistication; with great emphasis placed on the multi-faceted nature of the venue, Headrow House shrugs off being pigeonholed into any one-venue type.

For the latest happenings at Headrow House vist: http://headrowhouse.com/

Emma is a Freelance Writer for Leeds Living. She has a degree in English literature from the University of Leeds and specialises in writing cultural editorials.