Music variety on the bill

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MUSIC lovers are in for a treat at Leeds’ City Varieties Music Hall this autumn with a wealth of bands set to grace its stage.

Guitar Masters play at the Swan Street venue on October 4, featuring Kansas guitarist Andy McKee, considered one of the world’s finest acoustic soloists. He is joined by New Yorker Preston Reed and Leeds musician John Gomm – between them these three virtuosos cover every genre of music, combining styles and creating new melodies.

Carolina Chocoloate Drops – featured on Later with Jools Holland – are described by the New York Times as dipping “into styles of southern black music from the 1920s and 30s – stringband music, jug-band music, fife and drum, early jazz”. Catch them on tour on Wednesday October 10.

York-based singer/songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich has made major waves on the music scene. Citing Bruce Springsteen, Arcade Fire and Ryan Adams as inspirations, he released his debut album Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm, last year, and plays at the city varieties on Monday October 15.

Prog rock outfit John Lee’s Barclay James Harvest embark on their most extensive UK tour in year and their only Yorkshire stop is in Leeds on Thursday October 25.

American composer and lyricist Jerry Herman is famous for his work in Broadway musical theatre, having composed the scores for Hello Dolly and La Cage aux Folles. Swan Street Theatre Company presents Showtune, a celebration of his words and music on Sunday October 28.

Chumbawumba’s favourite venue is the city varieties, so it’s a fitting place for the band’s final farewell show – a romp through three decades of ideas, melodies, sing-along choruses and Dada sound poetry – on Wednesday October 31.

DJ Bob Harris has described Martin Joseph as “one of our most intelligent writers”, he returns to Leeds in support of his new studio album on Tuesday November 6.

Frisky and Mannish are pop experts who have taken thier particular brand of pop education around the world, from Sydney Opera House to the cabaret dives of Berlin, and are bringing their best bits to Leeds on Thursday November 8.

This year Show of Hands celebrated 20 years at the top of the folk scene, the triple BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winners Steve Knightly and Phil Beer are joined by vocalist Miranda Sykes on Friday November 9.

The Idiot B*****d Band is a group dedicated to the comic song. They are Ade Edmondon, Neil Innes, Phill Jupitus and Rowland Rivron, and play songs written by themselves, as well as celebrating the music of the likes of Ian Dury, Flanagan and Allen, They Might Be Giants and more. They play at the city varieties on Sunday November 18.

For more information and to book tickets for any of the shows, visit or call the box office on 0113 243 0808.