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Leeds pop punk club is Key to success as city hosts gigs from WSTR and Boston Manor



WSTR will be playing the Key Club in Leeds in January

By Tom McGlynn

BRITAIN’S POP punk scene is thriving in Leeds thanks to a local gig venue – with one of the UK’s best new talents playing tonight.

The Key Club, a small club and concert venue on Merrion Street, has been hosting gigs from tours of some of the biggest bands in pop punk, such as The Wonder Years and Frank Carter, with Boston Manor playing tonight and WSTR on the way.

The club was established in 2015, as an alternative to rock venue The Cockpit which closed two years ago.
Kieren Alder, guitarist for Liverpool-based band WSTR, said: “We’re extremely excited to play Key Club – hopefully people will think we’re a little better than when we played in the UK before.

“We’ve played the same set for over a year now so to finally play new songs is a relief.

“Being on the road is the best time for us so the more chances we have to do that the better,” he added.

WSTR, who have been described as one of the best live bands in UK pop punk, will play the Key Club on January 26.key-club-2

Promoters Slam Dunk Music, who host the annual Slam Dunk Festival in Leeds also organise the majority of gigs at The Key Club, and support the pop punk scene with weekly club nights and tours.

Boston Manor, another of UK pop punk’s most exciting new bands, will also play the Key Club this evening, following the release of their new album, Be Nothing.

Dan Cunniff, bassist for Boston Manor, said: “We just want to be on the road as much as possible.

“Three of the shows have already sold out in the UK and the rest aren’t far behind. This blows our minds.

“We got to choose which bands we take with us and we’ve been super lucky to take Can’t Swim and Wallflower out with us, I know the UK will love watching them too.”

Ali Morrison, 24, who plays guitar and vocals in Northampton’s The Young & Restless, said he was hoping to return to Leeds soon, as the pop punk scene is so good in the city.

He said: “I’ve been honoured to share the stage with some Leeds-based bands in the past, including Eat Defeat and Sleepy Eyes, they all put on a blinder of a show!

“There’s lots of undying support for each other in pop punk, which is really motivating, we’re a closely knitted group for sure,” he added.


5 essential modern pop punk albums to introduce you to the genre

Trophy Eyes – Chemical Miracle

5-piece Australian pop punk band Trophy Eyes had an incredibly successful 2016 with the release of the critically acclaimed Chemical Miracle, which peaked at number 8 on the Australian album sales charts.

As It Is – Okay.

Released just over a week ago, Brighton’s As It Is are currently leading the UK pop punk movement with Okay., an album which already set to be one of  the most creative and original pop punk releases of 2017. They’ve also just set out on a world tour to promote the release.

The Wonder Years – No Closer to Heaven

Critically acclaimed as one of the best records of 2015 by Kerrang! and Alternative Press, No Closer to Heaven is an essential listen for any pop punk fan, combining raw, emotional lyrics with some of the best instrumental talent around.

Broadside – Old Bones

Reminiscent of the old-school sound that the likes of Blink-182 and Green Day first established with pop punk, Old Bones is packed with catchy choruses and touches on emotive lyrical subjects throughout.

Hotel Books – Run Wild, Stay Alive

Hotel Books’ experimental attitude to music has made them one of the most recognised and popular newcomers to the pop punk scene in recent years, combining the traditional sound with spoken word poetry and heavy instrumentals.


You can find information on all of The Key Club’s gigs and tours at their website.

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