The thing with multi-venue city festivals is that you need to plan. It's not like there's a few stages, all generally playing different kinds of acts – varying on fame level, or genre – Live at Leeds has 15 venues, and acts won't necessarily sound anything like the ones preceding them.

But that's part of the fun. At midday, there's already a queue outside Nation of Shopkeepers, which is good news for Georgia Thursting, who's kicking off the venue's gigs today. Everyone seems in high spirits; the sun is shining, and those who arrived for the festival's entertainment (the "Unconference" for music industry folk, a few gigs in the evening for everyone else) the day before are probably still asleep, scared to wake up lest the hangover finally hit them.

If you are awake early, there's still plenty to do, Battle Lines play a not-too-empty Faversham at 1pm, and do so with aplomb. After a ridiculously friendly barman checked your wristband and waves you in, you can mill around, grab a drink, and wait for the band to come on. Battle Lines' Carly Humphries has a fantastic voice, deep and husky and her entire stage presence is just the right level of dramatic, particularly as she started joining in with the drums for their last song. 'Flex' is another highlight, angry and grunge and full of heartache.

All too soon their set is over, and it's off to somewhere else and this is where you realise that planning is really important in a multi-venue festival. It's not enough to know that you want next want to see Backyards at the Wardrobe. You really need to know in advance that you're looking at a 20 minute walk to get there – or more, if you have particularly slow friends.


Add to that the fact that it's incredibly sunny for the first time all year, and you've already had a couple of drinks, and you've got a disaster waiting to happen. But it's all part of the fun, right? The Wardrobe doesn't look like your average venue, until you reach its basement where, on a dimly lit stage, Backyards have just started playing. The violin fits in well with the vocal harmonies, and mid-way through the set instruments are swapped and a new song, 'Jazzy', is introduced: "It's not jazzy." Well no, it's not but it is very good, with a neat bassline throughout.

One thing you don't get used to throughout Live at Leeds is the mole-like way you crawl out of venues, blinking blindly in the sunlight. You also don't learn your lesson; if you haven't planned in advance, you don't have time to so now now. I rush off back to the now very full, furnace-like Faversham for Swiss Lips. The programming for Live at Leeds is exceptional, with half-hour slots in between bands to allow for travelling, toilet breaks, etc. however sometimes venues overlap; the O2 Academy has clashes all over the place and that's all the excuse needed to opt for some excellent electro-pop over whatever insult you care to use to describe the Pigeon Detectives. Anyway, Swiss Lips get the entire pub dancing, with 80s vibes, a tropical beat here and there, and singer Sam Hammond's bright orange tiger shirt being more than memorable.

After checking out two smaller venues, it's time to visit something a bit bigger. In uncharacteristic fashion, Leeds and Leeds Met universities have teamed up and have several stages between them. At Leeds Uni Stylus, Post War Glamour Girls are bringing their theatrical doom and gloom, but even they have the festival feeling, taking a break between 'Service Station Blues' and 'Jazz Funeral' to hand Red Stripe to a few members in the crowd.


Following a dark set – literally and metaphorically – it's weird to emerge into the sunlight again. Shouldn't it be night time by now? Actually, it's only 5pm, and happily, the two universities' unions are fairly close to one another, meaning there's time to catch the end of Witch Hunt's set. Well, the last song at least. It's good, and pangs of regret surge up, having chosen the wrong band to see.

Fortunately, London Grammar are there to sooth any bad feelings. Hannah Reid's vocals shut the crowd up immediately, with the minimal intrusion of instruments precisely placed to great effect. They are amazing, and everyone filling the fairly large room knows it. Well, maybe except Reid, who looks pleased yet surprised when 'Metal & Dust' ends their set, it genuinely feels as if the venue is about to tear in two, such is the power this trio possesses. Their set surely has to go down as one of the highlights of Live at Leeds 2013.


The Cockpit, according to Twitter, has been one-in, one-out for a while, so there's no chance of getting in to see the Crookes. The best laid plans etc. So, because it's closer, and guaranteed to be good, it's back to Leeds Uni Stylus for . The nice thing about larger venues is that you can have a bit of fun with your surroundings. While Post War Glamour Girls preferred to keep things simple, just having a few coloured lights here and there, MØ has a backdrop of black and white images collated into a weird film. Perhaps weirder still, the film syncs up perfectly with what is happening on stage; when MØ's vocals layer over each other, duplicates of the singer appear on screen, and they sing the backing vocals. Her live show is energetic despite being choreographed, natural despite being (presumably) rehearsed. Her beats are the kind that leave you feeling hungry, and everyone, even those not in the main crowd area, are dancing.

Up next are the vastly different band du jour, Savages. It's now 7pm, and there's half an hour to have a sit down, and enjoy the fact that there's no running around to be done. Live at Leeds is tiring. And more than a few people, it's becoming apparent, haven't paced their drinking well. If you have one or two drinks per band, you're pretty fucked by now. Some groups on the balconies in Stylus are swaying, and there's plenty of people who clearly don't know who they're about to see. Savages' live reputation, thanks to various recent interviews and reviews, precedes them, so it's not a promising start when the set is ground to a halt two songs in, due to mic trouble. Jehn had been looking awkward, but tries her best to fix things, switching mics twice. She thanks the sound engineers before declaring: "Shall we fuckin' try this guys?"


The band launch into 'Shut Up' and all seems well. Certainly, in the main crowd, swarming pits during songs like 'Hit Me' would suggest so. But also in the crowd is a guy taking photos on an iPad, is this Savages' audience demographic? Up in the balconies, people seem less impressed. Maybe putting them after MØ wasn't the best idea.

It's now 8pm, and a break is needed, especially after the energy of Savages and with the best part of the day yet to come. Sorry Everything Everything, but this is a Leeds festival, and there's no better way to end the day than with the city's own Sky Larkin with this homecoming marking their comeback. The sun has finally set and the band take to Leeds Uni's main stage with their uplifting post-punk. Both new and old songs all sound fantastic making this a good way to end the day.

Savages



Dutch Uncles




PINS



Melody's Echo Chamber


Witch Hunt




Department M


Blackeye


Those Rotten Thieves