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the city talking: leeds — issue 39

the city talking: leeds — issue 39


Issue 39 of The City Talking: Leeds is out now.

On the day we write this, there is snow on the ground and a Christmas tree in Trinity Leeds powered by kisses. December is far away and we’re already dreaming of mulled wine, Toblerone and gift wrapping by cinnamon-scented candlelight.

Maybe it’s all too soon; maybe we’ve been tricked into winter spirit by the bright, new sparkling lights of Victoria Gate, where it seems to feel like Christmastime all the time. Or maybe it’s because we’ve been so busy telling stories, through our films and newspapers and our first magazine, that when we walked along Briggate one cold morning and saw the slogans of holiday cheer suspended between buildings, we thought we must have missed November.

Recently, we’ve been busy making a film about tech companies in the north. We’ve talked to some really interesting people with stories we couldn’t dream up. Since some of these stories take place in Leeds we decided to include them in this issue, so you can enjoy reading about them as much as we did hearing about them.

The City Talking: Manchester — 04

One of these stories comes from the LS98 1FD postcode; the postcode of First Direct bank, headquartered in Leeds.

“We’ve always thought of ourselves as being able, and almost having a mission, to do the things that traditional banks couldn’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t,” says Tracy Garrad, CEO at First Direct.

We spoke to Tracy in LS98 1FD, in the CEO’s pod, about the history of a bank that breaks the mould, fintech and being a role model.



This autumn, we had two premieres for two documentaries we’ve made, which means that on two consecutive Mondays in October we got to eat popcorn with friends and celebrate.

The first of these films is The City Talking: Fashion in Leeds, Vol.1, the first in a series of films we plan to make that tells stories from the city’s fashion sector.

You can now watch the full film online here, and join the new fashion network, Fashion in Leeds here.

The second film is the second volume in our series about Leeds music scene, called The City Talking: Music in Leeds, Vol.2, featuring bands like Gang of Four, The Mekons, Iration Steppas, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Pulled Apart by Horses, Dinosaur Pile-Up and more.
You can now watch the film online at the BBC Music website, here.

The City Talking: Manchester — 04

One of Leeds’ music stories we were excited to hear was the story of Mother Vulpine, a band created by Dinosaur Pile-Up’s Matt Bigland and Lord Whitney’s producer Lins Wilson.

“I feel nostalgic about it now,” says Lins, when we ask her to tell us the story in Lord Whitney’s studio. “It’s a good memory.”

Lins tells us about a Leeds of not-so-long ago, where the best performances were put on by friends at places like The Vine, The Packhorse and the Brudenell Social Club.


When Dr. Victoria Betton came to our office to talk about her Leeds-based company mHabitat, she was accompanied by her dog Bibi. Bibi sat quietly as Victoria talked about digital health and mHabitat’s role in connecting the right people together to create solutions.

“We found this gap that we could occupy where we could help tech companies collaborate with practitioners and academics and all sort of work together,” says Victoria.

The City Talking: Leeds, issue 39 is out now across the city; you can find it in some of the city’s favourite cosy places, away from the cold.

Click here for a list of our stockists.


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