Soviet Leeds’ present “What Happened At Leeds”, a performance inspired by the Leeds Peace Summit of 1917. The event features readings of the speeches made by those attending the Great Leeds Peace Convention which took place at the Coliseum in June 1917 alongside original music inspired by the events surrounding the Convention.
The idea of marking the events of June 1917 came about through a facebook discussion. It later became a reality when Jon Langford of the band the Mekons asked John Boocock to put something together for the band’s 40th anniversary celebrations. Those involved at Mekonville wanted to repeat the event in Leeds.
By adding music, which is inspired by the suffrage movement and the anti Jewish riots which took place in Leeds at the same time there is an added flavour of other things that were going on in the city at a time when many were inspired by the recent Russian revolution.
Speeches featured were originally made by the likes of Bob Smillie, Ramsay MacDonald, Bertrand Russell, Dora Montefiore, Sylvia Pankhurst and Ernest Bevin. The music has been written by Kevin Lycett. The proceedings will be interspersed with observations on what was happening in Leeds at that time including a new piece by members of Magpies Three
The readings will be performed by people from Leeds including author Chris Nickson, Claire Irving, Magpie Three’s Daisy Bellis and Alice Barthholomew alongside writers John Boocock and Julia Nelson. Kevin Lycett and Fiona McMillan from the Hill Bandits with Rebecca and Sarah from Esper Scout will perform the songs.