‘Looking Past the Pandemic’ with Greatest Hits from Leeds, UK

Keeping travel dreams alive and setting goals has never felt more important. We can all agree that 2020 has been an unfortunate year so far, and almost every facet of daily life has been wrought by this ongoing global pandemic, the start of which now feels like forever ago. The arts has been one of the hardest hit areas, so The AU Review has kickstarted a Q&A series “looking past the pandemic”, encouraging creatives from around the world to share their travel hopes, dreams, and the thoughts or things that are getting them through 2020, while also highlighting essential experiences in their own country.

Greatest Hits (Leeds, UK)

Although three-piece Greatest Hits are now based in eternally sunny Queensland, the band is originally from Leeds over in the UK. Anyone who has been paying attention to our daily Track of the Day series this year should be familiar with the name already, given that we’ve showcased singles like “Trying” and “Phil, Slow It Down” in the past few months. And how could we not? Just one listen and you’re hooked on their blissful, vintage-minded style that spans the 70s-indebted edges of surf rock and neo-psych. That rolls along nicely with new cut “Growler, A Little Bit of Everyone”, building up plenty of steam on the path to newly announced EP Volume One.

We caught up with all three members of Greatest Hits to look past the pandemic.

When travel opens up completely, the first place I’m going is…

Ryan: Hopefully Tasmania for Christmas.

Henry: France. We had to cancel a trip at the start of the year when everything locked down.

Chelsea: I would literally be happy for anywhere right now.. that travel bug is biting HARD.

Brudenell Social Club is the spot for live music in Leeds.

Three spots in Leeds I think everyone should visit at least once in their life…

Ryan: Bundobust (Indian Street food) – take a bunch of friends, and order the entire menu to share.

Henry: Go and see a band in the Brudenell Social Club main room.

Chelsea: Head to Blue Rinse for some vintage clothing gems.

Whenever I have a visitor in my city and I want to show them a good night out, the first place I take them is…

Ryan: The Reliance pub – A Leeds staple, that was a 2 minute walk from where we used to live. Amazing beer and natural wine selection, and epic modern British pub food.

Henry: The Angel pub or North Bar.

Chelsea: The Brunswick, love that place. The staff are absolute legends and they have great chips (important).

Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen is the perfect place to end the night.

We’d end the night at…

Ryan: Raja’s (dirty takeaway).

Henry: El Faro’s Pizza (Classic Veg pizza & cheesy chips).

Chelsea: All good nights in Leeds ended with a late night slice (or two) from Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen.

Most memorable thing I’ve eaten on the road..

Ryan: I was touring with Hollow Coves, and went to a restaurant called Pagana, in Prague – best meal of my life!

Henry: Some sort of mystery vege Tapas in Barcelona that contained about a litre of vinegar – worst meal of my life.

Chelsea: I had been in the south of America for nearly a month and had eaten SO much fried food. I was desperate for something fresh. When I got to the airport to head home I went to a food joint and asked if I could just have a plate of plain, grilled vegetables. It came out as a few slices of zucchini COVERED in cheese and oil. I nearly had to have a triple bypass on the spot.

The Ryman is an institution in Nashville.

The one international venue I’ve always wanted to play…

Ryan: The Ryman, Nashville.

Henry: Paradiso, Amsterdam.

Chelsea: Anywhere in Paris.

The one international destination I’m yet to visit but have always dreamed of…

Ryan: Desperate for New Zealand.

Henry: I have never been to Berlin.

Chelsea: Japan, I’ve been obsessed with it for years but have never made it over.

The three things or thoughts that are getting me through this pandemic…

Ryan: Surfing, putting out music, Centrelink.

Henry: New music, my bicycle, big smiles.

Chelsea: Tea, sunshine and new ideas. It’s been really helpful dreaming of how things might be again soon and thinking about new ways of doing things.

This thought has kind become our mantra too: “You can’t control what happens, only how you respond to what happens”.

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For more on Greatest Hits head on over to their Facebook and be on the lookout for their forthcoming EP Volume One.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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