By all means go to Hifi Club just leave the glamour and attitude at home since they're not welcome here.
This basement venue is rather inconspicuous from the outside and it needs to be way past 8pm for you to figure out it's there. This club and live music venue is just one room. It's large enough to host small concerts but not so big you'll lose your mates. The walls are exposed brickwork and the place is scantily furnished with brown semicircular couches and lots of square stools. There is lots of standing and dancing room which is almost always needed since the Hifi Club gathers large crowds during its many live music nights.
A world apart from the pretentious and glamorous venues around the nearby Corn Exchange Hifi Club has a completely different crowd who listen to a completely different kind of music. There is no attitude here and the crowd is made of people in their twenties and thirties who just love the tunes and Hifi Club in general.
The more battered your T-shirt and more detailed your tattoos the better. You don't really need either to fit in, in fact you don't need anything at all and if you usually spend hours getting ready for a night out you may want to avoid Hifi Club. You're not going to be judged for looking neat and tidy but you may feel out of place in between the beaten trainers, week-old beards and uncultivated hair and dreadlocks.
If a new wave of dub, funk and jazz bands emerge from Leeds in the near future and take the world by a storm it would be no real surprise for anybody who has ever been to The HiFi Club.
The place is a treasure box for those who love Motown and electronica. Rock, indie and hip hop appear regularly too, with gigs from the likes of Mr Hudson And The Library or the Pigeon Detectives. Corinne Bailey-Rae has also made an appearance. Lesser known acts play sporadically throughout the week.
The place is so chilled it cannot be bothered to prepare all the fancy cocktails every other bar in Leeds is so desperate to sell. This is a good thing. For once drinking is uncomplicated with a good selection of beers and - the really great news - spirits are served in 35ml measures rather than the standard 25ml.
Pick your rum, your draught or your bottle from the many available including Liefmans Framboise and Kriek, Tiger, Kirin Ichiban, Duvel, Red Stripe, Budvar, Erdinger and the new Italian favourite Moretti (£3.10).
The Last Word
A comfortable and friendly retreat from the pretentiousness of other central clubs Hifi deserves to be honoured for putting on great shows and spreading a diverse musical culture.