Having previously returned home from Leeds Festival with a mild case of trench foot, it was with some apprehension that I returned, armed with two pairs of wellies, a towel and a tent with a fully functioning zip.
Fortunately, there was no such problem with the Northern weather and Thursday was a day spent meeting the merry neighbours of the campsite before drawing to a close at the stripped back set of Little Comets
Unfortunately, my apathy towards the sun on Thursday and the ensuing sunburn resulted in acquiring the disposition of a vampire by remaining out of the sun throughout Friday. Yet this apparent hindrance allowed me to discover some bands lurking in the shadows I previously would not have seen.
DZ Deathrays brought their heavy, melody rich music to the Festival Republic Tent, whilst Tribes played many new songs including the re-recorded ‘’Coming of Age ‘’in a set climaxing with ‘’We Were Children’’ at the NME/Radio 1 Tent.
As the sun gradually began to retire behind the clouds Kaiser Chiefs emphatically rolled out hit after hit to their adoring local crowd before the bucking bronco of a concert The Black Keys played incited the whole audience to bark out the intro to practically every song between gasping for breath and frantic jumping to the bluesy music of the Ohio duo.
Dave Grohl proved to everyone what an exceptional musician/ showman/ icon he is as Foo Fighters rattled through songs such as ‘’The Pretender’’ and ‘’All My Life’’. Unable to take too much of a Rock’n’Roll masterclass, a quick walk to see Justice and the frenzied crowd ensured that I walked away from the set with calves as toned as an Olympian and ‘’Phantom Part ll‘’constantly running round my head.
A double appearance from Lucy Rose, primarily as her solo outfit, shortly followed by gracing Bombay Bicycle Club with her presence started Saturday with a beautiful vibe. Reluctantly leaving The Cure early allowed me to pass by The Subways playing ‘’Rock & Roll Queen’’ and the Foster The People’s dub steppy version of ‘’Pumped Up Kicks’’ in quick succession. The Maccabees took to the stage and flew through a set including ‘’William Powers’’ and many songs from the old albums to a crowd who sang along to every word as adoringly Orlando caressed the microphone.
Los Campesinos! beginning Sunday on the main stage was exactly what the doctor ordered. Tempering their upbeat pop fun with more melancholic songs from the new album nursed the hung-over and ensured the day started off with just the right amount of energy to tee off Mystery Jets to play to a bouncier and less bleary eyed audience.
One of the most surprising acts of the weekend were the band lead by young Brad Oberhofer: named after their charismatic front man, Oberhofer played catchy hooks, the xylophone, whistled and ran up and down stage in front of a sparse but lucky audience.
Florence’s dreamy stage presence conjured up a state of euphoria which Kasabian rolled with (just like they used to) to cement their status as being a British headline act up there with the best as their sound filled not only the arena, but the whole of the surrounding countryside. A charming rendition of The Beatles’‘’She Loves You’’ resonated with every single welly wearing punter as they all left and another year of Leeds Fest was complete.
Everyone left singing. Everyone left happy. And most people left just that little bit drier.
Post by Sam