Surf-pop five-piece, Surfer Blood, kicked off my final day at
Leeds festival. Entering the grounds on Sunday it was clear both the people and the festival itself were suffering from a two day bender. Under foot the grounds had turned to almost mud, despite hardly any rain, and I could have sworn the entire site stunk. Perhaps it was the port-a-loos ( Australia - be thankfully, the things we get are luxury compared to festivals in the ) or just the fact that of many of the punters had not showered since Thursday night. Either way today was slow and messy start. UK
I do feel sorry for the first three bands playing at the NME stage because although their sets were good, hardly anyone could be fucked to lift a foot to dance, or a hand to show appreciation. They were all still asleep!
Next up –
Making our way over to main for gypsy- punk outfit, Gogol Bordello who truly are a outstanding group (and still up there in best acts I have ever seen live!). With a line up that currently sits at nine members from counties including Russia, Ethiopia, Scotland and the Ukraine, its clear how Gogol Bordello have evolved into a highly theatrical collective built upon an eclectic selection of world music styles and instruments. The energy at
Leeds was infections and people were up and dancing manically. Playing a selection of tracks of their most recent album – produced by Rick Rubin! The New Yorkers put on one hell of a spectacle. Dancing across the stage, red wine in hand, frontman Eugene Hutz was incredible to watch. The rhythm of this performance was truly relentless and if you had of been front and centre you will know what I mean especially during Wonderlust King!
Irish indie-electropop trio, Two Door Cinema Club put on yet another energetic performance on Sunday. Not straying far from their sounds at Splendour in The Grass this band are somewhere between Franz Ferdinand and Delphic. The power pop hooks of Undercover Martin and I Can Talk were crowd favourites as per usual and finally, by 3pm, did we witness the first glimpse of life from the horde at the NME stage. Moving as one to the enthusiastic beats this energetic set made way
electro-rock duo The Big Pink consisting of Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell. . London
Missing Yeasayer (FML) after a detour through the campsite in search of more alcohol to smuggle in we arrived in time for the second half of Delphic’s set.
indie-dance outfit played a invigorating selection of tracks from their 2010 album Acolyte in front an absurd backdrop of what looked like satellite dishes. Thankfully the band saved the festival favourites – Halcyon, Counterpoint and Acolyte until the very end so we were lucky enough no to miss much of the hypnotic instrumentals that ever so successfully marry together the better elements of rock music and dance music. But then again you could only expect as much having been produced by Manchester based DJ/genius Ewan Pearson Berlin
Of all the acts here this weekend, Queens of the Stone Age were my most anticipated. Warming up the stage for Guns N Roses, QOTSA appropriately opened with Feel Good Hit Of The Summer. Only moments in to their set lead singer Josh Homme announced he wanted his music loud “so turn it up for these mother fuckers. I’m sick of this quiet shit”. Josh’s between song repartee continued much the same tone through out the bands hour and a half set. Playing only six or so well known hits
Queens set was truly one for the fans. Powerful with raw energy the set list covered song from R Rated all the way through to Era Vulgeris and included Sick Sick Sick, Long Slow Goodbye, Misfit Love and of coarse Little Sister, Go With the Flow and No One Knows. The bands killer riffs and heavy bass lines made for an explosively loud performance. Couple that with the seductive vocals of Homme and you can see why this band are one of the best live acts around!
Despite initial rumours that Guns N Roses were going to pull the pin on their Sunday night Leeds performance after a spat with festival organisers, they arrived onstage 30 minutes late and after some desperate pleading for the audience to take a step back avoid crushing fans at the front. Tainted from the previous disputes surround Reading Festival (GNR came on one hour late and as a result ran past the festivals curfew, to avoid paying penalties organisers cut the sound during the bands encore) the audience were hesitant about whether another dummy spit would follow. Having watched opening anthem, Welcome to The Jungle, we slunk out in search of LCD Soundsystem who were playing to a not so big audience but were thankful to those who chose them over the Gunners.
Charming as always frontman James Murphy put on an extremely lively performance with a set list that was identical to Splendour. With mischievously quirky lyrics and vibrant hooks the NME was brought to life for the final time this weekend.
Returning to catch the end of GNR’s set we managed to see Night Train, and extend guitar solo and final track,
, which delivered lighting, fireworks, confetti and Axl Rose shouting “from the crowd to the promoters – Fuck you”! Paradise City
Jumping on a last minute festival ride before heading out to the campsite to watch the riots and party at Piccadilly (blogs below)
Leeds festival was by far one of the best festivals of MWT. Although the location and surrounds were far from the beauty of Latitude or Coachella, the atmosphere was incredible and the people were so much fun. Leeds was probably the most like home (aside from the fact we don’t burn shit and blow things up on the final night)