Leeds Festival 2007 Review 28/08/2007
Hello all, apologies that the blog is a day late but a mixture of recovery and the fact that it was a bank holiday Monday means I both couldn’t be bothered to do it and also if I had done I’m sure it would’ve been substandard which would be awful now wouldn’t it?
Reet then! Leeds festival 2007:
Thursday: arrived at the site in good time which was lovely, parked up and queued up for our guest list tickets. Got a good spot and buggered straight off with a case of Strongbow in tow to meet some friends who had majestically managed to camp on the exact opposite side to the site then we were. Half a bastard hour later we were there, BBQ on the go, cider in one hand, and to top it all off the weather was bloody brilliant. Anyway, after meeting friends, drinking heavily and eating giant Yorkshire puddings we retired for the next day.
I’d just like to point out now that please excuse me if a few of my comments seem a bit hazy, for it was a hazy weekend in general.
Friday: First band on the roster; Sentric’s very own ‘New Vinyl’ on the Topman stage. Strong set from the lads who with their indie rock tunes gathered the largest crowd I saw gathered at that particular stage all weekend (www.myspace.com/newvinyl1). They apparently also managed to get some airtime on the finger-on-the-proverbial-pulse ‘Look North’ thanks to sabotaging Harry Grahsham (http://hub.tv-ark.org.uk/images/bbcsouth/presenters/harrygrationsouthtoday1996l.jpg) when he walked past and it doesn’t get much more rock and roll then that.
Then went on to see the good old Sunshine Underground with their good old new rave antics. They delivered a typically energetic performance and easily succeeded in getting their hometown fans dancing around like drunken loons on the first day of a massive music festival. Oh.
After the Sunshine Underground we went on to have a gander at emo’s commercial champions Fall Out Boy who were fun enough to have a listen to. I was both impressed and surprised by the number of Fall Out Boy lyrics I was reciting with apparent subconscious ease throughout their set thanks to having a variety of miscellaneous radio stations pump their accessible tunes into my laptop during work hours.
Lost Prophets next who seemed to impress all by the reception they received. I’m personally not the biggest fan of their later stuff but it was fun to rediscover my youth whilst singing ‘The Fake Sound Of Progress.
Next was one of my personal highlights of the weekend; CSS. They were funky and effortlessly cool, playing to a packed out NME/Radio 1 tent to a bunch of fans that were more then happy to shake their stuff whilst they still looked attractive. Although disappointed with the much noticed exclusion of ‘Music Is My Hot Sex’, all was forgiven with the climatic musical orgasm that was ‘Lets Make Love and Listen to Death From Above’.
A cheeky glimpse of Turbonegro next. Can’t remember much of it as I was too busy laughing at my friend bouncing round drunk as a proverbial skunk.
Then off down for the headliners the Smashing Pumpkins. Now I’ve never been a fan of the Pumpkins, it’s not that I dislike them per se (although Corgan’s voice does grate on me somewhat), it’s just that I’ve never really got ‘into’ them, but due to their influence on millions of people worldwide I did feel they justified me watching them for a bit…
20 minutes later I went and watched the Hold Steady who were brilliant. The Carling tent they played in was vastly under attended but regardless of this fact they played as if they were in Corgan and co’s shoes and blew the few hundred lucky people who were there away.
After the Hold Steady I caught the arse end of the Pumpkins set and it appeared they were playing the same song as they were when I left. My mate liked it though. Each to their own eh?
Saturday: Yet another glorious day in Leeds began with a strong set from Scandinavia’s finest The Sounds. The lead singer of this band is probably next to the definition of cool in the dictionary because she is, as you’ve probably deduced from that last statement, really cool. Good synth, good guitar and a good number of people there for how early it was in the day.
Off to another Sentric artist next; The Aeroplanes (http://www.myspace.com/theaeroplanes).With competition from the horrendous Little Man Tate on the main stage for crowd share the ‘planes may have been disappointed with their turnout, this didn’t effect their performance in any way shape or form though as they did deliver the goods.
A bit of comedy next from aussie lad Tim Minchin (http://www.myspace.com/tim_minchin) whose songs about failed rockstars and carbon footprints gave me a nice burst of rawk endorphins to prepare me for potential sight of Beth Ditto in her skimpys.
Only hung around for a few tracks of the Gossip as a friend of mine who I was with was eager to see The Enemy but one thing that did impress was Ditto’s voice. It sounded like she could have sung to the main stage audience without a microphone her voice was that massive. So after un/fortunately missing out on seeing Miss Ditto’s crotch we went on to see The Enemy.
Now The Enemy are not the heaviest band I’ve ever seen live but during my 20 minute stay in their moshpit I believe I saw the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ on several occasions. It was bloody rough to say the least and it did surprise me that music that sways ever so slightly towards the pop side of the musical spectrum then the indie side could produce such a reaction from a crowd. Twas a good performance though.
Then off to the main stage for Maximo Park. Now regular readers of the blog will know of my love for the Geordies already and the 50 people standing around me will also now be aware of this fact. I think it would be unfair to review their set if I’m honest as I was singing along so much I don’t think I heard it. I bet it was bloody great though.
Interpol passed my by like a light breeze which surprised me somewhat due to the constant good things I hear about them. Maybe I was too busy staring at that redhead in front of me… Then onto the 3rd highlight of my weekend (with Maximo Park being the 2nd of course) the Kings Of Leon. I’ve been looking forward to seeing them since the release of their 3rd album ‘Because of the Times’ which I believe firmly secures them the title of the band who’ve shown the most progression throughout the course of 3 albums then any other of our generation so far. Despite this progression they played tracks from all of their 3 albums brilliantly; On Call demanded a mass singalong, The Bucket caused a string of hugs between me and my friends and Four Kicks implored us to jump like idiots. Ace.
As Razorlight are bland as anything I and my friends decided to go have a gander at Ash. I’ve seen Ash on several occasions over the years and they’ve always been a strong band to watch but I have to unfortunately report that they are desperately missing a 2nd guitarist. It baffles me that they haven’t got anyone in to replace Charlotte Hatherley as their songs sound really thin without her. Maybe they simply couldn’t be bothered due to their imminent retirement, shame though.
Sunday: I was rather looking forward to Sunday since the beginning of the festival as I believed it had the strongest lineup of the three days. We started off with Sentric artist ‘Bonebox’ (http://www.myspace.com/jay_taylor) who I thoroughly enjoyed. These guys are a band that should be witnessed live to appreciate the instrumentation that is involved (including an ace Lapsteel). Top notch.
Next to the 4th highlight of my weekend; Kids In Glass Houses (http://www.myspace.com/kidsinglasshouses); an unsigned 5 piece from Cardiff who were absolutely brilliant. The lead singer has an outstanding voice and the rest of the band are so energetic that even if you were not a fan of their music you’d be unable to resist to dance anyway. How these are not signed flummoxes me to the point of monomania, they would sell so many records it’s untrue.
Back to the Topman stage for another Sentric artist now; Screaming Mimi http://www.myspace.com/screamingmimiband). I’m sure they get bored of people mentioning this during reviews but they have got a gorgeous lead singer, but this does work to their advantage as due to this fact a lot of male punters stopped and had a gander at their strong set. Great use of a theremin as well.
The Pigeon Detectives were up next playing to a crowd who simply couldn’t stop chanting the word ‘Yorkshire’ over and over again (how my heart glowed). Despite the fact that the majority of the crowd were sporting 3 day long hangovers you wouldn’t have guessed it from their reaction. If they’d have played on the Friday I dread to think of the casualty rate. As with their Leeds counterparts the Kaisers, the Pigeon Detectives make music for festival crowds who knew pretty much every word to every song with ‘I Found Out’ and ‘I’m Not Sorry’ receiving particularly good reactions.
Down to the last 3 now and It’s the main stage all the way to the finish line starting with Bloc Party. I fear I may be lambasted for saying this but I believe Bloc Party simply can’t pull off festivals or outdoor gigs in general. I saw the southern rockers a few years ago after the release of their first album on the NME tour with The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs and The Futureheads and they were amazing. On Sunday however I felt that lacked depth and I felt slightly disappointed. We all know that on record they are a fantastic band, largely down to their stunning production values but for me, that simply didn’t come across I’m afraid.
What ever slight disappointment I might have had however was swiftly blown away with my ultimate highlight of the weekend: Arcade Fire. This lot were awesome (awesome in the true sense in the word: I was in awe). It sounded huge, cacophonic, massive, jaw dropping etc. Songs such as ‘Intervention’, ‘Keep The Car Running’ and ‘No Cars Go’ from Neon Bible were epic and equally so were ‘Tunnels’ and ‘Lights’ from Funerals. It was however, the climax of ‘Wake Up’ which took my breath away. They’re touring the UK soon, if you haven’t seen them then you must. Get on it a.s.a.p.
It was then the turn of the Red Hot Chili Peppers to bring the festival to a close. When introducing themselves Anthony Kiedis told the crowd that this was their last show of an 18 month world tour and disappointingly it showed towards the end. An energetic start was tainted by a piss poor set list and inexplicably long ‘jamming sessions’ between the rest of the band. I saw the Chili’s at T in the Park last year on the same tour and they were far superior then compared to the weekend just gone. It wasn’t that they were bad, they were just average. And average isn’t good enough to headline a major British festival. So was it lethargy? Boredom? An ‘off night’? Only the lads will be know I suppose, but it didn’t get me down, I was still singing Arcade Fire in my head…
What I’m listening to this week: Sod all, my ears are still ringing as it is.
What I’m reading this week: Other punters Leeds festival experiences using technorati and (hopefully) peoples reactions to this blog