Leeds Festival – Reviewed

You what? You what?

Another stellar line up at this years Reading and Leeds Festival with acts ranging from a variety of different genres means there’s something for everyone, even if you like DJ Fresh, embarrassingly….

I attended Leeds Festival and saw over 30 bands across 6 stages over 3 days, hearing well over 100 “Yorkshire” chants. Here’s the breakdown of the weekend:


The Good…

The Cribs

Performing at the main stage on Friday afternoon, the Wakefield 3 piece produced another excellent performance which their fans are so used seeing. The Jarman brothers are incredibly consistent, with both albums and live shows, and their performance at this years Leeds Festival was no different. Playing 3 tracks from their new album ‘For All My Sisters’, as well as some old classics, the band produced a wonderfully energetic performance ending with Ryan smashing his guitar against the drum kit, epitomising the entire set. Outstanding.

leeds the cribs


This years secret set was courtesy of the Oxford-formed band, who are widely known for their flawless live performances, and of course Leeds Festival was no different. After hearing the news of this secret set some 2 hours before, I eagerly awaited their set like a child waiting for Christmas day. Foals opened with arguably their biggest single to date ‘My Number’ which sent the crowd delirious and the set got better and better from there on in. Leeds Festival organiser Melvin Benn claimed that the band could headline the festival in the future, the big question is whether their new album, ‘What Went Down’, will push them into that bracket, because they are certainly good enough.

leeds foals


Catfish and The Bottlemen

Easily the biggest crowd of the NME/Radio 1 stage that weekend turned out to see the best thing to come out of Llandudno since their fish and chip shops. People piled into the tent to see one of the biggest indie bands of the moment and they didn’t disappoint. Frontman Van McCann’s humble and appreciative demeanour was there for all to see as he thanked the lively crowd after every song they played, including their singles ‘Fallout’, ‘Pacifier’ and ‘Kathleen’. Flares and scenes followed as the band finished their set with the last song on their debut album ‘The Balcony’ called ‘Tyrants’, as the band went off to the biggest cheer of the night. The only down side was Van not spotting any of the Widnes flags that were being held up.

leeds catfish


The Bad…

All Time Low

In between making inappropriate “butt sex” jokes and dancing rather too seductively with 14 year old fan girls on the stage, All Time Low graced the main stage with their brand of ‘music’ on Saturday afternoon. A combination of awful singing, poor sound quality and cringe-worthy jokes made this a performance one to forget. If you’re looking for a three word description on their Leeds Fest performance, then look no further than the name of the band in question.


The Average… 

The Libertines

After watching their headline set on Friday evening, the performance came across as a solid, top-of-the-bill show. However, after seeing both Mumford and Sons and Metallica the two following nights, these two acts completely outclassed Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, which pains me to say. Pete himself addressed the crowd during the encore saying “What’s up with you tonight Leeds? You’re making us feel really unloved”. In truth, the whole set seemed very flat, to which the crowd didn’t respond too positively, but the band will bounce back. This was in complete contrast to their Hyde Park set last summer which blew me away, so the lads have still got it, maybe they were saving their effort for the televised Reading Festival performance the following night…


The Surprise Package…

Panic! At The Disco

This act ticked all the boxes for a brilliant festival booking. Lots of energy and positivity? Check. Cracking vocals and confident lead singer? Check. A cover of Bohemian Rhapsody? CHECK MATE! This is a band who have been around for just over a decade and with this experience they have found the formula for a perfect festival slot. Certain bands need to learn to accept that a decent percentage of a festival crowd haven’t turned up to watch them play 10 songs from their yet unreleased album that nobody knows the words to, when in truth they have simply found themselves at that stage as it’s close to a bar. Thankfully, Panic have realised that the best way to go about festivals is to play the hits with a bit of something different and, with this is mind, their melody of Any Way You Want It (Journey) / You Shook Me All Night (AC/DC) was nothing short of phenomenal.


The Weirdly Brilliant…


Opening the main stage on Sunday were a Japanese metal band by the name of Babymetal. They are comprised of three teenage girls who perform dances in-sync with one another whilst singing heavy metal. This is something that has to be seen to be believed, but it’s very impressive. The band didn’t lack any effort or enthusiasm and the crowd seemed to be very fond of the trio. Just before they broke into their ‘Wall of Death’ they played pre-recorded audio over the speakers which included: “I do not want to see you cry any more, we should all stand together and never give up”, which I thought was a little too deep for 12 o’clock in the afternoon, but nevertheless, their performance was a definitely enjoyable, as was the entire weekend.

Danny Atherton
22 from Widnes, student studying at Sheffield Hallam University, currently on a placement year in London.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *