Leeds Festival 2017

September 21, 2017

We were incredibly lucky to be invited to one of, if not, the biggest festival in the world, Leeds Festival! Below is a run through of the bands we managed to see, the atmosphere we soaked up and everything else we saw during our time at Bramham Park.

 

Our press project for Leeds Festival was an ambitious one, we had plenty of interviews happening to keep us busy and we had a list of bands and acts we really wanted to see.

 

List of interviewed bands:

 

Fling

Marsicans

Dead Naked Hippies

Devlin

Pins

Tired Lion

Lafontaines

RavenEye

Fizzy Blood

Chroma

Honey Lung

Honey Arcade

WSTR

Palisades 

Judas

Avenoir

Phundo Art

Vukovi

67

Will Sin For Love

Verschieden

Too Many T's

Koyo

While She Sleeps

Soeur

Cassia

Playing House 

 

THURSDAY:

 

So kicking off our festival we made the short journey to Bramham Park on Thursday afternoon ready to catch some of the bands performing on the opening night. 

 

Fling were the first band we managed to see after working through some early press commitments with some of the bands performing on Thursday night. We did only manage to catch the very back end of their set but it was clear to see that the band, who are very quickly growing on the scene, had a great following with the crowd singing and jumping along. 

 

The Pigeon Detectives headlined the 'Dance to the Radio' event on the Thursday and really put the festival into full swing as they smashed through a hit filled set list. The majority of early campers had made the effort to come and see the set and the noise coming from the tent as they sang the hits back to the band was immense. 

 

After the bands had played we had a little walk around the stages and headed up towards the main stage as it was being prepared for the opening day, it was a little surreal to see such an enormous and iconic stage just standing there like a dormant giant waiting for the first band to grace it. 

 

Following our walk we headed to the campsite to check out the other events taking place and it wasn't long before we found ourselves at the Relentless Energy stage where an enormous crowd had gathered waiting for Devlin to make an appearance. 

 

We managed to get backstage to speak to Devlin before he took to the stage and even he was surprised at just how many people were out there watching on. It was clear to see that the widely regarded star was back in full swing following a break in his music career and is ready to pick up where he left off.

 

 Watch out for our interview with Devlin.

 

 

FRIDAY:

 

Our first official day on site was quite a busy one, we spent the majority of our time interviewing at the press tent, we did manage to catch some bands though starting with a special appearance from The Xcerts on the main stage who were filling in last minute following a cancelled set from Royal Republic. The Xcerts fit the bill perfectly with their engaging sound, they managed to wake the festival up perfectly and were a very welcomed surprised addition. 

 

And speaking of surprise additions we caught wind on the Thursday that the secret set would be coming from Queens of the Stone Age so we headed quickly over to the NME Stage to check them out and see if the rumors were true.

We arrived to a pretty packed out tent of other people who had caught wind of what was supposedly happening and following a wait that seemed to last forever the band strolled on to the stage as if it was nothing. Front man Josh Homme filled that stage with his rock God presence and delivered a highly captivating performance, if you missed it you really missed out. 

 

The remainder of the day was spent at the press tent where we managed to catch a couple of songs from Pins and Against The Current. Both sounded brilliant and demonstrated that their presence was there purely on merit and not just to hit a quota of having female fronted bands on the line-up.

 

Architects were always going to be marked down as a must see band as soon as they were announced and they absolutely blew Bramham Park away. They delivered one of the most energetic, powerful and emotional sets I have ever seen and showed their fans that they aim to go on and make Tom Searle proud of the band that he was so fully devoted to. The band have just dropped their newest single Doomsday as well which is absolutely mind shattering brilliance. For me, they were arguably one of the best bands of the whole weekend.

 

By now we had wrapped up our interviews for the first day and finally had chance to relax and watch the final three bands on the main stage, and what better way to start than a set from rising stars Blossoms. The band sounded immense on the main stage with their diverse and fresh sound and really warmed the crowd up for rest of the night. 

 

It was no surprise that the main stage was now filling out, as one of the biggest rock stars in the world was about to take to the stage. Liam Gallagher was another name on the bill that immediately had people talking, the main question being "will he sing Oasis songs?!" and he answered that immediately as he came out to 'Rock n Roll Star' one of the bands biggest hits. He was very keen to demonstrate what he had been up to with his new release 'As You Were' taking prominence in his set list, although those songs would not be out of place in an Oasis album! Liam's presence was felt and heard all around the festival and his personality was big enough to replace the band that we all so desperately wish to see back together for at least one more show! He's still got it, not that he ever lost it, and now he is back and bigger than ever. 

 

Muse were our Friday headliner as they immediately made their mark. How a band can sound so impeccable on stage is beyond me. Their light show and visuals were some of the best I have seen and they easily took best band of the festival slot right there and then, nobody could even come close to what they achieved with their set. I am not the biggest Muse fan in the world but that didn't stop me enjoying the set, they were simply faultless and showed everybody how it should be done. 

 

SATURDAY

 

Saturday picked up from where Friday left us with most of our time spent interviewing in the press tent. We did want to make an effort to see some of the early bands.

 

Life were the first band we made it out to see, and I am pretty glad we did make the effort to see a band with such a massive amount of hype around them. We didn't stick around long as we had to make our way back to the press tent. But from what we saw the band certainly hold their own on a stage with a great show of charisma and stage presence.

 

Honey Arcade were playing on the BBC Introducing Stage as we were making our way back, and they deserve a tonne of credit to pull as big of a crowd as they did in the rain! The stage was packed out to watch the local band who seemed to be soaking up every minute of being on that stage, it was a true showing of what BBC Introducing is all about and what it means to bands to be able to play these kinds of events.

 

 (Honey Arcade - Photo by Alan Raw)

 

JUDAS were on the main stage as we made our way towards the guest area. The band sounded absolutely massive as we moved past, it was shame we couldn't stick around longer to watch more, but from what we did see I think they were quite easily one of the best sounding bands of the weekend. 

 

Jimmy Eat World were the first band that we got to fully watch, and were one of the must see bands for us when the line-up was announced. They completely blew me away, they were incredible, their set list was impeccable and there was nothing missing from it at all, they even threw some new tracks in there for good measure. An outstanding performance from a much loved band. 

 

Two Door Cinema Club sounded enormous! Besides Muse I think they were the best sounding band of the weekend, their live show was outstanding and the up-beat set list had the entire crowd up on their feet for the duration. 

 

Bastille I don't know where to start here. For me Bastille would have been one of the bands of the weekend, their newest album Wild Word is an incredible piece of work, fuse this with their old classics and you have a fool proof set! But for me they sounded weak, there was something missing, there was no power behind their performance, they sounded great don't get me wrong, it just wasn't enough in my opinion, they could have been better. Sorry, I still love the band though! 

 

Kasabian turned up and smashed it out of the park. There were some people worried that they would pull out due to Tom being in hospital before hand but he addressed the crowd saying he wasn't going to miss this. They were easily one of the most anticipated bands of the weekend, and the crowd showed that. The noise coming from the audience was unreal and the performance on stage was that of true British music legend from one of the best bands the country has to offer. 

 

Billy Talent were another must see band for us, and that is where we ended our Saturday night. The iconic band looked enormous on stage, it was like watching gods perform. They sounded perfect, the set list was at full strength, there was nothing wrong with the set and it was absolutely the best way to close out day three for us.

 

SUNDAY

 

And just like that, we had arrived to the final day all too soon. Sunday was our busiest day for interviews so we didn't manage to catch as many bands that we would of liked to. 

 

Honeyblood started our final day off for us. I managed to see a glimpse of the duo at Kendal Calling this year and vowed to see more of them at Leeds Festival. For me they were one of the bands of the weekend, the way they perform and sound as a duo is incredible, fuse this with their undeniable skills as musicians and song writers and you have a flawless act ready to take on the world, and that is exactly what they are.

 

Verschieden were the next band we managed to get out and see, and another from BBC Introducing. They sounded massive on such a small stage, with an incredible set up and vibe. For me they were one of the finds of the festival and I can not wait to see more from them. They brought the sunshine out with their summer vibes.

 

 (Verschieden bringing the JOOCE)

 

 

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes were next on our hit list. Whenever Frank is playing you would be an idiot to miss him, he is outstanding and quite possibly the greatest frontman in rock at the moment. There is nothing he can't do, there is nothing he won't say and there is nobody able to get in his way of taking over. The set had everyone involved as he somehow managed to get a circle pit so big that it went outside of the tent and ended up surrounding it! Not only this but he also demonstrated a valuable point that shows should be a safe place for women by insisting that women crowd surf, and if he saw anybody groping or touching he would wrap his microphone cable around their neck and hang them from the top of the tent. A true modern day rock legend with the world at his feet.

 

Korn. Some eyebrows were raised when Nu-Metal icons Korn were added to the bill below MajorLazer and Eminem but they certainly delivered a massive show! As far as rock/metal icons go Korn are right up there with the best of them and demonstrates perfectly the blend of music that Leeds Festival aims to bring together under one stage. 

 

                                                                  (Korn - Photo by Alan Raw)

                                                                (Korn - Photo by Alan Raw)

 (Korn - Photo by Alan Raw)

 

 

 

MajorLazer were next up and I wasn't sure what to expect from their set really, considering most of their songs feature artists. But they completely obliterated the place, they sounded enormous, the light show was incredible and they even got into the crowd whilst inside a giant ball. They had the crowd riled up for Eminem perfectly and were incredibly fun to watch.

 

(MajorLazer - Photo by Alan Raw)

(MajorLazer - Photo by Alan Raw)

 (MajorLazer - Photo by Alan Raw)

 (MajorLazer - Photo by Alan Raw)

 

Eminem was the talk of the festival and possibly the most anticipated act of the weekend, and with very good reason! The iconic rapper had the biggest crowd at the festival and they made themselves heard when the Rap God took to stage. Eminem demonstrated that he still had all the skills that made him a household name and really closed the festival with a bang. An enormous set from one of the biggest artists in the world!

 

While She Sleeps were the band that closed the festival for us however! We couldn't miss out on seeing local giants headline The Pit stage and they delivered a ferociously impressive set. To see them on such an intimate stage at such an enormous festival was a little surreal. They are the perfect example of what hard work can bring you and did Yorkshire proud.

 

And that is our run down of our experience of Leeds Festival. The nightlife, the music, the food and everything that makes Leeds Festival the best festival in the world were all on display over the weekend and we can not wait to get back there!

Before we sign this off though, here is a small interview with BBC Introducing's Alan Raw on the importance of BBC Introducing: 

 

 

Alan Raw - BBC Introducing 

 

1) Can you explain what exactly BBC Introducing does/offers to bands?

 

BBC Introducing is a game changer for the music industry. It's not always about who you know because now anybody can share their music from home and know that it will be listened to and selected for play based on the merits of the work itself.

 

2) And how easy is it to submit a track?

 

All you have to do is visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/introducing and follow the links to upload your tracks. Any style, any age, anywhere in the UK. Your music will be heard and may be played on your local show or a national show, perhaps even live by you in session on the BBC or on a BBC Introducing Stage.

 

3) How does a band go from submitting a track to playing a major festival?

 

Bands like Marmozets have sent their music to me through the uploader and got invited to play a session, which was timed to fit with a gig they were doing with a local promoter. After the session, I followed their progress and recommended them for the BBC Introducing Stage at Leeds/Reading Festival. Luckily they made it through selection and since progressed to the main stage in 2015 and were back at the festival this year.

 

5) How important is BBC Introducing within the music scene? 

 

I think that the level field and accessible system of BBC Introducing, ensure that new under the radar talent can break through and find support, based on musical merit and that is vitally important to the health of UK music as a creative art form.

 

A massive thank you to Alan Raw for his time and for supplying pictures for this feature! That is us all sorted for Festival season, we will be out on the road on tour in November and catching as many bands as we can between then and next summer before we get to do this all over again! 

 

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