Well, this post’s better late than never, considering Leeds Festival 2017 was over two weeks ago now. Whoops.
Leeds definitely felt like a ‘young people’ festival. And by that I mean the under-18s crowd – I still don’t think of myself as ‘old’ at all really, but at Leeds…I definitely felt my age, for sure. I’d say it’s an even younger festival audience than Reading Festival, where the GCSE-passing crowd is pretty notorious. And in all honesty, I was very glad we were in guest camping, as the all-night partying and bass-blasting fairground rides would have interrupted my minimal but valuable festival sleep time.
Terrifying large groups of under-18s aside though, I had a really, really good time. I had great company, and saw some fantastic sets. Five of these, I will discuss right about now…
Well, duh. This one’s been a bucket list must-see since the days of obsessively playing the Marshall Mathers LP at an age where I really shouldn’t have been listening to it. Having heard mixed reactions on his last UK festival performances, I was seriously impressed at how on-form he was at Leeds. A live backing band and his energetic MC added depth to the ‘one man show’ I was expecting, although it was Eminem himself that truly stole the night.
In terms of real, quality music coming from the British rock scene at the moment, Boston Manor are just consistently impressing, gaining more and more fans with every festival set or support slot. The one thing that really, really stands out with this band is how truly connected vocalist Henry Cox seems to be to every emotion within the song. With anger, he spits vitriol, but it goes much deeper than that – there are real subtleties to his delivery that make them not only a band producing fantastic songs, but also an honest and ‘real’ live show I’ve seen plenty of times now, but never tire of watching. You go, Boston Manor.
A little known fact about me is that my Myspace name used to be ‘Milly Talent’ (probably with lots of weird punctuation around it. Because, Myspace. Billy Talent were a big-time love growing up, and although I’ve not kept quite up to date with their more recent endeavours, it turns out I knew every word to pretty much every song in their Leeds festival set. And believe me – these guys have so still got it. So much energy, and a unique sound (and, particularly, vocal) that’s instantly recognisable.
Er, well. These guys are just smashing the UK metal scene at the moment. Sam Carter is, for sure, one of the best metal vocalists Britain has to offer, and their powerful songs even impressed those who weren’t part of the usual rock crowd. Tickets for their Alexandra Palace show in 2018 are selling fast, and their explosive Leeds set shows just why they’re cementing themselves as the UK’s biggest metal act of a generation.
This one really suprised me, because on record I don’t think I’ve ever purposefully listened to Bastille. Ive heard that ‘eh-oh-eh-oh’ song a lot when I’ve been out and about, but have never actually chosen to pop ’em on my Spotify and have a good listen. At the time, no one else was on that we wanted to see, so we took a perch at main stage and boom, I was seriously blown away. It reminds me of when I saw Years & Years at Reading 2015 – never a band I’d have necessarily listened to at home, but such an awesome live performance. The songs were catchy and uplifting, and I was singing along to the surprising amount of tracks that I recognised.
Did you go to Leeds or Reading this year? Who were your faves?