Kendal Calling 2014 Review

 “Make sure you pack your sun cream…it’s going to be a scorcher next weekend!”

These words did not end up ringing wholly true. In fact, this was one of the wettest, muddiest festivals I have ever experienced…and I've been to at least 20. If you are going to have your festival in the Lake District, who knows what weather you are going to get, but this was a Northern festival, with proper double-hard Northern people who were ready for anything.

…then this little guy turned up and showed us all how it was done…

Mud monster

We arrived early on Thursday, this being the first year to allow entry the day before the main festival.
After finally getting up our beast of a tent, we caught the first half of Craig Charles’ 
thumping set in the Glow tent, before some Yorkshire Ska in Chai Wallah, courtesy of The Talks.

Friday started out in the real ale tent, and not even for beer (this time!), but instead to avoid the first
heavy downpour of the weekend. Samba bands were a feature across the site, and kept everyone
entertained until the stages started. By the early afternoon the rain had stopped, giving way to sack
races and plenty of activities to keep families busy in the Ladybird Kids area. Teenagers got their dancing shoes dirty early on at the J├Ągermeister stage and in the House Party tent. The first big crowd
of the day was for The Dub Pistols, a band who just seem to be made for festivals, getting everyone
stomping those wet weather blues away.

There was disappointment for some as the next act Ella Eyre was unable to attend due to illness, but fear not…The Sunshine Underground served up an extremely last minute indie dance set that kept everyone happy while they refuelled in anticipation of De La Soul

Unfortunately, owing to an accident on the M6, their set was cut short, but the enthusiasm they provided more than made up for it. 
“Me, myself and I” put lots of smiles on faces. With as many years of experience as they have they worked the crowd as you would expect.

Just enough time to grab some food. There was plenty on offer, ranging from exotic burgers
(Llama; wild boar and wagyu beef) to delicious momos from the Tibetan Kitchen (my photographer is now completely hooked on these badboys).

Suede headlined Friday night and began with a quiet opener “The Next life” from their first album.
They had won the crowd over by the third song “Trash”, followed by “Animal Nitrate” giving
everyone a chance to sing, and Brett Anderson to strut his stuff like the mid 90’s were here again.
Mid set we were given a new song “Tightrope” which the crowd were not really sure about, and
their set finished with “Beautiful Ones”.They closed the main stage with an encore of
“She’s in Fashion”, and a wonderful rendition of “Stay Together”.

Suede

After hours there was plenty to do with particular highlights being the Britpop set in the Tim Peaks Diner and the jazzy breaks of Mr Scruff.

 

As morning broke on Saturday, the site was turning to a liquid red thanks to the Cumbrian mud and morning rain. That didn’t stop large numbers of aliens, and sci-fi characters emerging from their tents to lighten up the gloom. The Glow Tent hosted a mass moonwalk to the song “Billie Jean”, as hundreds of MJ’s strutted their stuff.

Mid-afternoon, as the sun peeked out, Newton Faulkner played to a background of bubbles drifting across the field, “Teardrop”, and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I love you baby” bringing the crowds in. Athlete continued the summer vibe, and the sunglasses were out by the time Razorlight took to the stage. Sporting a lovely beard (trust me, I know about beards!) Johnny Borrell and the boys played a high energy, hit filled set.

Then, it was ALL about Madchester, with bucket hats and Lennon glasses being the necessary uniform. The Happy Mondays began with Bez informing us of his political intentions, which is either genius, or the most bonkers thing you’ve ever heard. The majority of this crowd would definitely vote for him. Shaun planned to keep it a PG performance, and entertained the crowd by never being quite sure which songs were coming next. Rowetta looked fantastic in her cowboy hat and tassels, and people were literally climbing the trees to get a good view. The sound was great and the whole arena was rocking to party classics from “Loose Fit”, to “24 Hour Party People”.

The Happy Mondays

Frank Turner started his set with a smaller crowd, hampered by the rain, but that crowd grew and got to enjoy a very special headline slot. This being his third time at the festival, he’s
definitely earned his Kendal stripes, and when he announced how honoured he was to play, you really knew he meant it. His band, The Sleeping Souls, threw themselves around the stage and really stepped up the volume, with stomping tunes like “Photosynthesis” getting the crowd all clapping and singing along. He dedicated his new song “Angel Islington” to all the Northerners. Despite a re-tune mid song and a broken string, nothing could faze Frank tonight!

Frank Turner

Sunday, originally predicted to be the best day for weather, was the worst, with frequent showers turning the main arena into a mud bath. Children and adults kept their spirits up by sliding down the hillside, and one of the great moments of the weekend was the chap in neon and a flat cap, cruising round a pool of mud in his electric wheelchair, chasing people. The Lancashire Hotpots played at lunchtime and won the award for most costume changes, and as they said, it was like a Lady Gaga gig! Conga lines, beach balls and songs including “We Love the North”, and “Chippy tea”, were just what was needed to keep everyone from flagging.

Reel Big Fish were the afternoon high point, Masters of styles they gave us the Ska Punk we all expected, but also a touch of Disco, and even a bit of Square-dancing. With choreographed kicks they finished with “Take on Me”, and as the dancing increased, the mud was flying. Tom Odell didn’t go in for quite the same level of onstage action, but instead let his music do the talking. It only took him to point to the girls at the front to get them all screaming, as he hammered away at the piano. A new song “Jealousy” from his upcoming album was particularly well received.

Miles Kane was taking no prisoners with a straight up rock and roll show. Dressed in a psychedelic shirt, his strutted around owing the stage, scissor kicking as he went. By the time he played “Don’t Forget Who You Are”, he had the audience joining in from the front to all the way up the hill.

Miles Kane

The final act on the main stage was Example, the biggest crowd of the weekend, and everyone wanted to be at the front. The sound from the stage was massive, with filthy bass lines shaking the sodden ground. Dressed in black he electrified the entire field, with lasers and a completely awesome neon drum kit. “One more day (Stay with me)” “Changed the way you kiss me” and “Kickstarts” were by far the biggest sing-a-longs of the weekend. As the set finished with air cannons
and ticker tape, the epic firework display was a worthy end to a sometimes challenging but ultimately celebratory weekend.

Example

After the main events, we headed back to Tim Peaks Diner for some energetic table dancing and a storming funk and soul set from Tim Burgess.
Just time to pop back to the real ale tent, this time for a well-deserved pint, we’d all survived!

 

Words by Reuben Crowther
Photographs by Andy Sawyer

Suede and Frank Turner to headline Kendal Calling

Set in the stunning surroundings of UK's Lake District, Kendal Calling return for 2014 with a bang!  The first lineup announcement features headliners Suede and Frank Turner.

Joining the headliners will be hip hop legends De La Soul, Miles Kane, Happy Mondays, 2manyDjs, Andy C, Radio One's Zane Lowe, Bondax, Goldie, Razorlight, Clean Bandit and many more.

2014’s first headliner Suede are one of the most revered British bands of the last 25 years with Brett Anderson and co racking up a host of much lauded indie singles and albums. After a hiatus the band returned in 2010 and released the critically and commercially acclaimed album ‘Bloodsports’ in 2013.  This is a band once again riding on the crest of wave and the first headliner to be announced with more due to follow imminently.
 
Frank Turner’s anthemic folk-punk has seen him rise to become one of the country’s biggest musical artists of the last few years, accruing a large and devoted following and placing him firmly at the forefront of the new guitar renaissance in the UK.  His five albums have given him an enviable body of work and Frank Turner is undoubtedly one of the most powerful live performers around. Frank has a real love affair with Kendal Calling having played twice before and has risen through the ranks to secure a well-deserved and much requested headline slot with his band The Sleeping Souls.
 
The much anticipated Hip Hop Legends slot this year goes to hip hop pioneers De La Soul. This slot is as much a part of Kendal Calling folklore as the fancy dress theme and the Real Ale tent and after last year’s blistering performance by Public Enemy the From The Fields team are delighted to have secured a more laid back performance from the daisy age, ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ legends who celebrate 25 years in the game in 2014.
 
Miles Kane is a man noted as much for his sharp suits and dress sense as his angular music and lyrics and this most modern of pop stars will make the short journey from Liverpool to the lakes.
 
Happy Mondays are Madchester royalty and in frontman Shaun Ryder possess and unlikely national treasure.  Their set will be a hugely anticipated affair as fans gather to hear seminal baggy anthems such as ‘Step On’, ‘Kinky Afro’, ‘Hallelujah’ and a host more as the Mondays baggy swagger engulfs the Lake District.
 
The Glow Tent is a haven for lovers of the very best in electronic music and the line-up for 2014 is the best yet.  David and Stephen Dewaele are famous worldwide as both Soulwax and2manydjs who's album "As Heard On Radio Soulwax Pt. 1" completely revolutionized the dance music landscape in the early 2000s, for its imaginative mixture of artist and genres from all eras. 2manydj’s are widely acknowledged as one of the most innovative acts on the planet and their mash up mayhem will have Kendal Calling in raptures.
 
Other confirmed acts include RAM Records founder and drum & bass don Andy C, Radio 1’s new music head honcho Zane Lowe, electro duo and local heroes Bondax with and all-star cast of b2b sessions, Metalheadz royalty Goldie, MJ Cole and a host of other swashbuckling turntable evangelists.
Zane Lowe
 
Other confirmations include Razorlight with their arsenal of alternative anthems, Brits Critics Choice winner and keyboard pounding singer songwriter Tom Odell and recent number 1 singles acts and electronic collective Clean Bandit who are one of the most exciting breakthrough acts in the UK right now.  Newton Faulkner’s unique, percussive guitar playing and emotive songs are sure to provide one of the weekend’s biggest sing-alongs while Gorgon City get ready for your love and bring their booty shaking bass to the Lakes.
 
Other exciting acts confirmed to perform include indie stalwarts Athlete, breakthrough indie rockers Breton, Rudimental collaborator Ella Eyre, undefinable musical guru and champion tea drinker Mr Scruff.  Many more acts have been confirmed to play with hundreds more set to join them in August in arguably the most beautiful festival site in the UK. 
 
This year’s fancy dress theme is Kendal Calling Goes Beyond The Stars as the festival once again becomes a mecca for culture vultures and party people.
 
NEW for 2014 for Thursday night revellers, Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club take over featuring a hand picked line up by Craig himself. Thursday will feature Chai Wallah’s and the Real Ale festival will be open for pre festival shenanigans!

Biffy Clyro, Miles Kane and more added to Rock Werchter

The Summer Festival Guide can announce that Rock Werchter adds six new artists to its lineup over the weekend of the 3rd July to the 6th July.  Bastille, Miles Kane, Biffy Clyro, London Grammar, Midlake and The Wombats will perform over the weekend.

Biffy Clyro

An overview of the bands announced so far for each day of Rock Werchter 2014:

  • Thursday 3 July: Metallica, Placebo, Damon Albarn, Skrillex, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Dropkick Murphys, Miles Kane, The Wombats, London Grammar, Valerie June
  • Friday 4 July: Arctic Monkeys, Ellie Goulding, Major Lazer, Jack Johnson, Crystal Fighters, The 1975, The Naked and Famous
  • Saturday 5 July: Pearl Jam, The Black Keys, Pixies, Triggerfinger, Imagine Dragons, Biffy Clyro,  Haim, Agnes Obel, Midlake, Kodaline
  • Sunday 6 July: Kings of Leon, Stromae, Franz Ferdinand, Bastille, Babyshambles, MGMT, Birdy, Foals, Passenger, Metronomy

Seven more for Hard Rock Calling 2013

Hard Rock Calling today announced that an additional seven artists have been confirmed to perform at this year’s festival, which is taking place at a brand new home, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 29 & 30 June. Lissie, Lawson, The View, Flamin Groovies, Mayer Hawthornem, Yellowire and China Rats will be joining headliners Kasabian and Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band in what will be the first shows at this iconic venue since the London 2012 Games. Tickets are available but selling fast – get yours now by visiting www.hardrockcalling.co.uk.

 

American folk singer Lissie, rock pop foursome Lawson, new wave pioneers Flamin Groovies and neo soul artist Mayer Hawthorne will be joining the bill on Sunday 30 June. Scottish indie rockers The View, hotly tipped band Yellowire and Leeds four piece China Rats will be hitting the stage on Saturday 29 June. Additional artists already confirmed for the festival include Paul Weller, The Black Crowes, The Cribs, Miles Kane, Klaxons, Alabama Shakes plus many more, making this the greatest rock event of the Summer.

 

HARD ROCK CALLING FESTIVAL LINEUP SO FAR

 

SATURDAY 29 JUNE 2013

KASABIAN, PAUL WELLER, MILES KANE, KODALINE, THE CRIBS, KLAXONS, TRIBES, THE VIEW, DARK HORSES, TWIN FORKS, THE WEEKS, ELIZA AND THE BEAR, SYD ARTHUR, MY PRESERVER, STEVE CRADDOCK, YELLOWIRE, CHINA RATS

 

SUNDAY 30 JUNE 2013

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND, THE BLACK CROWES, ALABAMA SHAKES, DEAF HAVANA, LISSIE, LAWSON, FLAMIN GROOVIES, MAYER HAWTORNE, TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT, NEGRAMARO, JOSH DOYLA, CODY CHESNUTT, JOSH RECORD, CROWNS

 

Many more acts and details still to be unveiled. For further information please visit www.hardrockcalling.co.uk.

Kasabian & Bruce Springsteen to headline Hard Rock Calling

Paul Weller, Miles Kane, Kodaline, The Black Crowes, Alabama Shakes, The Cribs, Klaxons and Tribes are all confirmed in what is set to be one of the biggest Hard Rock Callings to date. Tickets are on sale at 9am on Friday 8 March 2013.

Kicking off what will be the first show at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London since the London 2012 Games, one of Britain’s biggest and most contemporary bands Kasabian are announced in a UK festival exclusive, making their debut appearance at Hard Rock Calling on Saturday 29 June. The multi-million selling BRIT award-winning band are ready to get crowds rocking with hits including ‘Processed Beats’, ‘Club Foot’, ‘L.S.F’, ‘Empire’, ‘Shoot The Runner’, ‘Fire’, ‘Underdog’, ‘Days Are Forgotten and festival favourite ‘Velociraptor’ spanning their four studio albums.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band are confirmed for Sunday 30 June in what marks a third epic headline performance at the festival. Back for some unfinished business, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band will bring The Wrecking Ball Tour to Hard Rock Calling. Expect a high energy all out rock performance that goes down in history with some of their biggest and most loved hits plus a few surprises and special guests. 

Bruce Springsteen

Modfather Paul Weller joins Kasabian as special guest on Saturday 29 June, while US rockers the The Black Crowes and Alabama Shakes both join the Sunday 30 June bill. Some of the best of British indie, Miles KaneKodalineThe CribsKlaxons and Tribes are all confirmed for Saturday 29 June, with many more additions still to be announced across the weekend.

“Last year, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band made international news and history when their Hard Rock Calling encore with Sir Paul McCartney was unceremoniously cut short due to a noise curfew at Hyde Park. This summer we are giving Bruce and the band the opportunity to finish what they started and make history again with celebrated performance at Hard Rock Calling,” said CEO of Hard Rock International, Hamish Dodds. “Additionally, we are looking forward to christening Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a Saturday lineup of some of Britain’s hottest talent, including headliner Kasabian, Paul Weller and more.”

Earlier this year it was announced that Hard Rock Calling will be held at a brand new home, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London providing a dazzling open-air live music experience this summer. It offers a chance to experience the excitement of watching the best in popular music at one of London’s most iconic sites.

Dennis Hone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation said:

“Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is proving to be a fantastic draw for big names and we are delighted to be adding legends like Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band and Kasabian to this summer’s line up. We are on track to deliver a great summer, a top visitor destination and a great legacy for east London.”

T in the Park 2012 announces Florence + The Machine, Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds and more!

The Vaccines, The Maccabees, Two Door Cinema Club, Frank Turner, Miles Kane, The Horrors and Maverick Sabre are also amongst the first wave of acts to be announced. Festival organisers DF Concerts and founding partner Tennent’s Lager will unveil the two Main Stage headline acts that will join The Stone Roses as well as other top acts on Thursday 23rd February.

Florence + The Machine
 
Having smashed the UK charts and taken the US by storm, Florence + the Machinehas had a stratospheric rise to the top since winning the Critics’ Choice Award at the BRIT Awards in 2009 and first playing T in the Park in the same year. A stunningly accomplished artist with two number 1 albums, countless more accolades and a reputation as one of music’s most exhilarating live acts, Florence Welch brings her grandiose, majestic pop anthems back to Balado, including huge hits from triumphant second album Ceremonials.
 
Soon to be crowned Godlike Genius at the forthcoming NME Awards, Noel Gallagher returns to T in the Park with his new outfit, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Noel’s previous appearances at T in the Park have gone down in history as some of the festival’s greatest moments, with Oasis playing the very first festival in 1994 before storming the Main Stage with a massive headline show in 2002. Now it’s time for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds to soar centre stage, to play classic anthems and fresh material during what will undoubtedly be one of the standout sets of T in the Park2012.
 
Joining them on the bill are some of Britain’s best breakthrough bands of recent years. With a repertoire packed full of feel-good festival anthems, The Vaccines’ high octane tunes are sure to get the Balado crowd jumping.  Brighton boys The Maccabees have graduated to dizzying new heights of popularity, with their third album Given to the Wildhailed as “the first classic album of 2012” by NME.  The Horrors have embraced an ethereal, shimmering new sound, which they will showcase to the 85’000 per day crowd on T in the Park turf. Northern Irish trio Two Door Cinema Club will make a welcome return to Balado after headlining the recent NME Awards Tour and rapidly becoming one of the biggest new success stories across the globe. 
 
Festival organisers have also secured the appearance of an array of top singer-songwriters. Captivating singer songwriter Miles Kane was part of The Last Shadow Puppets as well as now being a hugely accomplished talent in his own right with his glorious, fuzz-rock, beat-pop earning him legions of fans, including fellow T in the Parkperformer Noel Gallagher, who sang backing vocals on Kane’s My Fantasy.  Frank Turner has blossomed from an underground hero to a bona fide mainstream success story, and hits T in the Park following a massive headline gig at Wembley Arena this spring, whilst Maverick Sabre will inject a catchy social-political blend of soul, hip-hop and reggae to the proceedings. 
 
Festival organisers thrilled fans in November by announcing that The Stone Roses will headline T in the Park. The Manchester legends’ second coming is the most highly anticipated musical resurrection of recent years, and their set is sure to be a historic moment for T in the Park.
 
Music lovers will be able to guarantee their place in the 85,000 strong crowd and get their hands on the final batch of tickets, which go on general sale at 9am on Wednesday 29th February from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and by calling 08444 999 990.
 
Boutique camping options are available in The Residence at T in the Park.  The Residence offers festival goers a bespoke, luxury experience where all their accommodation needs are taken care of – www.tinthepark.com/residence

Dizzee Rascal, Deadmau5 and more set for Evolution Festival 2012!

Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend
Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th June
NewcastleGateshead Quayside
 

Dizzee Rascal, Deadmau5, Maximo Park, Noah & The Whale plus many more confirmed for the North East music spectacular

Dizzee RascalEvolution Festival returns to the North East on the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend with a stellar line up of the most influential and exciting names in popular music.  Evolution attracts 28,000 people per day to the Quayside, delivering an outstanding bill of contemporary live acts and dj’s at an unbeatable price.  And the 2012 line up is the best one yet!

2012 is the ‘Return Of The Rascal” headlining the main stage on Sunday is the irrepressible Dizzee Rascal.  The ultimate showman whose pop sensibilities seamlessly fuse Grime, House and Hip-hop Dizzee Rascal ensures rapturous responses from audience and arrives with a sack load of number 1 hits including Dance Wiv Me, Bonkers, Holiday and Dirtee Disco.

Not the first dead rodent to be found on the Quayside but certainly the biggest, famed for his notorious live shows, the mighty Deadmau5 brings the biggest production ever to Evolution with his jaw dropping audio visual spectacular. His set up will no doubt light up the Quayside for a perfect finale to the weekend. With an epic mix of EDM Deadmau5 is a genuine global star and this is his only North of England show this year.

The North East’s favourite sons Maximo Park will grace the stage as very special guests in support of Dizzee. Having blazed a trail around the Globe representing all that is good and infectious about the North East we are stoked to have them at Evolution and with the band currently ensconced in the Studio working on their new album we look forward to giving the boys a HUGE hometown welcome as they hit the stage for one of their legendary, incendiary live shows.

Noah & The Whale delivered the hugely critically and commercially successful ‘Last Night On Earth’ album last year and are undoubtedly one of the best live bands in the country as their recent sell out UK tour demonstrated. Variously described as anti-folk, nu-folk and folk-pop (a confusing multitude of pigeonholes) alongside like-minded souls such as Laura Marling and Emmy the Great. Both of whom were part-time members of the band at various points.

Rizzle Kicks have been the undisputed breakout act of the past 6 months seemingly coming from nowhere to top radio playlist and the charts and injecting some fun into proceedings wherever they perform.  Rizzle Kicks are destined for superstardom in 2012 and their set will be one of the feel good moments of the festival.

Deadmau5

Whilst touring with the Arctic Monkeys with The Rascals, Miles Kane developed 

a strong friendship with front man Alex Turner. They shared a love of the same musical influences, such as Nick Cave. The pair began to play together backstage, and soon began writing new tracks. They realized that there was a future in their songwriting partnership, and the Last Shadow Puppets were born. Since his work with Turner Kane has shone with his solo material and his debut album has won millions of plaudits.

With artist such as Devlin, Benjamin Francis Letfwich, Band Of Skulls, Spector and Jessie Ware amongst other confirmations on the main stage, Evolution 2012’s line up takes on monstrous proportions.

The Ballast Hills this year will be home of some of the most pioneering electronic music and all tastes are catered for with a truly amazing and eclectic bill across both days.  DJ sets from DJ Fresh, SBTRKT, Jack Beats, Toddla T, Maya Jane Coles and a live set from Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are certain to have the Evolution crowd partying into the night.

Evolution promoter Jim Mawdsley comments ‘We are very proud to bring such a strong and progressive line up to NewcastleGateshead for this years Evolution Festival. We look forward to partying with you all in June’.            

Evolution festival continues to bring the best artists to the North East to perform in front of the UK’s most rapturous festival audience.  At £25 for a day ticket or £35 for the weekend, Evolution continues its tradition of providing an amazing show for an unbeatable price.

Alongside hosting some of the biggest acts on the planet Evolution will once again introduce the crowd to a wealth of emerging local talent on the third stage – partnered with Generator the UK’s leading Music Development Agency this stage gives local talent a chance to get their foot on the ladder and play to the biggest crowd of their careers to date

For Hi Res Artist Pics / Biogs / Logos please visit: http://www.wearesoundproof.com/press.html

FULL LINE UP

Sunday 3 June

Spillers Wharf 
Dizzee Rascal
Plus very special guests
Maximo Park
Miles Kane
Devlin
Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Dog Is Dead
Lulu James
Theme Park
The Lake Poets

Ballast Hills

Turbulence & Metropolis present

DJ sets from…
DJ Fresh
Jack Beats
Shy FX
Friction
Toddla T
Dot Rotten
Citizen
Codename:Tyrone

Monday 4 June

Spillers Wharf

Deadmau5
Noah & The Whale
Rizzle Kicks
Band Of Skulls
Here We Go Magic
Spector
Jessie Ware
The Milk
Mausi

Ballast Hills

Wax:On presents

DJ sets from…
SBTRKT
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (live)
Maya Jane Coles
Eats Everything
Jackmaster
People Get Real
Mike Jones 

Whilst the outdoor Bank Holiday Weekend extravaganza is the pinnacle of the Evolution programme we still have much more to announce – including the Evolution Emerging programme, Music Futures and the Jumpin Hot Club programme of shows that will be wrapped around Gateshead venues.

Leeds Festival 2011 Review by Gary Rampling

I made my way down there on Thursday in time for Friday’s music and the atmosphere was buzzing with many festival-goers joking around and talking with a real sense of excitement about the forthcoming bands there. I entered, squeezed my tent into the crowded yellow camp and left to have a look around the festival.

I was surprised at the huge open space called ‘the village’ that occupied a few acres. It had food stalls covering its perimeter with most people relaxing and enjoying the prospect of having a special weekend. There were even a few football goals set up where people were playing a couple of 5-a-side games of football which seemed quite unusual for a festival. When the night came there were a couple of stages open and places to go that were outside of the main arena. The Relentless stage in the village proved a hit with its thumping dance music played to massive crowds till the early hours of the morning, with this stage open and it being popular every night of the bank holiday weekend. It perhaps showed that dance music perhaps should not be entirely in the background at Leeds Festival.
 
FRIDAY
I woke up the next day and made my way towards the main arena. The main arena was really well laid out with people having to make their way down a slight slope to get to the main stage. Though, it was about a five minute walk to the main arena the distance was not a bother but was welcomed as it made the whole arena seem less cluttered then some other festivals.
 
The first band on the main stage was We Are the Ocean, and with the amount of rain that was pouring down on the crowd, it did seem like we were indeed – the ocean. The rain didn't hold this band back as they put on a spirited set, and bar a couple of technical hiccups, played with plenty of energy to wake the early birds up.
 
Next over to the NME/Radio 1 tent came Best Coast who tried to add a bit of sunshine to the day with their summery lo-fi songs. Keen to stay out of the apocalyptic downfall of rain that just would not quit, I headed towards the deliciously named Ham Sandwich in the BBC Introducing tent whose light cute instrumentation suited the lead singer’s gentle voice; they seem like a band who will gather a strong following in the coming years, they’re even suitable for vegetarians. 
 
Now to a band on the main stage of which I am a huge fan: Interpol. They played a brilliantly atmospheric set list that evenly covered their four albums. It was hard to take my fan goggles off for these guys, though perhaps the crowd wasn’t too up for them. It was a treat for fans nonetheless. It was now Elbow’s turn. The rain had finally completely stopped by now, but for me an eight hour drenching of rain was preferable to the drenching of a suspiciously warm cup of liquid that was hurled towards my section during Elbow’s set. Elbow’s Guy Garvey tried to warm the crowd up in a more endearing manner by trying to get us all to move, being particularly insistent on us all keeping our hands up in the air for long periods (perhaps he should have called the band ‘Hands’ not Elbow)
 
MuseNext was Muse whose live reputation is out of this world. They opened with an eerie voice (from Tom Wait’s ‘What’s he Building?’) talking whilst there were flashes of large shadows of the band, contained in a curtain. Finally the curtain raised and much to the crowds anticipation they launched into 'New Born,' the first track from Muse's second album 'Origin of Symmetry' which they had previously claimed they would play the whole way through. And they did.
 
Due to the massive guitar riffs on the album and Muse's amazing ability to put on a show, the whole thing was incredible. Particular highlights included 'Micro Cuts' where Matt Bellamy showed off astonishingly high pitched vocals for dramatically long periods before the song came crashing to its epic guitar crunching close.
 
It wasn't just Matt who was thoroughly impressive musically, Chris and Dominic were too, and they particularly got to demonstrate this during a drum and bass jam for a few minutes while Matt went off stage. The sheer power of them during this jam left me thinking that these two could do a whole live set as a duo and still produce a better show than most bands (though I'm not suggesting they should lose Matt)
 
Muse’s set was littered with all sorts of cool things;lasers, flames the size of the stage, fireworks, interesting videos, lights and of course plenty of gigantic eyeballs filled with confetti that were thrown into the crowd. No band should ever perform without some form of gigantic eyeball being thrown around somewhere. Muse really did throw everything at this headline slot, bar the kitchen sink, and to be honest an on-stage kitchen sink wouldn’t have been all that spectacular. At the very end – after Muse had come on and played nine of their greatest hits – a fireworks display came bursting out from the top of the stage and as this came to a close I was left with my heart racing and with a sense of awe. Fantastic!
 
SATURDAY

The next day started off sunny while I made my way to see Miles Kane's set of high trousers, kicks and Indie licks. He had a cool swagger about him that made it hard to take your eyes off of him, even during his weaker songs. The next highlight of the day was Deftones. I've heard a lot about these guys but never seen them live before and they absolutely blew me away. I'm sure that, based on that set, they would have gained fans from the few people there who weren’t familiar with them before.

 
After having left the main stage for a bit to purchase an expensive Yorkshire pudding the size of a paddling pool, and still with the Deftones wonderfully gripping set in the back of my mind, it was now time for 30 Seconds to Mars. Similarly to Deftones I could not believe how great they were. Jared Leto spoke to the crowd in between songs and gave the whole set an intimate feel, almost as if he was addressing everyone personally in a crowd that had thousands; it was something really special. Towards the end they made the performance even more special for dozens of crowd members at the front when Jared invited them onstage for 'Kings and Queens,' and credit to the on-stagers; they all went mad.
 
Next up were Jared Leto's "good friends" and headliners My Chemical Romance. They came out in their album themed attire putting on a triumphant display. No sign of the trouble they had at Leeds twin festival Reading in their 2006 performance, where they got bottled by many angry Slayer Fans (who were stupidly placed next to them on the bill that year). They stormed through many songs off their latest album ('Danger Days') and put on an all round good show.
 
My Chemical Romance
 
SUNDAY

On the final day Leeds Festival we were treated to not one but two festival headliners. Just as Pulp had stepped aside for The Strokes to go on stage last at Reading on the Saturday, The Strokes returned the favour and Pulp went on last at Leeds on the Sunday. Pulp played a strong set and won over many of the youths of the festival who may have only heard a couple of their songs, as when queried on the best performance of the weekend; Pulp was a popular choice. It also seemed to make more sense to have Pulp last over The Strokes, as Jarvis Cocker and co. seemed genuinely excited to be there; dancing around the stage in his unique style, whereas The Strokes were somewhat static and let their anthems and cool approach do the talking (or singing). Earlier highlights in the day included the sing-alongs to Madness' 'Our House' and opener 'One Step Beyond', though the lesser known tracks did not go down as well with the crowd; it was worth it for the well-known ones.

Pulp

All in all the festival was a major success and although the amount of rain did make it an extremely Welly-squelching affair, it was clear that behind all those festival goers mud covered faces there were big white smiles..

Photos courtesy of Hall or Nothing