Muse to headline Reading and Leeds Festival 2017

Reading & Leeds Festivals announce Muse, in a UK Festival exclusive, as the first headliners for next year’s festival, taking place 25-27 August 2017.
 
Stadium rock royalty, Muse are one of the most influential and revered live bands of modern times. Led by the commanding presence of frontman Matt Bellamy, the trio have taken to the biggest stages around the world with their interstellar anthems for over 22 years, and their return to Reading & Leeds promises to be yet another landmark moment in their storied career.
Muse commented:
"We’re very excited to be playing Reading and Leeds again. More news about our plans for 2017 coming in the new year."
 
 
 
Also confirmed for Reading & Leeds 2017 in a UK Festival Exclusive, are dancehall-rejuvenators Major Lazer. Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire have become the soundtrack of modern dance, claiming No.1 records, chart-dominating tracks such as ‘Lean On’ and ‘Cold Water’ as well as live shows packed with genre-mashing moments promising an unrivalled party atmosphere.
With a worldwide legion of fans and a catalogue of defining pop anthems, Bastille stand as one of the biggest acts on the planet. Their storming breakout album Bad Blood saw the band catapulted onto playlists, sell out venues, scooping BRIT Awards and selling over 7 million albums. With latest LP Wild World once again dominating the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, expect to witness a crowning moment as true modern titans return to Reading & Leeds.
At The Drive-In are set to bring their high-octane and powerful live show to Reading & Leeds this year, returning to the festival after their sold out world tour in 2016. Establishing an entire genre with their seminal 2000 LP Relationship Of Command, their unpredictable live shows bring a timely reminder as to why they remain such an influential powerhouse in alternative music.
Having released one of the most critically revered hip hop records of the year, Danny Brown will be bringing his world renowned individuality to the stage at Reading & Leeds Festival. Throughout his musical career he’s remained daring and distinctive when delivering his personal message, resulting in an atmospheric and emotional performance that’s not to be missed.
In terms of celebrated post-hardcore British bands, none may be as vital and influential as Architects. Through a career with numerous defiant moments, Brighton’s very own have forged a path of their own such as recently headlining a mammoth evening at London’s Brixton Academy fresh from the release of acclaimed album All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. Expect an emotionally charged return to Reading & Leeds for a UK Festival Exclusive performance of immeasurable significance.
 
Glass Animals continue to demonstrate why they are set to be one of the true global breakthrough artists of 2016. How To Be A Human Being was released at the end of August via Caroline International / Wolf Tone to rave album reviews, and Radio 1 and 6 music A-listed singles ‘Life Itself’ and ‘Youth’. The band have had a phenomenal live year, selling out their entire UK, EU and US tours and amassing well over 200 million Spotify streams. 2017 will see the band continue their anomalous rise, starting with Singapore, Australia and New Zealand in January, followed by the band's biggest UK tour to date, including Brixton Academy on March 16th.
 
One of the most recognisable voices of the past 12 months, Tory Lanez will be making an appearance at Reading & Leeds 2017. With standout single ‘LUV’ heralded as an indisputable late-night party anthem, the Canadian breakout star is on the cusp of world domination.
 
Powered by catchy, upbeat melodies and the strong voice of frontwoman Chrissy Costanza, Against The Current will dominate their first ever Reading & Leeds performance with tracks from this year’s debut album In Our Bones. They’ll be joined on the bill by drum and bass icon Andy C. His incredible career has seen him headline some of the biggest stages and moments in the genre’s history, most recently including his sell out shows at Brixton Academy and Alexandra Palace.  Equally as momentous will be the return of While She Sleeps, British metalcore’s undeniable DIY heroes who’ll be back in 2017 with their anticipated third album You Are We.
 
With hundreds of acts set to play across eight stages, Reading & Leeds is once again the unmissable festival weekend of the summer – defining and celebrating the who’s who of modern ground breaking music.
 
CONFIRMED TODAY
Against The Current | Andy C | Architects (UK Festival Exclusive) | At The Drive-In | Bastille | Danny Brown | Glass Animals | Major Lazer (UK Festival Exclusive) | Muse | Tory Lanez | While She Sleeps
 

The Adventure that was Benicassim, 2016.

You’ve all heard of Benidorm, I presume. That Spanish resort town, filled with sunburnt brits and head fuckers for breakfast, even with its own TV show about the life and times of its seasonal inhabitants.

For one week of the year, however, the brits are pre-occupied with a different kind of Beni, Festival Internacional de Benicassim. As a veteran fib goer myself (this year was the fourth) bringing along a backpack with an Argos tent, a Chromebook, a few different cameras plus their owner, the only clean clothes I had left, and flashbacks of Benicassim campsites and extreme heat, I felt well equipped and mentally prepared to tackle the biggest party of the summer, all in the name of journalism.

Benicassim itself is one of the friendliest experiences you will ever have. International is mentioned in the name because that is truly what it is. Though I felt there were considerably less Spanish goers (and noticeably a lot less Spanish acts) the multicultural vibe is definitely known, and with the gloom of Brexit still hovering over our heads there felt a definite subconscious need for camaraderie, which when you consider the amount of EU flags we saw dotted around and more often than not, wrapped around sleeping people, is a comforting thought.

The general atmosphere of Beni and it’s set up is really what makes it. Your ticket entitles you to 8 days of camping in their main area ‘campfest’ (you can also opt for glamping at a fairly reasonable price) and whilst alongside the various parties and events, the actual festival itself doesn’t start until 7pm, leaving you plenty of time to head to the beach, go into town, get your shopping done, and pregaming started, whilst not missing anything, and saving insane amounts of cash by raiding the Mercadona or the Lidl for the supplies you need to survive the night.

Financially, unlike British festivals, it won’t cost you a kidney and your first born child to enjoy Benicassim. Early Bird tickets start at 85 Euros, building to not more than 120, factor in the low, low cost of living out in the Spanish desert and even with a flight you’re still way ahead of the game, as long as you don’t mind inhaling 6 metric tonnes of dusk every time you wake up in the morning, and a hell of a lot of sun.  

 

Musical Highlights

 

Although Benicassim has become almost a rite of passage, the reason we all keep flocking to this ant infested wonderland every summer is not only for its general atmosphere but for the music. Although fib tends to have a smaller lineup (spread over 5 stages) than the majority of British Festivals, its headliners alone have enough pulling power. I’ve found over the years that a lot of the Glastonbury lineup will make a few sneaky appearances, but you’ll have to take my anecdotal word for it.

 

Thursday /

 

The shortest of all music days, but what turned out to be one of the best, Thursday boasted sets from DJ Hannah Wants and Irish rapper Rejjie Snow, however, the two main acts of the night by far were grime music artist Skepta and electronic music entity Major Lazer. Skepta, who halfway through his set worshipped the crowd as individuals, claiming he ‘hated celebrities’ became the simultaneous shunner and bringer of hype. The energy in the crowd was electric, and the growth of the London grime scene became increasingly obvious from the gigantic, international crowd that flocked to see him. The first headline act of the long weekend extravaganza, however, was Major Lazer, which gave the newbies a taste for FIB life and veterans like me a heightened nostalgia of what it’s all about. Their set was planned to the millisecond and mixed in a haul of different samples from Eurotrash, bashment and dancehall, and of course starting with Pon de Floor, the absolute tune that filled me with nostalgia and brought me back to being a fifteen-year-old getting drunk on a bottle of Lambrini. Moving forward, they started the encore with their feelgood hit of last year, Lean On, which shows just how much their popularity has grown.

 

Friday /

 

Friday saw the likes of more bands take to the stages, including the British rapping, indie, all-round shabby Rat Boy, the lo-fi garage rock Spanish girl band Hinds, now increasingly veteran rockers The Vaccines, and an emotional set from the harder rock of Biffy Clyro. Hinds played the main stage fairly early in the day, and although they started out with a small crowd it had almost quadrupled by the end, obviously attracted to their dynamic and the energy oozing from all four of them. They seem to be drawing quite a following from their various performances around the globe the last couple of years, and I’m pretty sure next year their names will be way higher up the bill. Finishing with Davey Crockett, throwing in a couple of new songs and even a Dead Ghosts cover, Hinds were one of the highlights of my weekend.

Though Friday was technically a lot more band heavy, Jamie XX took over for a disco-heavy and grime influenced set later in the evening, and the heavyweights of electronic music and putting on a fantastic show The Chemical Brothers headlined that evening. Starting with Hey Boy, Hey Girl and finishing their set with a combination of Galvanise and Block Rockin Beats, the show itself boasted spectacular lights, visuals and sound that made pretty much everyone go nuts.

This year Benicassim decided to up the ante with the dance stage, turning their previous second stage into the South Beach area set up complete with a ‘pool party’ – basically borrowing some Ibiza vibes from the another well known Spanish turn-up. Though the pool got pretty dirty after day one, the area itself was a success and saw the likes of Dan Deacon and John Talabot tear it up on the Friday.

Saturday /

 

If you’re a Muse fan, Saturday night was what you were waiting for. They headlined the main stage with a show-stopping two-hour set, incredible lights, showmanship and Matt Bellamy’s vocals in full force. Bringing out all the classics such as Supermassive Black Hole, you really cannot fault this band for doing what they do, and doing it heart-stoppingly well.

But on the contrary, it wasn’t just the superband that got the crowd going on that day. Disclosure followed suit on the main stage, starting with White Noise and playing a mix of tracks from Settle and Caracal, the boys radiated buzz as they always do whenever they take to the stage.

For the earlier parts of Saturday, however, it seems the indie and rock bands were out in full force, with Irish rockers Walking on Cars taking the main stage with the sun still glaring. For relative newcomers, they gathered a lot of support from a ferocious fan base, which, given the amount of Irish melodic voices heard around the festival is quite unsurprising. Bloc Party also mesmerised the visa stage, back with a vengeance and a beautifully revised selection of their catalogue, after a hiatus left them with just Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack as the original members. A brief chat with Kele himself before the show lead me to believe we can expect some new music from the new lineup very soon, and the band is sure to go from strength to strength after the writing process gets well and truly underway.

Echo and the Bunnymen and The Coral also played incredible sets, giving us a little blast from the past. For E&TBM we came for The Killing Moon but ended up infatuated with the set list, and after a five year hiatus, old time rockers The Coral perfectly matched their classics Dreaming of You and In the Morning with the release of their new album, Distance In Between, including track Chasing the Tail of the Sun, which Skelly himself thinks is the best to get the crowd going.

Although Muse did steal the show on the main stage, whilst the heavyweight rockers were letting the crowd fall in love we did sneak away for a few songs at the Visa Stage, where The Kills created an atmosphere that was lively, dramatic and addictive, even though a major amount of their fan base was stolen away. They were definitely one of my surprising highlights of fib, and deserve a medal of musical adoration in my eyes.

 

Sunday /

 

Sunday finally came around, and although I was completely shattered after running around a festival in sweltering heat, sleeping on a dusty floor of a tent and getting accidently sunburnt with the most awful tan lines you ever did see, the nostalgia was creeping in and I didn’t really want to go home. The mix of genres on this day was pretty special, Jess Glyne took the visa stage, where a surprising collection of men found themselves bobbing along to classics Hold My Hand and Rather Be. She also did a solo rendition of My Love, the Route 94 song that helped propel her solo career, as well as a collection of her own material. Following on from Glyne, Mac Demarco and The 1975 also played the Visa Stage, Demarco drawing a sizable crowd, arguably just as crazy as him. Known for his antics and his love of crowd surfers, he let good old ‘Tony’ climb his way onto the stage for a spot of light conversation before prompting his guitarist to crowd surf himself. The topless boys definitely knew how to do a show, and hardcore fans were lapping up every second, in fact every time they play they look like they’re having the best time, which is first and foremost what you want from a performer. The 1975 followed suit, again drawing in a large crowd with a pretty serious fanbase.

The main stage saw the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, who this year decided to make some festival appearances after cancelling a load of them last year. The northern rockers played a great show but I’m yet to be fully convinced of their staying power. Kendrick Lamar took the headline set that night, bringing in a gigantic crowd and a chilled vibe all across Benicassim. The setlist was perfect, with How Much a Dollar cost, B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe, of course King Kunta and after a profound, heartfelt speech that referenced the attacks in Nice, Turkey, and the need to unite at the state of the world, Lamar ended his set with the notion that we’re all going to be Alright.

DJ’s Snakehips took to the South Beach stage later that night to help bring the festival down to a close, and although I would have perhaps liked to see Lamar play the friday alongside Skepta, especially seeing grime music start to crack america, I was more than content with the set up as it was. All in all, I ended up completely delirious with sleep deprivation, but it was so worth it just to be at fib again.

 

Would I come again? Just try and stop me.

 

Full Final Bill for FIB – Benicassim!

Not long now til we, you and a stellar line up of the biggest bands in the world head to the coast in Spain for the 22nd edition of FIB Benicàssim.

The amazing 2016 line up is now complete and includes exclusive shows from some of the biggest and best names in rock, pop, electronica, hip hop, indie and beyond.

Your  only chance in Spain this summer to see very special festival headline shows from Muse and The Chemical Brothers, to witness the biggest rap act in the world right now, Kendrick Lamar liveto dance to the massive hits of Disclosure and Major Lazer or to check out the legendary Massive Attack.

Beyond these, there’s the some of the greatest new acts around like The 1975 &  Catfish And The Bottlemen, indie tunesmiths like The Vaccines and the Maccabees, the best in electronica from Jamie XX, John Talabot (Dj Set) and more. Pop? Jess Glynne. Grime? Skepta

Something for everyone including some of our favourite Spanish acts, Hinds, Dorian, La Habitación Roja…

FIB Benicàssim 2016 – 100 acts and four days and nights you’ll never forget. The greatest bands in the world and YOU at the festival of the year!

 

For ticket info and the timetable of acts, check out their website. 

Download Festival 2015 Review

With thousands of die hard rock fans of all ages making the annual piligmage to Donnington on Wednesday, they were met with two days of stunning blue skies over the Castle, leading up to Friday it looked set to be a glorious weekend of sunshine and Metal. But would it be DOWNLOAD Festival without the rain? 
 
Grey clouds formed as MODESTEP warmed up the MainStage at around 4:30pm on friday night, with a weird blend of dubstep and metal, half of their slot appeared to be a DJ set rather than a gig, seemingly out of place considering the rest of the Bill. As the heavens opened, there was still a a huge turn out for the original leaders of new wave of british heavy metal JUDAS PRIEST. Rob Halford may have struggled with some of the high vocals he’s always famous for but with hits like 'breaking the Law' was guaranteed to get older fans rocking, the motorbike and whip for the finale however needed to be left in 1969.
 
The anticipation for SLIPKNOT reached fever pitch, with many crowd members in masks and the boiler suits, and not even the monsoon like rain could dampen the assaulting experience of IOWAs finest export.
Any notions of them being a gimmick band with their masks and image, have been wiped since cementing themselves in Donnington history with their huge performances since 2009. Back with a New album and seemingly re-energised, the band made made their thundering riffs and singalong chorus’ wash over the adoring cult of maggots(sic) with ease and Mick Seven being one of the best guitarists I’ve ever witnessed glaring out over the audience whilst his shredding hands blurred over his guitar neck. A triumphant performance, even if it was there no doubt it would be.
Photo by Gobinder Jitta courtesy of Download Festival
 
With 24 hours of rain, the arena opened on Saturday half an hour later due to safety concerns, sawdust saved the afternoon from a wash out and first catching APOCALYPTA on the Encore stage was an intriguing set of classical strings and metal. 
The surprise performance of the weekend were HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD, a mutant child of slipknot and Beastie Boys hailing from Los Angeles, the group stood out with a lively Saturday afternoon slot sending the young audience into a frenzy on the main stage.
Being a Motley Crue fan, watching BLACK VEIL BRIDES seemed to be like viewing a synthetic rip off, but with a fan base bordering on the obsessive and similarities with My Chemical Romance, they seemed to have found their own niche and have to be respected for their gutsy rock and roll attitude.
MARILYN MANSON seemed to be a disappointment, with such a legendary reputation and colourful past, his limp attempts to engage with the audience were not helped by the drifting sounds of MUSE from the MainStage, who’s light show could probably be seen from the moon. Is there anywhere to go for MUSE? with album after album of space rock anthems filling the biggest stadiums around, there were no surprises amongst the bells and whistles in their massive headline performance but undoubtably they still set the bar high for British bands.
Photo by Richard Johnson courtesy of Download Festival
 
Waking up to blazing sunshine on Sunday, the MainStage was set for a superb line up of heavy metal legends, first catching CAVELERA CONSPIRACY sounding to me like a wall of noise, thankfully followed by BLACKBERRY SMOKE with their soothing sounds american southern Rock, like a young ZZ TOP were perfect for a Sunday afternoon and I will definitely be checking out their music again once back to civilisation.
BILLY IDOL never fails to impress, his new album material matches perfectly with his classic hits like 'White wedding' and 'Rebel Yell', and with his tongue in cheek shirtless leather jacket combo, he’s been a born entertainer since the 80s and there is still no stopping him. Followed by SLASH, the Guns N' Roses legend had a packed audience on the MainStage, with a back catalogue of hits from GNR, Velvet Revolver and now with Myles Kennedy on vocals, his blistering live performances of 'Paradise city', ‘Nightrain', and a finale of ‘slither' a highlight of how mad a crowd can go for rock and roll.
They’ve said all Bad things must come to an end, and Motley Crue on their final ever UK festival performance, smashed out their biggest and baddest hits including ‘looks that Kill’ and Girls Girls Girls  with all the vigour of it being 1981. With minimal set design they let the music do the talking and Nikki Sixx as always with the biggest grin of the weekend on his face. True legends and good to see them go out with a bang, the only down point in a faultless performance was the sorely missed ‘Home sweet home’ but you can’t have it all!
 
And so to the finale of KISS, with more anthems than most bands can dream of, pyrotechnics and huge circus like stage show, when confetti cannons exploded it was a perfect end to an epic weekend, for those that stuck it out to the end they were rewarded, the spirit of rock and roll prevailed over rainstorms that threatened to wash away even the most enthusiastic fans.
Photo by Andrew Whitton courtesy of Download Festival
 
Words by
Jack Trace

Muse set for Bestival 2015?

‎Backstage at the Snooker World Championships is clearly where the gossip's at this year, as Muse frontman Matt Bellamy lets slip that the band are set to do a headline slot at Bestival 2015. In an interview he said "We're doing Download Festival, which is like the metal festival, and Bestival in Isle of Wight later in the year, and next year we'll do our own tour obviously."
 
This revelation has not yet been confirmed by Bestival HQ or curator Rob Da Bank‎, but Muse have been a long requested band on the forums and with new album 'Drones' released on June 8th, it looks like Bestival could be set for a Supermassive Summer of Love.
 

 

 

Full Radio One Big Weekend Norwich lineup announced

On this morning's BBC Radio 1 Breakfast ShowScott Mills announced the line-up for Radio 1's Big Weekend 2015, taking place at Earlham Park, Norwich on 23 and 24 May – including Foo Fighters and Muse who will headline the event.

Some of the hottest UK and international acts will join them to perform at Europe’s biggest free ticketed festival which brings the whole nation together for one weekend of amazing live music.

Joining headliners Muse to perform on the Main Stage on Saturday 23 May alongside the already announced Florence + The Machine are 5 Seconds of SummerDavid GuettaBen HowardThe VaccinesFall Out Boy and Charli XCX.

Alongside Foo Fighters, who will headline the Main Stage on Sunday 24 May and Taylor Swift who has already been announced, Sam Smith,Rita OraGeorge EzraClean BanditOlly Murs and Imagine Dragons will also perform.

Snoop DoggRudimentalJess GlynneHozierYears & YearsElla EyreSlavesMallory Knox and Circa Waves will all perform onSaturday 23 May on the event’s In New Music We Trust Stage.

On Sunday 24 May, the In New Music We Trust Stage will host performances from Jamie TAlt-JSigmaCatfish & The Bottlemen,JungleJames BaySOAKRaury and Lower Than Atlantis.

Matt Bellamy from Muse said: “I’m very excited to play. The last time we played Big Weekend, for us it was a disaster, so I can’t wait to make up for it on this performance. I’m really looking forward to coming back and doing a great show. I’m pretty sure that we may unveil another new song that we will play for the first time which is pretty exciting.”

Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters said: “I’m really excited – I can’t wait to come out. I don’t really think we’ve ever played there before so I’m looking forward to it.”

Jess Glynne said: “My first Big Weekend in my own right and what a line up to be a part of. I can’t wait to play Norwich with my band and let you hear some of the songs from my new album. It’s going to be big.”

Ben Cooper, Controller, Radio 1 and 1Xtra said: “Radio 1’s Big Weekend will be fantastic – great music, great fun and a great location.”

The line-up for the BBC Introducing Stage will be announced in Huw Stephens’ show.

 

Florence and The Machine to return to Rock Werchter in 2015

A particularly commanding lady will again make her appearance at Werchter next summer. Florence + the Machine will perform in the Festival Park on Thursday 25 June. Other names already confirmed for Rock Werchter 2015 are Foo Fighters, Muse, Pharrell Williams and alt-J. More to follow shortly.

Florence Welch is a young woman of pedigree who has always dreamed of a musical career, full of creative twists and turns, just like that of Björk, Kate Bush and PJ Harvey. And she created a dream team to make sure it happened. The key figure is keyboard player Isabella Summers, who is nicknamed 'Isabella Machine' because of her electronic music talents. Instantly the band is much loved by the British critics and dominating the radio over here with 'Dog Days Are Over' and 'You Got The Love', a fine cover of an old soul number. In 2010 the debut album 'Lungs' (2009) led to a memorable concert at the festival's former Pyramid Marquee. The tent should have been three times bigger and was rocked so hard by the fiery Welch that it left a rip in Florence's long black dress. Two years later on the Main Stage she says 'Let's hope that happens again'. She captures the hearts of the audience with ease. It's onwards and upwards from here.

Foo Fighters & Muse to headline Rock Werchter 2015

Rock Werchter is pleased to announce Muse will headline on Sunday 28 June.  Foo Fighters will headline the festival in Belgium on Thursday 25 June 2015. 

Foo Fighters are coming by general demand. Every year we collect the wish lists from the friends of the festival and this year Foo Fighters are right at the top. To be sure of landing the band of the moment Rock Werchter is moving its dates forward a week. This is because the band is heading back to the States at the end of June to play a huge concert in front man Dave Grohl's home base of Washington D.C. on Saturday 4 July. In 2015 Foo Fighters will play Werchter for the third time in their 20 year history. They made their last appearance way back in 2005. Put together in eight iconic recording studios, the new album 'Sonic Highways' (2014) is Grohl's homage to the rich musical history of America, of which Foo Fighters are a fine example.

Muse have released six studio albums and have sold in excess of 20 million albums worldwide. Widely recognised as one of the best live bands in the world, they have won numerous music awards including five MTV Europe Music Awards, six NME Awards and six Q Awards. They have twice been awarded "Best British Live Act" at The Brits and have also been nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning Best Rock Album for The Resistance. Their last tour commenced in October 2012 and saw the band perform to over 2 million fans worldwide. Muse's sold out show at Rome's Olympic Stadium in July 13 was the first concert film to be filmed and presented in 4K Ultra High Definition. The band are currently in the studio working on their seventh studio album, scheduled for release in 2015.

Muse announced as Saturday headliner for Download Festival 2015

Muse will make their debut at Europe’s biggest rock festival as Saturday’s main stage headliner at Download 2015.

Considered by many to be the greatest live act in the world, the genre-defying trio will follow in the footsteps of Rock Gods past and present when they walk the hallowed fields of Donington Park for the first time.

On their impending debut the band said:

We're really looking forward to Download. We’ve never played the festival before so it’s going to be really special.

Main support will come from alt-funk-rap-metal pioneers Faith No More, returning to the festival for the first time since their long-awaited comeback in 2009. The return of the San Francisco five-piece to Donington also coincides with the release of their first album in 18 years, due in April 2015, with first single Motherf****r set to drop at the end of this month.

Faith No More said: 

Hard to believe it’s been five years already, but what’s harder to deny is that a lot has changed. The last time we played Download the focus was on bringing back the past; now it’s all about the present and the future. Where it should be.

Also making a long-awaited and eagerly anticipated return to Download as second stage headliner is Marilyn Manson, back on top form and, when he’s not jamming with Johnny Depp, back in the studio readying his new album Pale Emperor – which is set for its first UK festival outing at Donington.

Manson said: 

It's been a few years since I’ve been at download. The Pale Emperor will rise and I was born to cause chaos.

All these great bands will be joined by metallic pop-punk heroes A Day To Remember, playing Download for the fifth time and the first since the release of critically acclaimed album Common Courtesy.

The band see performing at Download as a sign of their progress up the rock ladder:

We have been playing download for years and I've always been proud to say I was just on the damn thing. So to be asked to be one of the main bands on one of the sickest rock festivals on the planet blows my mind. Haha we were a garage band…We in ADTR like to put on a spectacle, and we plan to do just that.

Acts already announced for Download Festival 2015 are SlipknotJudas PriestBlack Stone Cherryand Five Finger Death Punch with many more to come, including Sunday’s headliner. Can you guess who it is? Go on. I bet the answer’s on the tip of your tongue…

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