Festival review: Leeds Festival 2013
29th August 2013
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Friday Our Leeds Festival started with the band you all loved in 2008, Hadouken! Being forced to beer bong a can of Strongbow upon arrival by our very friendly camping neighbours put me in the mood to dance along to hits such as ‘That Boy, That Girl’ and shout every word like my 14-year-old self would have. Alunageorge have been riding a tidal wave of hype ever since their single ‘Your Drums Your Love’ filtered on to mainstream radio. The duo (consisting of Aluna Francis, vocals, and George Reid, production) were only beaten to the top spot of the BBC Sound of 2013 list by Cali girl band Haim. However, the live set was without the single that got them where they are. They instead finished on ‘White Noise’, a Disclosure song, featuring Aluna’s vocals. It's odd that they wouldn’t want to showcase more of the fantastic debut record Body Music. Next I had to deal with the most devastating programme clash of my entire life. How on earth do I choose between two of my favourite bands: Fall Out Boy or City and Colour?! I took several deep breaths, calmed myself down, and decided to go and watch all of Fall Out Boy’s set on the Main Stage. I was, of course, not disappointed. Welling up with nostalgia as they rattled through hits from all four records including ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’ straight into ‘Dance, Dance’. A spectacular six minutes for any FOB fan. Electronic duo Disclosure’s set saw one of the biggest crowds over on the NME/Radio One Stage. Opening with new track ‘F For You’ the duo led everyone to electro-dance heaven. The two massively talented brothers lived up to the hype with a relentless set packed full of chart topping collaborations. Sam Smith took to the stage to sing ‘Latch’ and a delightful surprise came in the form of Ed Macfarlane (Friendly Fires) joining them on stage for ‘Defeated No More’. Nine Inch Nails returned to the Leeds main stage for a set of ‘greatest’ hits. Every period from their 25 year long career was covered. Despite the pouring rain at Branham Park to crowd watched in adoration of the industrial legends. With little words needed from front-man Trent Reznor they rattled through tracks from their back catalogue with perfect precision. A fantastic return to the live stage for NIN. Azaelia Banks drew a surprisingly small crowd, and despite her music being unimpressive she did put on a fun show. Dressed in an amazing cat suit with her trademark flowing weave, she is fascinating to watch and in fact very talented. Friday night closed in a rather disappointing manner. There is definite appeal in topless Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro, but unfortunately not amount of chiselled torsos can disguise the fact that their music is nothing more than mediocre. We left before the end, after sticking around for a good hour, to have a dance to Knife Party before heading over to Leeds’ famous Silent Disco tent. Saturday Dry The River put on a fantastic early performance, before Newport reggae-metal veterans Skindred provided one of the weekend’s highlights. Front-man Benji Webbe was delightful to watch. His red and black suit and waist length dreadlocks made for perfect entertainment as he strutted across the stage pointing out members of the crowd. A particularly enticing moment was when they broke out into Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’. Down rolled a banner saying ‘Pop Punk Is Not Dead’ as the stage was set for New Found Glory. Yet, I can’t help disagreeing, or at least arguing that NFG are not the ones to keep pop punk alive.
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