Festival review: Live at Leeds 2018
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Live at Leeds couldn’t have fallen at a better time, with the Beauty from the East greeting the weekend with glorious sunshine and scorching heat... you know the line-up has got to be impressive to convince us to spend the day indoors. In pursuit of helping the wristband exchange move as swiftly as possible to accommodate the thousands of attendees, Live at Leeds had multiple venues open for swapping tickets and it’s just as good, because it meant that people could arrive as early as possible to get into position for Idles in the capped at 200 Capacity venue, The Wardrobe. Opening the festival were Idles, the only band who could take to the stage at 12.00 and shake the venue to it’s core, leaving the crowd with sweat soaked shirts and high expectations for the rest of the day. The band rattled through eleven tracks in what was probably the most energetic set of the day. The set was fiery from the outset, with opening tracks ‘Heel/Heal’, ‘Faith in the City’ and ‘Mother’ warming the early goers up nicely. The band touched on more sensitive issues on ‘Samaritans’ and ‘1048 Gotho’, as the crowd were encouraged to show love to our neighbours. Next up was ‘Divide and Conquer’, a snarling classic punk track about the abominable state of the NHS under the Tories “barren-hearted” administration. Following this, the band hurled into ‘White Privilege’, an ode to the students who do nothing at uni but drugs; the track culminating in en masse audience participation as the crowd joined the lead guitarist in screaming “Yes!” down the mic. Frontman Joe Talbot may have joked early on in the set that it was “too early for banter”, yet, before the set was out he had the May-Day audience echoing “All I want for Christmas is You/Liberation from Patriarchy”. Enthralled by the Leeds crowd, the band renamed track ‘Exeter’ after the iconic Yorkshire City and the moment was heightened as a teenage boy made his way onto stage to take over on guitar duties. Closers ‘Vulnerable’ and ‘Well Done’ made way for an explosive finale, heralded with a chorus of “Fuck Tesco!” and a crowd surfing kid in a Sainsburys shirt. Live at Leeds is a perfect example of crowd control done the right way; making it a safe space for all and allowing the whole crowd to fully immerse themselves in Idles. As ever, a tough act to follow, but a band like Babyteeth make just enough noise to carry on the hype. Playing at 13.15 at the Key Club, the London based punk outfit are confident in front of the packed-out venue, premiering their angsty new single and piling on the power chords in stand out single, ‘Siamese Twin’.
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