If you weren’t fully awake before Cancer Bats took to the stage early on Saturday afternoon then you would be after their set. The band managed to get massive mosh and circle pits at such an early time of day too. The Canadian band has built up a reputation for putting on a brilliant live show and today was no different. But it was when ‘Hail Destroyer’ was played the band and crowd took it up a notch creating a truly special moment in this high energy performance.
Coheed and Cambria took to the stage after and never really captivated their audience as much as the previous band. In the live arena the band are strong and definitely good at what they do however they do seem to have gotten a little bit lost within the bill somewhat.
The Cure are understandably a massive deal on this festival bill attracting plenty to their Saturday night headline slot and they completely deliver. A 2 and a half hour set and a 6 song encore is everything anyone could ever want and more. Robert Smith sounds as good now as he ever did and unlike some bands that have reformed in later years you can tell they genuinely enjoy and want to be doing this. If you are a diehard Cure fan you will have come away from that set happy with all the songs that were played from their hefty back catalogue and for people less informed on their music there was the classics in the form of ‘Friday, I’m In Love’, ‘The Lovecats’ and set closer ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. There was something for everyone and it was a performance nothing short of brilliant.
Festival Republic Stage
Playing at a festival at 11:15am is never going to bring you a packed out crowd but Dublin’s Funeral Suits manage to attract quite a few people to see them. Whether you’ve heard of them before or not they get people moving. Thanking people for getting up so early to come and see them and playing one hell of a set, it’s easy to see that the next time this band play this festival it will be at a much later, more crowd friendly time.
Lucy Rose is pretty massive at the moment, pretty much everyone is talking about her and because of that the small Festival Republic tent is packed out for her mid-afternoon set. The folk-tinged songs are perfect for a festival field and a nice moment of calm in the middle of so many other bands going on. She receives some massive sing along’s to say she hasn’t released her debut album yet, I’m sure when the album is finally released there will be no stopping Lucy Rose and her band.
Alt-J are one of the most talked about bands of the moment, putting out one of the best debuts albums in a long time, Mercury nomination talk has been banded towards their name but they are just here to play a set in the city they consider their home. It’s a packed out tent and as they play songs from their debut including ‘Tessellate’ and ‘Fitzpleasure’ each is greeted with massive cheers and sung back twice as loud. The band look slightly humbled by this reaction but it is one they deserve as their sound, dubbed as ‘math rock’ becomes one of the biggest successes of this year.
Sweden’s Niki & The Dove are next up and their blend of electro-indie gets everyone in the tent dancing. Lead singer Malin’s slightly eccentric outfits and dancing only add to the brilliance of this set. Anyone who walked into this tent a sceptic will surely by leaving as a convert to their sound. It’s a short but sweet set and it does seem like they are gone way too soon.
Bastille are starting to become a huge deal with getting plenty of radio play recently with DJ’s such as Huw Stephens and Greg James backing their sound. The band attracts a massive crowd but let’s give them the credit they deserve that most people were fans of this London band before the radio had even caught their sound. They haven’t realised an album and most of their popularity has come from good songs and word of mouth recommendations, yet they receive some of the biggest sing along’s of the weekend especially when their cover of ‘Rhythm of the Night’ is played but it is more than reassuring for them especially that some of the bet reactions are to previous single ‘Overjoyed’ and current single ‘Bad Blood’. Lead singer Dan Smith looks completely overwhelmed by the reaction and size of the crowd, something that is echoed with other member’s of the band. This was one of the sets of the whole weekend, if you haven’t already heard of Bastille get ready to hear more about them especially after performances like that.
Some pictures from Saturday at Leeds Festival:
[More photos of Bastille on my Tumblr as I took loads of photos during their set]