Image © Marc Sethi/Reading and Leeds Festivals
It’s not all about Mumford & Sons, y’know. Hoards may well have looked on tonight as the immensely popular anthem-mongers roared their vile sonic bilge out into the crisp Yorkshire air, but there were some decidedly more exciting things happening elsewhere in the same instant.
Take Django Django’s revelatory headline set on the Festival Republic stage, for instance. Slowly but surely, these brilliantly inventive art-rockers have earned themselves a sizeable following – here tonight in their thousands and cutting loose with gusto. Django Django’s songs are made for this moment; phenomenally dancefloor-friendly, consistently upbeat, and peppered with compelling harmonies and percussion for good measure. Hits ‘Default’ and ‘Waveform’ are sounding especially fantastic, and from the first woozy chord to the last the band look like they’re having the time of their lives. This being Leeds Fest, there’s some hilariously incongruous circle pit action up for grabs too.
Django Django and Mumfords weren’t the only stage headliners to receive a hero’s welcome on this memorable Saturday night. In fact, nu-metal legends Limp Bizkit could well have been the most rapturously received of all. Some bizarre and frankly menacing banter from Fred Durst aside (“How many of you are wearing condoms right now?”, he shouts), their set surpasses our expectations. Classics like ‘My Generation’ still pack a mighty punch, Wes Borland (guitar) and Sam Rivers (bass) play with impressive finesse, and say what you like about Fred Durst, the man can put on a show.
Also back with a bang were emo’s answer to Take That, Panic! at the Disco, whose mid-afternoon Main Stage set took in old faves ‘9 In The Afternoon’ and ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’, a couple of electro-infused tracks which sounded an awful lot like a MSTRKRFT remix of Panic! at the Disco, and a string of classic rock covers – the best of which, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, inevitably went down a treat with the crowd. A pleasure of the guiltiest variety.
There was plenty to enjoy earlier in the day too - psychedlicised Japanese ex-pats Bo Ningen may well have provided the high-point of the festival on The Lock-Up stage with their explosive combination of squalling guitars, mesmeric rhythms and unbelievable charisma. This band is a visual and musical phenomenon the likes of which you’ve never experienced before – give ‘em a listen. Another great set on the Lock-Up Stage came from Californian 2-piece The Bots (read our in-depth review here).
Phew. Thanks for another great day Leeds Fest, we’ll see you tomorrow for the last hurrah.