Leeds Festival 2014: ReviewBy Ellen Offredy
With the main stage boasting headliners such as Blink 182 and Arctic Monkeys, along with Paramore and Queens Of The Stone Age, this was all the information you needed to yourself down to Reading and Leeds Festival 2014. The entire festival weekend was jam packed with talented acts, from up and coming to well established, from punk rock bands to comedians, there truly was something for everyone, and with entry starting on Wednesday for the early birds among us, this was sure to be 5 nights to remember.
Arriving at Leeds Festival grounds on Thursday afternoon, following several delayed trains and a bus journey from hell, I had no idea what is in store. I made my way down to the BBC Introducing stage to catch Birmingham quartet Superfood, who filled the fields with ‘90s reminiscent alternative tunes. Despite the grounds being relatively quiet and lacking in festival goers, the set was strong enough to draw a decent sized crowd out of their tents and into the rain to kick start their weekend.
Waking up to the sun rising and birds chiming, I felt relatively refreshed as I rushed down to the NME/Radio 1 Stage for a set from The Wytches. The boys gave a short set of rock anthems, full of hair flipping, head banging, and lots of noise. Following this was a set from Baby Strange on the Festival Republic stage, full of teenage angst alongside scuzzy guitars, which related well with the audience. Although the band were cut off two songs early due to strict stage timings, it was a well-received performance that left you wanting more.
Next up, I found myself running back to the NME/Radio 1 Stage for a band I’d been waiting to see my entire childhood – The Kooks. After filling the tent, masses of fans spilled out into the surrounding area, standing by just to hear their favourite tunes such as the clear classic ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’. Other acts that made it onto my Friday schedule were The Drowners, The 1975 and of course, headliners Blink 182, whom I must add absolutely rocked it. All I can say is that when I’m nearing 40 years old, I hope I still have the young sense of humour of Tom DeLonge.
Saturday morning commenced with grunge rock duo, Drenge, on the NME/Radio 1 Stage. Hailing from the peaceful town of Castleton, this stage was anything but, as the Loveless brothers took to the stage with crunching riffs and thrashing drums. Next on the cards were Darlia, a three-piece rock band from Blackpool, on the Festival Republic Stage. With frontman Nathan Day sporting tartan trousers, you couldn’t get closer to old school British Rock.
I spent most of the day at the Festival Republic Stage, with the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Hudson Taylor and Palma Violets, popping back to the NME/Radio 1 Stage for The Courteeners and Twin Atlantic. Perhaps my favourite part of Saturday was after the stages had closed and the disco shed was still going strong with a group of alcohol-infused festival goers crowded around outside the glowing shed, dancing their way into the early hours.
Sunday, the final day, began with a long queue for the showers, followed by an even longer queue for much needed bacon sandwich. Acts that made it first onto my schedule were Bloody Knees, Peace and Wolf Alice who are all part of the fast moving indie scene, bringing pop rock and pop punk hits to the festival grounds. Despite many fans now on their 5th festival day, the crowds were full of energy and enthusiasm for every set, every song, every beat – you name it, they were there giving it their all.
The evening proceeded with a lilting set from Bombay Bicycle Club who filled the NME/Radio 1 Stage with inspiring instrumentals and sumptuous rhythms, followed by the lovely and talented Rae Morris who was revisiting the BBC Introducing stage, backed by a band as a headliner.
Then, of course, there was the main stage headliner. The one everyone had been waiting for. The one people had ‘only bought a ticket to see this’ - to quote the guy standing next to me. You guessed it: Arctic Monkeys. What more is there to say other than the Arctics took over the stage, drawing out the last piece of energy left in every person at Leeds Festival and absolutely smashed it. They played a set full of hits from latest album ‘AM’ along with a number of old school classics mixed in and you couldn’t wish for a better end to the best weekend of your life - until next year, that is.