With Leeds Festival merely a month away and all of the acts released, it’s time to get serious and start planning. Who you’re going to share a tent with, how many baby wipes you’re going to need for the weekend and most importantly which bands/artists you’re going to see.
Bramham Park is big but it’s not Russia, you can get around pretty quickly, but with an array of stages and so many brilliant bands on the line up there are going to be unavoidable clashes. However do not fear I am hear to save the day with a quick list of recommendations for your weekend, from headliners to Leeds fest debuts, and as for the baby wipes, I’d say the more the better.
When it comes to live bands Foals is and always will be one of the greats, even if you think you’re not their number one fan you’ll be surprised at how many songs you do know and all of a sudden you’ll be in the mosh pit with no idea how you got there or why you’ve waited this long to see them live. The Vaccines follow this trend with anthems that seemed designed to be screamed back. But if it’s indie bangers you’re looking for the Courteeners take the trophy and centre stage, literally. Graduating from many performances of the NME tent get ready for an amazing show, carnage and a lot of Fred Perry polos. Slaves will be bringing snarling guitar and rasping lyrics contrasting with Sundara Karma‘s more poppy beats, an absolute must see live band. If you’ve seen Disclosure live before or not you need to witness the musical geniuses in action this bank holiday weekend, fully deserving members of the live stage line up.
NME / BBC Radio One Stage
If there is one band you see the entire weekend it must be Cage The Elephant. With a relatively new album and a musical repertoire of pure crazy perfection for wild performances, get ready for a mad one. Jack Garratt promises less head banging but no lack of musical talent or stage presence, that man can do things to a piano that your music teacher can only dream of. Summery tunes and memories of year 9 in a band and you have The Wombats, a must see. Then get another dose of up and coming indie with Blossoms and Spring King, two bands that have caused quite a stir recently with new releases. In a few years when they’re selling out arena tours and you need to remortgage to afford a ticket you’ll be kicking yourself you didn’t take the opportunity to see them when you could.
BBC Radio One Dance Stage
LA based Jauz is not one to be missed on the dance stage where you can watch the genre bending genius in action. More of a house hold name on the dance scene, Hannah Wants will be taking the stage with her mesh of house, electro and hip-hop to get the crowd moving. DJ and music producer Duke Dumont will be bringing the bangers and playing tunes even dance music novices will recognise. After recent success with their Calvin Harris collaboration, Disciples will be showing off the rest of their subtle but brilliant house, one to watch.
Festival Republic Stage
Palace are an incredible live band that are not to be missed, with chilled out guitar and simple yet brilliant tracks with so much depth to the sound it will rival the bog you will have to wade through to get to them. Vant are another recent British indie rock band playing the stage bringing a grizzly edge, definitely worth a see. Even if you just go for ‘Sweet Disposition’, The Temper Trap have to be on your list of bands to watch this weekend. 11 years on and the Australian rock band are still at the top of their game. If you want to get lairy, Leeds hailing Pulled Apart By Horses are bringing the riot with punk chaos, then chill out with Blaenavon’s deep vocals contrasting with twanging guitar forcing you to swap your wellies for dancing shoes and get your groove on.
BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage
Alternative R&B comes in the form of Raleigh Ritchie with a voice that is how I imagine a hug would sound, hot chocolate for the ears. Even though it’s not Christmas time if you fancy a Queen’s speech (or 5) Lady Leshurr is not one to miss with none stop sass and style. Get your grime fix in the form of Bugzy Malone, a key part of the “grime revival” and one to watch.
American punk rock band Swmrs bring massive choruses and sing along sets that will swallow you in and Mastodon’s walls of grizzly guitar and ferocious lyrics will spit you right back out. Milk Teeth are also bringing the noise and attitude to make the crowd go wild, a must see for this stage.
Lock Up Stage
Modern Baseball provide the familiar American pop punk whiny lyrics contrasting with relentless guitar to form a perfect combination for what will be a brilliant performance. Only formed in 2013 Beach Slang have proved themselves to be a band bursting with talent and potential, exciting to see how they will perform live.
Whatever music you’re into or if you’re going for a fun weekend with your mates, there is something for everyone. So get your tickets for Leeds Festival now.