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Festival Coverage: Leeds Festival 2017 - Sunday

  • Published in Live

Despite getting little sleep thanks to the very public break-up that happened in the tent behind ours on Saturday night, Sunday morning arrives with the campsite in good spirits and the weather continuing its rare good form, as rumours begin to circulate about a ‘secret’ set over on the Festival Republic Stage from London’s Wolf Alice.

Much like QOTSA’s not-so-secret set two days prior, anyone with battery and the festival app would have found out about it a couple of hours before stage time, but even still, as midday rolls around and the four piece appear on stage the tent is less busy than expected. That said, as they launch open with their most recent single ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching a headline act, given the modest crowd’s huge reaction.

With a setlist comprised of nothing but singles, every track aired evokes a similar reaction to the first. And when the band finally finish with a rousing rendition of ‘Giant Peach’, the crowd loses it. Having already made their stake on headline glory in 2015 with a blistering performance on the NME stage, you can guarantee that following this morning’s set, they’re well on their way to the realms of indie royalty.

At a somewhat more emo end of the spectrum, Moose Blood’s over on the Main Stage were a perfectly inoffensive way to ease any lingering hangovers. And while the older members of the crowd offer little more than ambivalence towards the Canterbury four-piece, the fans at the front hang on to front-man Eddy Brewerton’s every word.

Flipping that scene on its head, it’s little more than three hours later, and the older crowd, all too aware of the post-hardcore royalty that stand on stage before them, are hanging on to every crunch and scream of At The Drive-In, while those younger members of the audience look on bemused, or opt to head elsewhere.

It’s something that continues for nu-metallers Korn, whose set, though plagued by a thunderous low-end that drowns everything out. That said, the band slam through  an impressive fifteen song set, airing classics such as ‘Falling Away From You and ‘Blind’ while ‘Freak on Leash’ signals numerous circle pits and ends their set on a high.

It’s a direct contrast to the sun-kissed indie-pop of Macclesfield’s Cassia, who draw a modest but devoted crowd over on the BBC introducing Stage just before hand. Having just released their latest single ‘Sink’ the trio are riding an impressive wave at present, and while their tireless work ethic must be taking its toll by now, they show no signs of fatigue as they liberally scatter their set with fan favourites such as ‘Moana’, ‘Paradise Beach’ and the massive ‘100 Times Over’. With a set that feels short but sweet, you can expect to see them rise through the R&L ranks over the next couple of years.

With the sun now set for the final time on this year’s festival, and the anarchic and somewhat over the top bass of Major Lazer finally finished, swarms of people head towards the Main Stage for this weekend’s final headliner.

No stranger to the fields of Bramham Park, this is Eminem’s third time headlining the festival; his appeal no less diminished despite the recent lack of new material. Undertaking a mammoth 33 song set that takes in tracks from over the course of his career as well a smattering of covers by the likes of Lil Wayne, Drake and B.O.B, the latter’s ‘Airplanes Part II’ a particular highlight, allowing for Eminem’s nasally vocal delivery to cut through the track’s polished production exquisitely.

Of course, the tracks from later in his career offer up a different aesthetic entirely from those early cuts, and while the likes of ‘Love the Way You Lie’ and ‘The Monster’ benefit from Ebony taking on Rhianna’s vocal parts, it’s the earlier offerings, from The Marshall Mathers LP or The Slim Shady LP that showcase just how far Eminem has come. And though tracks such as ‘Stan’, ‘The Way I Am’ or ‘My Name Is’ elicit some of the weekend’s biggest reactions, there’s much more time spent on the more recent, ‘serious’ material, that which has gone on to prove Eminem’s career encompasses much more than quick flow and controversy.  

Despite the huge set-list, his encore comes around all too soon and somewhat fittingly, ‘Lose Yourself’ garners the biggest reaction of the day. As Eminem tells the crowd that “We’ll always remember this show”, it feels like anything but a cliché. 


Festival Preview: Leeds Festival 2017

  • Published in Live

Though the UK plays host to countless music festivals every year, some short lived, others more established, Leeds Festival stands head and shoulders above the majority, not just in size, but in scope as well, curating line-ups that feature some of the biggest names in alternative music alongside those from the more mainstream end of the spectrum.

Thanks to a slight shift away from its more alternative beginnings, Leeds has been able to retain its relevance when so many other festivals have failed, evolving its line-ups in tandem with the ever-evolving tastes of its attendees. And while that might have meant a scaling down for stages such as The Lock Up, it’s also seen the introduction of further, more specialist stages, allowing for an even more diverse line-up in recent years.

This year proves no exception. With what is arguably the festival’s most eclectic line-up to date, next week will see the likes of Giggs take to the Main Stage, sandwiched in between Architects and Blossoms, while over on the NME/Radio 1 Stage You Me At Six follow R&B star Tory Lanez. And though it seems that the genre distinctions between stages are becoming less important these days, this has seen the sense of community found in the festival’s campsites flowing in to the arena more freely, as punk kids rub shoulders with house heads, and metalheads mix with grime fans.

It’s this feeling of eclecticism that keeps the punters returning from Bramham Park year after year, much like many people’s annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury, only distinctly more Northern. Of course, while many see Glastonbury as the pinnacle of the UK festival calendar, Reading and Leeds are themselves rites of passage, with everyone remembering, at least parts, of their first one. And though the site and style of the festival has evolved dramatically over its lifespan, it’s still one of the strongest festivals around.

Below are the top five acts we’ll be catching this year:


A guaranteed way to inject some sunshine in to your Sunday, no matter whatever the weather, the Macclesfield three piece will be hitting the BBC Introducing Stage following on from there inclusion as artist of the week. Expect calypso melodies and massive singalongs from a band you’ll be seeing much more of before too long. 

Bear’s Den

Having watched Bear’s Den progress since their inception in 2012, it’s clear the band have gone from strength to strength over the past few years, with the departure of founding member Joey Haynes only strengthening their resolve. Headlining the Festival Republic Stage on Saturday evening, huge swells of instrumentation will backbone the band’s heartfelt lyricism, not a set to miss.

At The Drive-In

A band who barely need an introduction, At The Drive-In are post-hardcore legends, and a turbulent history of break-ups and reunions, as well as a revolving cast of members, means there’s every chance this could be the last time we can see them on stage. They play the Main Stage on Sunday afternoon and you guarantee their set will blow away any lingering cobwebs.

Jimmy Eat World

Playing the Main Stage on Saturday afternoon, Jimmy Eat World are Leeds Festival favourites, having appeared four or five times over its history. Offering up a set of rousing emo anthems, their combination of midwestern indie and polished production are the perfect afternoon accompaniment and are a definite must see.


Back at Bramham Park for what will be his third appearance at the festival, Eminem last headlined back in 2015, in which a mammoth set of almost 30 of his most well-known tracks saw a special appearance by Dido on ‘Stan’, suggesting that this year he’s bound to have some surprises in store. Closing out the Main Stage once again on the Sunday night, it’s going to be the last of a string of highlight performances across the weekend. 

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