04 September, 2016

[Festival Review] Highlights of Leeds Festival, England, 2016.

I'm not going to witter on about how great my weekend was or the best technique for removing your feet from knee high mud during this review. I see alot of festival reviews that usually end up diverting away from talking about the music in order to preach to people their own agenda of 'Oh look how ace I am at being in a field for 3 days'... no one cares. Plus lets face it, the people likely to read this are probably more than aware of what goes down at major festivals and how to survive. So here's my MUSICAL highlights of Leeds festival weekend...

1. Biffy Clyro.

Whilst at Leeds they didn't bring the fireworks like they did at Reading, their live set is still one to be feared by pretty much every other band in the world. Literally scarily good in parts, the guys have long been seasoned pro's at delivering when it counts. I haven't spoken to a single person who didn't enjoy their set but the lack of pyrotechnics did perturb some people. Does that really define their show? or just distract from it. Personal choice I suppose. I loved them with or without extra fireworks.

2. Bang Bang Romeo.

This year the new Jack Rocks stage needed something to happen to make sure people didn't just think it was a poorer BBC Introducing stage. I'm sure most bands killed it over the weekend which would have given the stage an ok buzz around the festival, but then Bang Bang Romeo appeared and for me everything changed.

Their live performance was one that was cleverly woven with pretty much every aspect of a live gig that you would perceive to be a pivotal moment changing not only my weekend but their whole career. Gaining celebrity fans stood side of stage, peacock feathers on shoulders and beginning a mosh pit themselves, the band absolutely nailed it! Their music alone would be stand out enough to make people's ears prick up but then everything else they bring to the party on top just slaps you in the face and forces you to know their name.



If music is meant to stir some emotion within your heart then BBR's lead singer has the lungs and theatrical prowess to make me need a pacemaker. Incredible voice which I know she has been complimented on alot over the years and that is not going to dwindle any time soon.

I know i've written about 'Chemical' alot before and forgive me for going round in circles about this tune but if you haven't heard it yet then what are you playing at? I watched grown men cry in front of me when the band delivered this the other night! Be a bromeo and go check them out. Killer gig!

3. The Jackobins.

Again being part of the brilliant Jack Rocks stage, The Jackobins also brought their A-game on Saturday afternoon with the lead singer shining bright in a gold bullion looking jacket! His voice carries extremely well for a young guy who impressively lead the charge of a 6 man outfit. Easy to get lost in all that music but he did a grand job!

Hits like 'One More Chance' and 'Hasty' are well worth checking out. The strong crowd for their set certainly got going to these tunes. This was my first time seeing the lads play live and they were generally impressive with the lead guitarist managing to look like he was going wild whilst still impeccably playing some complex riffs.


The chaps were also kind enough to share a JD with me afterwards and said that the Jack Rocks/This Feeling stage was a great community to be involved with. It certainly seems like this band in particular thrived with a live show being on a really good quality stage set up.

The Jack Rocks stage was certainly THE place to be this weekend.

4. Jack Garratt.

The one man whirlwind was stupidly good live that I didn't know where to look! Surrounded by pretty much every instrument you would see in the majority of 'normal' acts, Jack manages to play all of these at once, produce great music and still dance (to a certain degree). I can't even begin to imagine the amount of practice he must have put in in order to be able to do what he does proficiently.

He' progressed quickly through the ranks of musical stardom, making reference to starting out on the BBC Introducing stage three years ago. There is no way that a live act like his isn't at some point going to blow people away over on Main Stage.



I know I really enjoyed people like RHCP, Foals, FOB etc but the above were worth writing home about.

Good times, see you next year? Yeah go on then!

@jasehare