Monday, 29 August 2011

Leeds Festival 2011

Liam Gallagher is a snarling, sneering bore. And his new band are just as objectionable. Shorn of brother Noel's wit and tunes, the latest incarnation of Oasis (an ever evolving cast that finally stopped pretending to be any relation to the mid-nineties Britrockers when they became Beady Eye)are little more than a pub band with an instantly recognisable frontman.

Gladly, Liam was not representative of the lead singers on show at Leeds Festival. The ever-affable Guy Garvey had the crowd eating out of his hands on a rain soaked Friday, Seasick Steve serenaded members of the crowd and even Noah & The Whale's Charlie Fink managed to plaster a smile on his normally dour face. Matt Bellamy rarely does bonhomie, but as Muse powered through Origin of Symmetry and a collection of their bigger hits it was difficult to care.

With the weather unpredictable, it fell to bands in tents to entertain the masses huddled inside against the elements. Whilst White Lies rose to the challenge admirably (focusing on their vastly superior first album rather than their very ropy follow-up), Beady Eye and Metronomy are unlikely to have made many new fans.

When the sun shone, the revellers decamped to the main stage where goodtimers Two Door Cinema Club and Madness helped keep people's peckers up with their party tunes and classic pop songs respectively: although Suggs did seem a little bewildered to be amongst so many youngsters. His younger counterparts revelled in the adoration to give one of the weekend's better sets.

Sunday night saw the dual treat of double headliners. After ending the night at Reading, The Strokes stepped down to let Pulp host a triumphant party on Yorkshire soil. It was certainly the right decision. Julian Casablancas did not seem delighted to be in Leeds - although a collection of excellent tunes ensured the New Yorkers kept their fans happy.

The undoubted star of the weekend was Mr Jarvis Cocker. In tweed jacket and glasses he looks nothing like a popstar but oozes charisma and charm. His Yorkshire brogue was thoroughly welcomed as he bantered and flirted with the crowd, writhed to This Is Hardcore, snapped his guitar strings and delivered hit after hit. Erstwhile Pulp member Richard Hawley provided some dirty licks, the crowd bopped to Disco 2000 and an awful lot of people were left with very wide smiles as Jarvis wiggled his bottom off stage for the final time.

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