Leeds 2011: Day 3 (John’s Roundup)

By on Tuesday, 13th September 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

The final day of Leeds Festival 2011 brought with it dryness and a relative calm that I hadn’t seen all weekend, no frantic rushing to tents. Just good music. Well, for most of the day anyway… Speaking of music that just is not good in the slightest, my first port of call for the day was the Main Stage to watch Pigeon Detectives. Beginning with their set with arguably their most popular track ‘I Found Out’ was their first mistake, as they had my attention for that brief point. But from then on though, it was as I expected. A set as tragically flawed as the band themselves, riddled with album tracks that nobody cares about at home, let alone at a festival. Truly a thoroughly dour start to my final day.

It was only fair that after such musical torture, I was gifted with the brilliant music of Seasick Steve, doing what he does best, getting crowds to love him with his brilliant style of DIY bluegrass rock ‘n’ roll. Halfway through his set he does what anybody who is third on the Main Stage at a festival wishes they can do to get the crowd going: nothing huge, just something like bring on a member of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time, Led Zeppelin. Yes. John Paul Jones. With JPJ on bass, Steve hammering his bizarre instruments and a drummer with a longer beard than Steve himself, the trio on stage was a force. ‘Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks’ sounded positively fierce and ‘Thunderbird’ was easily the highlight of the first few bands of the day.

Two Door Cinema Club strolled onstage, and within seconds girls all around me were clambering over each other to be as close to these Irish charmers. Two Door surely could not have anticipated what a success ‘Tourist History’ was going to be, so the thousands upon thousands of people mimicking every track back at them must have been quite a shock. [Editor’s note: not really to us at TGTF. We wrote about a couple of their songs in a Kitsune sampler in January 2010 and then mused on the actual album 2 months later.] Their delivery was fantastic though, and throughout the gig they had the crowd placed firmly within the palms of their hands.

To follow Two Door in the form they are in can hardly be seen as an undaunting task. So it probably helped that the guys to do it are the most seasoned pros on the bill: enter Madness. Beginning with classic ‘One Step Beyond’, the crowd were already in full swing, gone were the attempts at mosh pits and in their place, everyone doing a strange minimalistic rendition of the running man. Their set was riddled with classics: ‘Baggy Trousers’ was greeted to a huge reception and ‘House of Fun’ was literally the most ‘fun’ song of the day.

From a band centred on dancing about like there’s no tomorrow to a band who in all honesty aren’t exactly the jolliest fellows around, this of course was the pioneers of emo kids Jimmy Eat World. Their set was by far too long for the amount of material they had; while ‘Bleed America,’ ‘The Middle’ and ‘Sweetness’ were fantastic, nobody cared about ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’, let alone enough to hear it when you could be heading over to see Bombay Bicycle Club…hey, wait a minute. That sounds like a good idea! So I did!

Bombay’s crowd was, as expected, huge, as is the hype around these nervous little boys. While they may not look the most confident bunch, they still manage to capture the crowd brilliantly. Sure, it helps that they have some seriously solid tune,s but I think the nervousness plays well for them. New single ‘Shuffle’ from their new album ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ (review here) sounded note perfect live and could easily grow into one of the biggest strings on their live bow. They finished with ‘Always Like This’ to bring an end to a set which they breezed through, the crowd hooked on every word.

Next up were co-headliners the Strokes (pictured at top), who turned out to be truly awful. They are a band with such a reputation but who managed to look as uninterested from the beginning as I became halfway through their dry, unimaginative set. Julian Casablancas looked as if he wanted to be anywhere else but here and that was how I started to feel as the hits faded into plugging of the new album. The one highlight had to be ‘Juicebox’, which added some much needed energy to the proceedings. Bar that, disappointing is the only word I can use to describe their set. Devoid of any showmanship, any invention.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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