Reading & Leeds 2012: Leeds Day Three Review

The final day of Leeds 2012 had finally arrived! One last day before 75,000 smelly and insane festival-goers could depart Brabham Park and head back to the normality of the real world. It was sad to see the end of my first festival come so soon, but I could see how people return year after year, for a short break away from the news, from Twitter, from football, from everything! I’ll be sure to return next year, but anyway onto Sunday’s action…

1) Theme Park

Sunday at 12.00 came and I was present in the Festival Republic tent for a band that I knew very little about, but for one brilliant song. However, Theme Park were one of the discoveries of my festival, a little indie gem who seemed to be absolutely loving just being there. With a short set of only half an hour or so, they filled the time perfectly alternating between electronic riffs and good old fashioned guitar riffs, held steady by their lead vocalist, and with lots of help from guitarists. Their polite thank-you’s and limited crowd interaction added to the appeal, and it’s only a shame not more people were around at the time, for their song, ‘Two Hours’, a brilliant slice of gentle, inoffensive electro-pop. A good start to the day.

2) Citizens!

Immediately following Theme Park, were Citizens!. They were pleasant enough, but were the background noise for my noodle eating experience, which was also surprisingly pleasant (not that you care). Stayed for a couple of songs, before departing to the Main Stage.

3) The Mystery Jets

The Mystery Jets are a band I’ve liked the ‘odd song’ of for a number of years, so I was interested as to how they could fill a whole set with such one-off hits. A pleasant surprise then as they both mixed up their sound, kept the crowd entertained and knew when to bring it down a notch too. Crowd favourites ‘Someone Purer’ and ‘Two Doors Down’ raised the spirit and dancing, and ‘Greatest Hits’, is a new favourite of mine as a result. Again, I loved seeing how positive the band were, and the lead guitarist never stopped smiling throughout, such enthusiasm is great in today’s weary world of rock n roll! A triumphant set that lit up the Main Stage, before Odd Future arrived, and I fled to dash all the idiots they bring with them (a sneaky dig!).

4) The Shins

The Shins will forever be remembered at Leeds 2012, as the band where it pi**ed it down! Nonetheless, we braved the hour-long downpour, with ponchos the most popular item of fashion amongst festival-goers, and have a good enough time. The Americans though, were another band I was not sure of, knowing a few songs but not even a whole album’s worth. This showed for me, as their set was comprised of a couple of big songs, and then more anonymous ones, standards really dipping, plus they had the misfortune to play in such damp circumstances, meaning the crowd weren’t up for jumping around much to average indie-rock! Not bad, but not especially good either.

5) Modestep

Inbetween The Shins and Enter Shikari, me and a mate popped over to the nearby Dance Stage, to check out Modestep. BIG MISTAKE. We waited for a good 10 minutes and lasted around 40 seconds, such was the awfulness of the dance act. The crowd seemed to be having a laugh though, if that’s any consolation!

6) Enter Shikari

“A very strange group of individuals”, was my first thought post-Enter Shikari. I’d heard a couple of their songs beforehand and didn’t rate them. This was the same post-Enter Shikari. Don’t get me wrong, they are full of energy and passion for the cause, potentially the maddest group of the weekend, but their songs are…shit? Just random guitars and electro which doesn’t add up, but somehow absorbed the crowd. It’s probably just me, but I don’t get the hype surrounding them!

7) Scroobius Pip

Now, the act of the day for me, Scroobius Pip. Minus his electronic partner Dan Le Sac, but plus a rock band, I knew this was going to be a good show, with tracks from recent album ‘Distraction Pieces’, the subject, a collection of his inner most thoughts and feelings, and a rapper I have a lot of time for. Pip had the Alternative Stage crowd in the palm of his hands, his audience interaction was impeccable, wearing a member’s pair of pink sunglasses gained from one of many ‘visits’ to the barrier, and declaring ‘F**K THE SUN!’. He’s never claimed to be a revolutionary type figure, just a bloke who’s not afraid to say what he thinks about our modern-day society, and he’s not afraid to kill the growing, raucous mood that was building, taking it down a notch with a couple of slower tracks, promising it’ll be ‘rowdy as hell in a minute’. He had us clapping non-stop through ‘The Struggle’, egging us along when possible, and dictated a circlepit for his finale, a fine finale in which he joined us with a spot of crowdsurfing, before eventually falling into the crowd right next to me! Scroobius Pip was a massive hit for me, exceeding sky-high expectations that I thought weren’t possible to breach!

8) Feeder

As Sunday night came to a close, me and my mates thought we’d go for the alternative line-up of the night. So it was off to the Festival Republic stage, not the Main Stage, to see that one band everyone loves, Feeder. It was packed to the tent’s edge with eager punters who’d had similar thoughts, and we weren’t left disappointed. Feeder had a set filled with classics, ‘Buck Rogers’, ‘High’ and ‘Feeling a Moment’ all getting the crowd going. You felt the place erupt at certain moments ‘GOT A CD PLAYER! PLAYER! PLAYER! PLAYER!’, and everything was good, the band thanking the audience massively afterwards, and the hour whizzed by in this fashion. It’s a shame they were so low down again on the billing, similar to the Hives, as they would’ve been fantastic up on the Main Stage, with a lot more fans able to see them, and create a great buzz from these classics! Alas, Feeder were great, it’s just a shame not many others saw it.

9) At the Drive-In

Rather than see a bit-part of Kasabian’s headline set, we thought we’d catch the majority of At The Drive-In’s. It was a mixed bag for me personally, having only heard of them as news of their reunion broke (I’m only 18!), and only knowing ‘One-Armed Scissor’ as a result. Due to this, they weren’t as enjoyable as I’d both envisioned and heard from critics, friends, you name it, but were still entertaining. The NME tent they played to, though, was very empty! It seemed the majority were in my position, not fully knowing the band so choosing to stay away, which made me think sticking them on the Main Stage to the masses, may have been better. However, they had a loyal faithful who were going crazy at hearing these songs,after 12 long years of waiting, and who knows, this could once again be one of their last gigs, so I least I can say I saw it! And ‘One Armed Scissor’, was brilliant, even if we did have to wait till the very bloody end to hear it!

A fine day to finish on, with my alternative selections, it may not have ended aswell as it had began, and a part of me wishes I’d seen the stunning Kasabian set, but it was still a great end to an overall great weekend, hopefully I’ll be back in 2013!

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