Posted by Katriona Gilmour.
Reviewed on 28th August 2012.
Live at Leeds Festival 2012 on Friday, 24th August 2012
An early arrival to Leeds Festival, tent erected (relatively) easily and I am ready for my musical marathon. No gentle start for me as I decide to kick off in Main Stages 'mosh pit' with Pulled Apart by Horses whose set went off!! I will look forward to reading another's perspective on this.
So my first review of the day is Band of Skulls (Main Stage), who in my opinion, need to 'bring it' after that start. Opening with the popular 'Sweet and Sour' and 'Something Good', they appear a little subdued and gentle, for a rock band. They have a fairly hefty pull and the crowd are in good spirits, but I am not rocked as expected. 'The Devil Takes Care Of His Own' is the crowd pleaser; however, I am a little disappointed after really liking their sound. They are a little static with the drummer being the one that displays the most presence. They continue with 'I Know What I Am', and for a main stage act it doesn't really hold my attention. Band of Skulls are surprisingly, a little dull, unlike the weather.
I do a whistle stop tour as I move the next set and I have to mention dropping in to see TOY on the Festival Republic Stage. There is a lot of hair waving and a really interesting noise... I will be checking out some of their music.
I entered the NME Radio1 tent, not a fan of Django Django... but what I found was harmonious, rhythmic and beautiful musicianship, so much better than their recordings or 'live' sets from the TV. They raise the spirit of the amassed revellers and create a beat that pulses through me. They blend effortlessly from guitars, to an array of instruments and percussion, including a giant tambourine, producing a delightful fusion of uplifting and joyful music. There is a point of synchronised drumming which they attack with reckless abandon to great effect. Collectively they create an overwhelming joy that spills off the stage and floods the tent. Now I know what all the fuss is about! They win me over and Django Django goes down a storm.
Next on are Tribes, who have a large following and their sound is familiar rocky guitar pop, drawing the obvious comparisons, though they are not a regurgitation of any predecessors. They are an instant crowd hit and a sing-a-long ensues for 'Corner of an English Field', which (if I remember rightly) is about the death of a friend as a teenager. The pace is then taken down a notch for the slower and melodic 'Halfway Home', a band favourite and the heartfelt honesty shines out. I can see Tribes being a Festival favourite for years to come, belting out potential anthemic tunes like 'You're Not So Pretty Anymore'. There is a great atmosphere and a continued sing-a-long for my favourite and summer soundtrack, 'Coming of age' (as I reached a particular age milestone this year). Their stage presence and obvious enjoyment connects with every corner of the tent, that than erupts for their closer, 'We Were Children'. This seems to have been around for ages, but is as fresh as the first time I heard it. There is much crowd participation and appreciation, deserving of a bigger stage.
Empror & Duppy Beatz is a Bristol born rapper and Producer, who together start off their performance with a track dedicated to all those disbelievers, the ones who say you'll never make it. Lyrically eloquent rap with a great rhythmic flow, annunciating the words, Empror has an audible clarity you can follow. He utilises every inch of the stage, displaying the confidence of a seasoned performer. His words tell tales of angst ridden young men, knife culture and living in the gutter. 'One night' has a great dance beat and induces a few moves from the receptive gathering crowd at the BBC introducing sage.
Justice is my last show of the day and I am stood in the middle of a dark tent, shoulder to shoulder with an eager lot. The laser lights drop, as Justice take to the stage, welcomed by a resounding roar from the waiting crowd. The set kicks off with a hard baseline that vibrates through every bone from head to toe. 'Genesis' hit like a bomb of euphoria inducing dance perfection has just dropped. These 2 boys from France create intense, multi-layered electronica, with a hint of polished, funky techno and produce a set with tunes of gargantuan proportion. But, testament to the sound guy on this tent he has excelled himself! Each track gets bigger and bigger, combined with the creative and co-ordinated light show, builds the excitement to near hysteria before they drop 'D.A.N.C.E.' into the mix. I peaked and I end the day as I started. Elated!