Posted by Katriona Gilmour.
Reviewed on 28th August 2012.
Live at Leeds Festival 2012 on Saturday, 25th August 2012
Up bright and early, I head off to the BBC Introducing Stage, just in time for Alan Raw to announce, "The noise is going to be big, so prepare yourself for the Marsicans!" Who, considering the hour, manage to pull a really big crowd. Sporting the most colourful attire, the Marsicans burst in to life with the incredibly infectious 'Scuba Diving'. Attention grabbing from the first note, they cause an early morning frenzy, displaying all the exuberance of youthful band having an immense amount of fun. The drums have a ferocious energy throughout, and in particular during 'Hands', which also returns a resounding vocal from the swelling crowd. It is rare to see such a young band with this level of stage presence and there is a huge amount of character oozing off the stage.
Marsicans create glorious harmonies, blending kooky guitar riffs, with indie tinged pop, feeding us a humongous serving of super-cool pop perfection for our musical breakfast. Imagine, if you blended a spoonful Little Comets, added a pinch of King Charles and sprinkling of the Beach Boys, before injecting a huge amount of Red Bull... this is close to the energetic furore opening up the BBC introducing stage.
So, for the second day in a row, a local band starts off my day, reminding me of the musical diversity and talent that is coming out of Yorkshire right now.
I caught up with the Marsicans after their set, for a little chat and had a gossip with Bastille ahead of their afternoon slot. Look out for these interviews shortly.
I get back to the fields in time to catch Spector on the NME Radio1 stage, who provides a great set and a healthy amount of banter. This is another band, where I enter as a passenger and leave as a fan. I then progress to Alt-J, already in full swing on the Festival Republic stage, creating fabulous synth-laden sounds that move in waves through the tent. They have a refreshingly creative individuality, but I cannot feel the full weight of the atmosphere because it is so busy I cannot even see the stage. I was not supposed to review these, but I feel it would be rude not to give them a mention.
Feeling a little tired and jaded, I partake in a little liquid refreshment, before heading back to the Festival Republic Stage. Next on is Bastille, who perform a lengthy sound check as the tent fills with varied gathering of young and old. Note perfect and upbeat from the start, this is electronic based delicious pop and 'The Things we lost in the Fire' warms the crowd gently. Dan, the Lead singer, has a unique depth to his vocal and exudes an unmistakable energy, looking more comfortable than I have seen before. Holding the attentive mass in the palm of his hand, he bounces up and down the stage, scaling the sides and looking for things to climb. I don't think there will ever be a stage big enough for these boys.
It is a special moment when Bastille launch in to 'Overjoyed', I am witness to the biggest sing-along of the day. Kyle and Will sharing the keys for a time, provide outstanding harmonies, which deserve the resounding roar of applause halfway through. Quite honestly, the atmosphere is electric and rivalling that of Justice from the night before, as they launch in to Bad Blood, recently (and deservedly) playlisted on Radio1. Bastille keep us elevated for 'What Would You Do?', Dan projects an immaculate vocal clarity in a place where others have failed, dispensing just the right amount of power, before raising the crowd to euphoria with powerful beats throughout 'Laura Palmer'. Their closing tracks are the ever popular 'flaws', and 'Of the night'. With additional drums brought on stage, Dan get as close to the audience without physically being in it. This gives rise to another intense drum break and all too soon it is over, hurling the drum sticks in to the crowd. We all survived, but sadly, Dan's huge hair sadly did not! By the end it flops, unlike their performance, which most certainly does not!