Posted by Richard Garnett.
Reviewed on 29th August 2007.
Live at Leeds Festival 2007 on Saturday, 25th August 2007
Turbofruits - The Carling Stage
Hailing from Nashville these fresh faced blues-punks are a thrilling kick off to the day. The young three piece note perfectly thrash through asset of rocked up blues. Like so many American bands the fundamental difference between them and us is that in US you have to be bloody good at your instrument before you even attempt to join a band, where as back in the UK if you know 3 chords you're in. Perhaps they still have something to learn when it comes to playing to the crowd but the enthusiasm and skinny spaced out stares have everyone on their side by the end. Best of all was spotting their roadie at the side of the stage who looked liked a complete caricature: long grey beard, black cowboy hat, denim waste coat, Iron Maiden t-shirt, roll-up in mouth, round John Lennon sun glasses and a face more lined than Mother Teresa, Saxondale eat your heart out. He was clearly there to sacrifice himself as a barrier to soak up all the rock and roll life style and protect his boys. Set ender "Volcano" classically rocked.
Hooks For Hands - The Carling Stage
Oh my god I can't believe it, is it a surprise gig? Are they really called Hooks For Hands? Why do all the road crew have Parva t-shirts on? Why is the tent suddenly bursting at its seams? Has the lead singer who we have never seen before put on weight? Does he have a rare condition? No it's called a bad diet and touring a lot. With a drum kit borrowed from Kaiser Chiefs and wheeled in directly from an Old Chapel storage room, Hooks For Hands romp through a 30 minute set of already familiar tunes. The crowd bounces up and down and sings along at all the right places, you can't help but enjoy the moment. Everybody leaves with a smug look on their face desperate to find someone who wasn't there so they can lord it over them... they'll be dining out on it for months.
Piskie Sits - Topman Unsigned Stage
The most laid back band in the world somehow only manage to be a few minutes late on stage, which is a wonder in itself. Ten minutes in to the gig and they're actually playing songs rather than stood vacuously staring at their instruments with a "is this mine?" lolling from the tongue. All the better for us then. Wakefield's king of the slack pull it right out of the bag with a smattering of songs from their debut album and some new stuff to boot. Bolstered by an additional guitar they sound big and lazy and great. Lead singer Craig is a true people's champion and his amusing rant about Razorshite is inspired. "Who here actually likes Razorlight?", "Booo" goes the crowd. His idea of canning them off the bill and letting Interpol and Kings of Leon play for longer is one that merits some genuine contemplation. "What Is The Point?" ends the set in fitting style and all leave truly satiated.
Maximo Park - The Main Stage
They do exactly what it says on the tin: be nice to the crowd, be humble, enjoy themselves, wear a silly hat and get the best response from the songs off their debut album rather than its disappointing follow-up. Were you expecting something else? North-east charm and lots of leaping around, apart from the guitarist and bass player who is the bright Leeds sun-light suddenly look a lot older than the energetic singer and keyboard player... damn that unflattering sun. "Going Missing" and "Apply Some Pressure" inevitably and rightly get the biggest response. Wandering in from the back of the crowd it isn't half noticeable how quiet everything is though and it is only when a 50 metre distance is reached from the stage that volume levels become respectable for such an outdoor event. Is this a repeat of the Glastonbury fiasco?
Sky Larkin - Topman Unsigned Stage
Sky Larkin have it! There is no defining what it is but when you see it you know it and they have it. The voice, the tunes, the brilliant drumming and the humble on stage cutesy demeanour that hides an underlying confidence, it's a winning formula. The tunes have grown in stature over the past year and even on the festivals smallest stage they sound massive and packed with hooks. "Summit" is a delight reminiscent of a rocked up Sundays, "Keepsakes" with its fairground keyboard is a joy and "One of Two" is a power house live. If ever there was a tip for a band to be on a bigger stage next year then Sky Larkin are it and if you missed this then you will just have to lie and say you were there when they blew the Burton Unsigned Stage away.