Posted by Joseph C Seager.
Reviewed on 26th August 2008.
Live at Leeds Festival 2008 on Friday, 22nd August 2008
Turning up on Friday morning, swapping my piece of paper for my press pass, pitching my tent in guest camping and making my way to the arena, I was really pleased I'd been able to come to Leeds this year. I headed straight for the main stage to see what was going to happen as Slipknot had pulled out. Colin Murray came onstage and informed us they were going to push the first band back 45 minutes so there weren't any gaps throughout the rest of the day.
That first band was Mindless Self Indulgence. I'd never heard any of their music before but was surprisingly impressed. Bending over backwards (the bassist literally) to put on an explosive first set of the main stage their music had elements from all over the place, goth, rock, dance, electro. Taking the mick out of Plain White T's went down well, but times got difficult midway through set when they lost it a little. The frontman did though bring things back by grabbing a blow up doll from the crowd and waltzing around during a track. An ace way to kick off the day!
From here I went to check out Adam Green at the NME/Radio One stage. The Moldy Peaches may be on hiatus but the solo man is still packing out tents - maybe because of the inclusion of Moldy Peaches tracks in indie success film Juno last year. He noted that he'd hurt his ankle the day before when playing a gig, thankfully he didn't back out - unlike some (drummers do kind of use their feet more though.) His music is so emotive and the crowd was singing along with every word. Before I left for my next band I heard 'Festival Song' which was brilliant. His combination of confidence, humour and pure music talent was great to watch.
Heading over to the Dance Stage to check out The Whip I went crazy mental with my camera. The tent wasn't packed, it was semi-full but it felt crammed to the rafters. The Whip provided amazing tunes to get the hands in the air, and the crowd surfers started throwing themselves over toward the end when Lil came down to the crowd. Bouncing beats and dazzling stage presence made The Whip one of the best acts of not only Friday, but the weekend.
Leaving the Dance Stage to make my way to the NME/Radio One stage once again I overheard Plain White T's accomplishing nothing with their set. Oh well, what you going to do? I was early for Hadouken! and caught the end of Lightspeed Champion. Again, surprisingly impressed. I never really got the artist but the crowd were enjoying and singing along to all the tracks. The sun shining, the people were singing, good times!
Hadouken! were amazing. Throwing shapes throughout the whole gig, James, Alice, Dan, Chris and Nick wowed the crowd with their music. Tracks from debut album 'Music for an Accelerated Culture' had the crowd singing along and enjoying every minute. Loads of 'Yorkshire, Yorkshire' chants echoed around the tent as the West Yorkshire band detonated their faces off to provide awesome entertainment. They managed to squeeze in a cover of 'Breathe' by Prodigy which was on of the highlights of the entire festival. Thinking about it, it may have actually sounded better than the original. Hadouken! rocked the place!
Before heading over to the main stage, I watched The Music take to the NME/Radio One stage. They cranked out such tracks as 'Getaway' and 'Strength In Numbers' which went down a storm. I came back later on to check out Pendulum. The tent, bursting at the seams played host to the masters of dance. Songs from latest album 'In Silico' had the people raving along and the constant reassurance that they were going to take the festival into overdrive got great reaction. 'Propane Nightmares' had everyone going crazy and other tracks I heard had equally positive reactions.
I'd seen Feeder milling around the guest bar area earlier in the day and snapped a picture of two. I made it to the main stage in time to hear my favourite Feeder track 'Just The Way I'm Feeling'. By the looks of the hands in the air, the flags being waved and the sing-along going on, it's not just my favourite song! They nailed it, and I was gutted to realise that it was their second to last track. Finishing their set off as only you'd expect with 'Just A Day', the crowd were loving every moment and the three-piece performed excellently. Only hearing the last two tracks and them both being old songs makes me think that perhaps their new material isn't being as well received?
Tenacious D were one of the reasons I was so hyped about this weekend. Gracing the stage in a massive cloak and a green monster type costume, Jack and Kyle took over the stage and create chaos. A couple of tracks in Jack turned to Kyle and said 'Dude, I said wizard not lizard.' Very funny! 'Who the fuck are you? Gandalf?' was the response before a little staged argument resulted in the costumes coming off and serenading each other back onto the stage occurred. It was hilarious. Suddenly there was a robotic industrial stomping noise which freaked the two of them out a little before they ran to one side of the stage as 'the metal' appeared. This shinny silver dancing machine moved around during a song about the 'Metal'. Tenacious D's music is amazing and every person in that crowd had a smile on their face, fact! It's impossible not to. 'Wonderboy', 'Fuck Her Gently' and of course 'Tribute' complete with devil on stage, saw Tenacious D rock the main stage it a way it had never been rocked before, sheer brilliance.
I went back to the NME/Radio One stage to check out a bit of The Last Shadow Puppets but I don't really get why Alex Turner has bothered with this side project. He's friends with the bloke from The Rascals, fair enough, but they are just a not-as-good-as-the-Arctic-Monkeys-Arctic-Monkeys. 'The Age Of The Understatement' and 'Only The Truth' both had the crowd singing along. The setting was perfect for them though, bright red lights - almost boudoir esq, an orchestra backing up the two front men and they got good overall reaction. I'm just not that bothered about them.
CSS were the last band I check out on the Friday. What a way to finish the first day too! Taking over the Dance Stage Cansei de Ser Sexy played tracks from both debut album and this year's follow up 'Donkey'. 'Off The Hook' had the crowd bouncing and dancing and the craziness continued until eleven o'clock. The lead singer had some strange doll attached to her back in a fashion that only a CSS member would get away with. You've got to love CSS, and they wrapped up the first day of the festival in style. Cracking day!