Lostprophets shine as Leeds organisers get the line-up wrong for Saturday night

Leeds Festival 2009 review

published: Wed 2nd Sep 2009

Bloc Party

Friday 28th to Sunday 30th August 2009
Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 6ND, England MAP
weekend £175 - SOLD OUT, £70 a day for Friday, or Saturday only
daily capacity: 55000
last updated: Thu 20th Aug 2009

Due to the unexpected closure of the A1 I arrive at the site today 4 and a half hours later than I had scheduled, but when you move 20 metres in an hour what can you do? My heart goes out to the many people sat in the same queue of traffic who had parted with a hell of a lot of money for a day ticket, and to the people involved in the accident.

Radiohead
Saturday night in 2009 may have been the time when the Leeds organisers got it wrong. Whether they overestimated Radiohead, underestimated Lostprophets, and La Roux or missed a change in the musical mindset of the youth of today, something went astray.

Radiohead started well enough with a set full of metal bars that looked pretty impressive and the sound was good not having any of the problems of some of the bands earlier in the weekend. It seemed to be the material that was lacking. Those that were there longed to hear something from 'The Bends' or 'OK Computer' and the ones that stayed could be heard shouting "Play something we know" as the rest of us walked away.

Walking down onto the valley was a different experience altogether. Firstly I forayed into the festival republic tent to see the end of a great well received set from Lightspeed Champion, following the lead earlier in the day of fellow Test Icicles band Vampire Weekend. As this set finished, the Welsh rock blister of Lostprophets started up. Emerging from the tent, it was clear that the line-up planners had gone horribly wrong somewhere. There was not a spare piece of land to be seen. The NME tent was rammed to the rafters as was the area right up to the big wheel and beyond watching the Welsh wizards on the big screen. The screens to either side were too watched by mesmerised throngs.

Inside the Festival republic tent too, there was no breathing space as fans packed it out waiting for La Roux most of them admitting they'd only come for two songs. It was no good trying to stand on the outskirts of the tent though as the sound of the Prophets competed with the noise from the waltzer in drowning out the latest painted pop princess.

The Lostprophets won the night then even with one man down as guitarist Mike Lewis was flown out of the site due to his wife going into labour. Singer, Ian Watkins was clearly moved and elated by what was happening. "Radiohead can kiss my arse," he told the crowd to crescendos of "Fuck Radiohead". Prophets even managed to showcase new songs. It was 'Last Train Home' though that got the whole of the area bouncing as one. Those lucky enough to be inside conceding to Ian's pleas for one big moshpit.

Just looking round taking in the atmosphere was a festival experience in itself. The organisers might have made a mistake but what a pretty wonderful mistake it turned out to be and inadvertently create the best atmosphere of the whole festival.

I can only guess the La Roux rocked, I could only hear the Lostprophets but those inside certainly seemed to enjoy themselves.

As for Radiohead I don't know if any "crowd pleasers" came later or if there was much of a crowd left to please. Frankly my dear I don't give a damn, my last car home is waiting.
review by: Julie Weston

photos by: Luke Seagrave

Friday 28th to Sunday 30th August 2009
Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 6ND, England MAP
weekend £175 - SOLD OUT, £70 a day for Friday, or Saturday only
daily capacity: 55000
last updated: Thu 20th Aug 2009


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