talk of the Leeds Festival weekend is will they or won't they turn up

Leeds Festival 2010 review

published: Thu 2nd Sep 2010

Guns N Roses

Friday 27th to Sunday 29th August 2010
Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 6ND, England MAP
£180 for a weekend ticket
daily capacity: 75000
last updated: Thu 26th Aug 2010

There's a great saying that is bantered around a lot "It's grim up North", well looking at the weather forecast and the news this weekends Leeds Festival is going to be a whole lot nicer than it's Southern Sister site Reading. No-one pumping the water and mud out as of yet and still firm ground according to messages from friends already camped up. As we pulled off the well sign posted A1, although black clouds are looming the sun is shining and although I'm not overly excited by the line up I'm feeling cheerful at the start of another Festival Weekend.

around the festival site (aerial views)
We arrive on site and apart from the Main Stage being shifted slightly to the right, the layout remained pretty much unchanged from previous years, which also meant the same bottle necks getting to and from the Main Stage at busier times.

The talk of the weekend is will they won't they turn up, how many rock star tantrums, and will they be on time? Most of this focussed on 2 bands the much hyped about reformed The Libertines, and the famous tantrum thrower Axl Rose Band, sorry I mean Guns N' Roses.

Dizzee Rascal
A favourite of mine at festivals Dizzee Rascal again proved he had gravity defying trousers and a very big mosh pit, one minute I was happily stood well away from the front catching up with friends whilst enjoying the set the next minute I'm surrounded by a whole new bunch of friends bouncing around in my wellies, Not usually my genre of music but I love the enthusiasm Rascal puts into all his performances.

The Libertines gets a massive crowd and an even bigger cheer, shortly into the set the band stop and Pete Doherty and Carl Barat look like they are leaving the stage, is that the reunion over? No Doherty comes back and says to the crowd "Look after each other and if anyone goes down don't stand on their heads" although I doubt you'd find that wording in the official crowd safety manual it seems to do the job and the bands are allowed to continue their set.

The Libertines
The band were back to their best but at times I did still sense tension between the boys but hopefully this will soon melt away. Speaking to a big fan after the set her eye liner down her cheeks showed just how much she had enjoyed the set, and her festival was already complete. Arcade Fire and Pendulum clash was a tough one I thought but seeing as I could get no where near the Radio One tent I did consider Arcade Fire but I hung around for Pendulum and the atmosphere was electric, these guys for me should have been on the Main Stage.

Back on site Saturday morning, a few people were looking less than fresh, maybe The Relentless tent in the campsite 'til the early hours didn't now seem like a good option. The main stage line up today is quite strong but I make it over to see Los Campesinos!, last time I saw these guys was in an engine shed at a Steam Railway so it was great to see them on a proper stage set up. 'You! Me! Dancing!' brought the energetic set to a close, and I wandered back out the tent and negotiated the crowd gathered around the big wheel and dodgems. The sun was shining so I wandered around the stalls within the top area of the arena, typical festival stalls, nothing I hadn't seen before at other festivals but I still keep eyeing up the honchos, I really think I need one.

I almost feel I should be wearing stars and stripes as the rest of the day is American all the way kicking off with Limp Bizkit with Weezer, Paramore and Blink 182 close behind. The highlight of the afternoon had to be Weezer's frontman Rivers Cuomo, he seemed to spend his entire set everywhere but on the stage. He jumped from speaker cabs to the stage, then went into the crowd at the front, climbed the metal fencing around the arena and did a couple of songs from each side, then he decided to exit the pit through the escape door into the crowd where he was then jumped on by several hundred fans, arriving back onstage looking rather ruffled he put his glasses back on and continued as normal.

For the young men (and not so young men) who'd come along to see Hayley Williams disappointment must have sunk in when her petite frame took to the stage wearing trousers and a top... sorry boys!!! Stunning voice though so I'm sure that kept them all happy. The temperature dropped and the wind picked up as the night ended with Blink 182 so I grabbed a hot chocolate to keep me company on the walk back.

News has by now filtered through about Guns N' Roses at Reading so would we have a headliner on the main stage Sunday or not? Although still really windy the sun was out and it was warm I for one am hoping Axel and co turn up. I've been a fan since my teens and back in 1992 made the trek to see them the night before my Maths GCSE Exam with my best friend much against our parents wishes, and I have continued to see them ever since where possible. After seeing Slash play a blinding set at Download Festival this year I just hope Axl can jump off his soap box in time for the G n R set.

Gogol Bordello
Gogol Bordello got the mood going and attracted some interesting crowd surfers, one on a sledge and one on a lilo and anyone who passed a nearby crowd got sucked into a mini barn dance with full on dosey doe's. Biffy Clyro were up next but for me the only outstanding thing was Simon Neil's dodgy new blond hair. I can take or leave QOTSA but luckily I had my stonebaked pizza to get me through the set to the very end when the crowd came to life for 'No One Knows'.

Guns N Roses
Then for me the big one, I have to say I would love to go on about how much of a jumped up prick Axl Rose is but as soon as they took to the stage just under half an hour late I was won over, Yes he did act like a child, Yes he is a jumped up prick and maybe just maybe for once he could turn up on time but I was shocked that they rattled through the hit filled set without any incidents, half way through Axl Rose did announce that "This war ain't over yet" talking about the riff with the organisers. Several costume changes, pyrotechnics and instrumentals later the set drew to a close. Axel announced "To those of you who came to see us 'Thank You', to the promoters and local authorities Fuck You!"

Guns n Roses setlist was:

Chinese Democracy
Welcome to the Jungle
It's so Easy
Mr Brownstone
Live and Let Die
This I Love
Rocket Queen
Street of Dreams
You Could Be Mine
Sweet Child O'Mine
November Rain
Knockin' On Heavens Door
Paradise City

review by: Julie Weston

photos by: Gary Stafford / Luke Seagrave

Friday 27th to Sunday 29th August 2010
Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 6ND, England MAP
£180 for a weekend ticket
daily capacity: 75000
last updated: Thu 26th Aug 2010

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