final headliners of Leeds Festival weekend take the rock show to its clichéd extreme

Leeds Festival 2012 review

published: Wed 29th Aug 2012

Kasabian

Friday 24th to Sunday 26th August 2012
Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 6ND, England MAP
£197.50 for a weekend ticket, £85 any day
daily capacity: 79999
last updated: Mon 20th Aug 2012

The Sunday morning brings the news of Creamfields being cancelled due to flooding. There wasn't going to be a green day up north, so a blue sky day was all that was left. Starting the day on the main stage were Los Campesinos!. Very refreshing on a sunny Sunday morning – great for clearing the remenants of a hangover. Blood Red Shoes, a young and energetic Brighton duo take over on the main stage. The rhythm is simple and strong, but need a little more variation. They don't have the charisma of Jack White or the groove of The Black Keys so need to make up for it in other ways.

Grimes
Grimes was the first act over on the dance stage I made it to. Unfussed by Odd Future's flow it was just a short hop away. The strong Japanese influence on her artwork shows through in her live set-up. A robotic drum pad man alongside a topless male dancer joined her on stage. Superbly otherworldly, but sometimes verging towards toneless reverb. Santigold took over the NME stage next with her NY style. Immaculately precise but over-rehearsed, the show lacked any originality having seen her just a few months ago. Miike Snow adds military and classic elements into his electronica – the staccato drum beats and keys set down the basic tone for his light vocals.

Florence And The Machine
Walking through the now damp field and back to the main stage, Florence + The Machine is up and blowing everyone away with her unique voice. Its easy to see why she became so popular as she strides across the stage not missing a beat. The ginger love continues over at the dance tent for Katy B. She's on a mission and has at least all the male members in the audience rising for attention when she ask for a volunteer to join her on stage. Pushed into a chair and given a beer this hapless chap doesn't really know what to do with the opportunity as he sips away and lets Katy sway around him.

Kasabian
The final headliners of the weekend have take the rock show to its clichéd extreme. Celebrating arrogance and expecting the crowd to bay at every word seems to work for Kasabian. Even Tom Mayan taking his sunglasses of is so exaggerated into a quasi religious experience its hard not to be slightly bemused by their show. Every swagger and shrug is greeted with cheers. By the start of 'Veloceraptor' I'd had enough of the plastic dinosaurs in favor of some real artifacts. Its hard to be fair to At the Drive-In given the hype their reunion has been given. 10 years since they split, it could never be the energetic explosion that their shows of old were known for.

Had Cedric and Omar lost that buzz as more recent Mars Volta efforts getting more and more obscure and experimental. The introduction of Milo, XXX, the drummer's son gave the instant impression that these guys were not the band they were. More mature and taking things as they come. The songs still had their buzz, sounding as fresh as they were years ago but the anger that drove it wasn't. To hear something I missed at Reading in 2000 was special enough to leave with good memories. Dedicating 'One Armed Scissor' to Milo, and in spirit to the next generation of musicians, for them to pull something new out of the bag and stop the obsession with recycling the old - instantly making me regret not spending any time at the BBC Introducing stage. The gigs that inspire a generation didn't happen on the main stage in front of thousands, they happened in the small tent in front of hundreds.

around the festival site (5)
review by: Anne Chiang / Chris Mathews

photos by: Chris Mathews / Rob Matheson

Friday 24th to Sunday 26th August 2012
Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 6ND, England MAP
£197.50 for a weekend ticket, £85 any day
daily capacity: 79999
last updated: Mon 20th Aug 2012


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