With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Leeds Festival 2021 – Day 3 – Sunday 29th August 2021 September 2, 2021


Well this is it my first festival in two years is nearly over. I hope that after the last 18 months or so where Covid has done so much damage that events like this are harbingers of good things to come. So loudly after me repeat FUCK COVID! First band of the final day for me was The Hara on Main Stage West. I found them a little punk formulaic at times, however they undeniably put on a good show, including some Les Dawson style gurning from the singer at times. Imagine Royal Blood with the addition of a stand alone vocalist and with the volume cranked up to a little beyond magnificently loud! Next I caught just a brief part of Weybridge rockers You Me At Six’s set on the Main Stage West. I saw storming run through’s of 2011’s “Bite My Tongue” and “What’s It Like” from their seventh album ‘Suckapunch’. Next a short hop to the Pit Stage for Dead Poet Society, who are a very tight band who seemed perfectly rehearsed. They gave us soulful, raw, passionate, grungy, metal rock music. They were one of the minority of non British bands playing at the festival, I think they are from California.

The Hara
You Me At Six

Next it was back to one of my favourite festival places, the BBC Introducing Stage for Police Car Collective. This band, for me, are completely original and trying to find influences was difficult if not impossible. The singer is obscenely talented as a vocalist and is a true crowd pleaser and showman in the Freddie Mercury mould. His guitar solo on the last song was truly epic in a Mick Ronson kind of way. Just after their set I posted the following statement “OK I know it’s a cliché, but I have seen the future of rock ‘n’ roll. It is called Police Car Collective at Leeds Festival earlier today”. On reflection I stand by that! Did you see them? Perhaps the best band name of the weekend was I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, who I saw on the Main Stage West. They play really funky pop rock and use some great voice sound samples throughout their classy tunes. I sense a little Arctic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend influence here. “Nobody Likes The Opening Band” is a great song in my opinion, possibly built for a festival like this too. This is another US band, from Utah. Finally, the drummer is definitely a Martin Freeman lookalike. Another contender for best band name were next, on Main Stage East, Beabadoobe, who were flying the flag for great female fronted bands. Whilst I loved their more upbeat tunes I thought “Coffee” was a beautiful, whimsical chill out moment. I love this band.

Police Car Collective
I Don’t Know How But They Found Me
Beabadoobe

Back to Main Stage West for some Becky Hill and she drew a huge crowd. This pop songstress is clearly gifted with a wonderful voice and she works the crowd really well. A very good performance but perhaps a little too pop for me, but to each their own, right? Bob Vylan were next on the Pit Stage and what a staggeringly great set. Probably the most political act of the weekend with statements like “Kill the Queen, well she killed Diana right?” This was an awesome performance from a band that has a tight grip on the beating heart of punk. Slowthai performed on Main Stage West and while I am a fan I thought his set was a little flat, had he perhaps over indulged the previous day? His outfit was a little different thought. Great T Shirt, black shorts, black socks and shiny black shoes. For a moment I thought perhaps his Mum had sent him out to break in some of his new school clothes! My first and only trip to the Alternative Stage this weekend was to see my favourite comedian, Katherine Ryan. As usual she covered some wide ranging and perhaps controversial subjects with superb skill and timing. Misogyny, breast feeding, Matt Hancock, Karens and much more. She cracks me up every time.

Becky Hill
Bob Vylan
Slowthai

The Wombats took to the Main Stage West next. To be honest I had never taken much notice of the Wombats, but this was a really good set. They have a great canon of songs. “Pink Lemonade” and “Let’s Dance To Joy Division” were highlights for me. But neither as wonderful as “Lemon To A Knife Fight” for which ardent fans brought their own lemons! I love it! Back to the BBC Introducing Stage for one of York’s finest bands who I have watched grow from small beginnings to signing to EMI and releasing their first album, ‘Discover Effortless Living’ earlier this year. They showcased that record well in this beautiful, but all too brief set. The whole band were on top form, the playing was immaculate and the ethereal and heavenly Byrdsian harmonies were simply gorgeous. Calva Louise have developed into a really ace band and their songs are powered by huge riffs and a rhythm that might have formed in the foothills of Mordor. A real show from a great band who were joined on stage by Blakeeleven for “Ephemeral”. The final band of the day and the weekend for me was Waterparks on the Pit Stage. They hail from Houston in Texas and released their fourth studio album earlier this year. They definitely come across as a band who enjoy themselves on stage. There is a pop punk element to their songs but also a wider ranging rock sound. I was bouncing throughout their whole set, despite have been here three days and my advanced years. As well as some great tunes they have some great song titles too. Notably “You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You)” and “I Miss Having Sex But at Least I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore”. Check them out, I think you’ll love them. So after the mess that Covid made of the world we are finally crawling back to some kind of normal at last. It was great to be back at a festival and to close I would like to say a big thank you to all the unsung heroes of festivals; road crew, sound and light folks, security, marshals, first aiders, food and drink vendors, cleaners and anyone else I missed. THANK YOU!

Wombats
Bull
Calva Louise

All the pictures were taken using my cheap Chinese phone camera. The videos were found on YouTube. If it is yours and you would like me to take it down or give you a credit please let me know. Yes I do know the clip is from Reading, but there is not much film footage of Leeds online 🙂

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Latitude Festival 2016 Day 1 Friday 15th July July 24, 2016


latitude_festival_2016_-_line_up_poster

So after my first night sleeping under canvas in forty years how did I feel? Pretty bloody good actually, but to be fair Catwoman and I do have a six man tent for just the two of us. On to day one of the Latitude Festival. First activity was a group breakfast with the whole crew and at the risk of sounding like a Trumpton role call that is; Catwoman, Andy, Rachel, Rachel, Sarah, Jo, Claire, Barbara, Allie and Mac. We all then walked to the main festival site for a group coffee and to my delight I found somewhere that could supply a really decent Dirty Chai (for the uninitiated that is a Chai Latte with a shot or two of Espresso). Until now I hadn’t perhaps realised the massive breadth of this festival. Everything from music to dance to theatre to cabaret to comedy to poetry to literature and more!

My first visit was to the Literature tent for a preview of an upcoming V & A exhibition; ‘You Say You Want A Revolution: Records and Rebels 1966-1970’. I am so looking forward to this exhibition which starts in September and runs through to February next year. Next came our first visit to the Cabaret tent for an act recommended by one of our gang, Rachel Vernelle. It was an all female comedy sketch act featuring three clearly very talented women. They are called Massive Dad (actually that would be a good name for a band wouldn’t it?) and I particularly enjoyed the sketch that very cleverly poked fun at the TV advertising industry. A few of us then rushed across to the comedy tent to see the highly rated Nick Helm. Quite who rates him this highly seems debatable to me. Personally I thought he was bloody awful. Listen Nick if you are going to litter your act with c-bombs and f-bombs then make it a little more smart and clever than you did. Even with our pathetic puerile schoolboy humour I believe that myself and my school friends back in the 70s were way more funny than you seem to be in 2016.

Next was my first visit to what was to become one of my favourite stages of the festival, the Sunrise Arena. I dragged Catwoman along with me to see the rather wonderfully named band Let’s Eat Grandma. I had never heard them before but in my opinion their name called out loudly that I should see them. I wasn’t disappointed either they have some great pop tunes wonderfully woven with electronica and orchestral sounds. An excellent festival band. One act that I had been particularly looking forward to was Canadian comedienne Katherine Ryan. I first got into her quite recently when she wrote a regular column for the NME. She did not disappoint. Her stories covered dead pets, Boris, Cheryl Cole a.k.a the nation’s sweetheart, circumcision, kids and the fourth best ass-hole. She was bloody brilliant with plenty of laugh out loud moments. Nick Helm watch and learn!

Next I was put into a proper mellow mood in the Alcove by the marvellous HANA. The hit you with gorgeous, chilled and soulful electronic music. Hana is effectively Montana native Hana Pestle. She is a gifted singer (and I mean oh boy can this girl sing!), songwriter and producer. She could already count Lorde as a fan and now she can count me as a fan too. I stayed in the Alcove to catch most of a set from another very talented songstress, Frances. I last saw her during Live In Leeds last year. She was good then and she is even better now. Her album which is due soon will, I am sure, be truly amazing. Halfway through day one before my first visit to the main stage a.k.a. the Obelisk Arena. I had wanted to see Aussie Courtney Barnett for some time having listened to her regularly on-line and having purchased a Record Store day vinyl release by her earlier this year. She fronts a really powerful trio who put immense muscle into the songs that support her lyrics which seem largely drawn from her life experiences. Courtney rocks big time!

bill and brix

Then I found myself in the Film and Music tent where I caught a few Irish short film comedies. One of them featuring the aforementioned Katherine Ryan. Some excellent stuff. I had gone to this tent to see Adam Buxton‘s BUG special on David Bowie. Being a big Bowie fan myself I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. In fact I missed Father John Misty to see it. Adam provided a heartfelt and at times hilarious memorial to the sadly missed Dame. Adam, like me and millions of others, is clearly a big Bowie fan. The silent video of the awful Bowie Jagger Live Aid collaboration was priceless. After this I found myself back in the Literature tent with Catwoman for a talk, interview and book signing by Brix Smith off of the Fall and Adult Net among others. She has recently had her memoir published. What a fantastically honest, self-deprecating and amusing woman she is. Obviously I bought the book, had it signed by Brix and posed for the obligatory photo with her! After Brix it was the turn of comedienne Shappi Korshandi who was launching her first novel ‘Nina Is Not OK’. Shappi is a very amusing, very intelligent and very smart woman. I like her a lot. I didn’t buy the book this time, but Barbara Jennings did. After this it was back to our corralled tents for cheese and wine. That’s not too middle class is it? Anyway what surprised me most about day one was how little music I took in. There was simply so many other things to do.

 

 
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