It’s all over for another year, Reading and Leeds Festival. If you were there, best of luck with the hangover, and wasn’t it a good one? If you weren’t, we hope you enjoyed watching it from home. You might know about Mumford & Sons’ headline slot or The Libertines’ show-closing chaos, but there was plenty going on behind-the-scenes. Here are the best things we noted this weekend:
Metallica don’t know what day it is
On the black balloons set to be released at the end of Metallica’s set, the date was printed as Leeds Festival 29 August. Alas, Limp Bizkit didn’t make a similar mistake and print the year ‘1999’ on theirs.
You shouldn’t fuck with God Damn
At the climax of Wolverhampton racket-makers God Damn’s pummelling set in Leeds, guitarist/howler Thom Edward pushed over some amps, went to walk offstage and instead returned and smashed up his axe, with the shards piercing his hand. He then smeared the blood over his face. Cue an apoplectic stage manager.
Eoin Loveless is a freakily good dancer
Spotted getting his freak on at the side of the stage during Peace was Eoin from Drenge, who managed to pull off a perfect dance routine as seen in the video to ‘Lost On You’. Other bands supporting each other included Foals and Everything Everything watching Slaves.
Everybody backstage wanted to see Kendrick Lamar
Whether it was Cancer Bats or Refused gargling his praises, everybody backstage wanted to check out hip-hop king Kendrick Lamar – he proved to be the most anticipated artist of the weekend.
If you want to see Boy Better Know, you have to get there early
JME, Skepta, Jammer and Shorty proved one of the biggest draws of the weekend, with people spilling out of the Dance Tent. Fans were scaling the poles to gain a better vantage point. So unless you wanted your view obscured by a Giant Yorkshire Puddings food van, you needed to get down asap.
Who said Leeds has become less hardcore?
After Bastille’s Main Stage performance, one disappointed pop fan was overheard, as Alt-J took to the stage, in crestfallen tones: “Oh, I thought Union J were on”. It’s easy to make jokes about Mumford & Sons who played afterwards being ‘middle-class’ (‘they’d still get bottled off – but the crowd would use vintage reserve Château de Chambord’, etc), but before they headlined, the fajita stand actually ran out of hummus.
Run The Jewels have a vendetta against selfie sticks
Asked by NME for five words to describe a Run The Jewels show, El-P said: “Put. Your. Fucking. Selfie. Sticks. Down”, adding “That. Shit. Is. Getting. Broke.” Bonus thing learned: El-P can’t count.
Spring King’s dad is their secret weapon
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It’s like the Mystery Jets all over again. During a set from Manchester punks Spring King, guitarist Pete Darlington’s dad (hello Steve!) arrives onstage to perform a wailing saxophone solo on ‘My Sleeves.’ Rumours that his gran started the circle pit are unconfirmed.
Bereavement won’t stop Slaves from bringing the party
At Slaves’ Reading set, Isaac Holman also revealed that his bandmate Laurie Vincent’s goldfish Gerald had died that day. They played ‘Live Like An Animal’ in his honour, and the crowd chanted ‘Gerald, Gerald’ accordingly. “He died five years too young,” Vincent noted.
Pete Doherty has the worst fake northern accent since Daphne Moon from Frasier
Pete Doherty opened the Libertines Friday night headline set by affecting a fake Yorkshire accent in an attempt to ingratiate himself with the locals – to the general bafflement of the crowd. He’s taken his drugs counsellor on tour, so perhaps the next step is to bring an acting coach. The band were watched by Wakefield’s The Cribs from the side of the stage; you hope Ryan Jarman opens their next London gig by declaring: “‘Ere’s ‘Men’s Needs’, ‘ave a banana”
You can chant “OHHHHHH KENDRICK LAA-MAAAA-AAAAR!” to the riff from ‘Seven Nation Army’
At least that’s what the crowd at Leeds was doing repetedly throughout the rapper’s triumphant set at Branham Park.
You can chant “Whoomp, there it is” over any beat
At least that’s what the crowd at Reading did repeatedly throughout any EDM DJ’s set. Yes yes, lots of fun, but anyone doing it next gear gets a whoomp in the face, right?
The Cribs crowd made the most effort
During The Cribs’ set, the fancy dress quotient was high – there was a Honey Monster, cowboys with inflatable horses, a Lucha Libre wrestler and a man dressed in an anthropomorphic bunny head. When he was flashed on screen, somebody clad in a Mad Hatter outfit exclaimed: “I’ve been looking for him!”
Django Django are not nu-metal fans
Around the time that others were doing the ‘Rollin’’ dance to Limp Bizkit and enjoying the nu-metal survivors’ party-starting covers of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’, Django Django tweeted: “Someone on at Leeds festival rapping sounds like Bart Simpson.” Ouch. They should have requested a saucer of milk on their rider.
All Time Low don’t give good advice
“There are two ways to deal with a hangover,” said Baltimore pop-punk mites All Time Low onstage on Saturday. “Jumping or having sex in a tent.” Considering many of the crowd were so young that their passport picture is a sonogram, this came across as a tad weird. We’ll stick to Alka-Seltzer.
The answer to ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ is ‘No’
Kanye West collaborator Evian Christ was detained at Leeds when security thought he was trying to break into the VIP area following his set on Friday. The DJ tweeted his anger: “Really though, actually got put in a cage at a festival headlined by Mumford and Sons because the festival staff didn’t believe I was a DJ and thought I was ‘trying to break into the festival’ after my set.”