Arctic Monkeys and Jake Bugg play Bramham Park on final day of festival
Leeds Festival 2014 is now over, with Arctic Monkeys bringing the event to a close with a celebration of their home county. Read the full headliner report here.
Before them, Bombay Bicycle Club declared the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage “the best tent in the world” during their second-to-top set under Nero. Their set included guest appearances from Rae Morris, who bounced around while singing on ‘Luna’ and Liz Lawrence, who provided vocals on ‘Home By Now’. At one point, singer Jack Steadman shared memories of their history at Leeds festival: “You know, the first time we played here was about seven years ago and we were first on in the Lock Up tent, and I don’t even think the gates were open when we started playing. I just want to say how happy we are to be up here.” The set also included the Bollywood-flavoured ‘Feel’, which featured horn section The Brass Notes, and ‘Carry Me’, which ended the set.
Jake Bugg played a hugely well-attended set on the Main Stage, warming up for Arctic Monkeys with an hour-long performance as the sun went down. Entering clad in a black and orange jacket, Bugg opened with ‘There’s A Beast and We All Feed It’ before thanking the crowd for the first time. Backed by three extra musicians, he continued with ‘Troubled Town’ and a sing-a-long of ‘Seen It All’, with an extended acoustic intro.
‘Me and You’, ‘Storm Passes Away’ and former single ‘Two Fingers’ followed, to huge cheers from the responsive crowd, who were sitting on each others’ shoulders and reacting to the cameras throughout. Removing his jacket, Bugg then played ‘Messed Up Kids’, ‘Ballad of Mr Jones’ – with the stage bathed in red and blue lights – and ‘Simple Pleasures’. Bugg engaged in little stage chat throughout but maintained one of the largest and most attentive crowds of the weekend.
As the set continued, a green flare was set off in the crowd during ‘Slumville Sunrise’. After ‘Broken’, Bugg ended by saying, “Thank you Leeds. I wanna say thank you very much for watching. I hope you’ve all enjoyed your weekend and enjoy the rest of your night as well”. He then finished with early single ‘Lightning Bolt’, with an extended solo in the middle.
“We are a band called Chvrches and this is our second ever time at Leeds Festival,” said Lauren Mayberry as the Glasgow trio arrived on the NME/ BBC Radio 1 stage for their well-honed festival set. Opening with ‘We Sink’, the band then played debut single ‘Lies’ and ‘Tether’ in a set made up of highlights from 2013 album ‘The Bones of What You Believe.’
“The last time we were here it was really wet and there was a tunnel of mud going through the tent,” said Mayberry in reference to the band’s first ever performance at the festival last year. Later in the set, synth player Martin Doherty took over on vocals for ‘Under The Tide’, while the 40 minute show ended with ‘The Mother We Share.’
Imagine Dragons covered Blur and urged fans to get naked during a hugely popular early evening set on the Main Stage. The Las Vegas group arrived on stage at 6pm, with frontman Dan Reynolds rushing straight to fans and singing set opener ‘Fallen’ from the front row. Reynolds later explained that their performance was “bittersweet” because it marks their last festival date promoting debut album ‘Night Visions’. He did add that Leeds Festival is “one of the best in the world.”
Technical difficulties after ‘Hear Me’ led to Reynolds asking, “Is anyone naked?” He then urged people to remove their shirts and swing them above their heads. After getting their equipment working, the band launched into an impromptu cover of Blur’s ‘Song 2’ after Reynolds spotted a mosh pit during ‘Amsterdam’. The band ended with a closing trio of ‘On Top Of The World’, ‘Demons’ and ‘Radioactive’, with Reynolds describing Jake Bugg, the next artist due on the Main Stage, as “one of our favourite artists of all time.”
Glasgow’s Amazing Snakeheads took to the Festival Republic stage 10 minutes after their designated 6.40pm slot, with original singer Dale Barclay now joined by a new bassist and drummer after the departure of the band’s original rhythm section earlier this year. Topless, Barclay descended into the small crowd to high five them during ‘Where Is My Knife’ and played a guitar solo in situ, while ‘Amphetamine Ballads’ track ‘Flatlining’ also saw the singer climb down into the pit. A female singer joined them to take lead vocals on a new track, staying to provide backing vocals for ‘Nighttime’, and they finished shortly after, having played for just over 20 minutes.
LA’s Foster The People drew a large crowd to the Main Stage for their 5.05pm slot, beginning a set of power pop with ‘Helena Beat’, from debut album ‘Torches’, and frontman Mark Foster, dressed in a black leather jacket, squinting into the sun.
After ‘Best Friend”, Foster stopped to acknowledge the crowd: “Ah Leeds, you’re beautiful Leeds,” he said, throwing his head back in apparent bliss as the U2-like intro to ‘Coming Of Age’ rung out. The multi-instrumentalist then took to a keyboard for ‘Houdini’, which had a percussive breakdown in the middle. The propulsive ‘Call It What You Want’ followed, and Foster strode around the stage working the crowd: “Come on Leeds, that was good but I know you’ve got more,” he yelled. Concluding with breakthrough hit ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ and ‘Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls)’, Foster told the crowd: “It’s our third time playing Leeds and it gets better every time.”
Dressed in white, Wolf Alice came on to the Festival Republic stage 10 mins late, opening with recent single ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ from their recent ‘Blush EP ‘. Continuing with ‘Storms’ from the same EP, which saw the first small mosh pit of the set and singer Ellie Rowsell and drummer Joel Amey sharing harmonic duties, they pulled in a crowd that filled the majority of the tent. Amey thanked the crowd for attending as the London four piece continued with slower track ‘Blush’ which was interspersed with a portion of Chris Isaac’s ‘Wicked Game’. Addressing the crowd, bassist Theo Ellis declared that they would be playing a new song, instructing “everyone to run around in a circle – it’s your last day to do it”. Making gestures towards a tight time limit, they launched into a slightly sped up version of ‘Bros’ with the crowd clapping along. Rowsell then told the crowd “we have two minutes left so we’re gonna do a really fast version of ‘Fluffy'” as they tore through the single and Ellis jumped into the audience for a final crowd surf.
The Hives played a typically confident set on the Main Stage, arriving to huge cheers at 4pm. Frontman Pelle Almqvist rallied the audience was in vocal form, describing ‘Walk Idiot, Walk’ as “a classic” and dedicating ‘Two Kinds of Trouble’ to “All speakers of the English language’.”
Later in the set, Almqvist said that, “All this love you’re giving us makes us feel so good. The other thing that makes us feel good is fast punk rock.” He then asked if the fans were ready, when they replied in the affiirmative he joked, “No, you’re Leeds.” The 45 minute set ended with early singles ‘Tick Tick Boom’ and ‘Hate To Say I Told You So.’
Peace took to a sunny Main Stage at 2.55pm with a throbbing baseline and thudding drums, going straight into ‘Lovesick’ from 2013 debut album ‘In Love’. Singer Harry Koisser, wearing a matching, black and white houndstooth top and trousers and a brown, furry coat, introduced the band to the audience before playing recent single ‘Money’. “Has everybody had a fantastic weekend?” asked Koisser during the breakdown of ‘Higher Than The Sun’, which followed. “Me too.” ‘California Daze’ elicited a roar of approval from the crowd, and a large number of fans on friends’ shoulders sang along to every word. ‘Wraith’ and ‘Follow Baby’ continued a fan-pleasing run of ‘In Love’ tracks before another new one. “We’re gonna play, uhh, what are we gonna play,” asked Koisser. “We’re gonna play out next single – it’s called ‘Lost On Me’.” The disco-influenced track saw drummer Dominic Boyce providing falsetto backing vocals.
“This is a song called ‘Float Forever’,” said Koisser after. “It’s a really old song. To be able to play it for you on the Main Stage to you means a lot.” Another recent track, ‘Wild Pleasure’, followed, and included a long, bouncy bass solo from Sam Koisser, who coyly performed with his back to the crowd. It ended with an extended outro reminiscent of early Stone Roses performances. “That was well pleasant, it’s been great to be here – I’m sure we’ll be back some day,” said Koisser, before a closing ‘Bloodshake’.
Royal Blood‘s set was cut short to a chorus of boos from the huge crowd at the NME/ BBC Radio 1 Stage. Arriving five minutes late to the stage, they packed out the tent to capacity and beyond, with a large number of people spilling out the sides. Dressed all in black, the duo opened with ‘Hole’, which the crowd sang back at them, before launching into ‘Come On Over’. Addressing the audience midway through the track to introduce themselves as “Royal Blood from Brighton”, singer Mike Kerr then began the riff to ‘Figure It Out’ as the applause was still ringing out.
Backed by a print of their debut album cover, which is due for release on Monday (August 25), the duo continued with ‘Better Strangers’ before Kerr introduced the “rest of the band” as drummer Ben Thatcher. Going into former single ‘Little Monsters’, the pair had the crowd singing the whole chorus loudly in unison. “I can’t say what it means to see so many fucking people here man, what the fuck?” said Kerr before starting album track ’10 Tonne Skeleton’ and concluding with a heavy ‘Out Of The Black’. During the latter, Thatcher left the kit to go down to the front of the crowd. Returning to the stage, the sounds was cut before the end of the song. Kerr informed fans that “they’ve turned us off,” and the whole crowd booed loudly.
Mø took to the Dance Stage at 1.30pm wearing blue boxing shorts and a flesh-coloured top to play a short but energetic set. Backed by an all-male three-piece band, the Danish singer played a number of singles from her 2014 debut album ‘No Mythologies To Follow’, including ‘Glass’ and ‘Pilgrim’. Mid-way through the set, Mø asked the medium-sized audience, “Are you hungover?” She ended with ‘Don’t Wanna Dance’ and a cover of The Spice Girls’ ‘Say You’ll Be There’.
Gnarwolves opened the Main Stage, and lead singer Thom Weeks admitted that it was “bigger than any [stage] we will ever get to play as a headline band”. The set drew mainly from the Brighton trio’s new album ‘Gnarwolves’, due for release in September, but was briefly interrupted when audience member threw a plastic fish onto the stage. There was more audience participation later on when Weeks invited anyone willing to crowdsurf to join the band on stage. The 30-minute set concluded with the guitarist shouting, “Gnarwolves crew, fuck you!” as he left the stage.