Bastille deliver a stunning Donald Trump and Theresa May-bashing set at Leeds 2017

"Most of the people on this stage went to university in Leeds"

Bastille stormed Leeds Festival tonight (26 August), paying tribute to the city where they went to university – as well as insulting President Donald Trump.

It was a semi-homecoming for the London band. “Most of the people on this stage went to university in Leeds,” beamed frontman Dan Smith,  who once  studied English there.  “We fucking love this place so much.”

Warming up for headliners Kasabian  on the Main Stage, the group opened with ‘Send Them Off!’, taken from second album, 2016’s ‘Wild World’, before  tearing through ‘Laura Palmer’, from their 2013 debut ‘Bad Blood’. During ‘Flaws’, Smith descended into the photography pit, hands outstretched as he prowled the barrier, high-fiving and shaking hands with the front rows.

Introducing ‘The Currents’, he took the opportunity to bash Donald Trump  – as he had the night prior in Reading. “This song is dedicated to a giant American orange baby child,” he snarked, before adding, “Actually that’s an insult to children and babies.”

Bastille Donald Trump

Bastille dedicated ‘The Currrents’ to Donald Trump at Leeds

It was stage patter that reflects their politically-charged show. While they blitzed  through ‘Fake It’, footage of a menacing, demented Theresa May look-a-like holding up a manifesto entitled ‘Strong and Stable’ appeared on a screen behind them.

Before ‘Of The Night’, their party-starting mash-up of Corona’s ‘The Rhythm Of The Night’ and ‘Rhythm Is A Dancer’ by Snap!, Smith – as has become customary at Bastille’s gigs – mocked his own shape-throwing with endearing self-deprivation.

“I’m really absolutely, completely terrible at dancing,” he said. “It’s very embarrassing. Basically, I’m going to ask you guys to help me out.”

He continued: “At one point, I’m going to shout ‘everybody get down’ and that’s your cue, if you’re feeling nice and kind, and charitable and if you physically can, to get down with me and hopefully we’ll all jump up and down together and it’ll look amazing and I will look a little less stupid for about two minutes.” Bramham Park duly obliged, as the up-for-it  crowd leapt up on command like whack-a-moles.

The band – and this week’s NME cover stars – closed their set with rousing renditions of ‘Things We Lost In the Fire’ and ‘Pompeii’.

Bastille setlist was:

Send Them Off!
Laura Palmer
The Currents
Good Grief
Bad Blood
Of The Night
Fake It
Things We Lost In The Fire

Check back at NME for the latest news, reviews and more from Reading & Leeds 2017