The Wytches and The Story So Far launch Leeds Festival 2014

The three day festival at Bramham Park is now underway

Leeds Festival 2014 is in full swing, with The Wytches and The Story So Far among the acts putting in early sets.

The Wytches opened the NME/BBC Radio 1 Tent at Leeds Festival with an intense half-hour set of grunge-rock revivalism.

Screaming through a curtain of hair, singer Kristian Bell led the Brighton three-piece The Wytches through the more hardcore chunks of their debut album ‘Annabel Dream Reader’, recorded at east London’s analogue-only Toe Rag Studios with co-producer Bill Ryder-Jones of The Coral. They opened with a slew of tracks including ‘Digsaw’ and ‘Gravedweller’ – their first, free, digital single on Heavenly Records in February – before launching into fan favourite ‘Wire Frame Mattress’, culminating in a frenzied surf guitar thrash.


The pace slowed for the Arabian-style noise ballad ‘Wide At Midnight’, building to a violent, bawling finale, at which point Kristian announced: “We can only play one more song, it’s called ‘Crying Clown'”. The tune found Kristian singing a melody dedicated to “a graveyard girl swinging her bag like a pendulum” and climaxed in a burst of QOTSA-style riffs.

US pop-punk band The Story So Far opened the Main Stage with an energetic midday set. Frontman Parker Cannon seemed wowed by the size of the stage, telling the crowd: “This is the most giant thing we’ve been on”. Appealing to the locals, he said they’re used to playing venues the size of Leeds stalwart The Cockpit.

Wearing a red baseball hat with ‘USA’ on the front, Cannon led his band through songs from 2011 debut album ‘Under Soil And Dirt’ and last year’s ‘What You Don’t See’, including set opener ‘Quicksand’ and ‘Things I Can’t Change’.

“We almost didn’t make this show but we’re very glad we did,” Cannon added, before advising fans to drink carefully: “Day drinking takes a lot out of you.” The half-hour set ended with well-received renditions of ‘The Glass’ and ‘High Regard.’

Twin Shadow (aka George Lewis Jr) took to the NME/ BBC Radio One stage at 12.45pm slot and opened with ‘5 Seconds’. The singer and his three-piece band continued to play a set heavy on new material from his as yet untitled, forthcoming third album which he reported would be “coming out soon”. Despite Lewis Jr stating that “they put such a huge barrier between us” in reference to the gap between stage and audience, he still drew a reasonably sized, attentive crowd. Older track ‘Castles In The Snow’ and a closing ‘Slow’ also received an outing.