First night of music cut short early as torrential rain hits Leeds Festival

Dutch Uncles' Thursday night set is cancelled as bad weather hits site

The first night of music at Leeds Festival was brought to a premature halt last night (August 22) when torrential rain meant that Dutch Uncles could not perform on the Dance To The Radio stage.

Unique to Leeds, a host of local bands take to the stage each year to perform for an enthusiastic audience of early arrivers. Sheffield band The Crookes performed after fellow Yorkshire outfits Menace Beach and Black Moth on the outdoor stage. Thanking fans for their enthusiastic participation, frontman George Waite challenged the 200 or so fans watching to form a circle pit and clap in time to ‘Backstreet Lovers’ while the band also illicited the first “Yorkshire” chant of the weekend.

Leeds band Hookworms followed afterwards. The gig marked frontman MJ’s second appearance of the night, having also played guitar in Menace Beach. The band ran through a number of tracks from their debut album ‘Pearl Mystic’, released earlier this year, including ‘Away/ Towards’ and ‘Form and Function’.

However, the rain began to pour in the middle of Hookworms’ set, leaving most of the audience to make their way back to the campsite. Dutch Uncles, due to headline the stage were forced to cancel their set when the weather conditions became too extreme. Tweeting about the decision, the band wrote: “Words can not describe how gutted we are to have been cancelled tonight @OfficialRandL. Except the word ‘gutted’ of course…”

Speaking to NME afterwards, Dutch Uncles’ guitarist Daniel Spedding said: “It was just swampy and rain was relentless. No one got shocked or anything. But, I assume, had we gone on, it would only have got worse and the water would have got into the desk, the cables and the generator.”

The first official day of Leeds Festival starts today (Friday, August 23) with Biffy Clyro, Nine Inch Nails, Editors, Phoenix, Azealia Banks, Disclosure, Haim, Tribes, Knife Party, Spector, Merchandise, Wretch 32, Angel Haze and ‘Harlem Shake’ star Baauer.

See NME.COM/festivals/reading-and-leeds, and for more information about this summer’s events.

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