Radiohead cap day two of Leeds Festival

Lost Prophets debut new tracks and more


Photographer:Shirlaine Forrest

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Mat Hocking, Ruth Booth, Ali Ryland, Dannii Leivers | 30 August 2009

While some fans would be content to watch Thom Yorke wiping his behind on stage for 2 hours, most fans eagerly anticipated their alternative hits.

However, Radiohead dropped depressed indie kid classics like 'Karma Police' in favour of showcasing 'In Rainbows' and more obscure material to the awe-inspired masses.

While 'Idioteque' is particularly brilliant, Thom's eerie stage presence illuminated against the backdrop of a stunning light show on the main stage, the guitar-based 'Just' merely sounded fake after this.

However, what they lost through instrumental brilliance, they made up for in soul-pouring depth. While this wasn't the greatest hits some may have expected, they couldn't have done it better.

Meanwhile on the NME stage, despite being up against one of the most revered bands of modern times, Welsh rockers Lost Prophets left the artistic intelligence to Radiohead, with a crowd pleasing set packed with the hits.

Huge choruses followed even bigger sing-alongs as they kicked off with ‘Everyday Combat’, ‘Can’t Catch Tomorrow’ and ‘A Town Called Hypocrisy’ from most recent album ‘Liberation Transmission’.

Singer Ian Watkins, sporting a new slicked-back hairdo, and co treated fans to two new songs - single 'It's Not The End Of The World (But I Can See It From Here)' and a second track which corroborated their claims that their next album will be a return to their heavier, more metal roots.

While older material like ‘Last Train Home’ and ‘Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja’ opened huge pits and ‘Burn Burn’ brought proceedings to a riotous close.

However, the same double victory can't be said for those up earlier. Yes, Bloc Party were back again in their comfortable penultimate main stage band slot, not one they were willing to give up without a fight, old favourites 'Mercury' and 'Flux' as exciting as the live debut of 'One More Chance'. But after two years in the same slot, it's time for some fresh blood on the Main Stage.

Instead, the blood was clearly at the NME stage for a pit-hungry Gallows. “We spent ten weeks in America playing with terrible bands and talentless fucking shitheads,” announces vocalist Frank Carter before blasting the tent apart with the most face-melting set of the day. “It feels good to be back home.”

Despite the smaller crowd, during ‘Abandon Ship’ the front-man orders a circle pit big enough to go round the sound stage, while in the middle of ‘In the Belly of a Shark’, a wall of death rocks the tent to its very foundations. Punters watching could only pity those dancing to ‘Flux’ for missing a set from a true punk band with a true rock heart.

More deja vu earlier in the day - last year's teatime slot on the Main Stage was taken by Taking Back Sunday; this year Brand New. The difference? The latter have managed to be even more dismal, outdoing their brothers in pop rock only on the depressing front.

Flat and unenthusiastic, their emo moans put their punk roots to shame; while the emo kids lap it up, it's nothing new. More brightly dressed than the most outrageous scene kid, Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs bounces around in tassles to a vague crowd. The compere describes them as the coolest band in the world, and while they may have the credibility, it's true that their one famous song 'Gold Lions' is the main attraction.

Crowd pleasers Vampire Weekend closed off the first part of the evening, the boys belting out wacky, hip-shaking indie dance tunes like nobody's business.

Passion Pit
impressed on the NME stage with their cosmic dream-pop, and despite Michael Angelakos' devisive vocals, the sheer infectiousness of ‘Sleepyhead’ and the twinkling ‘I Got Your Number’ more than prove there’s musical muscles flexing underneath the hazy joy - a true gem of the day.

Crystal Castles vocalist and all-round nutcase Alice Glass might look like she’s in the company of some kind of dirty disease and you certainly wouldn’t let her touch your children, but she truly is one of the day’s most bewitching performers.

Twitching and thrashing like the undead from 28 Days Later atop the security barriers, she managed to bemuse, intoxicate and repulse the crowd before taking copious gulps of straight liquor and collapsing face down on stage. And all this while fragmented shards and stabs of electro bled out of the speakers.

Despite going head to head with one of the biggest draws of the day, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Gaslight Anthem manage to draw a large crowd spilling out of the tent. There may be no Bruce Springsteen here to lend his pipes, but no matter. Set closer ‘The Backseat’ suggests that this bluesy rock’ n’ roll band and their tales of Hicksville America are on the verge of great things.

One of the most anticipated sets of the weekend saw the Dance stage swelling with bodies for West London’s Lady Sovereign. Despite slipping off the stage on her arrival, she soon entranced the crowd spitting out playful, yet barbed, rhymes with effortless cool.

Drum n bass heroes Chase and Status had the stage rattling to a DJ set that mixed breakbeat with grinding electro shifts before Mstrkrft saw Death From Above 1979’s Jesse F Keeler’s indulging in his electro tendencies, dishing out a marvellous selection of beats to an eager, energetic crowd.

French electronic visionary Pascal Arbez took the DJ spot next under his Vitalic guise, channelling sublime club-friendly grooves as the night draw in. But the evening belonged to self-proclaimed ‘techno geek’ Deadmau5, sadly without his trademark ‘Mau5head’.

With a set that skit frequently from techno to trance to electro, his chameleon like tendencies gave the tent once last work-out that solidified his place at the top of the tree.


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