Funeral For A Friend reminisce at Leeds

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

Welsh boys Funeral for a Friend were in the mood to reminisce as they rolled out classics such as 'Streetcar' and the brutal 'Art Of American Football' for the faithful at Leeds.

Not that they didn't take the opportunity to showcase new tune 'No Honour Among Thieves', powerful pintsize trucker, frontman Matt Davies-Kreye was belting out its punk defiance lyrics over a sound that harked back to their early hardcore leanings.

"Why isn't anyone crowd surfing with these blow up dolls?"
cried New Found Glory frontman Jordan Pundik, and duly the crowd obey, crowd surfers aplenty cruising to 'Hit and Miss' while the veterans do what they do best - bang out perfect pop punk that others can only imitate. If ever you wanted evidence of the logo on Pundik's shirt - "pop punk's not dead" - this is it.

It was a set that crowned a stunning afternoon over on the Main stage. Sonic Boom Six's sweet ska was a little early for some, but you can't fault their effervescent stage show.

Pity poor Madina Lake whose tiny stage sign looks a little lost on the main stage. However, it's a triumphant set for those closest the front, as their poppy metal sees Nathan Leone unable to resist the lure of fans on the barrier.

added the "proper" hardcore crowd to the already crowded moshpit. The crowd hang on to every last note of 'Young Cardinals' that pours from Dallas Green's mouth, the perfect mix of hardcore brutality and poppy melody for a Sunday afternoon

On the NME stage, a surprising number turned out to go wild for openers Dananananakroyd, their erratic screaming fight pop, and a big wall of cuddles.

The Airborne Toxic Event
are a much more mellow prospect, keeping things ticking over with their roadtrip americana. Little Boots grabs an attentive audience as she prances about, shaking her tambourine to 'Small Town'. But more of them seem to be there for the dimensions of her space age dress than anything else.

Opening the Lockup, local lads The Plight had the difficult job of starting the first mosh, impressing with their pummelling riffs - though not enough to get the sleepy punters moving.

No such option for The Ghost Of A Thousand, frontman Tom Lacey in vicious mood for their frenzied set. "I don't give a shit if you're tired, I don't give a shit if you don't know who we are. Open those pits!" And the audience duly perform a 'Wall Of Hugs' at his command. Aww.

Despite being up against New Found Glory on the main stage, the Riverboat Gamblers aren't phased by their small but enthusiastic audience; diving off the speakers and catapaulting themselves across the stage.

Not such high hopes for Streetlight Manifesto, who open with the words "are you ready for an average festival experience?" Thankfully it's false modesty - the crowd could skank til they skank no more to the brass wonders - even organising their own ska punk wall of death.

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