Interview With Leeds Festival
IS THIS THE WAY THEY SAY THE FUTURE’S MEANT TO FEEL?
Leeds is all about friends: old friends, new friends, leathered friends, digital friends, weird friends, finger-gnawingly intriguing friends, beardy friends, overly-friendly friends, Australian friends, enigmatic friends, absent friends, ex-friends and furiously fiendish friends. If you add some mud, music and madness, plus a festival site in close proximity to the Yorkshire slums in which we dwell, then you have an almost flawless recipe for good time cake.
Highlights of the quag-infused weekend included Middleman splitting up, a half-baked (arf) gnocchi joke finally being finished (it has been stalling in my head for several years), and a million drinks catalysing a trillion ill-advised dance ‘moves’. Musically, Bedouin Soundclash smashed it, Little Roy stormed through his Nirvana repertoire (Jahvana anyone?) with the refined aplomb of a hipster Haile Selassie, Benjamin Francis Leftwich silenced a packed-out (he seems to only have fans with beautiful eyes – like sexy midget gems or diamond-sharpened, acid-laced Haribo) tent with his whispered genius, Digitalism took us on an adventure through a computer circuit board and 2manyDJS played a set more suited for the Balearics (and forever left us hanging by only dropping the intro to Blue Monday). Smith Westerns sounded good but looked suspiciously young, and most of Saturday’s Main Stage sounded bad and looked old. From my fragmented memory this only leaves The Strokes – who seemed uninterested yet still belted out most of the only LP they ever did which was any good – and Pulp who played an epic, festival-closing, life-affirming show littered with classics and iced over with Mr Cocker’s unrelenting charisma. As Common People played out I cried tears of joy into my scraggy, rum-soaked beard for the second time this year. I sense I wasn’t the only one. Now is clearly the summer of our mass content.
Thanks to Elly Oracle, Jamie Boynton, Kate Wellham, Morgan Lewis and Nick Rowan for sharing their snaps with us here, as well as partying like Trojans, finishing our half-baked jokes and forever redefining aceness.
Gargantuan thanks also to Tilly Kneale at Charmfactory for sorting me out with my ticket, without which this fuzzy feeling of mild elation, erratic behaviour and overwhelming happiness would not be possible.