Leeds Festival 2017 – Friday – Muse Masterclass sets the bar high

Leeds Festival 2017 – Friday 25th

Muse / Haim / Liam Gallagher / The Pretty Boys / Slotface / Fickle Friends /
Against The Current / Queens Of The Stone Age / X Ambassadors

Leeds Festival – Main Stage – Photo: Matt Eachus

After a long day of setting up camp,soaking up the sun, and partying in the village with the likes of Pigeon Detectives, everyone is more than prepared for the first official day of Leeds Festival to kick off, and we can’t wait to get stuck in! Thousands rise (with a few hangovers mixed in) to make their way down to the arena for some of the first acts of the festival, including a rumoured huge surprise act on the NME stage…


X Ambassadors – NME Stage – Photo: Danny Peart

X Ambassadors
NME stage

The NME tent executed the perfect opener to Leeds festival with advert-favourite, X Ambassadors. The New Yorkers took to the stage with elegant confidence and the persona of a top class band. Their placing in the line up appears under-rated for their achievements but guaranteed the hungover revelers to arrive in good time to arena not to miss such hits as ‘Renegades’ and ‘Jungle’. Frontman Sam Harris provided a classy performance, waking the crowd up for not only a day of acts to come but a special surprise performance from the one and only Queens of the Stone Age that immediately followed. Keep an eye on this band, their presence and stylish sound suggests they should be battling up their with the likes of Imagine Dragons. (H.O)


Queens Of The Stone Age – NME Stage – Photo: Danny Peart

Queens of the Stone Age (guest act)
NME stage

What a surprise for the people of Leeds, when the legend that is Josh Homme steps onto the NME stage with fellow members of the great Queens of the Stone Age. The crowd instantly realised their luck as they were about to be treated to a special guest performance by the Californian rock stars. With a balanced mix of old and new, they delivered a goose-pippling performance. A taste of new album ‘Villains’ was most exciting to the easy-to-spot diehard fans, but tracks such as ‘Little Sister’ and ‘No One Knows’ really hit the spot. Already a past Leeds and Reading headliner, this was most certainly up there in best guest appearances. (H.O)


Against The Current
Main Stage

Against The Current are more than familiar with a big stage after their arena support tours with the likes of All Time Low, however the towering main stage can easily gobble you up if you’re not at the top of your game. Fortunately we have nothing to worry about with the Poughkeepsie trio looking full of energy, tempting an impressive early crowd with their pop rock bangers. With tracks as strong as ‘Running With The Wild Things’ they have everyone bouncing along. However tracks such as ‘Young and Relentless’ which would be perfect for a festival didn’t make the cut with such a short set. We’d love to see these guys return again soon, but higher up on a smaller stage so we can enjoy them for a little longer! (D.P)


Fickle Friends – NME Stage – Photo: Ben Bentley

Fickle Friends
NME stage

Funnily enough Fickle Friends delivered a very much friendly performance making the audience feel just as much apart of the performance as they were. There was great energy from the Brighton indie poppers, with an unusual resemblance to Katy Perry in sound. Catchy fun tunes for bouncing about in what was now becoming an alcohol invested pit of festival party animals. Lead singer Natassja Shiner worked the crowd well and made the stage her own, keeping the revelers focused solely in their performance. It will be interesting to see where this band goes, as there were some exciting glimpses of brilliance. (H.O)



The Pit/Lock up stage

Looking like a band you’d expect to see at your typical secondary school battle of the bands, Slötface made me, a 25 year-old man, feel old but at the same time like I was back to being a irresponsible teenage mardybum. I say this, the Norwegian punk rockers are in their twenties, but they were so fresh and raw it felt like a sound that had just been born. There was excitement in their music and it caught the hearts of the small but entranced crowd. Norway, if you have ay more of these gems hiding in your beautiful mountains, please let Leeds festival see them. (H.O)


The Pretty Boys (Don Broco)
The Pit/Lock up stage

Introduced by themselves as “Reading & Leeds worst kept secret” it’s not cheers of surprise that greet Don Broco to the stage, but that of appreciation for one of the UK most loved rock bands. Throwing us straight into the furious ‘Pretty’ the moshing begins for an intense half hour workout of some of their best tracks from ‘Automatic’ and their yet to be titled new album. An intense set closes with ‘Thug Workout’ to finish off the Leeds crowd leaving us throwing in our towels in a sweaty mess. Another fantastic ‘surprise’ act to spoil us rotten on the opening day. The perfect statement by the Broco lads ahead of their biggest headliner of their careers at Alexandra Palace later in the year. Make sure you don’t miss it! (D.P)


Liam Gallagher – Main Stage – Photo: Ben Bentley

Liam Gallagher
Main stage

Invite an Oasis legend to the fields of Yorkshire and Northerners will follow. That was exactly the case at the main stage on Friday evening as Liam Gallagher had swarms of festival fans racing to get a live taste of some Oasis hits. Yes, many of the Liam Gallagher fanatics were there for the new stuff but let’s not kid ourselves, most were there for ‘Rock n Roll Star’, ‘Morning Glory’ and other Britpop classics. Sad to say it was a difficult one for Liam as the unfamiliar new material brought the set down a few notches. However, if ever you needed a perfect resurrection to end a set on a high, ‘Wonderwall’ would be the weapon to bring out. Not everyone can say they had practically every single person on that field singing their hearts out to their last song of the night. Classy finish Liam, a nice treat for people of Leeds. (H.O)


HAIM – NME Stage – Photo: Danny Peart

Main stage

If Muse isn’t quite your thing, then HAIM provided a fantastic alternative over on the NME stage with their LA pop-rock. The trio may only have a 50 minute set to impress, but they take it on with ease especially when backed with 2 albums worth of brilliant tracks, some hitting the number 1 spot in the UK, and Brit & Grammy nominations from their debut effort alone. The sisters harmonic vocals kick off set opener ‘Want You Back’ which goes down a treat in the packed NME tent. Frontwoman Danielle Haim leads the line and has the crowd eating out of the palm of her hand throughout ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ as they sing the chorus back deafeningly loud. A particular highlight of the set was ‘The Wire’ which was proof in itself that the trio deserve to be headlining this very stage tonight. A loveable band with a performance full of character, spirit and beautiful melodies to reward those who turned out for a dance and a sing along.


Muse – Main Stage – Photo: Catalina Mogridge

Main stage

Words cannot describe the magnificence of this band. Now at true legend status, these boys know how to perform live and they did not let the Leeds crowd down one single bit. Opening with the awesome new track ‘Dig Down’, Muse had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Then just as we’re slapping our faces to check if we’re dreaming, they blast into crowd favourite ‘Pyscho’ with a visually stunning ‘Drill Sergeant’ interlude of a general addressing the audience. Smashing through a set of hits old and new, the back catalogue of this band gets better every record. Whether it’s the mind-blowing riffs of Supermassive Blackhole to the genius bass lines of ‘Madness’, this trio has it all. Music aside, this set was a proper show. Fireworks, canons of confetti and flares going off left, right and centre, really did have everyone mesmerized. Then to finish with ‘Knights of Cydonia’ to a background of firework displays was the cherry on the cake. The best performance of the day and probably the festival. Did you expect less? (H.O)


Muse – Main Stage – Photo: Sarah Koury


Check back shortly for Saturday & Sunday’s reviews of all the Leeds Festival action!

Review: Harry Owen & Danny Peart

Latest articles

Related articles

1 Comment

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here