Gaslight Anthem / The Maccabees / Coasts / We AreThe Ocean /
Years and Years / Little Comets / The Libertines
Gaslight Anthem ( 10 )
Gaslight Anthem has made no secret that after Reading and Leeds festival that they will be going on an indefinite hiatus. The New Jersey rockers told fans, “We’re all going to do other projects and stay active in some way or another, both in and out of music, but we’d like to step away from the band until we decide what we’d like to do next.”
So what other way than to go out with a bang. High octane with a raw passion and vintage rock n roll feel the set was the perfect end and the perfect beginning to the next step in the band’s career. ‘Helter Skelter’ is soaring and electric ringing out over the main stage crowd. Closing out with ‘Backseat’ it is an emotional, epic and fitting finale. The perfect set and perfect goodbye. So long Gaslight…for now.
The Maccabees ( 8 )
The Maccabees take to the main stage mid-afternoon and the fervent crowd couldn’t be happier. It is no mean feat having to step up to the stage ahead of the likes of Jamie T and Kendrick Lamar but their blend of pop and quirky indie beats wins the crowd over in no time. With a new album in fans minds they play hits both old and new. ‘Marks To Prove it’, the album’s title track is building and lead singer Orlando Weeks is right at home their on the huge stage. Effortless in nature The Maccabees put on an impressive performance. Older classics such as ‘No Kind Words’ are still infectious and the crowd sings every word back. Worthy of their spot on the main stage they have quite easily wooed the festival goers at Leeds.
Coasts ( 8.5 )
Coasts may be a new name on the scene, but they’re a name you should get on your radar pretty swiftly. Having just been added to the Radio 1 playlist and with an album on the near horizon (Sept 25th for your diaries) they are definitely one of the best new acts we check out today. The sun is shining, the beers are flowing and their tropical indie sound is the perfect afternoon serenade. Although the Festival Republic tent is only half full, the further along their set goes the more people are lured inside. And the crowd that is present are whole heartedly throwing themselves to the infectious sounds of the Bristol five piece. Highlights include ‘Wallow’ and single ‘Modern Love’. Saving the best until last, Coasts dazzle with huge summer anthem, ‘Oceans’. They are a band to watch out for, so tune in now and they will soon become your new favourite.
We Are The Ocean ( 7 )
Have had a phenomenal 2015 so far and we are back at the Festival Republic stage to check out their set this year. With their ‘Ark’ album newly unleashed they bring a new vigour to the stage. Far gone are their post hardcore days and in their place an impressive rock edge with a vintage and classic feel. They bring to the stage a sense of purpose and their set is filled with confidence and the packed out tent is hanging on every single word. Front man Liam Cromby’s vocals bring a passion and soulful mix to the set; songs such as ‘Young Heart’ and ‘The Road’ show off the bands tight skill. The short and sweet set is the perfect length and amount of energy is raucous within the tent. The newer tracks are stand out; ‘Holy Fire’ captivating and soars over the tent as the sun sets on day 1. 7/10 However the night is still young and on the festival continues…
Years and Years ( 9 )
Years and Years is the band that has been on everyone’s lips after the phenomenal success of their debut album, ‘Communion’. The Radio 1/NME tent is overflowing at the seams and the band have drawn one of the biggest crowds we have seen on the day. Hit after hit every song is bigger and bolder than they next. Infectious by nature the entire album is a showstopper and this is replicated today at the festival. The entire crowd sings along to every song; the atmosphere is electric. Front man Olly Alexander’s vocals are spot on, showing off his dynamic range on tracks such as ‘Gold’ and the emotional ‘Eyes Shut’. ‘King’ may very well be the anthem of the summer and is the song that everyone has been waiting for. It may very well now be the song of the weekend and is the perfect end to the set.
Little Comets ( 10 )
Little Comets are next up on Festival Republic stage and it is safe to say this is fast becoming our favourite stage of the day. The Geordie three piece is support to headliner Frank Turner, however the tent is swelling in both anticipation and capacity and by the time the Northern quirky indie pop trio takes to the stage the tent has reached fever pitch. With a new drummer and keyboardist on board their harmonies are more echoic than ever. With a new album fresh in everyone’s ears they kick off with ‘The Gift of Sound’ and the rest of the set manages to reach the perfect balance of old and new, both only encouraging the tent to jump in unison. The rhythmic ‘Joanna’ set alongside the newer and up-beat ‘A Little Opus’. The trio take it down a notch with the moving and uplifting ‘The Blur, The Line and The Thickest of Onions’. And it wouldn’t be a Little Comets set without the finale of ‘Dancing Song’. “This one’s for dancing” sings front-man Rob Coles and the crowd needs little encouragement and the usual chaos ensues. 10/10 and well deserved; best we have ever heard them sound.
The Libertines ( 6 )
The Libertines are an iconic band and reflect the feelings of a generation; now that generation has gathered here once again in Leeds festival and descended on the main stage to watch the four-piece who are back once again and taking a headline slot. The bond between the two frontmen, Carl Barat and Pete Doherty is as strong as ever and the pair have an undeniable chemistry, one which they are famous for. It’s older tracks that deliver the biggest punch tonight; vintage hits such as ‘What Katie Did’ and ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ pull in fans both old and new. Charming and passionate, it’s hard not want to love The Libertines and they do have flashes of brilliance, but don’t feel like worthy headliners.
For life long fans of the band then tonight was what they had been waiting for us. Unfortunately for the rest of it then it was lacking that headliner quality. A good around show, where the usual and expected Libertines chaos ensues, however the days of Albion may very well have sailed.
Review – Clare Harrison (Est.1987)