Leeds Festival Previewed

Following our coverage of Kendal Calling, qmunicate will be checking out something on a much grander scale in our final festival coverage of the year. After a grassroots review of Kendal Calling, we’re shortly heading off to report on the mighty… Leeds Festival!

Growing out of the popularity of its pre-existing Reading counterpart, Leeds Festival has been a leader in the summer circuit for almost fifteen years. As shown in the past few years, the duo look to host a collection of widely disparate acts across the weekend. Despite Reading formerly being a haven for heavy metal and rock, the dual site’s focus nowadays is on catering to as many scenes as possible.

In the first of a two part preview, we’re going to be looking at the top artists making their way to Bramham Park this August.

2014’s headliners oscillate between rock, pop, dance and underground with each day’s stage making sure everyone’s night is ended in style.

Setting the standard for Blink-182, Macklemore’s take on cheeky dance-infused hip hop will lead off the upper half of the Main Stage. Following this, comeback kids Blink, known for their college dorm stage banter and infectious pop-punk mayhem, are set to bring the night to a puerile close that’ll charm everyone willing to embrace their inner fifteen year old.

For the more chart oriented crowd, the NME Stage hosts The 1975 and Disclosure, who will both usher in a night of joyous dance-pop, with an array of guest vocalists sure to appear and surprise. If this doesn’t satisfy, head to the BBC Radio One Dance Stage for Klaxon’s nu rave colour collage, and some trip-hop influenced garage beats courtesy of Flume.

After Friday’s (fairly) light tone, the Main Stage on the Saturday looks to present a more hard rocking selection.

Pre-headliners Queens of the Stone will be out to rupture eardrums in powerful style with their five-piece assault of self-described robot rock.  Lead by emo poster girl Hayley Williams, Paramore will look to impress with one less guitar, but undoubtedly double the angst in their post punk catharsis.

If this doesn’t suit, the NME stage plays host to synth-pop stalwarts Metronomy and indie rockers, The Courteeners. Metronomy, who’ll be showcasing their new album Love Letters, another slice of new wave inspired electro pop will ensure that the closing stages of the NME stage take a more indie tone. Local boys, The Courteeners and their Manc ingrained rock will be looking to give the NME stage the swaggering send off it deserves.

Alternatively, crowd pleaser Annie Mac’s electro dance DJ pedigree precedes Netsky on the Dance Stage. Following a hit laden playlist, stick around for Netsky, whose dense drum’n’bass will give the seasoned clubbers the perfect way to kick-start the long night ahead.

After a hectic two days of genre blurring acts, keep some energy for the magnetic performances of the weekend’s closers. Youthful sensation Jake Bugg’s busker-esque tales of city life and frank eye for lyrical detail are sure to prepare your sing-along abilities for the Main Stage’s final weekend billtopper. Modern rock legends, The Arctic Monkeys, will be the cause of many a sore throat with their huge array of hits and tunes, finishing an epic weekend at Bramham Park.

If neither of those takes your fancy, head to the NME stage for Bombay Bicycle Club and Nero. One of the few bands that have rightly moved to greater heights after the indie explosion, Bicycle Club’s folk and world music infused sound is ideal for all those looking for a slightly more chilled out close to their weekend.

Nero, however, will definitely hit harder, and coming from the popular dubstep electro scene, this is one for those who have kept up with their caffeine intake over the past few days….

If neither stage is enough of a send off, why not go once more round the block at the Dance Stage? Andy C’s triple turntable mixing skills in the drum’n’bass scene will be great for the budding DJs and club fanatics alike. Likewise, Pendulum’s rock infused DJ set will make sure you receive another coat of grime and tinnitus to your broken shell.

See; told you it was looking to be a blinder!

[Dominic MacInnes]

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