Following our coverage of Kendal Calling, qmunicate is broadening our horizons in our final festival coverage of the year, heading off to report on the mighty… Leeds Festival!
In the first part of this two-part guide, we gave you an insight into what you can expect from the big names at Leeds. Now in part two qmunicate encourages you to keep your eyes peeled and mind open for the multitude of smaller acts who are sure to impress on a less grand scale. Here are eight bands we recommend you don’t overlook during the course of the weekend!
- Baby Godzilla
Any band that coins their tunes as “extreme general noise” is definitely one to pay attention to. Living up to this standard, Baby Godzilla sound like a hyped up Soundgarden with added doom and speed influences. And the occasional banjo. Sickeningly heavy, but still with enough pop sensibility for the rock layman to actually enjoy, this Nottingham quartet add a comedic, gung-ho and relevant touch to their take of revivalist hard (as fuck) rock.
Post-hardcore outfit Letlive continue the trend of recommending absolute barn stompers. LA’s Letlive. are a riot of flailing limbs, downtuned speed riffage and half sung/half screamed vocals. For fans of Deftones, Slayer and anything that creates mass moshing, expect full audience participation in the wake of the carnage created by frontman Jason Butler. Not for the faint hearted, these guys are one of the best candidates to incite a full-scale riot during the course of the weekend.
- Gogol Bordello
Headlining the Lock Up stage on the Friday, theatrical gypsy punks Gogol Bordello are must see for the sheer avant-garde spectacle of it all. Bandleader Eugene Hutz leaps around the stage, conducting his orchestra of accordions, violins, guitars and custom percussion into a frenzied concoction of tradition Romany music with inflections of anti-folk and acoustic-leaning punk. Expect the unexpected, except surreal sing-alongs and dance moves, which are inevitable.
- The Skints
Hip-hop quartet The Skint’s inner city ensemble reggae will appeal to fans of both The Clash and the Streets. Mixing reggae, dub and punk with an East London twist, bandleaders Joshua Rudge and Marcia Richards’ sharp MC’ing is brilliantly skilful. Bouncy hooks and an organic approach to songwriting help to create a live show with something for everyone. This is a must for people who enjoy a bit of hip-hop mixed with 2 Tone ska.
- Royal Blood
Royal Blood are an up and coming garage rock duo comprised of singing bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, bringing a gothic primal thump to Leeds Festival. The result is a Black Keys and Sabbath imbued heaviness and the drive in their music will appeal to the punk, blues and rock crowd alike
- Pulled Apart by Horses
Local alternative rock band Pulled Apart by Horses look set to play a blinder. Melding a nineties grunge sound with a hint of stoner rock’s spiralling riffage, they’re sure to appeal to fans of the Melvins and Kyuss alike. Musically intense with a taste for offbeat vocal arrangements, they create an interesting dynamic, confusing their audience into having to chose between moshing and dancing. It’s been two years since the critically acclaimed Tough Love, so they are likely to road-test new material here in front of their home crowd, giving you even more of a reason to pop along.
- The Hives
Your new favourite band, The Hives, are well seasoned in providing a festival crowd with some of the best entertainment of the weekend. Their garage punk, hook-driven style seems to have been solely produced to excite audiences, so expect sing alongs, pogoing and a damn good time. Aided by the catchy riffs of Nicholas Arson and Vigilante Karlstromm, the brilliantly exuberant Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist will pose and perform until he keels over, so make sure you amply support his efforts to get the crowd going. With several excellent albums in their catalogue, a hit laden set will abound from the Swedish rockers.
LA alt rock quartet Warpaint’s destitute soundscapes and taste for free experimentation and psychedelia aren’t for everyone, but they are truly wondrous in a live setting. Each member switches vocal and instrumental duties many times, and they carry a great sense of personality to the stage. Still touring off the back of their 2014 self-titled record, they have expanded musically compared to their previous offerings, doing away with traditional songwriting and embracing an improvised approach. Expect much jamming and dreamlike, emotionally charged singing.