Kelly Murray rounds up day one of a sunny Leeds Festival, enjoying sets from The Gaslight Anthem, The Futureheads, Dizzee Rascal, The Libertines and loads more.
Date published: 2nd Sep 2010
When: 27th August 2010
Reviewed by: Kelly Murray
With the sunshine firmly on our side, one of the best weekends in the musical calender begins. Unlike the Reading site, Leeds Festival, for once, isn't covered in mud and fancy wellies. But rather, shades, sun cream and undeniable summer vibes.
Easing us into the weekend with soothing blues rock are New Jersey's The Gaslight Anthem. With his raspy yet irresistibly smooth vocals, singer and charmer Brian Fallon talks to the crowd like they're old friends. Ripping through 'Boxer', 'Old White Lincoln' and 'American Slang', they create the perfect festival atmosphere. Then we bump into The Futureheads front man Barry Hyde, who is on the hunt for cold beer before their performance at the main stage. He tells us that he's planning to get some very detailed geometric-style tattoos. At their gig meanwhile, post punkers The Futureheads get some epic crowd participation for their cover of the Kate Bush classic 'Hounds Of Love', turning it into one of the best mass efforts of all weekend.
I Blame Coco, Darwin Deez and Random Hand all put in their best efforts for some blinding sets, then The Cribs follow with now-official member and Smiths legend Johnny Marr packing in some riffs. The Wakefield lads draw hoards of supporters for their performance and play one of the most energetic sets of the day.
Dizzee Rascal has no qualms about entertaining at a rock n' roll festival; the London rapper covers Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' as if it was always meant to be sang in his accent. Bringing UK garage to the mainstream charts is nothing new for Dizzee these days, but he's certainly able to show just how far he's come with crowd reactions like this:
The Libertines begin their all-important reunion gig, which is obviously met with ear-crushing screams from fans. Starting with 'Horrorshow', the likely lads delve into the hits, yet just a couple of songs in, and the gig has to stop for a few minutes due to concerns over crowd safety. Luckily, all is resumed quickly and tabloid duo Pete Doherty and Carl Barat return to the stage asking fans to look out for each other. They close their much-anticipated set with 'I Get Along'.
The Arcade Fire bring day one to a close with some truly ambient sounds and backdrop lighting worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. The Canadian folk-rock troupe embrace the task ahead with clear confidence. Being able to hold the attention of tens of thousands of people is no mean feat, but with an unrivalled body count in the audience, this band know how to please big numbers with a magical touch.
After a brilliant start to a three day audio onslaught, Leeds fest 2010 is sounding better than ever...