REVIEW: Leeds Festival – Braham Park, Leeds (24-26 08/17)

August bank holiday means only one thing – Leeds Festival AKA my favourite weekend of the entire year.

Although I wasn’t as enthusiastic about this year’s line-up, it didn’t stop me heading down to Braham Park early on Thursday morning to set up camp all ready for a messy weekend ahead.
When I arrived, I headed straight to Green camp (which has turned into its own tradition), and by 2pm the tent was erected, the airbed was up and the drinking had started – what was now going to be my home for the next 4 days was finally starting to feel bearable.

We sat drinking and playing card games with our new tent neighbours until the early evening before going to explore around the various DJ sets dotted around the campsites. These first few hours had already set the bar high for the rest of the weekend – and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Leeds Festival 2017 - Rebellious Noise Review

Friday morning was a relaxing one, I started my day off with a cider and lazed around until 5pm. Eventually I made the trek the to the arena where I sat on the bank and watched Blossoms whilst eating some surprisingly tasty chicken noodles. After a short while Liam Gallagher performed. He swanned onto the main stage wearing a zipped-up parka jacket and took complete control of the crowd. I’m not overly familiar with Liam’s own music but he ended with Oasis’Wonderwall’ – judging by the crowd’s reaction, I imagine that this was the highlight for many people.

Leeds Festival 2017 - Rebellious Noise Review

Muse were headlining on Friday night but I made the unpopular decision to go and see Halsey and Marshmello instead. I had wanted to see Halsey for a while now and she exceeded my expectations in the NME Tent – her performance was electric and she really knows how to put on a show. I had only recently started listening to Marshmello so it was a last-minute decision to watch his set. I felt like the bass in the Radio One Dance Tent wasn’t as good as it could’ve been and that had affected the overall performance but I still enjoyed it. We had left 15 minutes early to catch the end of Neck Deep’s set at the Lock Up Tent, luckily for us we managed to catch ‘A Part Of Me’, ‘Can’t Kick Up the Roots’ and ‘Where Do We Go When We Go’. It wasn’t my first time seeing Neck Deep and they have remained one of my all-time favourite bands.

Leeds Festival 2017 - Rebellious Noise Review

Saturday morning started very like Friday morning, kicking off the day with a cider and a game of cards. I made my way to the arena at about 2pmwhere I sat and watched Rat Boy and Circa Waves. Some of my favourite times at Leeds are sat on the grass having a drink and watching all types of people getting on with the day in their own ways. At 5pm I made my way to the NME Tent to watch Anne Marie, Lethal Bizzle and Subfocus consecutively. The energy at this stage is constantly at a high – which is why it is one of my favourite tents. By the end of Subfocus I was shattered, but the evening was still young and there was a lot of fun to be had. We made our way to get food before catching half of Bastille’s set at the main stage, followed by Kasabian. We made our way closer to the front to watch Kasabian and the atmosphere was one to remember. One thing is for certain – no one should underestimate their performance. After Kasabian ended, I grabbed myself some chilli nachos and a beer before I started to head back to the tent, it didn’t take long for me to get distracted by the DJ sets and I ended up dancing into the early morning.Leeds Festival 2017 - Rebellious Noise Review

We kicked off the final day with our new-found tradition of cider and a card game before we started to make way to the arena, the weather had stayed fair all weekend but Sunday was especially hot. We got to the area at 1pm and we were just in time to watch Moose Blood. I have watched Moose Blood perform all around the country but it’s a band that I never get bored of watching. Although they were on stage early in the day, they still had a decent crowd.
After Moose Blood we watched The Pretty Reckless whilst sat on the grass again. After The Pretty Reckless finished playing, we went over to the Dance Tent to watch Lany. I have been listening to Lany’s debut album on repeat since it was released in June 2017 and their set was really laid back and chilled.

Leeds Festival 2017 - Rebellious Noise Review
It was time for the final two performances of Leeds Festival 2017Major Lazer and Eminem. Major Lazer hit the stage at 7.30pm and didn’t stop putting on a show until they were over – A mix of new and old remixes kept the energy within the crowd high and the atmosphere was lively. It was a great set up for Eminem who was coming to the stage at 9.30pm.
As it got closer to Eminem’s set, the crowd was getting noticeably crammed in – thousands upon thousands of people flooded around the Main Stage ready to see the King of Hip Hop perform. Half way through the set we decided to move further back, but this was a challenge, Eminem was by far the most popular set all festival. There was people who couldn’t even see the stage because they were so far away that were still standing and singing along. Although Sunday evening is always a bit sad as it means that the festival is coming to its end, it was certainly a great finale.

Overall, Leeds 2017 exceeded my expectations and my personal highlights were Halsey, Neck Deep, Major Lazer and Eminem. Leeds 2018 can’t come quick enough.

bandmerchad

Fan of Festivals? Check out this playlist of Queue & A episodes filmed at some of the biggest Festivals in the UK


REVIEW: SLAMDUNK FESTIVAL – NORTH, LEEDS (23/5/15)

This year’s SlamDunk was definitely going to be unforgettable, marking the 10th anniversary of the festival, SlamDunk was determined to make this the biggest and best festival yet. I headed over to Leeds to get involved.

Last year SlamDunk North was held in Leeds University, this year it upgraded to being spread out across the centre of Leeds, main stage was located in Millennium Square with a capacity of 8000 whilst other stages were found in the O2, Leeds Beckett University, carparks and backrooms of bars.

The first thing I headed to was the Neck Deep signing at the Kerrang! tent, I was the first in the queue but I was just the start of a line of hundreds of people. It was the only signing I was able to attend as all the other clashed with different sets I wanted to go to..

Signing

The first band on the main stage was Set It Off and they certainly weren’t short of energy. After recently kicking Austin (Bassist) out of the band I felt like SIO were really trying to prove their success to the crowd, although the crowd was small and quiet it didn’t stop Cody (vocals) from getting them moving. They did an unusual cover of Ariana Grande’s ‘Problem’ and their single Why Worry seemed to be the most well-known song within the crowd.

Set It Off

Cody jumped off the stage a couple of times to come right up to the barrier, he even managed to walk on top of the crowd for a while (until he fell). Overall it was a nice start to the day and showed how much potential the rest of the day could have.

Set It Off 2

After SIO, I made my way to the MacBeth stage where Knuckle Puck were playing, a considerable smaller stage but there was definitely a lot more fans crammed into a small carpark. A lot more people singing back to Knuckle Puck and it felt like SlamDunk was actually kicking off now. Personally No Good made the entire set for me, the way the crowd reacted to this song was different to all the rest and it really got me excited for the rest of the day. Even people at the back started moshing around to it. Neck Deep are close friends of Knuckle Puck and Ben Barlow did guest vocals on Your Back Porch.

Knucklepuck

Beartooth started not long after Knuckle Puck ended so I headed over to the o2 Academy, but with a fairly long queue to get in I didn’t think I’d be able to see all their set. Luckily I got in just as they started, after I saw Beartooth on Thursday night in Carlisle (Check out my review of it here) they were definitely one of the bands I most looking forward to seeing- and they didn’t disappoint. With the biggest crowd I’d seen so far and mosh pits starting all over the room they were certainly entertaining the crowd.

Beartooth

Neck Deep were next on the main stage and I first saw them live at SlamDunk 2014 so I knew I had to see them play the main stage this year. Following the release of their newest single ‘Can’t Kick Up The Roots’ it seemed that many people were hoping to see this live. Neck Deep had the biggest crowd by far and people were singing back louder than ever. When they began playing A Part Of Me the atmosphere changed from being one of the most brutal crowds I’ve experienced to the most relaxed (and even emotional) crowd, people were singing back louder than ever and it was a song that everyone just experiences and appreciates for its simplicity. Laura Whiteside even made an appearance. They never fail to impress a crowd.

Neck Deep

I hung around at the main stage for Lower Than Atlantis. They undoubtedly had a huge following there for them and their set was exciting and really enjoyable to watch. Mike (vocals) took the time out to say that the band really appreciated the amount of support they received after they released their self-titled album as it was a make-or-break point for the future of LTA. The most moving part of the set was when the band left Mike to do Another Sad Song, this was a highlight for me as it is a personal favourite of theirs.

LTA

Moose Blood was held at the smallest stage but it was completely packed out, and totally worth standing around in a room that felt about 100 degrees (not even exaggerating). Moose Blood was guaranteed to be one of the roughest, craziest shows of the day. The set felt more intimate than the others from the day and was definitely one of the most enjoyable. There was no barrier at the stage and it added to the intimacy and Eddy (vocals) even sustained a nose injury after a fan crowdsurfed straight into the mic. Overall Moose Blood are a must-see band and I’m glad I got to see them at SD.

Moose Blood

The last set I went to was The Wonder Years who headlined the MacBeth stage, and it was the best end to one of the best days. The most ‘tame’ crowd by far but by far the best band I saw. Soupy (vocals) was inspiring the crowd throughout the set and they played 15 songs from various albums. They ended the set by announcing they were working on new material and they’d be back soon, I’ll definitely try and head to the next show they do in the UK.

SlamDunk festival is one of the best day-festivals in the UK, the lineup never disappoints and bands from all over the world are attracted. Many of the acts are even friends from touring or writing together so it feels really- connected. I’m already excited for SDF16!

REVIEW: Neck Deep (Plus support) – Beckett University, Leeds (31/1/15)

Neck Deep‘s first UK headline tour was going to be every pop punk lover’s dream. With 3 great supports making sure that everyone had the best time they could throughout the entire night I travelled to Leeds to get my slice of pop punk heaven. Rules like no ‘ selfie sticks’ (thank God) and ‘only allowed to crowd surf twice before being kicked out’ being made clear before we could even enter the venue, you could tell it was going to be a night to remember.

Each set opened up with the Intercontinental Championships Tour music, and Trophy Eyes came all the way from New South Wales, Australia to perform all over the UK. Although Trophy Eyes were the first support they definitely got the crowd going, with a small but loyal following (which didn’t go unnoticed) lead singer, John came up to the barrier a number of times to give the mic to fans. They really showed the crowd what they had to offer.

Seaway were flying the flag for America. As the number of crowd surfers increased so did the energy, they too had s group of people which knew every word to their songs- again this didn’t go unnoticed for the band. Seaway really knew how to entertain the crowd and the definitely kept the energy levels high for the rest of the night.

Knuckle Puck were the third and final support, they came from the USA and knew exactly how to put on a show. You’d expect the crowd to be restless now as Neck Deep have been long awaited but Knuckle Puck definitely seemed to be the favourite support amongst the crowd. There was noticeable more people getting involved and singing lyrics back- and this was the moment in the night when it really started to get intense, the crowd began to get a lot rougher and the number of crowd surfers really increased, this was a slight taster of how the rest of the night was going to pan out.

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After hearing the Intercontinental Championships Tour intro for the 4th time, it was finally Neck Deep’s turn to hit the stage. Kicking off at 9.45 with Losing Teeth the crowd went crazy- which was a great start as it’s catchy and upbeat which was guaranteed to get everyone moving. Performing as if they had years and years of experience, the energy from Neck Deep definitely wore off onto the crowd as no one seemed to stop during the entire evening. Continuing the night and keeping the energy levels up they played songs from their 2014 EP, Rain In July/A history of Bad Decisions, including Tables Turned, Kick It and Silver Lining which seemed just as popular amongst the crowd as and of the songs off Wishful Thinking, which can be quite unusual for a band who’s success was majorly down to the popularity of the first album. Before starting A Part of Me (feat. Laura Whiteside) Ben managed to quieten the crowd so he could dedicate it to a fan called Beth who sadly couldn’t be there that night. He proceeded to say, “it’s never ever ever ever ever as bad as you think, there is always always a fucking way out of that shit. Be music, be somebody, anything, but yo, that way out is not always the answer.’’ Which gave the whole room goose bumps, proceeded by everyone singing 10x louder. The chorus was one of them unforgettable moments when the whole crowd was singing back to Ben. Definitely the most moving part of the night.

But they quickly picking up the pace again with Staircase Wit and the crowd surfers were once again back in action. Mosh pits and a circle pit (directed by Fil also increased the intensity and adrenaline within the room.

For the encore they did Candour, which was a really nice simple ending to the night. It would’ve been a shame if they had missed it off the set list so it was an enjoyable, yet unexpected surprise that they finished on such a slow song. It really calmed the crowd but it didn’t stop them from singing as loud as they possibly could.

They’re easily one of the best live bands who are still so humble, it’s definitely one of them bands that whenever I listen to, I’ll be reminded of that night.