Monday, 30 August 2010

Leeds 2010 Roundup

"I'm sorry for quoting U2 in a place where poetry has been performed"
- Eddie Argos

It was a good festival this year, despite the fairly weak lineup. It was definitely a personal best in terms of number of bands seen and some really stood out - Foals in particular, but also Klaxons, Los Campesinos!, Phoenix, Egyptian Hip-Hop, Minus the Bear, Chapel Club and a few others. Futureheads were as fun as ever - you never get bored of the Bouncy Bounce or the Futureheads Singing Game, after all.

Because I was working on the Main Stage bar again this year, this did unfortunately mean I had to see Guns 'n' Roses, the only interest here being of course how late Axl would show up, assuming he turned up at all. In the end even that was boring - only about half an hour late, which in Axl's world is actually on time. He's the man for whom the phrase 'wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff' was invented. It's like the Libertines, if they just turn up and play their rubbish pop songs, no one will give a fuck.

Funny thing though, we'd been saying all weekend how they were 'just a covers band these days' and when they turned up they played Knocking on Heaven's Door, The Pink Panther, and Another Brick in the Wall. For fucking hours.

Total highlight of the festival for me was Eddie Argos's turn with Art Brut's guitarist and Everybody Was in the French Resistance ... Now!'s keyboardist. He was funny, had some kick-ass pop songs and the best engagement with the crowd of anyone I saw. he managed to get everyone in the comedy tent on their feet and up at the stage, which is a fair achievement really. Plus he played Emily Kane in front and with the assistance of his girlfriend (the aforementioned keyboardist, lovely Dyan Valdes) which is if nothing else somewhat ballsy.

Also the M.C. went 'who wants to see Guns 'n' Roses tonight?' and most of the tent went 'Meh.' Slightly taken aback, he said 'Who's not bothered about Guns 'n' Roses?' which got a deafening cheer. 'Oh, that's not the reaction I was expecting, to be honest' he said, looking genuinely confused.

This leads me onto my mini-rant for the day. Comedians at Leeds: don't ditch your material just 'cos you're at a festival. Andrew Lawrence did OK, but Jason Byrne disappeared into misogynist, misandrist wankiness after an amazing start. Every comedian seems to think shouting 'This is much better than Reading, isn't it?' and swearing a lot is what the audience want, but the truth is no one gives a fuck about Leeds/Reading rivalry and if you're in a comedy tent there's a chance that you're there to see some comedians do their actual material. For the love of gods!

Rant over. Pics may follow, or may not. Anyway, that's my reason for not having anything to say about the other major event of this weekend.

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