LEEDS FESTIVAL 2005
If there's one festival you can rely on to provide the goods
it's the Carling Leeds / Reading Festival. After last years
festival that saw The White Stripes, The Darkness and Green
Day gain mixed reactions, the organisers have drafted in veterans
for the headliner slots in the form of Iron Maiden, The Pixies
and The Foo Fighters.
Below we're putting the spotlight on those bands further down
on the bill that you really should make the effort to see, but
in the meantime lets ask the important questions:
* Will Pete Doherty turn up for the Babyshambles set on Sunday?
* Have Mean Fiddler wimped out by not putting on a major hip-
hop name after the 50 Cent bottlegate incident last year?
* Do Bloc Party really deserve to headline the Radio 1 Stage?
* Which bands on the Carling Stage should we check out?
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DETAILS & FURTHER INFO
weeend tickets for Leeds and Reading have now sold out.
At the time of going to press new day tickets had just been
released for both sites Check ticket availability from:
Ticket Hotline: 0870 060 3775
details of line up additions and changes can be seen at
FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND - Main Stage
As an album "Hours" stands head and shoulders above
"Casually Dressed and Deep In Conversation". Despite
the production history of Terry Date with the likes of Pantera
and Deftones it's a remarkably polished album that is unlikely
to appeal to fans who accused them of selling out when they signed
to Atlantic, but if anything it captures the energy and spirit
of the early releases that was lacking on the debut album. It
may be a different energy, but this album is a classic of our
times brimming with hooks and set to take them up to the next
HAL - Radio 1 Stage
The self-titled album is a journey through West Coast pop. For
the uninitiated imagine the Thrills with memorable choruses and
without the c*nty Conor Deasy for a frontman. The influences are
glaring obvious after just 30 seconds with Steely Dan, The Beach
Boys and, on the ballads, Bread steeped in the foundations of
this record from beginning to end. Bizarrely enough the falsetto
of vocalist Dave Allen gives the album a strangely contemporary
feel aligning itself with the pitch shifting samples of a Kanye
M.I.A -Dance Arena
A raw affair with 2 decks, a microphone and two backing dancers
which bring the ragga style Salt & Pepper booty shaking back
in fashion. With an eclectic mix of ragga, electro and huge hip
hop beats it could easily fall apart, but every single track is
a huge club banger taking Missy Elliots early work and pumping
it with steroids. Cockney patois scatter-guns political situationist
slogans like a call to arms, a British female MC with the lyrical
nouse of Public Enemy, but the only militant aspect of the live
show is the incessant dancing.
ELBOW - Main Stage
It's hard to imagine where it all went right, but Elbow have changed
from morose bedsit dwelling student favourites to one of the best
live acts out of the city. There's always been a strange relationship
between Elbow as people and the music they make, but slowly and
surely the music has taken an uplifting mood shift as if the new
dawn has brought the sun up. New tracks "Buddha with Mace",
"My Very Best" and "Leaders of the Free World"
are the best they've done and baby Dylan (Jupp's son) and the
impending fatherhood of Mark and Craig seem to have given the
band a new found spirit rather than saddle them with dadrock.
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE - Radio 1 Stage
You know the middle eight of Alice Cooper's "Schools Out"
where the children's choir kicks in with the refrain of "no
more teachers, no more pens". Imagine that stretched out
for a full live show with the band leading the audience along
with each and every song. A show which sees the frontman stretching
out to the sky, keeping his balance as he teeters on the edge
of the monitors conducting the audience as they sing along every
single word to the new album ""Three Cheers For Sweet
Revenge". Never before have the lines between audience and
band been blurred so much. You can stick your Sing-A-Longa Abba,
Rocky Horror Picture Shows and the Sound Of Music because in My
Chemical Romance we have a band which brings us stronger melodies
and more meaning than the rest of those shows combined.
SUBWAYS - Radio 1 Stage
If it was impossible to read a review of the Subways without hearing
about their baby faced youthful optimism prior to their debut
album release, then "Young For Eternity" looks set to
push the teen factor even further into the spotlight. There's
a naive vital energy to this record that couldn't have been made
by anyone who's really tasted life. Their minds are open to the
possibilities of life, there's optimism in the air which hasn't
been shattered by the mid twenties breakdown crisis.
"Young For Eternity" is an album which grabs you instantly
and by the end of the brief 42 minutes you're desperate for more.
The most life affirming debut album since Definitely Maybe!!!
DEAD 60s - Radio 1 Stage
"Riot Radio", "Loaded Gun" and "You're
Not The Law" all reverberate with the spirit of the Clash.
All punky spiky guitars and dub rhythms with a working class attitude
that soundtracks the uprising of the proles.
THE TEARS - Radio 1 Stage
"Imperfections" sets the benchmark for The Tears. A
close partner of Suede's "Obsessions", the track talks
of "Your imperfections are beautiful" and "my animal".
Single "Refugees" has all the hallmarks of a lost McAlmont
& Butler track - soaring strings, a large dose of soul and
Brett and Bernard playing the parts of Bonnie & Clyde.
"You're as dark as the ocean. As high as the rain" croons
Anderson on "Beautiful Pain". A song which sounds like
"Pantomime Horse" had it been recorded as part of the
Dog Man Star sessions. When The Tears hit the mark they do so
with the passion of their former group.
OTHERS - Radio Stage
The Others offer a world of a chaos and confusion. The fact that
they have the songs to back it up suggests that they will be around
long after the media tires and moves on to the next fad.
CARLING STAGE - MUST SEE BANDS
THE YOUNG OFFENDERS INSTITUTE
"The Young Offenders" sounds like Oasis when they were
relevant. It's their "Rock N Roll Star", "Live
Forever" and "Cigarettes And Alcohol" rolled into
one. A un-named tune which sounds like a proto-type Stone Roses
tune passes by quietly, before they launch into "Baby Cocaine",
The Young Offenders token ballad and one set to propel them into
something above and beyond being just another scally manc band.
"Jiggy Giro" and "Havin' A Party" return to
what they know best and sum up the ethos of the band. "Let
Me Out" alludes to the rumoured spell spent in Her Majesty's
Pleasure, what starts as a delicate ballad erupts into a wail
of "I've done my time, paid the price and now just let me
out". Ending on a semi-acoustic version of "Acid Man"
they prove why they're one of the most exciting bands to come
out of Manchester in years.
Whether the Young Offenders Institute can breakthrough is anyone's
guess. This ain't some faux-scally act like The Streets, Lady
Sovereign or Goldie Lookin Chain. This is the real deal, it's
raw and explosive, and it's got the potential to blow up in yer
face the moment you let yer guard down.
Mando Diao are a Swedish rock outfit who like the Libertines have
two singers with that bond Doherty and Barat once had. With two
dynamic frontmen you'd think there'd be one upmanship and fierce
competition, but this isn't apparent for this ferocious beast
of a rock band. The drummer pounds away like Animal from the Muppets,
the harmonies are luscious and Mando Diao play the blues on "Motown
Blood" with a quick refrain from Elvis' "It's Alright
Momma". With some salsa for the chicks to dance to and the
mellow "Mr Moon" they win the crowd over with ease.
The only mistake the band make all night is dedicating a song
to Eric Cantona, but I feel our favourite new Swedes were just
playfully winding up the crowd.
Like the Super Furry Animals, The Beta Band and Dawn Of The Replicants,
Clor manage to make experimental leftfield pop that mocks the
zeitgeist. If you're tired of the obvious reference points of
media friendly bands, you could do worse than check out these
THE MYSTERY JETS
The Mystery Jets are the most f**ked up band to arrive in recent
years. A cross generational band with a grey haired, surprisingly
youthful, man chuckling to himself bemused that everyone is taking
them seriously. Centre stage his son bashes away on pots and pans
and stage right the guitarist and bass player try to out sing
the Futureheads. Its nuts and a buzz to watch and best of all
they've got the tunes to match this insanity.