It's been a few weeks since Leeds Festival but there's a few acts so good the memory of which I can't seem to shake off.
Forget crowd-pleasing headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers or in-form Biffy Clyro or the mightily impressive Foals, even if the latter did play a storming set during an actual storm, the real action at this year’s Leeds Festival was to be found on the smaller stages, to be specific at Jack Rocks ‘This Feeling’ stage where the magnificent rollicking Cabbage performed.
For sheer wild rock n roll excitement, their’s was the best single festival display in the tight group of Bramham Park marquees since Fat White Family took Leeds by the scruff of the neck a few years ago.
With twin lead singers – one a Howard Marks lookalike, the other a young Poldark – this newish Manchester five-piece or was it seven, who could tell, shared FWF’s love of crowd-surfing, taking their tops off and a non-ending supply of high energy shenanigans in this small but buzzing tent - almost as if they had imbibed some of the Jack Daniels provided by the stage’s sponsors.
Other acts to make some sort of impact at a wet and muddy Leeds Festival 2016 included:
Hinds, a charming all-female Spanish garage rock four-piece who were cute as hell and a lot of fun but exhibited no more depth than the all-female Japanese garage rock four-piece 5, 6, 7, 8s used to.
Lewis Del Mar who flew in from Queens in New York with fuzzy hair and a loose and kooky dress sense to shake up conventional indie-folk pop in a loose and kooky way.
Chvrches, the Scottish synth duo who look like a teacher and his female student and ooze class but lack the killer tunes of their 1980s antecedants to liven up the wet crowd on the main stage. Actually, thinking about it, London-based electro-pop trio Haelos were just as good on the NME stage.
Foals lead singer Yannis Philippakis may have told the crowd on Saturday night through the dark and rain that he was “proud to be a British guitar band” but, elsewhere, this year’s Leeds Festival had the most rap, grime and punk for years oh, and, comedy.
Appearing in a packed tent, the big name Howard Russell proved more aggressive and sweary in person than on TV, borderline unlikable, in fact.
Perhaps such tactics are a natural reaction when you’re facing the whites of a real crowd as opposed to a row of TV cameras and a tame TV audience?
Melvin Benn of organisers Festival Republic said:
“I knew 2016 was going to be a great year for Reading and Leeds, with five headliners over three days and sold out crowds. I’m so proud of the line-up and the fact we’re still giving fans the best music line up.
"I was blown away by Fall Out Boy’s set and it was great having Biffy Clyro back at the festivals, closing Reading with an incredible stage production last night. Red Hot Chili Peppers delivered a set even more impressive than their previous in 2007. Disclosure co-headlined alongside Foals."
Early Bird Tickets for Reading & Leeds Festival 2017, which will take place on August 25-27, are on sale now via Ticketmaster.