Rock Sound's coverage Leeds Festival 2013 concludes today with our live blog of the day's performances. Keep an eye on this page for rolling reviews of Mallory Knox, Deaf Havana, Twin Atlantic and more!
Compared to While She Sleeps’ sledgehammer assault, this morning’s main stage openers are a relatively lightweight proposition, but there’s no denying that Mallory Knox know their way around a tune or three. Touchingly sincere and genuinely thrilled to be here, frontman Mikey Chapman in particular is in splendid voice, his strident vocals soaring over the rapidly-filling mud bath while his cohorts swarm the gigantic stage looking like they were born for gigs like this. They may be slightly less convincing during their heavier moments, but when they set phasers to 'poptastic' there’s more than a whiff of You Me At Six in the air. With achievements like today's ticked off the list this early in the game, the smart money’s on the Cambridge quintet being the next Home Counties hopefuls to dip their toes into the mainstream. For Mallory, it would appear that opportunity well and truly Knox. Sorry. [PW]
Sons & Lovers opening the Festival Republic stage, click for the full gallery.
When it comes to clearing a hangover that's been building for several days, you'll be hard pressed to find a band more capable of blowing away the early afternoon cobwebs than Lower Than Atlantis. Simultaneously sympathetic and energetic, the Hertfordshire mob pack a punch that wakes you up rather than knocking you out, with the likes of 'Something Better Came Along' serving as the ideal wake up call, the band putting their catalogue of outdoor performances to good use and looking perfectly at home on such grand surroundings. Throw in Mike Duce's typically chirpy (and ever cheeky) onstage banter and the end result is a perfect remedy for both the days gone by and the long day ahead. [RB]
The Blackout causing mayhem on the main stage, click for the full gallery.
Given that many of their former peers can be found several hundred yards away, it's indicative of Deaf Havana's place in the rock world that they find themselves under the second stage soft top this afternoon. Having changed both their sound and image to grave extremes in recent months, today sees Havana 3.0 looking very much in their element in front of a more than healthy crowd. The acoustic refrain of 'The Past Six Years' may have lost its final threads of irony last year when the band opened the festival's main stage, but in songs such as 'Boston Square' they're opening a new chapter, and judging by the number of people singing along it's one that's going to be read by enough to make their latest transformation worthwhile. Looking and sounding comfortable in their own skin, with frontman James Veck-Gilodi appearing more at ease than ever as he cracks jokes and smiles in equal measure, today they look ready to embark on an adventure that could see them shifting up the pecking order in the years ahead. [RB]
There can’t be many acts who’ve brought a lap steel along this afternoon, but for Chuck Ragan and company, this is a strictly traditional affair. Insofar as you can classify him, Ragan is a folk artist in the truest sense of the term, playing music that matters to anyone who cares to lend him their ear, regardless of the prevailing trends of the moment. Bound together in their mutual appreciation for that which flows from the heart and speaks to the soul, the sometime Hot Water Music frontman’s audience is the most diverse the Lock Up stage is likely to see all weekend, and to say that he goes down a storm would be the grossest understatement. Humble and gracious almost to a fault, Chuck Ragan offers much-needed reassurance that even in the most trying of musical times, there are always those keeping the fire alive. [PW]
Off With Their Heads look tired today. They sound tired, too with their gruff-punk-on-steroids getting more and more low key as the set progresses. A plucky crash through 'Nightlife' teases a short-lived singalong from an otherwise static tent but when the lethargy beds in again, it sticks. A reserved finale is summed up perfectly when the "I want you to listen, I want you to care" opening to 'Clear The Air' falls on deaf ears and the moment they're done, the Minnesotans shuffle off silent, jaded and by the look of things, not too satisfied with the performance they've just put in. [AB]
Modestep's performance on the Radio 1 Stage, do the usual to see more.
It's strange that a band from another country can evoke a sense of local pride, so it's a case of Hats Off where Twin Atlantic are concerned today. Perhaps it's the fact that the quartet stroll out to numerous Scottish flags waving proudly in the wind, but then perhaps it's simply that the music they make is so universal that its impossible not to get swept up in it wherever you happen to hail from. Today that most certainly appears to be the case as countless thousands push their lungs to the brink for the duration of the band's 40 odd minute set. Having already occupied stadiums and arenas on both sides of the pond, there's a seamless ease to the way that Sam McTrusty addresses the packed crowd, and there's enough in songs like 'Free' to convince even Buzz Lightyear himself to join in with the festivities. It's a fitting end to a set that suggests Twin Atlantic may yet be about to go stratospheric. [RB]
Fads come and go, but nothing quite beats watching The Bronx beat the living crap out of your chosen pub, club or festival stage. Despite the Lock Up Stage being nowhere near capacity (again) put on a show to rival any this weekend. Entertainer, preacher and destructor-in-chief Matt Caughthran leads the crowd through a career-spanning 40-odd minutes that takes in the likes of 'The Unholy Hand' and 'Heart Attack American', the latter of which sees Caughthran wearing a dismembered cuddly toy on his head (long story). It's vicious, it's calculated and it's tonnes of fun. You can shove your pretension, we'll be in the corner tearing shit up with these guys instead. [AB]
And now for something completely different. You may wonder what the likes of Flux Pavilion have to do with Rock Sound’s world, but the omnipresent influence of Skrillex in the current rock and metal spheres is undeniable, and the man better known to his parents as Joshua Steele is cut from a markedly similar cloth. Quite which sub-genre of the broad and ever-expanding church of dubstep he belongs to is up for debate, but in terms of pure enjoyment Flux hits the mark with pinpoint precision. His visuals might charitably be termed ‘retro’, but his sound is bang up to date, and the atmosphere he conjures in the Radio 1 Dance tent is not dissimilar to that of any ‘alternative’ club night from Doncaster to Dundee: joyous, inclusive and providing the several thousand gathered here with the perfect platform to express themselves through the universal medium of chaotic physical abandon. [PW]
It may have been one of the most wet and miserable days in recent memory, but you can always count on Sick Of It All to bring you back from the brink of misery even at the end of a third, long day. Some quarter of a century after they revolutionised hardcore with their 'Blood, Sweat and No Tears' debut, the Koller's and Co. sound every bit as vital this evening, while Pete Koller's signature scissor jumps defy his years and put to shame all manner of bands who preceded the band earlier in the day. Be it the glorious 'Clobberin' Time' or the classic racket of 'Scratch The Surface', this is a celebration of a band who deserved (and still deserve) so much more than they're given. After nearly 30 years in the game there'll only be so many opportunities to witness performances like this, but at least if this turns out to be one of the last then it's one that'll be remembered for all the right slam dancing, circle-pitting reasons. [RB]
With a collective CV that includes Faith No More, The Jesus Lizard and Helmet to name but three, this project and this weekend represents an opportunity to see members of all three bands let loose a little as weird-rock trailblazers Tomahawk. Frontman of both the former and latter Mike Patton quite literally leads the way tonight, standing a good couple of metres ahead of the rest of his band behind a gold microphone. Not that Mr Patton needs any help drawing attention to himself. The enigmatic vocalist scythes through cuts from 2013's 'Oddfellows' - their first full-length in six years - like he's been doing it for decades. The winding title track and schizophrenic riffery of 'I.O.U' are gobbled up by the admittedly half full Lock Up Stage but it wouldn't matter if there were ten or 10,000 watching tonight, this is Mike Patton making music for Mike Patton. By happy coincidence, it's absolutely engrossing. [AB]
Eminem’s much-feted festival shutdown is on the horizon, at least 70% of us are suffering from trench foot, and the slurry really is starting to pong. At first glance, this is not the most hopeful setting in which to ignite the largest dance party of the weekend, but chart-bothering UK garage-come-D’n’B overlords Chase & Status have other ideas. Augmented by a full backline and boasting the kind of retina-threatening video screens even Manumission would think twice before installing, the C&S live experience is both all-encompassing and gloriously unsubtle. Seemingly possessed by their mystifying allure, for the entire duration of the London-based duo’s hour-long set the masses stream in from every corner of the field, hell-bent on squeezing every last drop of hedonistic pleasure from a day spent shuffling around in the kind of stuff your dad used to swear by to get his tomatoes going. For their part, Chase & Status are all too happy to oblige, duly fulfilling the teeming throng's every requirement, and then some. [PW]
Eminem's festival closing performance on the main stage, tap the type for the whole gallery of shots.
Done reading? No you ain't, take a look here for what happened yesterday when Green Day, System Of A Down, Deftones, Bring Me The Horizon and Frank Turner stormed the main stage.
Read that? Did you see Friday's review featuring Biffy Clyro, Nine Inch Nails, Fall Out Boy, Shikari Sound System, Gallows, We Are The In Crowd, Crossfaith and Bury Tomorrow? If not, do the right thing eh.
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Rock Sound review crew: [RB] Ryan Bird, [PW] Pete Withers, [AB] Andy Biddulph...a lovely bunch.