LEEDS FESTIVAL 2016 REVIEW

It has now been about a week since Reading & Leeds 2016, and those who ventured down to Bramham Park for the weekend will probably just be shaking the last of the mud from their hair. The festival saw days of torrential rain, transforming the once solid ground surrounding the BBC Introducing stage into a swamp so treacherously deep that the sludge lapped over your wellies, only to be duly absorbed by your socks. Lifting spirits seemed an arduous task, but at 3:30 on Friday, Middlesborough-born Mouses stepped to the stage and jumped to it with haste.

Mouses, as a band, are somewhat eccentric. Described by NE:MM as “The bastard offspring of the Jesus And Mary Chain meets a seriously twisted and distorted version of Weezer”, their powerful, yet off-centre riffs coupled with frontman Ste’s manic facial expressions and outlandish on-stage persona result in a set which is intimate and raucous; a set which translates seamlessly from smaller venues to the likes of open air mega-festival Reading + Leeds. Highlights of their set include the super-catchy Green and the ever-ebullient Hollywood. We definitely recommend catching these guys soon, if you can.

Headlining on Friday night were feel-good indie-punks Superglu. There is something deeply endearing, yet mildly neurotic about the North-Essex four piece, and their energetic and anthemic set was the perfect start to the festival. We all love a good sing along, don’t we?

By the way of some kind of pseudo-pathetic fallacy, the rain made way for sunshine as Saturday night headliners Coquin Migale took the stage. They stormed vigorously and competently through their set of intelligent indie-bangers whilst frontman Alex bounded indefatigably about the stage like an excitable child, seemingly totally unfazed by all the pressures of headlining a night at one of the largest festivals in the UK. Highlights from their set for me include ‘GOLD’ and lead single ‘Grindie’ from their debut LP.

Now, time for some chill. At 5 minutes to 5 on the last day of music at Leeds Festival, under clear skies, Cameron A G stepped out in front of the crowds. Gliding majestically through a set full to the brim with wonderful harmony, and a vocal sound tinged with honest and rustic qualities, Cameron A G had the audience captivated from start to finish. In comparison to the recorded versions of his music, the live sound seemed even more delicate, even more fragile. Way Back Home was a highlight for me; he had the crowd hanging on every word.

Straight after Cameron A G came Brighton quartet High Tyde, immediately switching up the mood with their infectious hooks and naturally confident on stage persona. With punching drums and gritty vocals they whipped the crowd up into a frenzy, relentless with high energy from start to finish. The stand out song of the set for me was Dark Love, the lead track from their Safe EP which was released back in April. The perfect shout-along track to end a wicked weekend of good music.

Here’s to next year!

Words by George Rowan

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