Clor, Pixies, The National, Graham Coxon, Dead 60s - Carling Weekend – Reading & Leeds 2005

Liam McGrady 04/09/2005

Carling Weekend - Reading & Leeds

(Writers:Mike Mantin, Liam McGrady, Sarah Bates.)

After missing out on, well nearly all the other festivals this summer, we thought we'd better get along to Richfield Avenue and Braham Park to dish the dirt on who was hot and almost as importantly, who was not. So here it is a thorough rundown of the bands who sound-tracked our muddy and alcohol fuelled weekend:

Reading - Mike Mantin (MM) Leeds - Liam McGrady (LM), Sarah Bates (SB).
Friday Reading/Saturday Leeds

Do Me Bad Things (Main Stage - Reading)

After a short delay thanks to an annoying technical glitch, Do Me Bad Things started Reading with their brand of glam-rock with excessive posing and costume changes (an impressive three in a half-hour set). Singles 'Time For Deliverance' and 'What's Hideous' get the hung-over crowd dancing but strange album tracks sung by the gruff backing singer slightly miss the mark. (MM)
They were hideous. The singing was annoying. As predictable as the claim that Noel Gallagher cherry picked Gem Archer. Best to avoid. (SB)

The Black Velvets (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Leeds)

In all honesty, there's very little of interest in the opening slot today, so a wander into the NME/Radio 1 tent seems the best idea. The Black Velvets rock out with enough grunt to blast away some of last nights indulgences, but ultimately their grizzly Glam Rock isn't the best hangover cure. (LM)

Goldie Lookin' Chain (Main Stage - Reading)
Their comedy chav-rap threatened to wear a bit thin but, then again, so did 'License To Ill' by the Beastie Boys and look at them now. While it's unlikely that the GLC will convert to Buddhism any time soon (one new song has the chorus “If you leave me now can I fuck your sister/And your best friend?”), this was a fun, hit-packed set. (MM)
yourcodenameis:milo (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Leeds)

Awesome. This was always going to be a highlight for me having adored the debut album 'Ignoto', and right from the spazzy, 101 time changes, Post-Hardcore of opener 'I Am Connecting Flight', through the skyrocketing '17' and onto the chaotic, guitar abusing 'Rapt Dept', the wired, energetic noise merchants are just, well, awesome. (LM)

The Dead 60's (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Leeds)

The biggest crowd of the weekend so far for a few Liverpool lads playing sub standard Ska. No I don't get it either. No discernable tunes, no stage presence; no good. (LM)

Death From Above 1979 (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Leeds)

I've rarely been so disappointed. After "bigging up" the 'You're A Woman, I'm A Machine' album to my mates, live it's not very impressive. While the record is a snarling beast of Disco, Metal and Punk, today in the NME/Radio 1 tent it's just a noise. You're not Lightning Bolt boys; err on the side marked "tuneful" next time. (LM)

Graham Coxon (Main Stage - Reading/Leeds)

This strong set finally proved that Graham can easily get by without Damon, especially now he is currently an ugly cartoon. As well as the hits, we're treated to new songs, one introduced with the suggestion that “this might be in the charts if you walk to China and back.” (MM)
'I Wish', 'Bittersweet Bundle Of Misery', 'Spectacular', 'Freakin' Out'; it's easy to forget how many anthemic, guitar Pop classics Coxo has knocked up outside of Blur, and out they all come - dragged kicking and screaming from a Telecaster, forced through two massive Marshall stacks into a bouncy crowd, basked in sunshine. New songs sound just as skewed and wonky, and brilliant as ever too. (LM)

DJ Format (Dance Tent - Reading)

While the reliable Elbow charm the main stage, I'm dragged over to see DJ Format and his bouncy MCs, whose literate hip-hop (now there's a phrase you don't hear often) greatly impresses. As the show progresses, new audiences are won over with each song, finishing with a fantastic, celebrity-baiting freestyle rap session. (MM)
Elbow (Main Stage - Leeds)

Only one band could make the line "I'll be the corpse in your bathtub" sound perfect on a warm, hazy day. Only one band sound so full and rich and deep, despite the open air setting of the main stage. Only one band have songs like 'Fallen Angel', 'Fugitive Motel' and 'Forget Myself' that are wonderful, complex, graceful and hymn-like. Elbow are the best band from Manchester since, like, forever. And if you don't think so, then actually listen instead of dismissing Guy Garvey and Co. as typical Northern moaners. (LM)

The Coral (Main Stage - Reading/Leeds)

With each album, The Coral seem to descending further into MOR, and their live sets are beginning to feel a little forced. The mad wonder of 'Skeleton Key' still shines through and 'In The Morning' and 'Pass It On' are still cute and jangly but the rest starts to resemble dependable afternoon-slot-on-the-main-stage fare. Here's hoping their 10th album doesn't sound like Coldplay. (MM)
Scouse Pop magpies, The Coral may pinch from Beefheart, Love and other 60's curios, but you surely can't help but sing along to their bleak tales of the daily grind ('Bill McCai') or Pirates and Buccaneers ('Skeleton Key'). And when the whole crowd start hopping from foot to foot on hearing the "straight outta Grease" bassline of 'Dreaming Of You' if you don't get that funny feeling in your stomach, I'd question whether you're really alive. (LM)

The National (Carling Tent - Reading)

As some keen-eyed GIITTV readers may know, I raved about The National's new album 'Alligator' earlier in the year and strongly recommend you get it. Singer Matt Berninger is drunk but can shout his way through classics like 'Abel' and 'Mr November'. It's missing just one thing though: a piano. This means it's all guitar-based and mellower tracks like 'Karen' are disappointingly absent. (MM)
65Daysofstatic (Unsigned Stage - Leeds)

Talking before the Sheffield Post Rock/Electro noise deviants take the stage, there's a general bemusement as to why 65days are headlining an "Unsigned" stage. But hey, we're not complaining about technicalities when the futuristic - Aphex Twin tearing Mogwai a new arsehole - sounds of 'Retreat! Retreat!' nearly wrenches our ears off. (LM)

Saul Williams (Carling Tent - Reading/Leeds)

Saul Williams has something to say and, live, he says it incredibly effectively. Rapping with dignity and skill, we get tracks covering racism and genocide in Sudan: tough subjects delivered subtly through impeccable rhyming, the combination of which makes Saul the highlight of the day. With just a DJ for backing (who leaves when Saul reads his poetry), Saul both wins the audience's affections and makes them think. (MM)
Surely a contender for "Man Of The Year" in musical terms, Williams' hard hitting, Bush slamming words of truth are a festival highpoint for me. Mixing up short spoken word skits and primal, booming beat driven rants ('List Of Demands' very nearly blows the roof off the Carling Tent), this is the most essential, most important Hip Hop artist in the world right now. (LM)

Pixies (Main Stage - Reading)

There's no denying that the Pixies are total legends, but tonight's performance smacked of taking the money and waddling. A year on tour has clearly taken its toll on the guys, who rattle through the hits (and a few obscure tracks), talking very little apart from, inexplicably, to make fun of someone who had broken their neck. The hardcore fans lap it up, but for me this performance lacked the magic that last year's early reunion gigs clearly had. The tunes are there, and so is the technical prowess, but the soul seems to be slightly absent. Time for a break perhaps? (MM)
Error In Movies (Comedy/Cabaret Tent - Leeds)

We (that's around 50 of us) gather in the Cabaret tent at Leeds in the anticipation of something outstanding. Type2error have commandeered the decks; and there is music coming from the PA, but it's outdone by the buzz of excitement in the crowd. First of all Saul Williams strides confidently onto the stage, announcing that "I'm gonna do something now, but I'm not sure how it's gonna go down", whereupon he launches into a 10 minute, unaccompanied reel of anti-racist, anti-war, anti-everyfuckingthingthat'sbadintheworld poetry, and it's one of the most moving and spellbinding things I've ever seen. One man, one voice, passion, conviction - unbelievable. And if that wasn't enough, Saul introduces "some musicians" and on slink the four members of Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies, with an additional keyboardist. So then we hear the schizophrenic Post Rockers ebb and flow through deep, brooding beauty and onto an epic, swirling trance while Williams slips his hypnotic mantras into the relative lulls, effortlessly. And then it's over; we all wish it wasn't, but it is. Saul Williams and YMSS retire from the stage. More music is played. 20 minutes or so later YMSS step back onto stage to play a full set. This is the best night of music you could wish for. 'The Pitch and Yaw Of Satellites' barrels in, spasmodic blasts of guitar, bass, drums and electronic squeals breaking in and out uncontrollably, and 'Recovery Speak' shimmers and shines, glacial and delicate, until some guy comes and lets rip with some crazy Jazz Fusion saxophone wailing. I really do pity all the fools who missed this amazing, once in a lifetime musical extravaganza to see Kasabian. (LM)

Saturday Reading/Sunday Leeds

From Autumn To Ashes (Main Stage - Leeds)

For want of anything better to do, an amble to the main stage seems in order, where heavy, screamo/hardcore quartet FATA are whipping up a veritable musical storm. Cutting through the Yorkshire wind with walls of down tuned guitars and 100mph drumming, as a wake up call on the fourth day of boozing it's akin to a swift boot in the head; an effective rouser and probably the best thing for you. (LM)

The Longcut (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Leeds)

Quite a surprise for me this. Average Mancunian Dance Rock I thought - all cowbells and yelped vocals. Not so. Bathed in blue light for most of the set, drummer/vocalist Stuart races between kit and microphone, feeding his voice through effects pedals, cutting up beats, while the other two fashion a thrilling New Order meets Chemical Brothers racket. Good stuff. (LM)

Clor (Carling Tent - Reading)

Saturday sees me starting my day with GIITTV favourites Clor in a packed Carling Tent. Signed after only 5 gigs and still inexperienced, they still look at home on this tiny stage. Their goofy electro-pop works well live, with singles 'Love + Pain' and 'Outlines' (ie. the ones that people recognise) getting the biggest cheers. They've still a long way to go to be the Main Stage stars they are touted to be, but their set shows it's still a possibility. (MM)
Million Dead (Lock Up Tent - Leeds)

Million Dead are not your average "Black T-Shirt" band. In Frank Turner they have one of the finest lyricists in an absolute age, and the music they bestow on the crowd of the Lock Up stage today is nothing short of breathtaking. 'Bread & Circuses' erupts with a discordant violence not seen since Black Flag; 'Plan B' is a rampaging ball of furious fury and 'To Whom It May Concern' induces the best mass sing-along of the weekend "I'm only working here because I need the fucking money". (LM)

Dinosaur Jr (Main Stage - Reading/Leeds)

Perhaps inspired by the success (and expanding bank accounts) of the re-formed Pixies, proto-grunge legends Dinosaur Jr recently reformed. It's quite an obscure set but the crowd-pleasing hits 'Freak Scene' and Cure cover 'Just Like Heaven' are in there, entrancing the sadly small but loyal crowd. You can tell that long-haired (and now grey-haired) weirdo J. Mascis and Lou Barlow still haven't settled a few differences, but they're still damn good at performing live. (MM)

If there's a band on today's bill who have the power and projection to cut through the howling crosswinds of the main stage its Grunge/Slacker legends J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph. 'Little Fury Things', 'Repulsion', 'Freakscene'; they're all here. At one point I lie back in the damp grass, sun blaring in my eyes, thumping drums and rumbling bass reverberating through me, J soloing like a bastard and it feels like a dream. (LM)
The Kills (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Reading)

Move over White Stripes, The Kills are doing the minimalist thing to the EXTREME, comprising only two vocalists, a guitar, a tambourine and… a drum machine. Unfortunately, the lone guitar can't disguise that they don't have Jack and Meg's way with a tune and, with highlights 'Fried My Little Brains' and 'The Good Ones' out of the way, their set ended up getting very tedious. (MM)
The Charlatans (Main Stage - Leeds)

Due to laziness and the fact that the sun's out, a decision is made to get some more drinks in and stay at the main stage for Indie veterans, The Charlatans. I've always liked them anyway, there's something soulful about the likes of 'How High' and 'North Country Boy', but today it all passes me by - and Tim Burgess' falsetto just sounds camp now. (LM)

Hot Hot Heat (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Reading)

One of the most pleasant surprises of the weekend. With a monstrous moshpit gathering around them (impressive for an indie-pop band), they run through the hits with great stage presence and obvious experience, which has made the Canadians an excellent live act. Everything from their slightly disappointing new album finally got the injection of fun it so badly needed, and the classic 'Bandages' got another one anyway. (MM)
The Arcade Fire (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Reading/Leeds)

Everyone who saw The Arcade Fire over the weekend decided their Band Of The Weekend the minute they kicked off with 'Wake Up'. To a tent rammed with smug people who know they'll be on the Main Stage next year, their incredible songs are played with a passion and warmth (and the sight of drummers in crash helmets beating each other on the head with drumsticks) which makes them even better than their recorded counterparts. They air half of debut album 'Funeral' and a few EP tracks, including the rarely-played 'Headlights Look Like Diamonds'. But it's the closing double-whammy of 'Power Out' and 'Rebellion (Lies)' that make everyone simultaneously dance and get shivers down their spines. This review is becoming far too long but for a good reason: this was one of the best performances I'd ever seen. (MM)
I enjoyed the bit where two of them started attacking a cymbal; and then each other. The rest was y'know, nice enough. (LM)

Sleater Kinney (Carling Tent - Leeds)

Spectacular. This is the sort of shit I want. Guitar amps dangerously close to exploding. Squalls of feedback permanently damaging my ears - a scabrous Garage Rock maelstrom. In front of a criminally small crowd in the Carling Tent, Carrie, Corin and Janet put on the most fluid yet ragged and raging Rock 'n' Roll performance I've ever witnessed. (LM)

Babyshambles (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Leeds)

As always, the rumours of a Doherty no show whip around the crowd, but no, he came, and sang (very well as it happens), and put on a top show. Not that he and his band live up to the hype in anyway, but it's good to hear the skeletal, whimsy Pop of 'Kilamangiro' beefed up a bit and the recent single 'Fuck Forever' given a decent vocal performance (the crowd do help out a little). Pity that Pete had to welcome some no-hoper onto the stage to fanny about during some half arsed Ska number though. (LM)

The Raveonettes (Carling Tent - Reading)

The Raveonettes have added some variety to their set with some impressive new songs that weren't entirely recorded in B flat minor (which is what made their output so far so irritating). Newie 'Ode To LA' is particularly impressive, though it's a shame they couldn't wheel out Ronnie Spector, who duetted on the recorded version. Still, you can't have everything. (MM)
The Go! Team (Carling Tent - Reading/Leeds)

A huge crowd flocks to see these rising Brighton noise-makers in the Carling tent, and wisely so. Lead singer Ninja guides us through the non-stop party, free-styling over the instrumentals from their strikingly original album 'Thunder, Lightning Strike'. There are an extortionate amount of highlights for a 50-minute set: the drummer, Silke, sings a cute nursery rhyme-style song from the Japanese album, the reserved-looking rhythm section jump around through 'Junior Kickstart', and the closing 'Ladyflash' gets even the cooler-than-thou indie kids dancing. It's the perfect feelgood (but not by numbers) end to a day full of great music. (MM)
It's such a shame that the sound quality wasn't up to scratch tonight. Everything was in place for the cut & paste, sample-tastic dance/rock/soul/hip hop sounds of The Go! Team to end the festival on a high, and while frontwoman Ninja leapt about the place with masses of charm and energy, it wasn't the carnival atmosphere I was hoping for. Still better than the Foo Fighters mind. (LM)

Seriously, fuck Dave Grohl, the most mundane man in rock and his shaving advert backing tracks. Bland branded monotone MOR rock. The Go! Team instead offer a more appealing alternative and the audience are treated to some delights off their debut album Thunder, Lightning, Strike. An unlikely bunch fronted by the beautifully astute and fearless Ninja who cavorts with an endless supply of energy into the tent. Rocking verses and chirpy choruses make sure dancing is plentiful. Simply the best way to end the festival. (SB)

Sunday Reading/Friday Leeds

My Chemical Romance (Main Stage - Leeds)

A band that truly encompass the whole attitude of the youthful 'fucking' Carling festival, suitably break-in the weekend's proceedings. My Chemical Romance open on the theatrically charged cheese rock of 'I'm not okay (I promise)' and it gets Leeds moshing. They openly and rather too obviously toy with the iconography of death, drink, suicide and bleakness. The refrain 'Will your Bury' me invokes lesser Miss Havisham inspired images of doomed romance. This stereotypical approach goes absolutely unnoticed, as they get a massive reception. The undeniably lovely Gerard Way (who obviously is naturally very fat) wears a bullet vest/straight jacket combo. Harmless over-top-fun. (SB)
Art Brut (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Leeds)

In the second band slot of the NME/Radio 1 tent, Art Brut pull in a strange crowd. Dedicated teen fans push to the front, while 30 something couples with camping seats loiter at the back; but all are nodding and dancing along after the rattling - verging on shambolic - Art Pop/Punk of 'Formed A Band' and 'Bad Weekend'. Even my Oasis and Kasabian loving mate seems won over, commenting that "he's got a point there you know" as Eddie Argos commands every single person in the crowd to "go home and form a band". (LM)

Towers Of London (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Leeds)

Quite frankly, they're rubbish. GLC pull off the spoof Rap/Hip Hop brilliantly and to some extent The Darkness managed the comedy Cock Rock thing for a while, but this lot with their pretend Punk are just poor. (LM)

The Rakes (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Leeds)

I've never been sure about The Rakes, and I'm still not convinced. Okay so missing vocalist Alan Donohoe through illness was probably a big setback, but until the driving, vibrant guitar attack of the punky 'Strasbourg' comes along (with vocals by Kele from Bloc Party) it's all a bit tame. (LM)

Sons and Daughters - (NME/Radio 1 Stage - Leeds)

Glaswegian band Sons and Daughters are by far one of the more superior bands to grace the bill this year with their eloquent, fiery, dark folk. Opening on 'Medicine', live the songs take a bitterer and more aggressive sound. It should be lashing with thunder and lightning outside; because that would be perfect. He growls and spits, Adele menacingly screams and her husky passion is evocatively creepy as she prowls the stage. There is no denying that 'The Repulsion Box' is a great album, and the majority of today's set is formed from the finer moments of that album. Favourites 'Johnny Cash' and the finishing track 'Blood' are the only tracks played from 'Love The Cup'. (SB)
Hal (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Reading)

A rather muted crowd greets Hal, who run through the hits with a smile anyway. 'Worry About The Wind' and 'Don't Come Running' are nice enough but it seems a tad out of place in a tent ('60s pop like this needs to be out in the sunshine). Fun but nothing particularly special. (MM)
Maximo Park (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Reading/Leeds)

Their recent, rapid ascent sees Maximo Park playing a smaller slot than they deserve (behind The Duke Spirit? Come on!), so the tent is pleasingly packed. Despite only having one album under their belt, their performance feels like a Greatest Hits set, as the audience know all the words and go equally crazy when singer Paul Smith announces the song titles. It's a sturdy and charismatic performance and, more importantly, a rite of passage into the big time. (MM)
The NME/Radio 1 tent is absolutely rammed for the Newcastle Art Rockers; so they obviously don't need me to go overboard with the compliments, which is fortunate. Only the ever rising, yearning, melodic glory of 'Graffiti' really grabs my attention, well that and the girl who's dragged back past us, eyes rolling back in her head, tongue lolling from her mouth, skin lifeless and grey. Here's hoping she's okay. (LM)

Incubus (Main Stage - Reading)

I only caught the first half of this set, but it symbolised why I stayed well away from the Main Stage today. Even though almost all of Reading turns up to see them, Incubus' set is dull and uninteresting, veering from snoozesome MOR like 'Wish You Were Here' to some misplaced funky bass. (MM)
Komakino (Carling Tent - Leeds)

They're a strange one Komakino. Ryan is a fixating frontman, all cheekbones, skinny jeans and almost involuntary jerky dance moves, and they do make some majestic Post Punk/Post Rock noises (think Joy Division crossed with Hope Of The States). But there's something missing from all the songs bar the sensational 'Say Something'; the sort of tune and melody that goes straight for the heart, I think. (LM)

British Sea Power (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Reading/Leeds)

The foliage from their earlier gigs is gone but fans bring their own anyway. But there's a reason for its absence: British Sea Power want to focus the attention on the giant bear that they bring onstage for 'Lately', which they subsequently beat up. It's quite a sight. Musically, their set is fantastic, mostly culled from debut 'The Decline Of British Sea Power', despite Yan forgetting some words during 'Remember Me'. No one cares though: BSP have become such festival favourites that the hardcore fans are singing along to every word. (MM)
On the same stage as last year, albeit a couple of rungs up the running order, BSP seem to have gathered a fair few more fans since then. And although this makes for a rather more cramped experience, the band still excel. Old favourites like 'Remember Me' and the gorgeous, uplifting 'Carrion' are greeted with riotous applause, while there aren't many don't spin around in fervour to the magical, joyous Indie Pop of 'Please Stand Up'. I'm sure someone else will mention the bear. (LM)

MIA (Dance Tent - Leeds)
MIA Top of the Pops! MIA Top of the Pops! MIA Top of the Pops! MIA TOP OF THE POPS! Groovy, fun and addictive - especially the dip into Salt'n'Pepper's 'Push It' - How can you not dance to this stuff? (SB)
Marilyn Manson (Main Stage - Leeds)

Contrary to reports, the opening of Marilyn Manson's set was a thrilling spectacle. Not as urgent as his performance at the grey Reading Festival of 2001, but what distinguished this show was the professionalism it was executed with. Everything occurred on cue. The hits boomed and chimed around the main stage to a receptive crowd. (SB)

LCD Soundsystem (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Reading/Leeds)

James Murphy knows how to put on a party and, despite his apparent loathe of singing, he's on form tonight, putting a refreshingly different, super-fast spin on 'Daft Punk Is Playing At My House'. The highlight of the set comes with a terrific live version of the fantastic, 8-minute, hipster-baiting techno track 'Losing My Edge'. He single-handedly turns the indie-tastic Radio 1 tent into the best rave in the world. (MM)
Mylo (Dance Tent - Leeds)

Bodies pop from every curve of the dance arena. Mylo teases the audience at every opportunity. A yell-along to 'Sweet Child O' Mine', a spangly loved-up 'In Your Arms', the heavy duty 'Destroy Rock'n'Roll', all accompanied by mind bending adrenaline ticking visuals. Something happened at 9.50pm. The song of the weekend: 'Drop The Pressure'. Unrestricted and irreplaceable euphoria grips the masses piled into this stretched dancing void. (SB)
The Futureheads (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Reading/Leeds)

Having distinguished themselves as the best of the NME crop of angular, arty post-punk bands, The Futureheads play one of the last shows of their tour to a welcoming crowd. Their songs are sped up, which makes the harmonies and guitar lines even more lightning-paced. They've become great showmen too: they split the crowd up during their crowd-pleasing cover of 'Hounds Of Love' and make them sing the different vocal parts. It's warming to hear the whole of the Radio 1 tent go “OH! Oh-oh” over and over again. (MM)
Slightly spoiled for me by some idiotic and pathetic behaviour from the people standing behind us, The Futureheads are another band who draw a massive crowd. As they rattle through edgy, New Wave, barbershop quartet-tastic tracks like 'Meantime' and 'Le Garage' we're really just waiting for the communal sing-along of 'Hounds Of Love'. And when it comes, by god it's good. So good in fact, that campsite's around the Leeds site are filled with chants of "OH! Uh! OH!" throughout the night. (LM)
Echo & The Bunnymen (Carling Tent - Leeds)

Singing along to the beautiful, tender ballad of 'Nothing Lasts Forever' with your arm around your best mate; Ian McCulloch (looking cooler all in black than any of today's bright young things, and chain smoking throughout) crooning in a voice so fragile, yet with stunning clarity; Will Sergeant filling the Carling Tent with shards and splinters of icy guitar, you realise that it doesn't get much better than this. And then they play the haunting 'Killing Moon' and you start thinking about whether you can get away with a long black overcoat and heavily tinted glasses all year round. (LM)
Bloc Party (NME/Radio 1 Tent - Reading)

Calling it “the biggest gig of our careers”, Bloc Party finish the Radio 1 tent line-up off in triumphant style, and not even a moron who climbs a pole to get a better view can dampen their spirits. Matt Tong's drumming is most impressive, propelling the songs and make these rather awkward tunes danceable. Finale 'The Pioneers' even comes with an oversized shower of confetti. Though they can't quite match the breakneck speed and amazing harmonies of the Sunderland crew, it's a damn good set nonetheless. (MM)
Iron Maiden (Main Stage - Leeds)

Moving onwards and upwards from the frenetic energy of Mylo's haze induced set; there is still time to catch the close of Iron Maiden, who this weekend celebrated their 16th top ten single. The satisfied smile from Mylo bounds into full blown hysterics. Inexplicably, there is something overwhelmingly comical about Iron Maiden's set. It could have been the palpable and ever visible Eddie, or perhaps the burning '666'; or the valiant stance of Bruce Dickinson. It was extravagant. It was heavy metal pantomime. However, Mylo was so damn good, he numbed the sense of reality that Friday night at Leeds. After leaving the Maiden, Bloc Party sound amazing, but I cannot get an inch inside the NME/Radio 1 tent to see the Art Rock pioneers. (SB)