After two years away from the sprawling acres of Bramham Park, The Kooks, Klaxons and Flume showed me exactly what I had been missing on a Friday at Leeds Festival rounded off by the big-hitting Blink 182.
Having spent two Summer’s away from the festival, any fears that it would have lost the attraction to festival-goers or the legendary atmosphere proved completely unfounded as the synonymous chants of ‘Leeds Fest’ and ‘Yorkshire’ echoed through the Radio 1 tent.
As the soulful Jungle finished their highly anticipated set in front of the rapturous crowd, there was a familiar feeling of excitement growing inside the tent with fans swarming in and out to see their musical heroes.
However, as with any successful music festival, the size of a crowd doesn’t necessarily create the atmosphere and can certainly never replace the talent on stage as The Bohica’s proved on the Festival Republic stage.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll group certainly didn’t let the limited crowd phase their performance as they showed the watching crowd just what their fellow festival goers were missing out on.
Every pounding beat and riff was matched by the enthusiasm of the band members and, as the crowd grew, so did the volume as the four-piece band ensured they would be anything but forgetful.
Leeds Festival has never been known for standing still though, especially in the dry conditions on Friday, as fans flitted the short distance from the Festival Republic tent to the Dance Stage to take in the electric sounds of the exciting duo Bondax.
Sing-alongs were few and far between here as fans focused their energy on dancing to their sophisticated sounds and their voices for old favourites like The Kooks back in the Radio 1 tent.
With new album ‘Listen’ under their belt, the boys from Brighton treated a bulging crowd to their new material but the loudest cries were made when the band reverted back to their debut album ‘Inside In/Inside Out’.
Like any old favourite, ‘Naive’ was barely audible amongst the throngs of fans screaming every line making the band almost redundant but complaints were few and far between as ‘Seaside’ and ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’ received similar treatment.
English talent was spread broadly across the Leeds Festival stages but The Pains of Being Pure at Heart proved the festival still opens their hearts to bands and artist from across the World when the boys from the Big Apple graced the Festival Republic stage.
As fans enjoyed their stylish indie sounds, the band took a brief interval to recommend the crowd to watch fellow Americans Blink 182 headline the Main Stage later in the evening, citing them as a ‘massive influence’ on their career.
In truth though, did anyone really need recommending to watch the fan favourites headline set?
As night drew and temperatures plummeted, fans warmed themselves up on the Dance Stage to the familiar sound of Klaxons before Flume headlined the stage with his acclaimed debut album ringing around the tent and leaving fans suitably satisfied.
However, as fans told me throughout the day and, after seeing them headline the festival in 2010, it was all about Blink.
As they did four years ago, Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus engaged in colourful conversation with the huge crowd before firing out favourites including ‘Feeling This’ and ‘What’s My Age Again?’
Fans filed out of the arena screaming the lyrics over and over as they prepared for what the rest of the weekend had in store. For me, however, the festival was over and I headed to the exit safe in the knowledge that it wouldn’t be as long before I returned.