Slaves unleashed in latest Leeds Festival line-up


Interview by Graham Chalmers

A host of new names have been added to this year’s Leeds Festival line-up, adding to the already immense acts on show.

The bill now includes Mariachi El Bronx, The Bronx, Shura, Young Thug, No Devotion, Sunset Sons, Bo Ningen, Baroness Twin Peaks and more.

The music festival will take place over the bank holiday weekend from August 28-30.

The latest announcement adds to an already huge list of names, with headliners already announced as Metallica, Mumford & Sons and The Libertines, plus performances from Kendrick Lamar, Alt J and Bring Me The Horizon.

One set of newcomers seem set to make a big impression at Leeds Festival this year are Slaves who make fellow duos Royal Blood and Drenge look tame.

By the time this rumbustious duo hit the NME/Radio 1 stage on Sunday, August 30, their debut album, Are You Satisfied? will undoubtedly be well known to fans who like their music catchy, in your face and with a message.

The lively and spartan punky Kent-based duo who earlier this year were nominated for the BBC Music Sound of 2015 and the NME’s Best New Band award.

I say “punky” but talking to me on the phone, Laurie Vincent says there’s a lot more to this energetic duo than shouting, drum banging and raw, in your face, guitar riffing.

“Growing up our reference points were bands like The Jam and The Sex Pistols and grunge. People did seem to have more things to say then but they had less to fear from social media.

“We’re also into rap and Rave and hip hop. I think we’re primal in sound and vision. We’re simple and straight-up and that applies to all our artwork, too.”

Unfashionably, Laurie and Isaac Holman, his co-partner in Slaves, seem to stand for a lot. They even take clothes seriously.

Laurie said: “We’ve always been into the different styles of English sub-cultures. I think it’s important that bands are visually attractive but in a way that’s in keeping with their music.”

As well as catching this barnstorming duo at Leeds Festival in August, anyone wanting to see what all the fuss is about should get Slaves’ debut album, Are You Satisfied which was released today.

It’s less “punk” for start, says Laurie.

“It’s just us two but we’ve been learning to play different instruments, weird synths and drum machines. It’s a fuller sound on the album.”

As for the rest of the line-up. Mariachi El Bronx will return to the main stage’s prestigious opening slot whilst The Struts will perform at the festival for the first time on the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage on Saturday.

Illinois natives Twin Peaks will head to Leeds on the Sunday and British songwriter and producer Shura comes to the city on Friday.

Over on the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage will be Australian hitmaker Hayden James, German deep-house star Ferdinand Weber, DJ Fresh, Irish favourites Riptide Movement, live electronic duo Maribou State, pop starlet Petite Meller and The Six.

The Lock-Up/Pit Stage will host The Bronx, Baroness, Bo Ningen, Vant, Skinny Lister, No Devotion and As It Is.

The Festival Republic Stage aims to focus on both emerging and established alternative talent, with Sunset Sons, Scottish synth-poppers Neon Waltz, Spring King, Seether and The Last Internationale make the line-up.

Spread over six stages, there are plenty of acts to suit everyone’s taste, from Azealia Banks and Ms Dynamite on the BBC 1Xtra Stage, to Limp Bizkit and Tyler, the Creator on the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage.

For ticket details and other information about the event, visit the website.