Photo Copyright © Jo Forrest
Day three arrives at Bramham Park and while the main stages started in less explosive fashion with Dayglow and The Sherlocks, our first port of call was the Festival Republic stage where local lads Static Dress were tearing it right up. A riotous start to the day, the Yorkshire boys made sure that, even though it was still early on, the healthy numbers who had turned up to see them didn’t leave disappointed.
A quick saunter over to the Main Stage West saw Californian rapper De’Wayne making sure he made the most of his time on stage. “I’ve always dreamt of playing this festival” announced the rapper acknowledging that many people won’t have heard of him prior to today.
Following on from Static Dress on the Festival Republic stage, The Skinner Brothers were also in no mood for a quiet set inciting mosh pits and more from the crowd. Indie favourites The Lathums were next up on the main stage and it’s clear to see the Wigan lads are a welcome sight to the main stage crowd. Chants of “Yorkshire! Yorkshire!” ring out as their frontman Alex Moore asks “what about Wigan! Wigan!?”. Like the Blossoms before them, these Northerners are rapidly rising up the card on festivals like this and, on this evidence, there is no reason why that shouldn’t continue.
For those who fancied something a bit heavier, Poppy strutted out onto the Main Stage West and blasted through her pop-laced metal. Suitably heavy, yet ridiculously catchy, the singer has evolved into something quite unique and judging by the “I Love You Poppy!” sign in the crowd, is amassing quite a following this side of the pond as well.
Another late addition to the line-up sees AJ Tracey join the main stage cast and even though he’s a huge draw, technical difficulties right from the off hamper his set although, after a false start, he hits his stride and has the crowd bouncing.
One band who have no such problems getting the crowd bouncing is St.Albans chaps Enter Shikari. Their energetic cocktail of drum n’ bass, rock and metal is a huge hit which, when coupled with the captivating visuals and some passionate talk from frontman Rou Reynolds, makes for powerful performance.
Again, for those who needed a breather from the musical onslaught, the Leeds Festival Alternative stage provided a good place for a break with some top comedy from new and familiar names including Sharon Wanjohi, Lloyd Griffith, Tez Ilyas and the brilliant headliner Joanne Mcnally. Tucked away in the corner of the site, the alternative stage really does offer comedy fans a wealth of quality entertainment and this year was no exception.
Back on the Main Stage though, another huge draw was aggressive hip-hop crew D-Block Europe who pulled in a massive crowd as did alt-rockers Wolf Alice who, in recent years, have rocketed up the bill putting in the kind of special guest performance that hints that a headline festival slot isn’t too far away.
One band who are definitely headliner status is Bring Me The Horizon who, quite honestly, were the highlight of the weekend. An absolutely flawless set from the Sheffield band, they’ve gone from deathcore/Myspace upstarts to fully-fledged rock superstars and, with a stage show fit for a headliner and guest appearances from Ed Sheeran (in Reading) and Yungblud here in Leeds, along with a wealth of festival size modern rock anthems like Happy Song, the Sheffield band were simply unstoppable this weekend.
When you talk about Reading/Leeds Festival to anyone these days, the major gripe appears to be the heavy lean towards grime/rap artists and while there is no denying acts like Stormzy and this year’s headliner Dave have their place at the top of what is still seen by many as a “rock festival”, seeing the kind of crowds that turned up for the “bands” proved that acts like Arctic Monkeys are still a huge draw.
Absolute pandemonium broke out in the crowd as the Yorkshire band took to the stage for their headliner set and, ahead of the release of their new album, the band treated the crowd to a wonderful set. Opening with Do I Wanna Know?, Brainstorm and Snap Out Of It, the band rattled through a twenty-one song set with every fan gripped to the barrier at the front singing along to every word as a raucous run through of “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” brought Leeds Festival 2022 to a riotous, anthemic conclusion.