Why Leeds Fest 2011 is punk

Over the last few years Indie music and style seems to have dominated; the charts, the festivals and fashion. But now rock has won back its title, and you can’t move for rock/metal/punk and pop-punk bands at this year’s Leeds Festival.

And if you want to see a show that people will be talking about, punk is the destination you need to be heading.

Get out the bic, shave your hair, grab a safety pin (sterilised of course, tetanus is not punk-rock), pierce your nose, rip up some tartan trousers and cut the sleeves off your favourite seventies out spoken rock band – Osmonds definitely do not count. You don’t have to do this, in fact it isn’t advised.

But start with visiting the Lock up stage on Friday to go and see Your Demise. Don’t be put off by the name, when you watch them you are further away from ‘demising’ than you could ever be. These are XXX hardcore on the punk rock spectrum. If you love the sound of screaming, erratic drum beats and tasty riffs, then go and watch them.

The four piece from St Albans might surprise you when you see them perform; lead singer Edmcrae is an example of small but mighty. Introducing the songs you might doubt that he has any anti-establishment values, because he is so well spoken, but he soon hits you right between the eyes with his incredible growl.

The in-your-face music will make you want to get into the front embrace the sweat and the squeeze. The kind of audience reaction you can expect is manic. Fans will be jumping for the whole set, trying and failing to shadow the energy that the band give off.

Expect invitations for mass stage invaders and a constant supply of crowd surfers.

On Saturday, if you want to see some more mainstream, but just as hard-hitting punk,go and see Rise Against on the main stage. Never shy of speaking out against ‘the man’ appearing on albums such; ‘Rock Against Bush’ and having a strong relationship with animal rights activists group PETA, they know what they believe and will tell you about it.

Lead singer Tim McIlrath will lure the audience into a false sense of security with his creamy american voice, before blowing them away with his intense scream. Lyrics are well crafted and their songs really do make you think. The fans bring more energy than the band and mosh pits will be huge.

Expect extremely passionate fans, circling, pitting and fist pumping.

The NME are braveley giving the stage up to Pulled Apart By Horses – this is definitely a must see show, hearing a description of a Pulled Apart by Horses show usually includes someone shaking their head puffing up their cheeks and blowing out saying “it was mental”.

Watching the Yorkshire lads, anything can happen, staying still and giving anything less than 300% seems like an impossible task for the band. They are adored by their fans and if you manage to get yourself to the front you are in for a wild ride. Watching guitarist James Brown you might wonder how he is able to play perfectly and still move around at 100 mph.

The band will give you your moneys worth and if you haven’t seen them before their performance will have your jaw permanently on the floor and their music isn’t half bad either.

Expect ANYTHING.

Finish your Leeds Festival experience on Sunday watching The Bronx on the Lock Up stage. The L.A. based band couldn’t be further away from the primped polished image that L.A. creates.

The band have been rocking for just over ten years and they are anything from tired. Don’t watch them if you want a nice way to wind down from the festival, unless having words fired like bullets at you and intense music is your idea of Zen.

You might not be able to pick out the lyrics or sing along but The Bronx are all about the atmosphere. Their music commands you to jump up and down and being squashed against the other fans is all part of the fun.

You can expect an energetic and interactive performance, with a lot of crazy fans, oh and watch out for the mosh pits!

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