Another year of mud, music and mayhem at the Leeds Festival is over.
It was one of the greatest line-ups ever on paper, but the weight of expectation often leads to disappointment.
But let’s not start on a sour note, while the weather may have been drab, there were dozens of bands who definitely were not.
Thousands of the more astute festival-goers gathered expectantly at the NME/Radio 1 stage amid rumours that rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures would be filling the empty slot on Friday afternoon.
The collective – fronted by Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme with Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl on drums and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, have been creating a buzz on the internet, and those who took the chance to wait it out were duly rewarded.
Manchester legend Ian Brown gave a typically off-key performance but kept fans happy with Stone Roses’ epic Fools Gold.
If any festival-goers were feeling a bit sluggish The Prodigy soon woke them up unleashing some of their old school hits including 1992 single Out of Space.
But following the buzz of a Prodigy rave, Friday headliners The Arctic Monkeys sent everybody back to sleep with a very low key opening. While there’s no doubting the Sheffield band’s popularity, their reluctance to just ‘rock out’ saw many punters flocking to other tents for some proper flamboyance with The Gossip or Welsh band The Blackout.
If some of the main acts were failing to inspire the crowd, the smaller tents were not suffering from empty floor space.
Master Shortie had the Dance Tent bouncing as early as noon with his rap/rock tunes.
Supergrass side project, Hot Rats, battled through technical glitches to provide a crowd pleasing set of covers, including the Beastie Boys’ Fight For Your Right To Party.
And Bruce Springsteen sound-a-likes The Gaslight Anthem filled the NME tent with a fluent set of solid blue-collar rock.
Radiohead’s two-hour main stage performance was as notable for its amazing visual production as for its epic set-list.
While hardcore fans may have been disappointed by a shortage of their most well known tunes, the stage show with huge neon cylinders and flickering screens projecting live footage of the five band members, was a sight to behold.
Sunday saw the NME tent, surely the biggest tent in the world, overflowing for nearly the whole day with the latest darlings of the music industry including, Little Boots, Jack Penate, Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires and Jamie T.
With the main stage struggling with low crowds perhaps a stage swap was in order?
The Temper Trap’s hypnotising set was a moment of true spine-tingling euphoria and funny moment of the weekend saw retro-rockers the Blacklips incite a stage invasion in the Festival Republic Tent.
Closing the festival, band of the moment, Kings of Leon drew in the crowds as they upped the banter on their previous live performances, while over at the NME, Faith No More frontman Mike Patton appeared in a shiny silver suit and yet again proved there is no substitute for experience with an engaging array of interludes including the Eastenders theme tune.
BEST MOMENT: Spine tingling four minutes of The Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition.
DISAPPOINTMENT: Arctic Monkeys’ decision to play their new work above more obvious anthems.
SURPRISE HIT: Fight Like Apes – full of attitude and hi-tempo funky tunes.