Leeds Festival 2017 >> We pick some class acts to check out

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Teetering on the edge of adulthood, Leeds Festival is set to celebrate its 18th birthday with MUSE, KASABIAN and EMINEM as the party’s guests of honour.

Leeds Festival Main Stage

Photo: Tom Martin

Back in 1999, at the very first Leeds Festival, a relatively unknown MUSE played pretty low down on the bill ahead of the release of their debut album. Next weekend, the trio will return to the Main Stage as Friday night headliners. It’s going to be pretty neat to say the least.

For us, the Main Stage this year has very little appeal, apart from our absolute faves JIMMY EAT WORLD. And kicking things off on Saturday, London lot JUDAS return to the Main Stage triumphant after stepping up last-minute to fill a gap on there last year.

Their unexpected rise to Main Stage players acted as a precursor of what’s to come – their anthemic tunes are quickly outgrowing the size of venues they’re used to playing at. Big things to come from this foursome. Keep an eye on them.

Also opening the Main Stage on Sunday is Glaswegian noise-pop duo HONEYBLOOD. Packed with biting melodies and their debut album, Babes Never Die whisks us back to the heady days of mid-90s alt-rock. Think L7 or Babes In Toyland with more pop sensibilities.

🚨 CLASH ALERT! 🚨 While Honeyblood tear it up on the Main Stage, York indie dudes KING NO-ONE open up the NME/Radio 1 Stage. Their first foray into festival action came after winning the Centre Stage 2013 competition and have since gone on to good things.

The four-piece are heading out on another headline tour later this year, but in the meantime, we get to enjoy them playing in the biggest venue they’ve been in so far. We’d best get used to it…

Check out new tune Two Islands below >>

While we’re talking about Centre Stage, this year’s winners AVENOIR will be taking to the BBC Introducing Stage on Saturday lunchtime. The grunge trio saw off stiff competition in the finals at the O2 Academy Leeds in July and have been working with Mike Heaton of Embrace in the studio. Well worth checking out if you like your riffs solid and your rock fun.

X AMBASSADORS will be the first band we get to see at Leeds Festival. next weekend They’re first on the NME/Radio 1 Stage on Friday and are bloody good. Indie pop with a twist of alt-folk, the New York trio have an Imagine Dragons-y vibe, all snappy percussion and fizzy electronics.

There are a couple of rad Yorkshire rockers we’re keen to see again at Leeds Festival next weekend. First up are Leeds lot FIZZY BLOOD. With ace new tune ADHD fresh out, the four-piece will be on fire in The Lock Up tent on Friday.

 

Then we’ve got the mighty MARMOZETS from Bingley. They’re back with new tune Play after a spell away working on Album Number Two with Foo Fighters and Feeder producer Gil Norton. They’re a wild act live, and definitely one to catch on Sunday afternoon in the NME/BBC Radio 1 tent.

It looks like we’ll be spending a lot of the weekend at the Festival Republic Stage this year – SO many great bands to check out in the smaller of the site’s tents.

On Friday we’ve got KING NUN and WILL JOSEPH COOK, ASH and maybe THE HUNNA. Saturday sees IDLES, THE BIG MOON, TOOTHLESS and BEAR’S DEN, while Sunday’s treats are PARIS YOUTH FOUNDATION, SUPERFOOD, PUMAROSA, THE JAPANESE HOUSE, BLACK HONEY, GROUPLOVE and JAPANDROIDS.

Eagle-eyed festivalgoers may have noticed a 30-minute gap on Friday lunchtime between openers X Ambassadors and Mutemath at the NME/Radio 1 Stage. Strong rumours are already circulating that Josh Homme and his QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE will celebrate the release of their new album with a secret(ish) set.

Festival favourites FOO FIGHTERS are also a possibility. Or what about THE 1975 as pretty much all their labelmates are playing at this year’s Leeds Festival?

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