Pop Talk with Dave Best of The Pigeon Detectives

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In 2009 I watched Arctic Monkeys headline Leeds festival. They delivered, in my opinion, one of the most unenthusiastic, lacklustre headline performances I have ever seen on the main stage.

In 2009 I watched Arctic Monkeys headline Leeds festival. They delivered, in my opinion, one of the most unenthusiastic, lacklustre headline performances I have ever seen on the main stage.

A few days ago it was announced that this year, they were once again to headline the Leeds/Reading Festival and I only hope, for the sake of 50,000 drunkards in a muddy field in Bramham, the Sheffield four-piece bring their A-game.

Through the course of their 5-album career, the band has succeeded in achieving, and maintaining a loyal fan base that has seen them raise to the very top of the UKs musical stratosphere and cement themselves as one of the few modern British bands capable of topping a festival bill, along with the likes of Coldplay, Muse and maybe Kasabian.

The difference being, the other bands I listed have not only amassed the relevant album sales to headline a festival, but actually know how to headline a festival. Muse for example have a awe inspiring ability to leave all the other bands on the bill in their wake, with thunderous noise, mind blowing lights and most importantly, by looking like they actually want to be there.

Maybe it was an “off night”, but when the Monkeys headlined in 2009 it was all ‘heads-down and play’. There was little to no interaction with the crowd and the band was seemingly going through the motions. To me, they reeked of a band that has never really been criticized and so had the notion that they could just turn up, play and that would be enough. When you’ve spent a whole weekend watching brilliant bands, you need more than this from your headlining band. You need them to knock your socks off.

To be fair to the Arctic Monkeys I have seen them since Leeds Festival 2009, at their own show at The Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle in 2011 and they were a different beast.

Alex Turner had developed the swagger and confidence needed to carry a huge gig and the production of the whole event was a world away from that of 09 in both spectacle and energy. I hear that last years Glastonbury gig was something to behold too.

So lets hope they are in the mood to impress and put on a mind-blowing show at Leeds Fest 2014. One thing I know for certain: The crowd will do their part.

London Grammar

Gig review: London Grammar at O2 Academy Leeds