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  gig reviews - tasty 21

- Leeds Carling Festival- Sunday

Photos courtesy of

Leeds Carling Festival
24.8.03 Bramham Park

Yet another year and yet another resolution not to do the festival thing broken again. What's a man to do: a sunny bank holiday, no plans made and a rare opportunity for the tastyzine web geek to actually see some live music? Get yourself down to Bramham Park son! Which is easier said than done...

Despite the stewards not actually knowing where the festival was, arrival was relatively harmless and the bizarre experience of a dry  festival site beckoned. Carefully side-stepping the shocking-looking fairground rides (and that's just the dodgems), tasty's intrepid reporter made like all good journalists, straight to the beer tent. Once the initial shock of another 3 pint had worn off it was time for some hardcore music watching.

At least it would have been if there had been anything worth watching for the first few hours...I've never seen such a poor afternoon line up for a festival. Too many bands concentrating on adding 'The' to their name and not on making decent music as my old man would have said. With the sparkling exception of The Rapture who are forgiven for their love affair with the definite article. This bizarre bunch from San Francisco were absolutely fab, switching between electro pop, hardcore punk and emo with spooky ease. Sulky looking bunch though...

But why sit in a tent in the dark all day when you could be getting sun burnt to within an inch of your life outside? So a tactical retreat to the main stage followed just in time to catch the Doves. Not bad but more suited to a rainy afternoon in Salford than a sunny bank holiday - talk about lack of stage charisma. Not a criticism which could be levelled at Beck who once again pulled a storming set in Leeds. All the classics from Odelay were there to get even my beer sodden trainers moving.

Then a bizarre bit of festival programming - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Don't get me wrong, I like a bit of BRMC as much as the next man. But it was just a bit of a let down after the Beckster. Fortunately Blur were on hand to bring things round. they're one of these bands who I've always wanted to hate but end buying their records anyway. Even Mr Albarn seemed to be enjoying himself -some feat these days. It was good to see Phil Daniels doing his stuff on a couple of tracks during the encore and almost made up for the lack of talent earlier in the day. But then I was a bit pissed by the time I saw Blur...

Cheers to the lovely ladies who gave us a lift at the start of the day and saved us from death by dust.

Shane Blanchard