LIVE: Leeds Festival 2022: Sunday

By Jess McCarrick

A staple of British culture and somewhat riddled with controversy, this year’s Leeds festival was set to take a stride forward into new territory. What used to be a lineup filled with primarily rock and indie offerings has morphed in line with the music zeitgeist. Whether part of the party who rules this changing as an abomination or you’re eager to see what’s currently popular take centre stage, the billing was certainly varied enough to excite fans. With the weather choosing mercy on the usually damp hillsides and a sense of refreshed excitement at new lineup additions (albeit some disappointing ones too), lets dig into the acts that made this bank holiday weekend one to remember.


Static Dress

What do you get when you pair relentless energy and crashing drums with a lead singer whose voice manages to stretch and scream over every word so intensely you wonder how he does it? Static Dress, that’s what. You have to hand it to them – they are all or nothing with everything set to 100%. Lead singer Olli Appleyard shares his appreciation by highlighting how he’s not feeling great today but “to see this many people here is fucking sick”. There’s something special about watching a band local to Leeds who’ve been coming to this festival for years now getting to play. He asked how many people knew who they were and half the hands in the tent moved up but the entire crowd could’ve already been fans judging by their enthusiasm. The drummer was putting so much power into his strokes it was hard to know how the sticks didn’t puncture holes in the kit over the course of the set. Their sound is complex, with fully interwoven components that create a disorienting and abrasive sound that’s hard not to get behind. The showmanship from the group was immense as Appleyard jumped off an amp and straight onto a keyboard that he later then smashed just before he was escorted off stage at the end of the set. This band certainly practices what they preach.

Enter Shikari

Enter Shikari have made quite a name for themselves over the last decade of their fruitful career. They preach sustainability and equality through the use of experimental production that is part rock, part electronic, part something new entirely. It’s all carried perfectly by Rou Reynolds who could go down in history as one of the best frontmen of all time, able to control the crowd like no other whilst speaking about topics with a level of sincerity that most lack. The Main Stage West was set and we were prepared for a show, all of us immediately erupting as the iconic riff of ‘Live Outside’ began, paired with the explosion of confetti to match the high energy. From that moment it is a blur of people crashing into each other, the dust from the ground rising in a glorious fashion thanks to not one pair of feet being stationary. They brought out Wargasm for their latest single ‘The Void Stares Back’ which was met with huge applause in admiration for the band that have been picking up steam as of late. A highlight of their set was of course ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’ with the crowd happily obliging them for the iconic triple-clap involvement in the chorus. They have carved a place for themselves amongst the greats and their fans are second to none thanks to their enthusiasm and decorum – a welcomed necessity.


Cassyette is the definition of versatile, her insatiable discography laced with electro pop and punk influences all meshed together to create her unique sound. She slithers around cool as anything in total control as her band lay down the foundation of her opener ‘Dear Goth’, a sultry anthem with an ironic theme. She has amazing vocal skill that was able to shine through on the more discreet numbers. This is really a one woman show, backed by a heroic drummer and a guitarist that worked so instinctively together. Her passionate intensity is a pleasure to witness, especially in closer ‘Petrichor’ that shows her immense range – her voice is almost sacrilegious, in total and often baffling control of her ability. She is bending the genre lines and creating a lane of her own, cementing herself as one to watch for sure.


Quite the opposite from the previous act was carolesdaughter, in a lot of ways carrying the same air of angst throughout her set but in a more carefully curated package. Though her tracks are riddled with honesty her performance felt rather one sided and almost identical to her recordings, the live setting not adding much. At the halfway point her backing band left the stage, leaving behind interesting backing beats, proving a little light for her punky persona. Her performance from then on out was bland, prancing around stage delivering lines with little intensity and lacking a genuine feel. She admitted that she had not been feeling well and had to take things slowly which certainly explained her performance style. It was good of her to power through and still perform her hits like ‘Violent’ and ‘Trailer Trash’, their self-deprecating humour befitting the nature of the show. Catch her on a good day and the performance would have shone.


This performance was madness. Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror fittingly) have been trailblazing the music scene for years with their merging of rap, metal and rock to create something that is unpredictable and unprecedented. As quickly as the instruments begin their tunes, the crowd is thrown into a frenzy. The BPM has never been so intensely maintained throughout a set, taking deep foundations of relentless noise and energy in their stride as they continually batter their instruments. The songs are indistinguishable in the best way possible; absolutely ferocious in their delivery and creating chaos in the crowd. You could feel the pure, unbridled rage amongst onlookers was being shared with the band, with frontman theOGM knowing exactly how to ignite it. You have to hand it to them; they can provoke such a passionate response and, given their performance, it’s unsurprising.

Wolf Alice

Delicate, thoughtful and a crowd as big as The 1975, Wolf Alice are an indie sensation that just keep on giving. The foursome are masters of their instruments as they pour over complex yet understated melodies, accompanied by a subtle vocal performance. Graceful songs like ‘How Can I Make It Okay’ and ‘The Last Man on Earth’ build gradually to show off the carefully placed heavier motifs taken from rock influences, totally unique to the group and helping them stand out from the crowd. Throughout the course of the set it is hard to not be in awe as the group masterfully manages to balance softness with intensity. Closing their set with ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’, the band are met with a universal cheer from the throng around the stage, as the delicate synth trickles in and we can only gaze with our admiration. Their softness is a welcomed break from the other extremities of the weekend, the perfect calm before the upcoming storm.

Bring Me The Horizon

Bring Me The Horizon are a band that need no introduction, clawing themselves to headline status over their glittering career, and no one deserves it more. Lead singer Oli Sykes saunters on stage and looks the part as they open with one of their biggest tracks ‘Can You Feel My Heart’, parting the crowd with his voice. Immediately they follow with the iconic ‘Happy Song’ which sends everyone into a spectacular frenzy of bodies battling to express half as much as Sykes is able to do with his vocals. The show felt like it was on another level to anything they’ve done before, returning to the festival for the first time since their secret set in 2017, and what a momentous return. They continued through their setlist with immense enthusiasm and uninhibited glory, hitting every beat with absolute consistency. Their sister performance at Reading Festival had seen the band bring out Ed Sheeran to do a rendition of track ‘Bad Habits’, and we can’t help but feel lucky that in his place we had Yungblud to sing his parts on the riotous ‘Obey’. As the sun set and the show came to an end, one last triumphant move was made as huge red streamers shot into the sky to mark the moment, leaving us all with one collective thought; what a show.