IT’S been a summer to remember for sure.
From Golden Jubilee jubilation to the Olympics gold rush and baking hot weather either side of flash floods... no-one will call 2012 ordinary.
But arguably the best bit of the season is about to come as Leeds Festival powers up for another round of rock ‘n’ roll feasting in just eight days time.
Last year the Bramham Park bonanza was topped by the return to action of Sheffield’s original indie globe-trotters Pulp. This year – the 10th anniversary of the northern half of Europe’s biggest twin-site festival being in its current home – headline heaven is courtesy of the Foo Fighters, The Cure and crowd-pleasers Kasabian on their only UK festival appearance this year. They all occupy the Main Stage during August 24-26 – as do Bombay Bicycle Club, The Black Keys, All Time Low and The Gaslight Anthem.
The NME/Radio 1 Stage isn’t exactly lacking thrills either. It hosts the brilliance of The Maccabees, Two Door Cinema Club, The Horrors, Chiddy Bang, a revived At The Drive-In and Justice, Blur guitarist Graham Coxon, hot on the release of his hugely acclaimed solo album A+E, Atlanta’s brutal metaller Mastadon and Passion Pit.
The Festival Republic Stage wields a formiddable line-up ranging from Feeder, Young Guns and The View to Futureheads with an a capella and acoustic set, off piste players TOY, and The Subways, featuring now Sheffield resident Charlotte Cooper.
Maintaining its mission to give the masses diversity in their festival diet, Metronomy will top the bill on a Dance Stage also featuring Azelia Banks and Katy B while Lock Up Stage headliners hail from the east and west coast of the US, namely California hard rockabilly/punk act Social Distortion and Florida’s inimitable Less Than Jake. The supporting cast is a cracker, taking in Anti-Flag, Gallows, Turbonegro and Bouncing Souls.
Just when you thought you were already having a problem plotting what to see and when, more names have been added across the weekend, including The Blackout, Santigold, The Joy Formidable – apparently at the request of Dave Grohl – The Hives, Dry The River and Tribes.
And when it is laughs rather than lyrics that you seek, The Alternative Stage is awash with wags, from Lee Nelson, Al Murray and Reginald D Hunter to Jason Byrne, Seann Walsh and Stephen K Amos. DJ Kid Koala and Benjamin Zephaniah will also be on hand.
For a lot of Leeds Festival fans, however, The BBC Introducing Stage is a must, teeing up some of the next generation of superstars.
And waving the flag for South Yorkshire are a duo who make much more noise than the sum of their parts – the wall-shaking Wet Nuns.
They’ll be vying for attention alongside some equally curiously-named acts but aim to win over even more friends in a year that has so far seen them justify the NME’s Top 20 ‘Bands To Look Out For In 2012’ list.
They began the year strongly with Heaven’s Below, remixed by Matt Helders – the Arctic Monkeys drummer was also spotted wearing their tour shirt on the Jonathan Ross show – followed by Throttle in March, accompanied by a rather disturbing video.
Their snarling, boisterous rock echoes The Black Keys and has had plenty of critics oozing superlatives over their songs about “women, death and beer”.
New single Why You So Cold emerges on September 10.
“We’re really chuffed to be at Leeds and Reading this year, thanks to Christian Carlisle at BBC Sheffield Introducing,” say the lads.
“Mainly we’re looking forward to sharing a stage with our pals Black Moth again. We have a habit of shouting obscenities at famous acts when we go to festivals; it’ll be interesting to see who gets it this time.
“And, obviously, we’ll be inviting Dave Grohl to ‘throw the pepper’ with us...”
Get yourself to the festival...
if you like the sound of all this and you would relish the chance to lap up Leeds Festival but haven’t got tickets yet... we have a pair of standard tickets, with camping, to give away.
Simply tell us the name of the Foo Fighters’ latest album via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by next Monday.
Please include your name, address and mobile phone number and put Leeds Festival in the subject field.
We’ll pick a winner by close of Monday, August 20, and be in touch on Tuesday.
The Editor’s decision is final and no monetary alternatives are available.
Winner must provide their own transport and tent.
Normal Sheffield Newspapers rules apply.