The Talented Mr Billy
I'm looking forward to seeing Canadians Billy Talent today, partly because they're an excellent band but mainly to see how they handle the transition from venue or tent to the great open space of the main stage.
The set up around the main stage at Leeds Festival makes it quite easy to gauge the size of the crowd that different bands get and it's obvious that Billy Talent have one of the larger crowds, certainly for an early afternoon slot. The crowd are in fine voice too; even back on the hill away from the central block people are dancing and singing along as the band rip through 'Line & Sinker'.
They get a short 45 minute set today and have no trouble filling it with a string of classic anthems. Billy Talent are an incredibly strong singles band and at a festival with limited time at their disposal they know exactly what to throw in to the set. It's almost like a greatest hits set and it's testament to the strength of the material that you have to remember that they are only on their second album. 'The Ex', 'Perfect World', the always outstanding 'Try Honesty' and 'Fallen Leaves' all pave the way for the set stealer, which today comes in the form of 'Red Flag'. The crowd erupts as the drum intro kicks in and it's the perfect sing along anthem to make Billy Talent's set one of the most memorable of the weekend.
Billy Talent just deliver the goods every time we see them and if album number three is as strong as the first two then I think we can expect them to join the likes of Feeder and Ash as firm festival favourites for the foreseeable future. As for the transition to main stage, I should have guessed, it seems to have no bearing on their performance whatsoever!