Hadouken! at Leeds 2010
Intelligence test: Which stage are Hadouken! performing at? Ah, of course. Follow the lad in the neon tutu, rave paint and those fluro-plastic Kanye West-popularised slatted glasses. At around 3pm, most of the arena at Bramham Park would have felt a bit like the streets of Vulgaria in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' after the Child Catcher had done his rounds. Anyone with youth on their side was packing out every inch of the NME/Radio 1 tent and spilling into the surrounding field.
It's not hard to see why. Hadouken! are a relatively young band with something to say to, and for, young people. Their set became a rally for many, from the youngsters on their school holidays to those in their early-twenties who were in the middle of the nu-rave revival a few years ago; and there was a healthy dose of older, dance-loving audience members too. The buzz in the air about this band was overwhelmingly palpable. The roof nearly melted under the searing effect of 'Get Smashed Gate Crash' on the fantastically receptive crowd. There was a real feel of a sense of understanding between the stage and pit as, with arms held aloft 'welcome to our world, we are the wasted youth...and we are your future too' was being sung aloud with unyielding sweaty passion back to the band.
Heart-shaped hand gestures towards the stage sprouted up across the entire tent before continuing to flail and punch the air to crowd favourites like 'M.A.D' and 'That Boy That Girl' with screams of 'choooooon!'. Recent release 'Mic Check' was met with such enthusiasm it will undoubtedly be a highlight of the festival for many that fought their way into the middle of the tent that afternoon.
Crowd aside, and from an objective perspective, the show itself was not entirely dazzling. Some of the tracks didn't transfer brilliantly into a live performance, certainly not vocally. The bass line became the star of the show, but to be honest, this is was all that was needed to made the whole set work. A triumphant gig from a band that personify the raging ball of hormones, excitement and frustrations that make up the greater percentage of their crowd.