Young Guns at Leeds
Sunday morning. The now weary temporary residents of Bramham Park awoke to something they'd managed to avoid until then. Rain. First thing in the morning., it belted down; rudely disturbing us from our slumber by sounding like the tents were being pelted by gravel. You would think that this unwelcome visitor would spell disaster for the Main Stage's opening slot of the day, Young Guns. On the contrary.
As you head towards the arena, the sound coming from the main stage is what gets picked up in the wind and carried over the hills. So at twelve o'clock when the fantastically irrepressible 'Crystal Clear' kicked in, it became an enchanting spell to draw in the fuzzy-headed and indecisive crowd. The confident crashing and catchy hooks possessed something of a magnetic Pied-Piper-effect, and the modest sized crowd snowballed into something rather impressive given the grim start to the day's atmosphere.
Young Guns are a band that deserve every bit of their 'next big thing' status. They are involving, energetic and thoroughly charming. 'Winter Kiss' and its infectious chorus, much of the ilk of The Blackout, was the moment that the good performance turned into a great one and ironically became the song to thaw out the audience, and make the damp beginnings of the day become a more distant memory. Vocalist Gus Wood did everything in his and his mic's capacity to build a connection between the band and audience, successfully encouraging the early pit to get into the music.
The set proved to be a stunning showcase for debut album 'All Our Kings Are Dead'. There is just so much good stuff going on there, like the energy emanating from 'DOA' and the Lostprophets-status opulence of the outstanding riff-heavy meatiness of 'Weight of The World'. They lit that stage up and truly got rid of the cobwebs. You would have thought they had been hitting up the main stage for years given the display of confidence and command of the crowd, opening up circle pits and creating an impressive wall pit. Showmanship is something Young Guns have in abundance, with the entire show being thoroughly engaging; this being topped off with Gus flinging himself into the pit for a crowd surf and guitarist John Taylor mounting an amp stack for perfect finale 'Beneath The Waves'.
A truly superb set from a band that will continue to climb onwards and upwards.