Billy Talent at Leeds 2010

Billy Talent are a band you could pick out in a vocal line-up with as much ease as recognising your own Mother's voice. They are one of the most unique acts knocking about, peddling their punk revivalist manifesto through their aggressive spiky beats and unmistakeable sound. Attending one of their live shows you get to experience a more pleasant equivalent of sticking your fingers into a plug socket. Sans death, obviously.

Opening with 'Falling Leaves', they instantly sprayed their musical scent all over the Main Stage with their crisp, jerking rhythm. 'Try Honesty' sounded as fresh as ever but would be the only song in the set from their self titled 2002 debut. Can't help but think of that as a bit of a shame... it really is an absolutely cracking album. It is of course understandable for bands to focus on their latest material as a means to promote, but could they not have sneaked in a cheeky 'River Below' or sly little 'This Is How It Goes'? I think they could have done. Furthermore, it might have inspired a bit more involvement from the crowd, who were clearly flagging from the heavy weekend and on the whole, were sitting this one out.

They were one of the victims of sound issues on the main stage this year, the defining voice getting slightly kidnapped by the wind. This didn't do many favours for slower paced song 'Rusted From The Rain', as it caused attention to drift and perhaps allow audience consciousness to focus more on how bitterly chilly it was that afternoon. However, it did provide a good stage to show that the novelty of Billy Talent's sound is yet to wear off as material from 'Billy Talent III' like 'Saint Veronika' and 'Diamond on a Landmine' were head-noddingly good.

The energy of 'This Suffering' gave the set a final push for audience inclusion, the infectious chorus acting like a finger snap in front of a drifting-off snoozer. It must be noted that my favourite enthusiast of the weekend was at this show. And the winner is... the chap in the woolly hat his arms held aloft and gesticulating with such adoration and conviction, singing every single word with the biggest smile on his face. He was stood up next to his group of about ten friends, who were all sat down, in the middle of an otherwise disinterested crowd. He made that set for me, showing the spirit of vivacity that Billy Talent are so capable of. Needless to say, he gave it Charlie Big Spuds during the euphoric closer, 'Red Flag'.

So, a bit of a funny one as sets go. All the right ingredients were there, but something lacked. It may have been the overlooking of earlier material, it may have been technical problems, it may have been a knackered crowd. Regardless, Billy Talent did do good at showing us what Billy Talent can do.