Arctic Monkeys prove big attraction on final day of Leeds Festival

Becca Macintyre, of Marmozets, on stage at the Leeds Festival. Picture: Sinead Harber
Becca Macintyre, of Marmozets, on stage at the Leeds Festival. Picture: Sinead Harber
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Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys brought the 2014 Leeds Festival to a close in impressive style with their main stage headlining set on Sunday night.

Although they did not play the full hour and 40 minutes they were given, Alex Turner and the boys entertained by far the biggest crowd of the weekend with all their best songs and plenty of tracks from most recent album Am.

There was little fanfare before they came on stage and no fireworks at the end. Turner also had surprisingly little interaction with the crowd, aside from several references to Yorkshire and his hometown, but the band let the songs speak for themselves and their confidence was justified.

Opening up with a storming Do I Wanna Know, they held the audience throughout until finishing with a four-song encore that included huge sing-along When The Sun Goes Down. More than one verse of Mardy Bum would have been nice, though.

Earlier on the main stage there were equally impressive shows by Jake Bugg and Imagine Dragons.

Bugg was another to let his music speak for itself with little talking between songs as he rattled off the best material from his two albums and finished sublimely with the beautiful Broken and rousing Lightning Bolt.

In contrast Imagine Dragons invited plenty of audience participation and included a surprise crowd pleasing cover when they played Blur’s Song 2.

Foster The people also pulled a huge crowd with their lighter brand of music than is normal on the biggest stage.

But there was disappointment when Leeds band Pulled Apart By Horses pulled their 12.55pm set at the last minute after bassist Rob Lee collapsed backstage. They tweeted later that he was okay and was being treated and apologised for the no-show.

Big crowds were not just confined to the big arena as the NME/Radio 1 Stage hosted Chvches, Bombay Bicycle Club, Don Broco, Lower than Atlantis and hotly tipped new rockers Royal Blood, who had their set cut a little after starting late.

The Alternative Stage was full too for the appearance of king of the one liners Milton Jones. He did not disappoint, getting some huge laughs and applause, while Katherine Ryan, Felicity Ward and Sara Pascoe also impressed and there was an appearance by YouTube sensations Jack and Dean.

For those liking their music of the loud, shouty kind the Pit (formerly known as Rock Stage) proved a distracting alternative for many with Of Mice & Men headlining and the biggest crowd for While She Sleeps.

It was hats off to West Yorkshire band Marmozets as they played two afternoon sets, following up their energetic performance on the NME/Radio 1 Stage with an even more high adrenalin show in the Pit when singer Becca Macintyre ended up crowd surfing.

They will have plenty of reasons to remember the 2014 Leeds Festival and so will the 70,000 or so who flocked once again to Bramham Park.

Overall it may have lacked a little in big names this year, but the feel-good factor won out despite Saturday’s rain and it is roll on 2015 for it all to happen again.