New Found Glory
As heavy rain leaden skies float away revealing swathes of unbroken blue and sunshine at the Leeds Festival, waterproof jackets and hoodies are (temporarily) removed, sunglasses plaster beaming faces and the atmosphere becomes electric. It is almost as if New Found Glory brought some of their home state's sunshine with them early on this sunny Saturday afternoon.
Announced by compere Colin Murray as 'legends', the band enter the stage to a cheer warmer than the steady rays of sun now taking their opportunity to scorch the shoulders of a few thousand festival goers huddled around the Main Stage.
As singer Jordan Pundik bounces around the stage with the youthful aplomb, you would hardly know that the band has been together for 14 years. Collectively having the enthusiasm of a group unwearied by years of travelling and paying to unappreciative audiences, as well as the score of energy they still play with, they quite amazingly seem humbled and grateful for the opportunity play the festival.
During their warmly-received set newer material such as 'Radiosurgery' is a notable highlight, but it is older material such as 'My Friend's Over You', 'Catalyst' and 'Hit or Miss' which really ignite the crowd into a bouncing, heaving mass, all singing along in inharmonious harmony to those big chorus lines. Their cover of Sixpence None The Richer's 'Kiss Me' elicits one of the biggest sing-alongs of the afternoon, as arms are held aloft, water bottles are thrown skyward and the crowd sway un-rhythmically to the punctured drive of the now fan favourite. Their second cover - The Ramones' 'Blitzkrieg Bop' - may have been a little unnecessary, but was welcome all the same.
Although punk pop may have lost a little of its bounce in recent years, New Found Glory and the crowd at Leeds go some way to show its is still very much alive.