Tag Archives: Leeds Festival

A 2011 interview with me

Since I know no one interesting or famous enough (not that they would agree to do one either) to warrant an interview. So like the arrogant fucker I am, I thought i’d put my 2011 memories in the form of an interview.

1) Best place you visited?
In between my large period of being a hermit writer, I have managed to see some very nice places, I went to London twice. I saw Wembley stadium for the second time but this time with my team leeds rhinos playing. But the best place has to be when I spent the week in Rome, a place I have always wanted to visit. We spent a exhausting 5 days making sure we saw all the sites.

See more of my photos of Rome from my 5 days there here (https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/extras-rome-photos/)

2. Best book you read?
According my goodsreads account, I read 25 new book last year (plus 2 re reads of books). Not a huge amount, but I managed to fit in a number very good books in there. I managed to finally read all 3 of the Lord of the rings books. The new John Scalzi novel Fuzzy Nation was a great book, I read the 4th dune book. Other book I really enjoyed was flashfoward and the forever series of books.  I read number of other sci-fi, post apocalyptic, fantasy and the odd thriller book in the year. But my favourite would probably have to be Neil Gaiman American Gods, different to anything else I read this year and it is partly the inspiration for the story (more credit should be given to lord of light however) I am currently writing.

3. Best film?
For me it has been a pretty poor year for films, and I would have really struggled coming up with my best film year before last week. I ordered Rise of the planet of apes on sky box office. I really enjoyed the prequel/remake, perhaps I have seen a better a film, but I really can’t think of any off the top of my head.

4. Best TV show?
There has been a few contender’s for this, starting with the last ever episodes of Stargate Universe and in turn the Stargate franchise. However, that is tinged with so much sadness I can’t put it as my best TV show of last year. Walking Dead season 2 (part 1) also aired which carried on from an excellent first series. There was Game of thrones which pretty amazing and the Borgias which I enjoyed as well. The show I enjoyed the most would be the first series of Sherlock, the second series just recently started and it reminded me just how good the show is, and how great those first episode were.

5. Best Game?
Mass effects 2 (see http://wp.me/psL0a-jo)

6. Best Album?
Another thing that I really haven’t kept up with all that much. I got the new Foo Fighters album, along with the long awaited (for me) new Kaiser Chiefs album which I thought was great. However, I found a new group that I really like The Dresden Dolls, and while none of their albums were released this year. I found all their albums were available on the website, for a pay-what-you-like price. So I manage to get 3 albums and a live album for a cheekily cheap sum. The songs have been played over and over again on my I pod and computer so one of their album would probably be the best.

7. Best Moment?
Without a doubt seeing Leeds Rhinos win their 5th grand final in 8 years, from the fifth position.Which was the lowest ever position for a team to win it from, they shocked almost everyone (including me) by winning it, and showed the world that they are true team of champions. I have been lucky enough to see all 5 of those grand finals they won, in them I have seen some magnificent tries. But the two tries that Rob Burrow scored and made were pretty amazing, and will stick in my memory for a long time to come, like the Scot Donald try in 2007.

Best moment

8. Best Gig?
I’ve seen a few good bands this year, Hurts in February was amazing and so was seeing Muse for the second time at Leeds Festival. Though the best gig I went to was seeing Arcade fire for the second time too. They are a interesting band to watch, because they are so many of them. Your eyes move all around, not being sure what to look at next. I give credit to my sister for getting me into them, they have a unique style. And they put on great show.

9. Most important thing that happen you in 2011?
I guess having an almost full time job, while it was only for a little over 6 months, it was an interesting experience living life of almost full time working. It was not my ideal job, and not at all stimulating, but then again I did say I got the experience of a full time job, so what did I expect? Hopefully, a new job will rear its head soon in 2012.

10. What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
Quite a few things, there might be a holiday to American in the making which would be very, very good. I will be going to Italy to see my sister, who is now living there for next 6 months. But most of all I look forward to reading plenty more books, playing more games and getting a lot more writing done this year, a lot more than I did last year. Oh and the new Keane album and tour!


The weekend

After a week of stomach cramps, i took to having a busy weekend; going  by my own standards. On the Friday i went to Leeds Fest, on the Saturday i went to London and to Wembley for the challenge cup final*. It was a mixed time for myself, still feeling a little ill, i traveled to the leeds festival. It was nice to see my friends who was camping and hung out with them, ate some burgers, and listen to some good music. The best music of that night was of course the headliner muse. It was the second time i have seen them, and they put on a typical energetic performance. As it was the 10 year celebration of their second album, origin of symmetry, they played every song from that album, as well as some of the biggest songs. It was a very muddy evening, with the rain pouring down, the liquid mud reached my shins on the wellies. It was a miracle and something i’m quite proud of that; i did not fall over.

Then came Wembley, me any my Dad went to the amazing and huge stadium via a coach. I was tired from leeds festival, my legs were aching, so the 5 hour coach trip was nice, for the feet anyways. Some more bad burgers later and  the final was about to start. It started off bad 16 points down within 20 odd mins. I felt it was going to be a very bad night, but Leeds came back and was within inches of taking the lead in the last 5 mins. However it was not to be, the leeds lad should be very proud of them self, before the game they was not given a chance in hell of winning, and they came so close. There is always next year, but the time is running out for the Leeds Legend, Kevin Sinfield to win the only club honor that has alluded him.

Sunday i slept, a lot.

Again sorry for the lack of blogs….


* In case you don’t know, the challenge cup is a competition, in the sport of rugby league. This year final was between Leeds and Wigan, my team Leeds have lost last year final.

Leeds festival 2011 – My thoughts on the line up

Is this line up a hit or a miss?

A quick post just giving my thoughts on the recent Reading and Leeds line up announcement.

This year, unlike the last two I won’t getting a weekend ticket for the local music festival. I decided last year that i was not going to go for the weekend, but I did decide that i would most likely still be getting a day ticket.  I knew that unless they announced a-Amazing line up that this would be the case. So I waited for the announcement, Monday evening after i got home from work. And while it was leaked earlier i still waited to see if that was the correct.
I read carefully, looking at all the bands and decided it was not for me! While one of the headliners (Muse) are in my favorite bands, very few (I counted 4 ) would even make it in to the top 50. Those bands were White lines, the Offspring, 30 seconds to mars and Jimmy eat world.  The rest are in theses three categories;

  1. Bands i really dislike, My chemical romance (every song but that na-na-na-na na I kinda like that), Peter Doherty, panic at the disco and Bring me the Horizon.
  2. Bands I don’t mind but i hardly listen to, The Streets, The Strokes, Pulp, The naked and famous, Elbow (could actually be in my top 50; if I knew more of their songs), Enter Shikari, rise against, The pigeons detectives. There is more too.
  3. Lastly bands there is a few bands I have either never heard of not heard one song by them.

In summery, I love muse and I really like a few, but the rest I could not give shit about the rest.
So you know what I decided, a day ticket. I wanted to see Muse again so I will go on the Friday to see them. All this will save me quite a bit of money. There is the case that I can’t be bothered either.

Is this line up a hit or a miss? for me it more miss than a blind baseball trying to hit a ball from a wayward pitcher.

Other news of note
I’m currently reading the moon is a harsh mistress. Verdict so far – Poor

Had a driving lesson today went well

Buster (my dog) has finally gotten his bucket off his head (coincidently also called a buster) and he looks old self, minus half a jaw of course.

Leeds lost again taking the record to 3 wins to 3 losses, not the best start.

The ratings of Stargate universe keeps getting lower and lower. It really hurts me to say but this could be the end of the franchise (I think I will post something on this next month)

Nothing much happing on the writing front. Got a few good ideas down, some may see the light of day in some format some most likely won’t.

Top 5 live bands (that i have seen)

Bit of gap between post, sorry about that. Now though back to my regular monthly feature; my top 5.

I have seen quite a few bands in my short life, granted many of these have been at festivals but not all. It was pretty easy to narrow the best live bands because in short there was 3 bands that blew me away. I knew my number one straight off the bat. So without further ado here is my top 5. Again this is my top 5 live bands not top 5 bands although two of theses would be in my top 5 bands. I ramble on a lot don’t I.

5. Hurts (o2 academy leeds 2011)

I went to see this new little pop duo earlier this month, I did a  little blog about it https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/not-being-able-to-think/. The live set consisted of most of the songs from the their first album, which I had listen to many many times. They came on in chilling fashion .  Fog machines and unnerving walk on music. The singer Theo (to the left on the photo) wore a jacket that reminded me of the coat that sharp wore (you know the TV series staring Sean Bean). The keyboardist had white piano, with roses on top; they threw them to crowd at times.. The whole  style of the gig was great and music good as-well. They left a huge impression on me. I can’t wait till they tour the UK again, the wait truly hurts me (sorry).

4. Pulled apart by horse (the hop wakefield 2010)

You could not have a more different band to the one above. You may remember me also bloging about them last year  https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/pulled-apart-by-horses/ (linky). No walk on music just hardcore music (I sound a twat but it’s hard to describe a band that is so raw). Raw is how to describe them, a powerful voice leads them and some great sounds comes from them. They all seem to have great style and I can see them becoming very big. It was not the first time I saw them I actually caught them a month earlier when they was one of the support to muse. Maybe it was the smaller more in-your-face venue but they were so much more better here. I was steaming when I got outside after the gig, I felt like I swallowed more of other peoples sweat than I had sweated my self (can only be a good sign).

3. Arcade Fire (Leeds festival 2010)

I was not yawning at their gig

The best band of a very mediocre leeds festival in 2010. When 90% of the population of a festival are dicks, it’s frustrating, you need some calm music some times. More than anything you need a little of time to chill after being at very loud gigs all day. No better band than Arcade fire.  They are amazing live, and it was nice relax atmosphere, all the dicks somewhere else. Outside it was cold, very cold. They have a nice little style on stage that makes them more visual than a lot of acts, there are so many people on stage you don’t know where to look. I soon forgot about the cold, it was a much need respite from the festival atmosphere. I have tickets to see them in again in Manchester later this year, I can’t wait to see them; this time with a more clear head.

2. Muse (Old trafford cricket ground 2010)

When you talk about a spectacle when you see a band, you won’t get one much bigger than seeing Muse. They do put on a show. They decided to a few, one off gigs around the UK, I missed out on their last tour, so I was not going to miss out on this one. The gig which was played at the Manchester cricket ground, it had a real festival like atmosphere (I know I complained about that before but it’s a nice atmosphere for a while). Once you walked in to the stadium you knew it was to be big, as a quick look of the stage showed, it loomed over the audience, it was a strange almost unnatural, a sharp shape. Editors and more was in support they set the mood or so i thought. It started off big. Music started to play, a eyeball above the stage peered at the audience below like some kinda of big brother figure. Then flag wielding man and women in balaclavas took to the stage and around the stage, it was an uprising, and so was the first song. They played all the song you would expect them to play, it really was a visual and musical spectacular event. A real space rock show I would say. I must see them again, they really were amazing.

1. Kaiser Chiefs (Leeds festival 2009)

It was my 3rd time seeing the leeds band. I know from experience how great they are  live. It was the first time I had seen them play in their home town. It was something very special. I managed to move to the front of the main stage. People may criticize their sound, I know many do, but their stage presence. They are lead by the great and lively Ricky Wilson, he makes them the best live band out there (only going on bands I have seen). You won’t  get someone who put’s more effort in to a gig than are old Ricky. The only downside to this show was that there was no trade mark stage climb (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bPbVRCuFtI). I love their music. It makes me want to sing and I don’t do that very well or often. I was packed in like a tuna chunk in the tin. Unable to move (but of course), but being moved by the 1000’s people around me making an effort to jump or to at least try. With any luck their 4th album will be out soon and they will start touring again soon (this is the last gig they played (they have one planned though)).

That the list then, hopefully another band soon will make it’s way on here soon though.

Other news of note
Not much really, Job is going fine, not enough time to write but I expected that.
The rhinos are doing well 2 wins from 2 andIi have tickets to see them play the first live game of the season this Friday against Quins.
The big new for the rhinos is that the legend that is Kevin Sinfield, has sign a new 4 year deal, that will keep at the club his whole career at leeds, he came to leeds when he was just 13; a true legend and a gent.

Thats all for now, have a good weekend…….

Joel’s best of 2010!

Looking back the last year what are the best things of 2010 for me, in the form of a Interview.

1. Favourite album of 2010?
This one either between the Mt desolation album or the arcade fire album. Ummmm Arcade fire!

2.Favourite Television show?
Going to have to be Stargate universe of course. Outside of stargate? Walking Dead has been great real surprise hit for me this year, the event also had been very good.

3. Best Music gig I went to?
MUSE at old Trafford cricket ground. Really amazing and with support from Pulled apart by horses, band of skulls and the editors, awesome.

4. Best place I have been to?
Vancouver was lovely place, very beautiful, not loads and loads to do there and I had to sleep on sofa but was nice to see some place new.

5. Best Meal?
I had a crazy good chocolate pudding at this place near Huddersfield!

6. Best book i read?
Ohhh I have read a lot of books this last year. Children of Dune was a good read, well better than good. Boneshaker is another one I loved. There was also the novelette by John Sclazi -The God engines. I think Children of Dune takes the award though.

7. Best thing someone bought me?
I PAD !!! :)

8. Best thing i bought myself?
I got a nice coat!

9. The Best thing’s i have done this year?
I have really enjoyed doing this blog, while it’s not the most read thing on the internet (understatement) it been fun doing it. I had a good time at this years leeds festival but it was nowhere near as good as the one in 2009. I have wrote a few short story’s some on this blog. I made some progress on my novel but no where near the amount I wanted.

10. What I want to happen in 2011?
Some more writing, a job hopefully also a girlfriend would be nice. I would like some of the collaboration I have planned to come to fruition, me and a friend have a Andy Kaufman style play in the works which could be a lot of fun to do. I also want Leeds Rhinos to win the super league, challenge cup and the league leaders shield!

11. What I have planned for my blog in 2011?
Same sort of thing that i have being doing last year, a lot of nonsense, some top 5’s and maybe some more short story’s.

Pulled apart by horses

Saturday I went to the wakefield venue “The hop” (linky http://www.thehop-wakefield.co.uk/) to see the leeds rock band “Pulled apart by horses” (linky http://www.pulledapartbyhorses.com).
Have a listen to one of their songs

Lovey, yes? Lovely is not the right word for them, but good, yes?

It was a great gig and one of the first bands I have seen since Leeds fest (other than two bands that my friends are in and going to see muse) and it showed, my ears are still recovering from last night. Maybe the ear situation is because for a brake in the mania of the gig, I decided to get out of the way of people by standing next to the speaker, not the wisest choice. I have to say in the small room that is the hop I did get kinda of sweaty with the closeness of people and the jumping about, but so did everyone else. Yeah also I have a few bruises, I loved it though. It’s not the first time I have seen them I got to see them from a distance at leeds festival and I watched their full set when they were one of the supports for muse. They are great band that I could see making quite far (in that old music business), at least well enough to make money, at least for a while. I hope to see them again, maybe next time they will be at a bigger venue, it would not surprise me.

I have also purchased a ticket to see the synthpop(?) band hurts at the leeds academy, I really can’t wait to see them, I can’t stop listing to them at the moment.

Post Leeds festival blog

“Having sex with you would be like having sex with a 12 year old” – A friend to me

I am back from my second Leeds festival. A five day experience of camping, music, drink, mates and lack of sleep. This is my review of my 5 day in Bramham park. All photos on this blog are by Jo Threlfall, Mike Kryjak or the BBC website.

Day 1
We started early at 8.00 am was the time we met, we traveled on the 110 bus to Leeds bus station already they was a few festival goers but we were one of the first at the station.  What followed next was a 4 hour wait for the ticket office to open, so we could buy the shuttle tickets to get to the festival. It was a very slow and boring 4 hours. But the queues behind us in the front did soon built up. In hindsight, we got there way to early another hour in bed would have been much appreciated.

me and sam

Me and sam. I look a cock yes.

We picked up the tickets for our large group, then waited more time for the Bus. On the bus we waited some more for the bus to set off, after a while the bus did final set off, but only after letting two bus loads of people who were in the queue behind. After our group arrived at the park, we then had a trek up to the Orange camp site because we like to camp near loud fair ground music, playing till 5 in the morning. Every year i surprise my self , at the level of unfitness I’m at, after lugging our camp load to the chosen site, i was shattered.

Our rubbish camp.

That night was one hell of a boring one, nothing to do just to sleep some drink. I here some of the girls found something to do or someone, but i am not sure what.

Day 2

Another day to me that dragged because of the lack of things to do. Over night the camp area soon filled up. A nice surprise that morning was that I found ride in the fair, called the stargate based on the stargate TV show (my favorite TV show), sadly I never got a chance to ride it.

Tents as far as the eye can see

This day we added more people to our camp bringing our number to a whopping 25 people. Some more drink and a trip to the arena toilets made up the day. Finally at the night we had something to do. The silent disco which is basically a tent with music, but you are listening to the music through head phones, wild right? There was a large queue and a massive amount of people pushing in,  the staff managed to finally stem those pushing in, it only took a balder filled hour to get in. I remember from last year how much fun the disco was, it did not disappoint this year. It is a cool and unique way of listening to music and very funny to see the people all around you when you take the head phones off, we all looked like idiots. We was in there till about half 3 then we decided to call it a night, mainly because of thirst. No Kaiser Chief songs were played either :(.

Day 3

I woke up at about 7 am because of a desperate need for a pee, so I traveled the annoyingly long walk towards the shitty toilets.
By the time I got back people were beginning to wake, so i thought there was not much point in going back to bed. In hindsight I think everyone who was up realized what a bad time to get up that was. Some time later I was ready for the day with some new clothes on and dry shampoo applied to my head, its just a shame it was so early and nothing starts till 12.

One early morning wake up

That morning there were no bands I wanted to see, so I was easy about who I went to see, so with some people I saw 3oh!3 not a fan and the Hadoukens, also not a huge fan but i thought they were pretty good. Later in the day I went to see a couple of bands that I was more interested in, with the Maccabees and the Cribs(who are  from my hometown in Wakefield). I then went back to the camp for a little rest and some food.

That night i saw the band that i was most looking forward to, Arcade fire the main stage headliners. It was just me and my friend Jo, not that many people wanted to go to see them, choosing Pendulum or Ash instead. They did not disappoint I did expect a few more people in the crowd, still there was large amount of people. It was premature at this stage but i was confident that these would be the band of the festival.

Arcade fire

That night i was boring and went back to sleep about 2.00 in the morning.

Day 4

This day I have no idea what time I got up. I just remember going with my friend Rob for a lovely Bacon and egg sandwich, but for the price of just a bacon sandwich SCORE!.
In the morning I had a break from the music with a trip to the alternative stage. The alternative stage for those that don’t know is a stage for comedy, films and some other stuff an alternative to music if you will. So me and a few other decided for a morning of comedy. We found seats right at the front.  First up was a bearded compare whose name I can’t remember, he was the type that would make fun of people in the audiences, mostly from the people sitting in the front row (us) so sat in the front made me feel a little uneasy. We were missed somehow, he soon left and introduced the first comedian was Emo Philips, what a fucking strange little man. I have seen him odd times on the Internet, but it can’t prepare you for been at the front of one of his shows, i felt a little sick after the show. Next up was the turn of Sean Walsh. He was very  funny, He had been on shows like mock the week before, I still surprised how funny he was. A highlight was his jokes about the old video game Streets of rage (I so got it).
Now the reason we was there, Stephen K Amos. I’ve seen him on TV loads and must have know a lot of of the punchlines but that did not stop him been hilariously funny. Never knew he was gay though, after 5 minutes of him talking about the fact he was gay, my friend Jo (who was there) was still shocked when we mentioned it. Sadly it was not all fun and games during the gig, as i was been text the score of the Leeds game at the time and my heart sunk every time i saw it, in case you did not know Leeds lost the final.
After that i had a nice Yorkshire pudding with lots of beef in it and mash potato (wow you all wanted to know that).

Stephen and his security Russ

After the comedy I went back to the camp to chill (I am not normally this obnoxious) a little. I went back to the arena area for Limp Bizkit who was alright, then it was Cypress Hill who i was totally digging as you can see with this photo.


Then it was Weezer who was great and Rivers Cuomo (what a name) went wild with covers of Teenage dirtbag and Kids/pokerface song he even had a lady gaga wig, of course they did Buddy Holly as well.

Made a W with my finger. Apparently its the in thing with Weezer fans


Paramore a band that to be honest I am not bothered about were made less enjoyable by them coming on late and some poor sound systems. Blink was the headliners that night and they did put on a show, which climaxed with a Travis Barker doing an awesome drum solo on a spinning stage that even went upside down!

Back to the camp then and a long night was on for today. Lots of drink and a bit of raving made it a pretty  good night. We tried to get in to the silent disco but it was too late they had closed it to newcomers, even though it was open for another hour and half yet….strange. So i decide to have a roll down a hill, slightly embarrassed about that now. Some time later I slumped in to my tent and had a great night sleep.

Day 5

The last day of the festival but there was no bands I wanted to see in the morning, so lots of us just stayed in camp and chilled (how much of a wanker do i sound). With one brief excursion to see a band called New young poney club, another band I did not know much about, they was okay and then it was back to the camp for a little longer to rest the old feet.With no need to move for a few hours, we drank and talked and then it was time to end the festival with a few hours on the main stage. A nice and relax viewing for Lost prophets yet another band I was not that bothered about, was nice and relaxing. Then we moved closer and met up with so more people to watch the awesome Biffy Clyro.

Biffy Clyro. I love the trousers

Then to one of my favorite band Queens of the stoneage. Some more forward steps closer to see them and we got a good view. I really enjoyed them and they were a great band live, as i knew they would be after seeing Them Crooked Vultures last year.
After they completed the set, the Headliners was on next. Many people left and we was left near the front of the large area that had no people and so we had lots of room. I guess not a lot of people wanted to see Gun’s n Roses. We had heard they was an hour late for Reading (apparently because he over slept), so sitting down on the grass near the front we did expect a delay and we got 40 minuet one. I was surprised  that when they did come out, that they was so good and Axl voice was still so strong. He kept leaving the stage maybe twice a song, we assumed to an oxygen tent, to keep that strong voice of his. They played most of their classics and some of the new songs, that i had no idea about. I found it funny that Guns now have a slash wannabe guitarist, he was still enjoyable to watch,  it just went on a little two long. At the end Axl had a rant at the organizers for not letting him carry on and completing his set, he could of course try and come on stage on time, that might have been too hard for him.

Guns 40 mins late.

Back to the camp for one last night in which in which I went on one of the rides. We left for home at 5.45 in the morning.

All in all a Great festival. If you asked me, did i prefer this year to last? I would have to answer no. Last year it was my first time and was one hell of a experience and there was Kaiser Chiefs that played last year and that was an amazing gig.
I really enjoyed and it was a good way to see some of my friends that I may not see as often now as they are of to university. Sure there some people that I might not be that sad if I don’t see often, but they are few that i will be very sad if I don’t see them often. Whether the group from the last two years will go to Leeds festival again together, remains to be seen it depends on what happens through this next year. I sure hope I stay freinds with a lot of these people for a long time to come.

Muse this Saturday just as my ears recoverd.