Live Review: HIMALAYAS – Leeds Festival, 26.08.23

Wales had a good weekend at Leeds Festival.

On Saturday it was South Wales turn on the Festival Republic stage, after the Royston Club had kicked things off well for the Celtic contingent the day before. HIMALAYAS more than lived up to that vibe. “Probably best” joked Joe Williams, when I caught up with the band after the show, “keeping North and South Wales apart!” We carried on talking, even though I’m from North Wales! Joking aside, the band are excited to be playing on big festival stages across the summer, and they more than deserve their place at this level.

The Cardiff based outfit hit hard from the off, with Leave This Place. There’s an instant reaction from the crowd and as the rest of the set progresses, the music and the reactions from with the Festival Republic tent begin to draw in more people from outside.

HIMALAYAS have an infectious energy when they play. Williams is an exciting front man, Mike Griffiths on guitar looks and sounds every inch the up and coming rock star. Louis Heaps is probably the happiest person I’ve seen on a bass guitar all weekend and James Goulbourn on drums keeps things moving with drive and power.

It means that, by the time the band are closing out the set with Flatline and the title track from their debut album, released last May, From Hell to Here, there’s a massive circle pit, opening and closing, bouncing and crashing in the middle of the arena.

The band tell me later that the new music has been going down a storm, but in particular, the reaction towards the end of the set in Leeds was really satisfying.

“You always hope you get the right reaction”, Williams says, “but yeah, that was exactly what we hoped for”

They’re out on tour in the UK and Europe in September and October, supporting Loveless and their own headline tour is due to be announced soon.

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