Lytham Festival returned this year after with an expansion making it a ten-day festival over two weeks. On Friday 8th of July indie rock legends, The Strokes, graced the stage with support from some of the most exciting bands in rock today.
First of which was Speedy Wunderground art punks The Lounge Society. A band amid the release cycle of their greatly anticipated debut album, it was fantastic to finally see them in a live setting. The opener ‘Cain’s Heresy’ was a perfect way to kick off the event. Even though the crowd wasn’t packed, everyone who was there, was captivated by the show.
After that was one of the most hyped bands in the UK today, Wet Leg. Coming off a number one debut album, I was greatly anticipating what their live show would consist of. The opening songs ‘Being In Love’ and ‘Convincing ‘were nice ways to start the set, however it was track ‘Wet Dream’ that I feel really got the crowd going. From that point onwards the crowd was treated to catchy singalong choruses such as the brilliant ‘Supermarket’, interesting new material and even a collaborative scream with the band during ‘Ur Mum’. However, the highlight of the set of course was their viral hit and set closer Chaise Longue. It’s rare for a band to be on so early at a gig and to have a song that most of the crowd know almost word for word. I don’t think it’s crazy to say but I suspect big things in the future for Wet Leg. The only part of the set that I found to be a little annoying wasn’t anything to do with the band, but rather the crowd. There was a certain group of people close to me who found it funny to yell the band’s name after every single song and laugh during most tracks being played. As stated before, this is not a criticism on the festival or the band, just something I thought was worth mentioning.
After Wet Leg were Dublin post punk titans Fontaines D.C. I caught Fontaines live before late last year at Manchester Academy however since then, they have released their third album ‘Skinty Fia’ which has become one of my favourite albums of the year so far so naturally, I was very excited to see some of songs from that album live. The band opened with frontman Grian Chatten pacing up and down the stage riling up the crowd as the band started to play ‘A Lucid Dream’. It was the perfect opener for the band, full of energy and chaos that had the crowd mesmerised throughout. After that the show hit no speed bumps. They put on a show worthy of a headline title.
Filled with hits and deep cuts from the bands three albums, the set was a masterclass in live performance. Standout moments for me, included the explosive ‘Nabokov’ and new single ‘Roman Holiday’ though closer ‘I Love You’, was the true highlight of the set. The crescendo that hits about halfway through the track and once again towards the end sounded so much more intense and effective in a live setting. It was truly one of the best things I’ve seen live all year. I believe it’s only a matter of time until Fontaines D.C will be moving up to headlining festivals.
Then it was time for headliners The Strokes. A band who I believe have never played in Lytham before, the crowd of 20,000 waited eagerly for them to make their appearance. The band swaggered onto stage and opened with ‘Is This It’, the intro to their classic debut album of the same name. The crowd erupted instantly singing uproariously to every single word frontman Julian Casablancas sang. Following that was 2020’s ‘The Adults Are Talking’ which continued the singalongs from the crowd that didn’t end until the set closed. After that the band played through classics, fan favourites and more recent songs with the crowd in the palm of their hand throughout. Highlights included a fan being brought up stage to sing closer to their most recent album ‘The New Abnormal’ entitled ‘Ode To The Mets’. It was truly a once in a lifetime moment for the fan that felt really special to witness being in the crowd. As well as this, absolute bangers ‘Bad Decisions’, ‘Reptilia’ and ‘New York City Cops’ were favourites for me personally bringing the energy in a massive way. The only sour note was the lack of possibly the bands biggest song ‘Last Nite’ in the set. It’s a shame to think how many unopened flares were brought home in hope the song would be played as the closer.
The Strokes at Lytham Festival was a fantastic day. The festival was run extremely well with fast moving queues and friendly staff and all four bands putting on magnificent performances. I hope we can see more shows like this being added to Lytham Festival in the years to come as it was truly a treat for those in the local area.
Words: Harry Hodgson