Indie band The Snuts celebrate return of live at Leeds Festival

The Snuts have described performing at Leeds Festival as a “baptism by fire” after spending so long away from live performance.

The Scottish indie rock band, whose debut album WL went to number one in April, are among the acts to have performed at the Bramham Park site this weekend, as well as at sister event Reading Festival.

Frontman Jack Cochrane hailed the audience for their enthusiasm during their set.

Reading Festival 2021
Music fans at Reading Festival (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

He told the PA news agency: “I think we appreciate coming to places like Leeds. There’s a passion and a crowd in a place like Leeds that we thrive off. We feed off that.

“It really encourages us to be at our best and we have been needing that this festival season, so it has been nice.”

Bassist Callum Wilson said: “It definitely felt good just to be back on a main stage again after so long off big stages.

“It was certainly a baptism of fire but it feels like Leeds is always a good place to have that baptism. The crowd give you so much. Everybody gives such so much back and it’s class.”

The quartet wrote a series of letters to First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon this summer urging her to introduce further support for musicians and crew in Scotland and also signed an open letter calling for a “clear plan of outcomes and support”.

“We felt a responsibility to be doing that,” he said.

“We were upset and we also felt that it was affecting artists everywhere, being ignored like that by government. Music is such a big part of the culture, especially where we are from.

“That feeling of being ignored was really frustrating. That was a place where we tried to express that through sending letters.

“I think that there has been changes made. In Scotland there is a big tour fund for small venues and stuff like that. If the letters we sent put that stuff in motion or even just in the heads of people, for sure that’s something we would do all over again.”

Alex Rice, lead singer of indie rockers Sports Team, also spoke of his excitement at returning to live performance.

Like The Snuts, Sports Team broke through commercially during the pandemic with their debut album Deep Down Happy reaching number two in the charts in June 2020.

Rice told PA: “Live music is back. It’s nice to be playing live again. We have managed to do quite a few but this feels real. People feel comfortable again and people seem joyful. There’s a lot of community.

“It is just the uncertainty of it all because every couple of months you thought this would be the last time. We must have postponed tours four times in a row.

“We will be all right. We can live scrappy. We are a band. But it is the tour team around it.

“We did put on a festival in Margate a couple of weeks back now to raise money for the Music Venue Trust and Stagehands Fund. Hopefully we are trying to do our bit.”