My 2nd Reading Festival
, my 3rd festival in total and my 1st festival alone :( none of my friends could afford to come/timing wrong etc. (thats what they told me, maybe there is a huge conspiracy and they all hate me!! just kidding) real shame, thats part of the festival experience, part of the fun. I originally got my Reading ticket solely because of The Smashing Pumpkins
(didnt think they would do shows before hand – saw them in London in June before Reading), and even a few months before Reading i still was abit narrow minded with the lineup and who id see. But thanks to a link on a website ive been a regualer reader of since about 2003 i saw a link which took me back here to lastfm which had all the bands playing on a radio station. So the few weeks before the event i printed out the lineup stages and timings and started planning who id see and who id miss based on the few songs i had listened to.Friday
After over an hour wait for the main gate to open and the festival to being i ran to Bombay Bicycle Club
in the Carling tent, id only heard a couple of songs from these guys and i was surprised by the size of the crowd and the actually fans chanting BBC. I got there early so was packed in the front, when they came on stage it was a great atmosphere, lots of people loving it, and good music. Breaking into a sweat on the first band had good indications for the rest of the festival. Then i ran to the other side of the festival towards the Lock-up stage to catch The Riverboat Gamblers
, again id only heard one or two songs and it went well, the band seemed really up for it and the crowd liked it, the lead singer loved his mic throwing skills. Next towards the main stage to see The Long Blondes
, I've heard a lot more from this band and i like their music style so i was happy to actually see them live. I felt they would have been better suited on a smaller stage, maybe in the Radio One tent. Just felt they needed a smaller stage environment to shine.
Back into the Carling stage for The Manchester Orchestra
and I'm really glad i got to see this band, i didnt know their music well but i really enjoyed myself in their set. Totally love the vocals/lyrics and the sound they made was great. Definitely a band i will check out more from. I didnt know who to see next but i wasnt overally impressed with Blood Red Shoes
before Reading, but i stayed cause i wanted to see the next band on. And i was pleasantly surprised by them, a reverse of white stripes in a way, man on drums, woman on guitar/vocals. Simple, stripped down music, but so very loud and in your face much like The White Stripes
. Really enjoyed them and happy i stayed put and watch them. Next up came Frank Turner
and it was between him and the Gossip (due to knowing gossip songs from radio play and just general mainstream media) and I'm so glad i stayed put in the Carling stage cause wow Frank Turner blew me away, a real highlight of the whole festival for me. Since I've got back I've order his debut album and cant wait to get stuck into it. Crowd was going mad for him and rightly so. I dont know his previous work with million dead, just love that sort of acoustic punky folk music, really strikes a chord with me. Frank turner was amazing and id definitely recommend him to others who like that sort of genre of music, well worth checking out.
After Frank Turner i had a little break cant remember when i did, maybe watched one of the comics on the alternative stage or get something to eat, but whatever i made my way to the main stage again to see Jimmy Eat World
. Another band id heard a lot of but never really listened to any of their music, i knew a couple of their popular songs which really helped. They put on a good show and there seemed to be a lot of fans there for JEW. Then i dont know what i did, i think i went to the alt. stage and sat down for abit was a hot day and i did a lot of running about, getting into the front of the crowds for most acts. Also there wasnt any bands at that time that really took my fancy. I remember seeing abit of maximo park but didnt stay for more than a song. After my break and some food i went back to the main stage to see some interpol, to be honest i thought this band would have been better but they didnt do anything for me and kinda bored me so i left early to go to the Radio One stage. Got to the front for The Subways
and wow, amazing crowd, jammed pack and knowing most of their major songs was a good sing along. Really enjoyed the gig, and the ending on rock n roll queen was perfect, crowd went mad and i dont think ive ever seen so many crowd surfers. After being really drained from the subways i headed to see Kings of Leon
, unfortunately the subway gig was really late or overran or something and i only got to see two or three songs from KOL, which was a real shame as they were one of the bands i wanted to see. But never mind, i went back to my tent and then back to the arena after razorlight (very weak headliner, tbh i wouldnt even consider them as a headlining quality band) had come to the stage. I really didnt know where to go for the main headliners that night, none really took my fancy and i was really exhausted by the running about and the heat so i just stayed in the comdey tent that night, saw a couple of razorlight songs and saw patrick wolf (who i originally wanted to checkout) on the big screen outside the carling tent but couldnt be bothered to get into the tent, it was pretty packed which was good i suppose. But i had a quite night, stayed until Dirty Sanchez then headed off trying to find my tent and walking in circles in the dark but finally back to my tent to sleep.Saturday
I got up early about 7ish and headed into town to get some breakfast, found a decent pub which was well prepared for the festival even playing songs of the bands playing at the festival in the pub, really nice touch. So i ate a breakfast and just relaxed abit watched the tv, read a paper. Id planned to get out and back into the festival for Parmore, however id planned it fine apart from the absolutely huge queue getting into the site, i didnt think there would be THAT many people trying to get into the site at that time (wrongly, of course), but i guess there were loads of day ticket people there. So i basically missed paramore which i wasnt really fussed about as id only would have seen them out of the other bands there which i equally knew nothing about anyway, so i dont think i missed too much. I stayed in the Radio One tent for two acts, breaks and noisettes, breaks seemed alright, didnt impress me much. But the noisettes really got the day going, really nice gig and atmosphere in the tent. The lead singer was really energetic and really got the crowd behind her and the band. Good music aswell which helped!
Just a little side note, wore my 'death to The Pixies
' tshirt and i was amazed by the amount of comments i was getting, just random people going “PIXIES!!! YAY” or random pixies tracks like “debaser” being shouted to me, a lot of pixies fans there which rocks! :D Also ended up standing next to a girl with the same tshit at dinosaur jr. But the best was a kid, well about 16, was abit worse for the wear either drunk or dabbled in abit of drugs and he read my top and asked me if i didnt like the pixies. He thought i wanted to kill the pixies which was really funny, dont think he knew the pixies too well.
Anyways back towards the Carling stage for the first time that day to see Mute Math
and wow, what a performance, the drummer was totally mad. As if he was the spawn of Keith Moon
, slamming on the drums so hard he broke a bunch of his sticks and ripped his drum kit apart throughout the set. I listened to a few of there songs beforehand, but mute math is really a live band. Much, much better live then on record. The band were so up for it was amazing to be in the crowd watching it. They put so much into there performance. The gig had such a great climax, such a shame they didnt have a longer set, a major highlight for me that day. Nine Black Alps
at the radio one stage, again a band ive heard about for awhile but never actually sat down and listened to properly. Pretty good gig but i was still thinking about how good mute math was, also i was right at the back of the tent which didnt really help for atmosphere. I stayed in the Radio One tent for three more acts, the young knives, the pigeon detectives and finally Dinosaur Jr
, a band who id really been waiting for. Amazing gig, crowd was abit shit but picked up as the gig went on. I'm new to dinosaur jr but they are well worth their legendary status.
After my long Radio One joint i went to the main stage for some Bloc Party
, i like their first album had some really nice songs. Seemed good but i didnt stay too long because i wanted to check out some of silversun pickups set. Who i didnt see much of because i had to get back to the main stage for The Arcade Fire
. I only recently started getting into this band (i know, how late am I!?), really beautiful music, amazing, amazing. Real crowd pleaser and rightly had such a high slot, since coming back ive orderd both their albums. Now for my first real headling set, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers
. Im not a real fan, i just like the classics. And they do have a bunch of classic sing-along songs then again i guess when a bands been together that long and had major mainstream success they would. A lot of people give chillis a lot of shit, i dunno but they seemed alright to me, but i was totally stuck at the front of the crowd and i dont think ive ever been so wet, the sweat mixed with so much water thrown over the front. I couldnt see much of the gig from where i was (i could see the guards infront of me but the crowd kept pushing and we were pretty packed in) but it sounded alright, wish they played more of there popular mainstream songs, the only ones i know! :PSunday
The festival was quickly drawing to an end. It seemed to be going all too fast but Sunday had two of the bands i REALLY wanted to see namely Nine Inch Nails
and Smashing Pumpkins. I didnt go into the arena until about half oneish. None of the early bands really did anything for me so the first band i saw was Billy Talent
, i really like some of their music have some quality sing-along songs and a good up-tempo angst to them which i really like. I've known them for some years and wanted to see them but would never of actually seen them at their own gig. A big crowd turned out for them and they did a good set, i only know their first album and it has some great tracks on it. I enjoyed myself and the rest of the crowd seemed pretty pleased. After billy talent i went to see The Maccabees
and Cold War Kids
, i didnt know much of their stuff beforehand but The Maccabees really put on really good show, CWK were ok but nothing special.Kate Nash
, wow biggest crowd I've EVER seen at any tent at Reading. She really should have been put on the main stage but then i guess she would have lost some of that quality she has if on a bigger open air stage. I started way out nearly in the alt stage next door but slowly pushed myself in and about two songs in i actually got into the tent and could she kate for the rest of her gig. Really great crowd, and she sounded great. Really uplifting set, i knew most of her songs and of course foundations was what most people wanted to hear and the crowd was wild for it.
Time for abit of Against Me! Before NIN on the main stage, nice hard rocky sound to them. Nine Inch Nails, hmm holy motherfucking shit, fuck me fuck me fuck me. Totally amazing, i was abit curious at first, sort of like sticking your foot in water for the first time to check it out before taking the plunge. But wow biggest highlight of the festival for me, infact best festival show ive ever seen. Knowing only the downward spiral and the few popular more mainstream tracks off the other albums it didnt really matter. Trent Reznor
sucked me into his world, the band was amazing, tearing the stage to streads. My first time seeing NIN and no fucking way the last time i will see them. Amazing show, lights, effects, songs... everything! It was just perfect. And Hurt
at the end, truly fantastic and the best song of the festival in my view, so much passion, so raw, so much emotion. Thats what music is meant to be about and they totally nailed it. Really liked how the set was planned out with the rock out section to start, the more chilled keyboard, deeper thinking part, more rock out climax then the solo hurt just when you thought the gig had ended. Totally blown away by them, and as a total pumpkin fan im kinda ashamed in a sense but really NiN are owed a lot of credit, they truly put on amazing shows. But also really pleased that another band gave me something special and something i can remember and talk about.
Pumpkins, who i originally planned to see just blown out of the water by the band below them? Well i had already seen the Pumpkins play near three hour set in London back in June. Which was the most amazing gig ive ever been to. I dont think anything other than another three hour pumpkin gig could of compared to that? I dunno maybe james and darcy coming back for a one off gig? I'm really glad the setlist was well mixed, and i was totally surprised by some of the tracks billy picked to do for the festival. Some i thought were abit risky for a headlining act playing a festival not playing for their own fans at the own gig. I was over the moon when Drown
was played, one of my favourite pumpkin tracks and holds a lot of meaning for me. That song specificity was the highlight of the pumpkin gig for me, but i was amazed by some of other crowd favourites, tonight tonight, 1976, cherub rock. And special ones like keyboard solo death from above and heavy metal machine, just wow, epic. The only disappointment i had with the pumpkins was there was no 33, i so thought when billy came out solo with his 12 string we would be given 33. I was even saying 33! 33! when he came out with the guitar in his hands. The only other was no muzzle encore which was planned by the looks of the official setlist, but i guess things overran and they were slightly late on stage. Then again i had the joy of these songs back in June, so it wasnt too bad! Hearing Drown live outweighed no 33 or encore muzzle for me personally. Totally unreal ending to the festival, NIN then Pumpkins.
Wow, now its all come to an end and its back to reality, what an amazing time and overall i think its the best festival I've been to, only wish i had some friends with me to make the whole festival more perfect. I've had the best summer in my life, full of the music i love. I cant wait for next years festivals, Rage Against the Machine
should be back for touring/album promoting? That would really make me go back to Reading next year :D