With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Reading Festival Day 3 – Sunday 30th August 2009 August 31, 2009


Well firstly apologies for the delay in the delivery of this post but it was a long journey home and basically I’m bloody knackered, this old body just can’t take festivals like it used to. I’m sure my fellow ‘old boy’ festival buddy Nick H would concur with that, wouldn’t you Nick?

Anyway on to the final day of the Reading Festival for 2009. Who’s up for 2010? We get there reasonably early on Sunday to make the most of what was supposed to be a sunny day but turned out somewhat grey in the weather stakes, but definitely not grey in the music stakes! First up we saw In Case Of Fire on the NME Radio 1 Stage, these guys all wore the same red shirts, I’m not sure a band uniform works for me (apologies to Devo and Kraftwerk and others). Anyway aside from that these boys certainly knew how to play some excellent punk power pop. Next up it was Noah and the Whale on the Main Stage. I had a few of their songs before but live I felt they were much better. For me they were kind of folky pop with shades of Aztec Camera, perhaps Prefab Sprout and even Lou Reed at times. Their singer even used an electric toothbrush on his guitar at one point, now that is warped. But perhaps slightly more disturbing was that on many occasions the drummer seemed to be miming to a completely different song to the one that the band were playing!

After this we decided to pay another visit to the Festival Republic stage following our success with 65 Days Of Static yesterday. However this was not another one of those finds, we saw the XX and we really weren’t excited by them at all, kind of trippy Indie which seemed incredibly dull, but they seemed to have a lot of fans so to each their own. We saw one song from the Teeth on the BBC Introducing stage. They seemed very good, but we only saw one song, they came across as a geeky, space age version of Sha Na Na. If Sha Na Na were the Flintstones the Teeth would probably be the Jetsons.

Back to the Main Stage now for an appointment with Aussie band the Living End. A bit like Green Day but with a Double Bass. They’re back in the UK for a tour later this year, I reckon they’ll be worth checking out. After this we had perhaps our quirkiest moment of the festival, we tripped across to the Alternative Stage and chanced upon Adam Buxton who in simple terms showed a few film clips and gave out some free snacks. However the quality of the films was truly wonderful, especially the literal video for Aha’s “Take On Me” give it a search on Youtube, I will add it to a post soon as well.

Then it was back to the NME Radio 1 Stage to see the Passion Pit. This is a US band with a sound that could rip a hole in the fabric of space time and a singer who comes across as Leo Sayer begatting Mika whilst on hard drugs. (Ha! I bet you thought begatting only happened in the bible didn’t you?). Next we were back to the Main Stage for the rest of the day. Starting with the brilliant Vampire Weekend, these guys know how to party, the African tinged guitars help I’m sure. I love their first album and this time they even played a few new songs. I also love M79 and whilst I know it’s about a bus in New York, does anyone else think the instrumental hook sounds remotely like “The Wheels On The Bus”? I’d love to know. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were next and just as I had made up my mind for the best costumes seen at the festival this year along comes Karen O wearing something that must have come together after an explosion at a plastic recycling plant! A great set though, but don’t you think her shouty between song voice grates a little? Incidentally until that point my vote for best costume went to the Where’s Wally team, I think there were six of them dressed as the elusive Wally (to my friends from across the big pond, you’ll know Wally as Waldo). The most disturbing costume that I saw was the guy in the Nuns Habit with a pig mask. scary! If you were one of the Wally’s or the Nun Pig I’d love to hear from you!

Bloc Party were the penultimate act on the Main Stage. I have managed to miss them all the other occasions they have appeared here, but I’m glad that I caught them this time, they played a storming set and their laser show was pretty good too.

But this year I think Reading saved the best until last with probably the best headliner I have ever seen at Reading; the mighty Radiohead (can we call them the ‘Head?). I thought that being Reading they might play “Creep” but to open with it, I don’t think anyone expected that! Their light show was truly amazing and for me they proved once again why they are easily the most influential band of their generation. How will the organisers follow that in 2010? Watch this space to find out and in the meantime let me know who you’d like to see at the event next year. Whether you liked the same acts that I did or you liked the ones that I didn’t I really hope you had a great festival and a safe journey home

 

Reading Festival Day 2 – Saturday 29th August 2009 August 30, 2009


Hello once again dear readers and here is the second of a series of three bulletins from the muddy trenches at the front line of the Reading Festival. Actually I lied about the mud it’s more like a dust bowl. In fact the dust kicked up by the mosh circles on Saturday were kicking up more output than the smoke machines on the main stage. Unlike yesterday today was more of a Main Stage day for us.

We arrived just in time to see the whole of the Eagles Of Death Metal’s set. OK death metal they’re not, but fantastic full on rock band they are. These guys know how to party and party we did! well we bounced up and down a lot anyway. The video screens showed Dave Grohl off of the Foo Fighters and Nirvana backstage with his daughter, she’s clearly not ready for fame yet as she covered her eyes the whole time, a real sweetie though 🙂 Josh Homme off of Queens Of The Stone Age was also in the backstage crowd

Next up was the excellent Enter Shikari and like the EODM these guys know how to party, I will go so far as to say that I thought they were among the top 10 bands I have ever seen at Reading and I have been going a looooooong while! We then took a short but offensive break in the comedy tent with Gary Delaney and Doug Stanhope. These guys, particularly Doug, know how to take things right to the edge! Bloody funny indeed! After this we returned to the Main Stage for Ian Brown and for me he was without doubt the biggest disappointment of the day. He really didn’t seem quite with it and sounded out of tune much of the time.

After Ian Brown things could only get better and we headed to the BBC Introducing stage to see the stupendous Soft Toy Emergency. Regular readers will know that I have seen this band before and today, once again they were truly on fire. This will be a very big band indeed and if they’re not on the NME Radio Stage next year I will eat two of the festivals foot long frankfurters!

To fill time before I next visit to the Main Stage we wandered over to the Festival Republic tent and chanced upon a truly excellent instrumental band, 65 Days Of Static. I must confess that I had never heard of them before, but check them out I’m sure that you’ll love them! So back to the Main Stage, the crowd for the Prodigy was so vast that at one point I was facing away from the stage and had to wait for a crowd surge before I could turn around. The band were easily up to their usual high standards though, Firestarter was a massive favourite with the crowd. How could anyone follow them? Well the Arctic Monkeys tried, but for me whilst they have great songs and play really well there is no real personality there. So we left about half way through their set and caught the last part of the Gossip in the NME Radio 1 tent. Absolutely brilliant, Beth Ditto was on great form. Standing In The Way Of Control blew the roof off and she even came back on at the end with a towel on her head for a short sing along of Queen’s We Are The Champions!

Gotta go now and get ready for Day 3, so until the next time folks!

 

 
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