With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Leeds Festival 2021 – Day 1 – Friday 27th August 2021 September 1, 2021


Thanks to Covid this was my first festival in two years and it was great to be back. It was different in a number of ways, notably the two main stages (East and West) to accommodate dual headliners on each day. I am still not sure about this joint headline thing though, surely the final act is the actual real headliner, right? Another thing that felt very different was the sheer number of bands and singers making their Reading/ Leeds debut. This was probably driven by their being hardly any US or other overseas bands on the bill, again thanks to Covid. The fact that it was such a British-centric line up made it more interesting in my opinion though. What did you think, dear readers?

The Struts
Neck Deep
Sophie and the Giants

The first band I caught was Blondes on the Festival Republic Stage. I only caught their last few songs but they appear to be purveyors of quality synthy indie pop with some great guitar riffs too. My first visit to one of the twin Main Stages was the East one for the Struts from Derby. I bloody love this lot, they are bringing back Glam Rock in a wonderful way. A truly great performance. Next it was back to the Festival Republic Stage for the magnificent Sophie and the Giants. This was a real show and Sophie really knows how to play to the crowd. They have some great tunes which at times reminded me of Siouxse and the Banshees, Blondie and Toyah Wilcox. Over on the Main Stage West I caught Neck Deep, one of the UK’s finest pop punk bands. Their style is pop punk, but with a much harder edge. Vocally I felt an influence from Blink 182. Neck Deep are an incredibly powerful live band and they have some epic choruses that Panic At The Disco would kill for.

Meg Ward
Baby Queen

One of my favourite stages at this festival is the BBC Introducing Stage and my first visit there of the weekend was to see Meg Ward. She creates some banging dance tunes which had one of the biggest and liveliest crowds I have ever seen for a new artist at the BBC Introducing Stage. Meg was awesome as fuck and I doubt that anyone else on any stage enjoyed themselves as much as she did! Check her music out, you will not be disappointed. Back to the Festival Republic Stage I had the pleasure of catching a storming set from Belle Latham a.k.a Baby Queen. It is hard to believe that this was only their fifth gig, but it’s true! What are Baby Queen like? If Cyndi Lauper and Kate Nash adopted a daughter and raised her together I believe that daughter would become Baby Queen. Todays secret set was not so secret given that Jake Bugg tweeted about it the day before. The Festival Republic Stage was bursting at the seams as the crowd chanted “Jakey, Jakey, Jakey Bugg” before he appeared. I stayed for a couple of songs but despite the buz from the crowd it felt a little lacklustre. I am not convinced that his new material is as strong as his earlier stuff.

Wolf Alice

Blossoms were up next on Main Stage West and in a faux pas for music nerds they were introduced as “the” Blossoms. This band are beyond well established now and still maintain a fabulous pop sensibility in their songs. This was a great set from Stockport’s finest, Tom Ogden’s vocals really hit the spot. Wolf Alice owned the Main Stage East for the duration of their set. In my opinion they are rapidly developing into one of the best bands on the planet. Ellie, Joff, Theo and Joel played newer material from their excellent current album ‘Blue Weekend’ along with some earlier tunes. Every song was a winner and the crowd were eating out of Wolf Alice’s hands.

YUNGBLUD

Next up on Main Stage West was the inimitable YUNGBLUD. This bloke is special. Think Bowie, think Freddie Mercury, think Alice Cooper, think Gary Numan, think Rage Against The Machine, think Eddie Izzard and then add enough energy to close a black hole. That is YUNGBLUD for me. He tried to create the biggest circle pit of the day and from the cameras overhead it looked like he succeeded. He will definitely be headlining this festival before too long. Holly Humberstone from Grantham played a great set on the Festival Republic Stage. She has a tremendous voice and also comes across as a great human being. Her music is an outstanding dark blend of folk and electronica.

Biffy Clyro

Finally it was time for the first of the joint headliners, Biffy Clyro to rock the Main Stage West. They were a relatively late replacement for Queens Of The Stone Age and maybe that is why the crowd at times felt a little flat and subdued. However, I loved it, this was a stunning set from one of my favourite bands. Was Simon Neil wearing his Mum’s old maternity dress for the first few songs? The light show, projection screens and fireworks were devastatingly good, especially the laser cobweb effect. They drew on songs from across their vast canon of epic tunes. Particular highlights for me were “Biblical”, “Wolves Of Winter”, “Black Chandelier” and “Many Of Horror”. Regular readers will know that I am not a huge fan of the second headliner for Friday at Leeds, it was Liam Gallagher. I still believe that the first two Oasis albums are great, however I reckon they should have knocked it on the head after their defining Knebworth moment in 1996. In my opinion, while Noel Gallagher has produced some somewhat different new tunes, for me Liam has become not much more than an Oasis tribute act. Nearly 70% of the songs in his set were from his Oasis days with a handful from his post Beady Eye solo career. To be fair, “Wall Of Glass” is an ok song. Also to Liam’s credit he did dedicate “Live Forever” to the late, great Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. So overall a great day and wonderful to be back in festival land!

All the pictures were taken using my cheap Chinese phone camera. Videos were all found on YouTube and credited to Callum Wattie.

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Leeds Festival 2021 – A Stream Of Consciousness August 26, 2021


I have grown up with Reading Festival and some time after I moved to the frozen north I switched to the other part of this great festival, Leeds. I went to my first Reading in 1975, me and some mates bunked under the fence and in the limited time we had on the site (we had to catch the last train home) we saw Osibisa. We got in that way for three years in a row, I doubt that is even close to possible these days, but back then we felt like highwaymen or the last gang in town, proper rebels. In truth though, we were a bunch of teenage chancers who thought they knew everything. I was 16 at the time and I did know everything, then I got a bit older and realised quite easily that I really knew nothing and had so much to learn. Even at my advanced years (shhhh….. don’t tell anyone, but I’m 62) I still learn something every day. But one thing I learned back on the fateful night in 1975 is that I bloody love this festival and I still do. I haven’t missed many since 1975. The last year, apart from 2020 when it was Covid cancelled, that I didn’t attend was in 2007. I switched to Leeds in 2015 (I think) after my Reading Festival buddy decided he was too old for three days in a muddy field. I plan to keep going until I physically can’t or until I’m dead! My ashes can be scattered on the fields of Richfield Avenue and at Bramham Park. Anyway the reason for this confusing stream of consciousness is that after 18 months of suffering for everyone thanks to Covid, festivals are back and for the first time in two years I will be stood in a, hopefully not too, muddy field near Leeds watching some incredible bands and artists. Highlights for me will I am sure be those listed below. I hear there is an Oasis tribute act on the Main Stage on Friday too 😉

Biffy Clyro, Yungblud, Wolf Alice, The Hunna, Sophie and the Giants and Baby Queen (Friday)

Stormzy, Mabel, AJ Tracey, the Snuts, Catfish and the Bottlemen, MK, Sam Fender, Yonaka, Boston Manor and Dinosaur Pile-Up (Saturday)

Two Door Cinema Club, Beabadoobe, Disclosure, Slowthai, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, You Me At Six, Bob Vylan, Bull and Police Car Collective (Sunday)

Who are you looking forward to? Who do you recommend that I haven’t mentioned?

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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – August 2021 (and July 2021) August 8, 2021

Filed under: Mayhem Top 20 Chart — justwilliam1959 @ 11:30 pm
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In the first post in this series I told you that in January I discovered a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I am now supposedly 90% more obscure than other users, while I will take that it has dropped from 91% since June! It also lists my most obscure artists, which currently are

Woke Up Dead

Promethium

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Penfriend

Stackridge

So who were the top artists for July (9th) and August (1st)? Check the full lists below, but I can reveal that the Eagles were top in July and no surprise, David Bowie was back on top in August. There are a few new artists in there but also plenty of classic acts. It would be fair to say that as I share this Spotify account with my wonderful wife Catherine (a.k.a. Catwoman) a few artists finished much higher than they might have done if they were only my choices 🙂 Notably Julia Fordham and Neil Diamond.

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (July 9th 2021)

Eagles
Julia Fordham
Biffy Clyro
Paul Weller
Liz Phair
Neil Young
Little Feat
Avalanche Party
Jackson Browne
Sunflower Thieves
George Michael
Alice Simmons
Children Of Zeus
James Brown
Detroit Cobras
Billy Paul
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
O’Jays
Eels
Delilah Bon

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (August 1st 2021)

David Bowie
Neil Diamond
Beatles
Linda Ronstadt
Paul Simon
Paul Weller
Curtis Mayfield
Durand Jones and the Indications
Marvin Gaye
Rod Stewart
David Essex
Sunflower Thieves
Temptations
Jackson Browne
Queen
Sex Pistols
Rolling Stones
Tavares
Stackridge
Dave

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My 2020 On Spotify And Some Deeper Listening Stats! January 17, 2021


I thought I would share some of my Spotify listening habits. Apparently I listened to Spotify for more than 12 days last year, I wish I knew how much time I listened to vinyl, CDs, MP3s, radio and other on line sources too. I discovered 577 new artists, wow! My most listened to song was David Bowie’s version of “Wild Is The Wind” and unsurprisingly Bowie was my most listened to artist once again (996 minutes, nearly 6% of my total Spotify listening time) I was also in the top 0.5% of Bowie listeners. The other artists in my top 5 were Biffy Clyro, the Streets, Ella Fitzgerald and Woke Up Dead. I listened to 1,286 artists. My top decade was the 1970s, again no surprise there. Top genres were Rock, Soul and Dance Rock. Rather fascinatingly my music is more obscure than 80% of UK users, what on earth does that mean? I also found a few rather amusing, to me anyway, graphs and charts to accompany this post!

Since starting on this post I have also discovered a few sites on which you can regularly update your Spotify statistics split between artists and tracks and then last 4 weeks/ current, Last six months and all time within that. My favourites among these sites so far are Favourite Music Guru, Obscurify Music and Stats For Spotify. Have you used any of these or can you recommend others?

In case you’re interested in my warped eclectic taste these are my top artists on Spotify (Current, Medium Term and all time) The top songs follow those lists. Incidentally the Kunts and Jarvis Cocker feaure strongly on the tracks lists simply because I did my bit to get them to be the Christmas number one in the UK these last two years!

Top Artists — Short Term (4 weeks)

  1. The Beatles
  2. Yusuf / Cat Stevens
  3. Eagles
  4. London Symphony Orchestra
  5. Evie Sands
  6. Rumer
  7. Jackson Browne
  8. David Bowie
  9. Bobbie Gentry
  10. Harry Styles

Top Artists — Medium Term (6 months)

  1. David Bowie
  2. Biffy Clyro
  3. Gregory Porter
  4. The Avalanches
  5. John Lennon
  6. Eminem
  7. Stevie Wonder
  8. Stephen EvEns
  9. Ella Fitzgerald
  10. The Beatles

Top Artists — Long Term (years)

  1. David Bowie
  2. Bob Marley & The Wailers
  3. Biffy Clyro
  4. Frank Turner
  5. Bruce Springsteen
  6. Four Tops
  7. Eminem
  8. Johnny Nash
  9. Elton John
  10. The Streets

Top Tracks — Short Term (4 weeks)

  1. Boris Johnson is a Fucking Cunt – Single Edit — The Kunts
  2. Billy the Kid, Ballet Suite: I. The Open Prairie — Aaron Copland, London Symphony Orchestra
  3. True Faith ’94 — New Order
  4. Jamaica Say You Will — Jackson Browne
  5. Everybody Used to Love You — Silverjet
  6. Raison D’Être — Stolen Dead Music
  7. Wear A Mask — Sing Sing Rabbit
  8. Three Points on a Compass — Martin Rossiter
  9. Drag Me to the Light — Miles and the Chain Gang
  10. Alfred – Intro — Eminem

Top Tracks — Medium Term (6 months)

  1. Boris Johnson is a Fucking Cunt – Single Edit — The Kunts
  2. Taking It Slow — Heartsink
  3. Concorde — Gregory Porter
  4. Freakin’ At the Freaker’s Ball — Dr. Hook
  5. Pepper — Butthole Surfers
  6. Career Criminal — Stephen EvEns
  7. Close — The Islas
  8. Belladonna — Spunsugar
  9. Make Us Eat — The Shining Tongues
  10. Smiling — Alanis Morissette

Top Tracks — Long Term (years)

  1. Boris Johnson is a Fucking Cunt – Single Edit — The Kunts
  2. Running the World — Jarvis Cocker
  3. Star Treatment — Arctic Monkeys
  4. (red, white, and blue) Cheerfulness — Perry Farrell
  5. Balance, Not Symmetry — Biffy Clyro
  6. Future Legend – 2016 Remaster — David Bowie
  7. Deep Sea Dreaming — Ocean Flaws
  8. Loser of the Year — Woke Up Dead
  9. Three Points on a Compass — Martin Rossiter
  10. Wild Is the Wind – 2016 Remaster — David Bowie

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Shining, Seep Away, Shrieking Violet – Fibbers, York – Thursday 7th September 2017 September 8, 2017


I had teased my colleagues and friends that I was going to see some Scandinavian death metal, but clearly that wasn’t quite the case, although Shining are a spectacularly good band. But more of them later. Let me start with the support acts. First on were Shrieking Violet. They certainly shriek well, very powerfully and in tune. But I suspect it was Violet’s night off. A damned good band though; head banging, ear exploding perfection!

Shrieking Violet

Seep away were next to take the Fibbers stage. Now that was a fucking performance. If you had walked in half way through Seep Away’s set there is no way that you would have imagined that they were the support band. They owned the sadly relatively small crowd tonight. Singer and ace front-man Jay Sillence spent most of his time in the audience. The band have some great songs of their own. Notably “Matchstick Man”. On top of that my view is that if you cover a song then you should make it different from the original. Well Seep Away’s cover of Minnie Riperton’s “Loving You” did just that. It was like one of Yorkshire’s finest hard-core punk, metal, thrash bands took the corpse of the song, ripped it apart and then put it back together in Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory. A truly bloody awesome band.

Seep Away

Shining, now it says on the metaphorical tin that these Norwegian’s are black-jazz pioneers who have created their own hybrid of jazz (with no boring jazz noodling) and extreme metal. Very much an industrial, metal band who know how to rock like demons. Their intro music was the sixties Zager and Evans classic “In The Year 2525”; who doesn’t love that song? Saxophone in a band as heavy as Shining doesn’t work on paper. But who cares about paper? This band takes jazz to a whole new plane. The played a few new songs tonight, set opener “Everything Dies” is a stunning tour-de-force which blasts you into surrender. Another new song, “Hole In The Sky” slowed the pace a little and showed shades of Ultravox and Biffy Clyro. “Animal ” was a tasty rock song too. Apparently Shining started out as more of a jazz band and this is writ clear in tunes like “Helter Skelter” taken from their 2010 album ‘Black Jazz’. It was a little challenging, but it was also brilliant and the work of musical alchemists. Apologies for the Scandinavian stereotypes but has York been invaded by hard rock Vikings? Did Asgard’s house band cross Bifrost the rainbow bridge to start rocking Midgard? It sure as hell felt like it. I left Fibbers feeling like my head and brain had been battered to a pulp by Mjolnir the mighty hammer wielded by Thor. Do not miss an opportunity to see this band they will, I am sure, blow you away.

Shining

 

“You can make all the moves, you can aim all the spotlights” – my 999th post! January 19, 2017


bundesstrase_999_number-svg

So after nearly eight years of blogging I am approaching my 1,000th post on here. This one you are reading is post 999. But for post 1,000 I made a little offer to my Facebook friends, I asked them to name one song (or one artist) that they wanted me to include in post 1,000. So before I get there I would like to extend that offer to any of you in the blogosphere that would like their song added and receive a name check. I promise to try to say something nice about your song choice! Just message me or add a comment.

999-roadshow-web-fi-290x155

Anyway now for post 999, I went through a whole range of ideas for this one; songs about or related to the emergency services was a favourite until I thought of doing a sum. So what follows is a list of twenty songs with numbers in their title. If you add all those numbers together they total 999. Trust me they do, I used a spreadsheet 🙂 I hope you enjoy them and that you exercise your brain with a bit of mental arithmetic while you do!

 

 

Leeds Festival 2016 Day 1 – Friday 26th August August 29, 2016


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Well here we go, after many years of attending the Reading Festival (my first was in 1975) I have finally taken the plunge and opted for Leeds. The plunge is an apt phrase given the amount of rain that fell on the Bramham Park site in the preceding days. I went along with my mate John Hayhurst, a.k.a. Rock Photographer extraordinaire. But I was also pleased to see that my fellow long-standing Zimmer Twin and great mate Nick Horslen also made it to Reading on a day ticket. First impressions for me the Leeds site is that it is more compact, but there is no real noise bleed from other stages wherever you are. Also it has some natural slopes, so getting a great view of the main stage is easy even for a short-arse like me. The only downer so far has to be the volume of mud, but I’m commuting rather than camping so it’s not all bad!

My first visit of the day was to the Lock Up Stage for Fighting Caravans. This is a Leeds band who I saw on local news programme Look North the night before. So armed with that plus the fact that I love their name I really had to see them. They rock like an Indie Led Zep as if Alan Vega off of Suicide was in the band. They have amazing energy, especially the singer who dances like a Cheetah on Speed. A truly bloody brilliant band.

fighting caravans

I chose Night Owls on the BBC Introducing Stage next, another Leeds band. They are a powerful two piece guitar and drums combo. They have similar genealogy to And The Hangnails, Slaves and Royal Blood. However comparisons with the White Stripes are worthless as the Night Owls drummer is far, far superior to Meg White. This is a damned good band and their song “Why Me?” has the makings of a classic.

night owls

The view of the Main Stage from a distance is superb, however for the Virginmarys I was quite close. This band are purveyors of fine punked up, high-powered, mightily potent saws with a large helping of raw soul. A Main Stage appearance for them was clearly a big deal for them and they certainly made the most of it. A fantastic band, I’m amazed that I haven’t picked up on them before now, but I’m glad that I finally did!

virginmarys

My muddy boot, but is that the shadow of a naked man?

My muddy boot, but is that the shadow of a naked man?

All the way from New York the next act on the Main Stage were Coheed and Cambria. Do you like metal? Prog? Punk? Pop? Great riffs? Great hooks? Great hair? Concept albums? You do? Well in that case you will love Coheed and Cambria as many folk already do. I certainly need to listen to more of their stuff.

coheed

I sadly only caught the last song from Spring King on the NME/ Radio 1 Stage. But wow what an absolute belter of a full on psychedelic wig out! Definitely worth checking out. I had wandered across to this stage to catch Deaf Havana. Having seen them twice before at Reading I had to give them a shot didn’t I? Are they still a good band? Well yes they are and a late afternoon Main Stage slot for them next time would be fabulous. Will they make you deaf? Only if you stand to close to the speakers. Will they take you to Havana? I doubt it, but if you ask them nicely you never know.

shadowplay

Now it was time to grace the Festival Republic tent with my presence for Brighton’s Magic Gang. I caught them late last year in a support slot for Swim Deep in Liverpool. They had a lot of potential then and they proved it today with a stunning set. Their Bluresque (that is not a misspelling of burlesque, I mean a little like Blur) feel had the audience leaping, dancing, singing and truly enjoying a great band. The big question though is, are this gang really magic? Well the audience were spellbound so I guess that means that they are, right?

magic gang

I stayed at the Festival Republic Stage for Ezra Furman. I don’t really have the words but I will try. He is like Jonathan Richman in a skirt backed by what could be a fledgling E Street Band who are also able to throw in a few Zappaesque moments. This is a proper ballsy and very intelligent rock band fronted by a supremely talented individual. Gotta love the Ezra! When can we all move to planet Ezra?

ezra furman

Wonderful proper boss scousers Clean Cut Kid stepped onto the Festival Republic Stage next. Clean Cut Kid are a fabulously exciting young band who once again left me with a feel good smile on my face. Just as they did at the Latitude Festival last month. This is excellent perky pop with feeling. I’ll say it again, this band are proper boss. I also suffer from beard envy of the singers magnificent face fungus, mine is pathetic in comparison.

clean cut kid

I returned to the BBC Introducing Stage next for Lawrence Taylor. Lawrence’s band is very talented. He is a gifted singer songwriter with an amazing blue-eyed soul voice. That voice could certainly give Robert Palmer, Daryl Hall and Paul Carrack a run for their money. Mr Taylor is also an exquisitely skilled guitarist.

lawrence taylor

A wee trudge back to the Main Stage next for one of America’s finest; Fall Out Boy. Oh my how this band has grown and developed since I first saw them more than ten years ago. If you are appearing just before Biffy Clyro on the bill (and sorry I don’t buy all that co-headlining shite) then you’d better roll out something special and oh boy did Fall Out Boy do that!Amazing video backdrops and to cap it all flame juggling, Mad Max style dominatrix acrobats. To be fair the band were playing to a partisan crowd but they did have the punters eating out of their hands very quickly.

FOB 1

It was now time for todays main event (well in my opinion anyway) Biffy Clyro on the Main Stage. The one thing that has always been so obviously different between Reading and Leeds for me is that the closing day line up at Reading is always the opening day at Leeds. This was really clear with a monumental set from arguably one of the best bands on the planet right now. Biffy proved that their last headline slot in 2013 was no fluke. This is their tenth appearance at Leeds/ Reading, they really have earned top billing. Their set was incredible; a set of massive square frames that grew smaller the further they were from the front of the stage. A bit like a 21st Century recreation of sixties classic TV series ‘The Time Tunnel‘ (if you’re too young to remember that then I suggest you ask your grand parents). The energy of the band is incredible and while their recorded output is largely stunning, hearing those songs live only enhances them. Not only did Biffy crank the volume up to 11, they did the same with the bombast. The particular high lights for me were “Captain”, “Many Of Horror” and “Black Chandelier“. I’m already looking forward to seeing this band own the stage once again, perhaps in 2019? ‘Mon the Biff!

biffy

 

 

Reading Festival 2013 – Day 3 – Sunday 25th August August 26, 2013


We began at the Main Stage today for We Are The In Crowd. Note to Nadia Tut; it’s looking ever so slightly less of a cock fest today. I also believe that you and your fellow band mates and bands are in a position to try to change that going forward. These folks have a female singer. We need the Tuts and Colour Me Wednesday  playing here next year. As for WATIC what a superb lively start to the day from this New York band.

Back to the NME/ Radio 1 Stage for the Villagers, we had seen them at Reading a couple of years ago. They were good then and are even better now. If you had not seen them before you might be forgiven for thinking you had walked in on the Hogwarts school band fronted by Harry Potter himself. The singer certainly looks like the young wizard. But their music is indeed a magical combination of influences. Once again great use of percussion too.

Aluna George have been subject to mucho hype lately and you know what? They are well worth it. Their music is spectacularly good and Aluna’s stage clothes show that Lady Gaga has jumped the shark fashionwise. Aluna herself is confident and sassy, she commands the stage. I will very soon be the owner of Aluna George’s album.

Over to the Festival Republic stage next for Twenty One Pilots. Unbelievably a drum based rock rap hybrid dressed as skeletons. It shouldn’t work but it does. It’s as though the Strokes were spliced with Eminem and Hawksley Workman in a parallel universe. These guys MUST be on the Main Stage mid afternoon next year; are you listening organisers? This was possibly one of the finest Reading Festival moments ever for us.

As for Chapel Club; very chilled soft rock with a hard edge. I would not have wanted to follow Twenty One Pilots. If I went to a chapel club when I was a kid it wouldn’t have been this much fun! After that we lay in the sun chilling to As Elephants Are. They were pretty good.

Back to the NME/ Radio 1 stage next for Haim. Bloody hell these girls can rock. This had to be the year of the drum with even more percussion from the Haim sisters. But did the bass player have to turn so much? That part was scary.

Fall Out Boy or FOB as they are now branded are back. On form on the Main Stage. But does everything have to be reduced to an acronym? But this band does what it says on the tin. Pop powered punk at its best. A band that has been an acronym for longer than many were next on the Main Stage; it was Nine Inch Nails or NIN as they prefer to be known, certainly on t-shirts. I was expecting great things from Trent Reznor and his chums. Sadly I was very disappointed, the music came across as samey and bland and Mr Reznor was severely lacking in the interaction with the crowd department. As a result we wandered off to pastures new. First to the Festival Republic stage where we saw the Jim Jones Revue; they are a hell of a powerful band. Imagine if AC/ DC, the Stones, the Troggs and Doctor Feelgood all drank in the same pub and became the house band. It would be very much like the Jim Jones Revue. We wandered over to the Rock Stage for the first part of Funeral For A Friend’s set. They definitely do what it says on the tin with their excellent brand of hard punky tunes. After that we returned to the Festival Republic stage for the magnificent Spector. I suppose you could compare them to the Killers in sound, but they are so much more than that. The audience loved them.

Then it was time for Sunday night’s headliners; the regal and magnificent Biffy Clyro. ‘Mon the Bif! This was the first time in eight Reading appearances that they have headlined the Main Stage and after this performance they will do it again in the future too. They were clearly well rehearsed and fired up for this show. For me they were the best headliner of the weekend by far and definitely in my top 5 of all time. The highlights for me were “Many To Horror” and “Black Chandelier”. The light show, the stage set and the pyrotechnics were amazing and added to a stonking performance from Scotland’s finest. Let’s hope they are back soon. As for myself and my good mate Nick Horslen; will we be back next year? I think there is a bloody good chance that we will be.

 

Reading Festival 2013 – The Preview August 21, 2013


reading_leeds

Well it’s that time of year again; time for me to spend three days standing in a field in Berkshire with thousands of other people. There will be shouting, mud (possibly), booze and drugs (for some), food stuffs thrown (usually scotch eggs) and oodles of great music. Yes the Reading Festival is here again and as has been the tradition for a several years now I will be attending with my good friend and fellow Zimmer Twin Nick. We are two fiftysomething music fans and between us we have seen all the great bands from Led Zep to the Foos and from Bowie to Suede. To be fair we have also seen our share of crap bands too.

Anyway who am I looking forward to most this year? I think the three headliners are a good choice. I saw Green Day back in 2005 at the Milton Keynes Bowl, that was a great show. I have seen Biffy Clyro at Reading a few times and after the release of their current album ‘Opposites’ earlier this year I think that they will make excellent headliners. I am looking forward to Eminem and I think he will be superb. However back in 2001 I thought his set, which included extensive collaboration with D12 was a little subdued.

Other acts I am quite excited about seeing are; Kate Nash (who I saw in York earlier this year), will the Tuts join her on stage? Let’s hope so! Then there is the supremely talented Jake Bugg, Chvrches, Johnny Marr, Savages, Palma Violets, Fallout Boy, Spector, Haim, Villagers, Jagwar Ma, the Bronx, the 1975 and the Fuck Buttons. Sadly I’m sure that some of these acts may be on at the same time on different stages. But whatever happens I intend to be there for the return of Enter Shikari and I will definitely not be missing Christchurch’s finest son Frank Turner and Nine Inch Nails. Fingers crossed that Trent Reznor is joined by his friend David Bowie, somehow I don’t think so though.

As for the BBC Introducing Stage we also take a look at a few of the up and coming bands. Sometimes we pick who we want to see based on their names. So this year we will be looking out for We Are Knuckle Draggers, As Elephants Are and Catfish and the Bottlemen. Who are you most looking forward to this year at Reading and Leeds? Don’t forget if you should bump into us Zimmer Twins feel free to say hello. I will make sure that you get a mention in this blog!

 

Reading Festival 2012 – Day 1 – Friday 24th August August 27, 2012


After what seemed ages the Reading Festival is here again and as usual I made the annual pilgrimage with my good friend Nick Horslen. The first band that we saw on day 1 was the Cancer Bats. I would describe them as hardcore heavy screamers from Canada and they were bloody good too! Dead to Me were on the Lock Up stage and they were rather good and certainly not dead to anyone! I wasn’t sire about the jaunty angled baseball cap though. Coheed & Cambria were on the main stage I found them a bit Biffy Clyro-like but not as good! I suppose you might describe them as 21st century prog rock.

Friends sounded good but sadly we missed most of their set. Spector came next with the first mobot of the day, spookily just after I said to Nick I wonder when we’ll see one from the stage. I like these guys a lot, they have some really anthemic songs especially “Never Fade Away”. Are the Hives the ultimate festival party band? Definitely! They have it all; top hats and tails, attitude, great songs and even a ninja stage crew! We saw the Blackout next, hmmmm seems to be a Shikari influence in there. But I would send the red-haired bloke back to Wales he adds nothing to them in my opinion!

I love Scroobius Pip but I thought that the sound mix for him was terrible. Wow the BBC Introducing stage has a mosh circle and the Attention Thieves worked it well. Very hard and very heavy. Next we were at the NME tent for Passion Pit from Boston. They do what it says on the tin; but with loads more passion than you can fit in a tin and far from the pits! A truly great band. But even after that things went up a notch or two with the great Graham Coxon, what a truly awesome guitarist he is. A little less stage presence than Damon but tons more than Liam Gallagher. A brilliant set and he even has a drummer that looked like a bewigged Mel Smith. We passed by Paramore on the Main stage to see the rather spiffing Bastille who closed with a great 90s dance cover.

The BBC introduced us to the Proxies; I think they’ll be back. The Courteeners were a bit identikit indie pop. I’m sure that if you’re a big fan of them you were in ecstasy watching them. For me they were pretty good but not the most exciting band I have ever seen. Then it was off to the Main Stage to round the day off with Bob Smith’s combo, the Cure. They last appeared at the festival in 1979 and I had never seen them before so the prospects were good. Whilst they are clearly a very tight band, featuring Reeves Gabrels on guitar I think, I don’t think I’d see them again. I am glad I had the opportunity this time though. I felt that the first hour was somewhat soporific but the second part really livened up. So that was the end of the first day and the rain held off too.

 

 
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