With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Leeds Festival Press Day 8th August 2017 August 8, 2017

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:49 pm
Tags: , , , ,

sdr

Melvin Benn

Thanks to those nice people at the Hype Media I was lucky enough to attend the Leeds Festival Press Day earlier. Click here to read my write up for the Hype Media.

I would love to know what you think of it.

 

Reading 2013 Day 2 – The Pictures August 27, 2013


Here are just a few random pictures that I took at this years festival. There will be two more picture posts. If you spot yourself in any of them feel free to get in touch and I’d be happy to give you a mention on the blog. If you’d like to read my review of the day click here.

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Reading 2013 Day 1 – The Pictures


Here are just a few random pictures that I took at this years festival. There will be two more picture posts. If you spot yourself in any of them feel free to get in touch and I’d be happy to give you a mention on the blog. If you’d like to read my review of the day click here.

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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 2011 – Day 1 – Friday 26th August August 27, 2011


So here we are again then, the first day of the Reading Festival. I’m here with my good friend Nick Horslen and I am aiming to post a review of each day for you. Obviously I expect some comment as I doubt that you’ll agree with everything I say. Incidentally some of the opinions in the blog were suggested by Nick. I just wanted to make sure I gave him equal credit!

The Bronze Medal were first up for us on BBC Introducing Stage, they sounded ok, but personally I don’t see them scaling great heights. The Blackout were next up on the Main Stage, with a magnificent backdrop that said ‘Fuck The Blackout’. Personally I’d rather not as I didn’t find them that attractive! But they were pretty good and pretty heavy. Bizarrrely they dedicated what they called their heaviest song to all the sluts in the audience, so I guess we didn’t qualify for that. Miles Kane was in the NME/ Radio 1 tent. He is like an animated Liam Gallagher with a guitar. He was also very bloody good. New Found Glory were on the Main Stage, I thought that they were accomplished but perhaps not as good as they were. However they did a great cover of Sixpence None The Richer‘s “kiss Me”.

We then caught a part of Hugh Lennon‘s act on the Alternative Stage, he is a rather amusing hypnotist. After that we opted for Dry The River on the Festival Republic stage, definitely a good band. They have a  bit of Biffy Clyro with added violin. Pity they couldn’t dry the skies though! It was pissing down again by then and parts of the ground were covered in mud with the consistency of melted chocolate. We then saw Cerebal Ballzy, we were initially attracted by such a brilliant name. What were they like? Ballsy (or perhaps I should say ballzy) punk from Brooklyn! Al Pitcher kept us out of the rain and not only that he was a brilliant comedian. He was followed by Dead Cat Bounce, we felt that their name was better than their act!

Foster The People gave us electro pop via Tom Tom Club and  Talking Heads. An immense band, definitely best of the day for me. I will be downloading their album when I’m home on Monday. The crowd went absolutely mental for them!! The  Antlers came next and their singer gave us soundcheck yodel! Their sound is a kind of tripped out psychadelic space vibe. The Deftones were on the Main Stage, they were heavy and reliable and did what it says on the tin.

Anna Calvi, hmmmm, what can I say, definitely a little strange. Percussive blues,  operatic type vocal and unintelligable lyrics. The Offspring were excellent value for money and still pretty fly for white guys! They have aged well and are still pretty good but definitely not pretty. Noah and the Whale completely rocked the NME/ Radio stage. An incredible build up using an orchestral version of Bohemian Rhapsody; who’d have thought that we’d be singing that song at Reading this year? They truly are  a great fucking band a bit like Vampire Weekend with more orchestration and less African style guitars. We hung around for the White Lies and it was worth the wait. These guys used to come to Reading as teenagers and clearly they’ve learnt a lot! Bloody good band. Then it was the much anticipated Beady Eye, which frankly is really Oasis without Noel isn’t it? They were like an Oasis tribute band playing songs they had written in an Oasis style. Liam’s voice is clearly not what it was either and his stage presence is way past it’s sell by date. We headed for the exit and glimpsed My Chemical Romance who seemed to have quite a small crowd for a Main Stage headline act. Anyway time to sign off for now and get ready for day two!

 

Reading Festival 2010 – Day 1, Friday 27th August August 30, 2010


It’s been a year of waiting but here is the first of my posts from this year’s Reading Festival. Thankfully the rain had stopped but it had left parts of the festival site looking a little like the First World War trenches, my sympathies certainly extend to many of the more unlucky campers, presumably those who arrived last. Personally I ‘don’t do’ camping and will be staying at my good friend Nicks during the whole event.

We finally got through the gates just after noon and managed to catch a very brief glimpse of a band I had hoped to see purely because they have an excellent name; Wot Gorilla? I didn’t see enough to say much about them sadly, but they seemed ok. Next up we saw Crazy Arm, a tight, strong band very much in a rock mould. Harlem were next and again it was a brief glimpse, but I would suggest that these guys know how to party. A local band appearing on the BBC Introducing Stage had been recommended to us by BBC Radio Berkshire; Amy’s Ghost they were superb. Shades of Kate Bush and Florence (off of Florence and the Machine) influences among others, also very theatrical. I even bought their album from the delightful singer who stayed around to talk to fans until the Beeb told her she had to leave.

New Young Pony Club, were accomplished with a great rapport with their audience. We watched them play a couple of songs in our bid to see as many bands as possible in a day. I would say very much destined for a reasonable career, sound as a pound I would say! Billy Talent were next on the Main Stage; very punk, very loud and they mean it maaaan! After this it was a more chilled sound with Girls who are from San Francisco, but maybe the flowers on the mic stand gave that away. A good band though even if the singer/ stroke guitarist did adopt a one-legged flamingo pose occasionally a little like Ian Anderson off of Jethro Tull. We’re Only Afraid Of NYC were quite reasonable, but we only caught a brief glimpse before heading to the Main Stage again for Gogol Bordello, probably my favourite band of the day. This is the third time I have seen them at Reading and once again they were brilliant. This is truly a superb band that knows their audience and knows how to have a great time. I hadn’t realised quite how cosmopolitan they were either, including members from Russia, Ethiopia, USA, Ecuador and Scotland to name but a few.

Sketches met while at Leeds University and know how to really funk things up; I reckon they’d be great in a small sweaty venue. We only saw a short part of Pulled Apart By Horses set, but I think I may have to check them out on-line when I get home; these boys know their stuff and hit some excellent riffs. Heading past the Main Stage again we chanced upon NOFX. We only heard one song which was about assassinating George W Bush, so that makes them alright with me. Disappointedly we managed just the briefest of glimpses of Egyptian Hip Hop, but it was a good glimpse and I will certainly be exploring them more on-line. You have to love a band with that name, who are neither Egyptian (at least I don’t think so) or Hip Hop (well they didn’t sound it anyway). Back to the Main Stage for the Lost Prophets, these boys were truly fucking ace, we were singing and jumping with the rest of the crowd, another of my favourite bands of the day.

The NME/ Radio 1 tent beckoned next for Delphic. A brilliant dance band, but I might have benefited more with a spliff beforehand, but seeing as I don’t do drugs that was never going to happen, but a great set none the less. We stayed in place for Mumford And Sons and I have never seen that tent so crowded, in fact a number of people passed out in the crush. The crowd was mental for Mumford (hey could that be another band name?) and the band played like they felt it too. I like them, but I’d probably only see them at festivals. I probably lost a few pounds in sweat from that experience too

We then went back to the Main Stage to await the arrival of Guns N Roses, well Axl Rose and some other musicians really. Boy did we wait, they were an hour late coming on and at best were like a G’n’R tribute band. The booing started way before they hit the stage and continued afterwards too. Axl had no interaction with his audience and I think his voice is shot as well. In all my years of going to Reading I have never seen an audience so small for a headliner on the Main Stage or an audience so muted in their applause and reaction. I always felt that Guns N Roses were a poor headline choice and now I’m sure I was right. You could always hear the sound of barrels being scraped and dead horses being flogged.

We actually didn’t stay for the whole of G’n’R but alternated between LCD Soundsystem in the NME/ Radio 1 Tent and Marina And The Diamonds on the Festival Republic stage. Both of these bands were very entertaining and each of them was way better than Guns N Roses. I’ve liked a lot of LCD’s output and I will be buying Marina’s album soon as well.

So now it’s time for some brief R and R before we make our assault on Day 2. In the words of Arnie, I will be back soon, ok I know he never said soon, but that’s just slightly more English and genteel isn’t it?

 

 
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