Hi people here is hopefully the first of three probably brief pictureless dispatches from the muddy fields of the Reading Festival. Well not too muddy actually but judging from my drive down from York I reckon Leeds could be very muddy! In fact the whole journey down was a bit of a nightmare thanks to a combination of rain, wind and roadworks. I finally arrived on site around 4.30pm and met up with my good friend Nick. He had already seen quite a few acts, including the excellent Temper Trap who I would have loved to have seen, oh well never mind there really is plenty more on offer. We decided to largely go for quantity today which as it turned out was sometimes at the expense of quality.
First Main Stage band I saw today was the Deftones, I wasn’t overly impressed actually, in fact I didn’t know they were still around. I’ll save the magnificent headliners until last as they were the only other band I saw on the Main Stage.
We were in the NME Radio 1 Tent quite a lot. Nick also caught Little Boots’ set which he said was very good, that was another I missed. But I did see the last part of the Horrors show, I thought it was ok but perhaps a bit derivative of many 70s influences, I felt a big bit of Gary Numan in there somewhere. Although obviously I can’t comment on which bit! Next up in here was the wonderful Jack Penate. A great set that really had the crowd and indeed the tent bouncing! This was followed by Florence and the Machine. She is something else. Supremely talented and very quirky with a great stage presence. How she climbed the stage rig with those heels I’ll never know. Her songs sound like she has listened to Kate Bush and Bjork and mixed that with a significant amount of her own talent. Her wardrobe appeared to look as if someone from Victoria’s Secret had dressed Stevie Nicks off of Fleetwood Mac!. We also saw most of the Friendly Fires set. Amazing band and I think exactly who Wild Cherry were talking about in the 70s when they sang “Play That Funky Music White Boy”. I also like Jamie T of whom we watched a couple of songs, I thought he was ok, he certainly knows how to play the audience.
On the Lock-Up Stage we caught the Bouncing Souls a US punk band that have been around for 20 years but still sound fresh. We saw a couple of songs from Alexisonfire, I wasn’t impressed particularly. Later Anti-Flag were superb, mixing punk and politics in a good way and in a way that hasn’t been done since the Clash!
On the Alternative Stage we took the offer of free 3D glasses and saw 20 minutes of George A Romero’s (it was him wasn’t it?) 3D ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ We also saw one song from Everything Everything on the BBC Introducing Stage, they struck me as the Scissor Sisters meet Indie with a bit of Prog thrown in.
OK and finally we saw the whole of the Kings Of Leon show and never mind if your sex is on fire this band was on fire. I think I’d forgotten how many great songs they have. Probably one of the best headline acts I have seen here in all the years of coming.
On a separate note I reckon the flag ban this year certainly took something away from the atmosphere. What do you folks think?
Oh well now it’s time for a shower, a cup of tea and a leisurely breakfast before Day 2 of the festival starts. Shower? At a festival? I hear you say, well I’m not camping. I don’t do camping 😉 But to all of you who are I hope you were comfortable and that you don’t smell too much!