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.
Reading Festival 2013 – Day 1 – Friday 23rd August August 24, 2013
So here we are once again and Nick Horslen and I have arrived at the Reading Festival site for the umpteenth year. I think it’s more than 10 years for us as a team. As for me I have missed only two from the last 20 years. I attended my first ever Reading in 1976 and got in through a hole in the fence, which doesn’t seem so easy to do nowadays. Today turned out to be the hottest day at the Festival for a few years; for the weather at least!
Wytches (why is there a new wave of making your band’s name appear to be from ye olde English language?) were first up they sound a little Doorsy and their guitar wig-outs were like a harder edged garage band. Pretty good though.
King No-one from Leeds were on the BBC Introducing stage; fans of Vampire Weekend maybe? I like these dudes.
Night Engine are channeling the vocal ghost of Billy McKenzie and answering the questions can gingers rock and can they funk? The answer in my opinion is fuck yeah! Irish band Kodaline come on like the bastard love sprogs of Bono and Chris Martin but with more balls! This band deserves to be HUGE!
If you want top performance power pop look no further than the fabulous Parquet Courts. Top band! So what were New Found Glory like? As the sign said ‘Pop Punk’s Not Dead! Right on. They played the whole of the Sticks and Stones’ album.
Does what it says on the tin no. 1; Frank Turner – mightily awesome! Although perhaps not as awesome as I have known him to be in the past. His Mum introduced him, which was a nice touch. He also had a Cobain moment as he was pushed on to the stage in a wheelchair; his Mum explained that he had a bad back, however he stayed in the chair for about a minute! Interestingly he got the whole of the Main Stage crowd, including us, to sit down for one of the choruses of “Photosynthesis” to which we all sang along. Now that is a little ironic given that the chorus starts with the line ‘I won’t sit down’
We met 3 thirds of the Tuts and half of Colour Me Wednesday outside the Festival Republic Stage! I saw the Tuts earlier this year when they supported Kate Nash and I am looking forward to seeing Colour Me Wednesday later this week in Leeds. If you are reading this post and you haven’t heard the Tuts or Colour Me Wednesday then I order you to do something about that!
Has Marc Bolan been reincarnated? Nope it’s the Temples on the Festival Republic stage! Kate Nash is supremely talented and after her set I am now an even bigger fan than I was when I saw her in York earlier this year. It was great to see Nadia Tut make it onstage eventually too! A brief note to the festival organisers; what is wrong with a bit of a stage invasion instigated by Kate herself? It would have been fun and no harm would have been done. But at least three people made it up.
System of a Down on the Main Stage; loud, heavy, technically superb but would I ever listen to them outside the confines of a festival? I doubt it. Does what it says on the tin number 2; Green Day. They were very, very good and certainly had more energy than last years Friday headliners the Cure. But in a way it is kind of identikit pop punk. They played the whole of the ‘Dookie’ album, which will be 20 years old next year. I felt that apart from a few songs it hasn’t aged well. “Basket Case” will always be a classic though. The light show was superb and Billie Joe‘s stage presence is unquestionably great. The best part for me was the storming encore of “American Idiot” (I do believe I will never tire of that song) and “Jesus Of Suburbia“. Then just when we thought it was all over Mr Armstrong came back on for a solo acoustic rendition of “Time Of Your Life”. All in all a pretty good day. Now bring on Day 2!
Reading Festival 2010 – Day 2, Saturday 28th August August 30, 2010
Day 2 is here and my feet are blistered from wearing new and very heavy (steel toe capped) wellies, I wore them again today, but the forecast looks good for better shoes on day 3. The first band we saw was Soul Circus on the BBC Introducing stage. They were on when we arrived so we didn’t see their whole set, but they were very good, the vocalist in particular was excellent. We stayed at the Introducing stage for the next band, they were Penguin from Wakefield. I think it’s fair to say that they rock!
After that we paid our first visit of the weekend to the Alternative stage aka the Comedy tent, we were hoping to see Kevin Bridges but his flight back from Edinburgh (he had been there for the festival) was late. He was replaced by an American comedian and I use that word reluctantly, he calls himself Neil Hamburger but his real name is Greg Turkington. He got off on the wrong foot and went further down that same road throughout his act. Firstly he told all the folks that were there expecting Kevin Bridges that they could “fuck off” and then called those of us who remained “pieces of human shit”. The audience was to barrack him for his whole act with chants of “off, off, off” and “you’re shit and you know you are”. There was a fair array of missiles sent stage wards too. The only way he could have redeemed himself would have been if his jokes were funny, they weren’t! The funniest thing he said was “I guess I’ll do my encore now” as the compere opened the backstage curtains. But for us it was entertaining for us anyway!
Over to the Main Stage next for the fabulous Gaslight Anthem from New Jersey and they were an amazing live band. I know they are close to Bruce Springsteen and I reckon they could turn on a lot of the younger generation to Bruce. I would definitely pay to see these boys. A trek back to the Introducing Stage was next on the agenda for the mystery special guest slot. It was Everything Everything with a couple of acoustic songs and an interview for Radio 1’s Live Lounge. They finished with a Shakira cover and given what was going on in the crowd I’m amazed that they didn’t get a fit of the giggles. There was a guy on someone’s shoulders in the crowd and he was wearing a leather fetish mask in the shape of a dog’s head. If that wasn’t funny enough he then produced a large black strap on dildo which he fellated, much to our own and the rest of the audience’s amusement. If you re that person then get in touch, I’d be happy to give you a mention on the blog!
The Festival Republic stage was our next destination for I Blame Coco. It would be fair to say that Coco does pop and does it very well. (Feel free to insert your own Coco Pops joke here). We returned to the Comedy Tent after that in order to redress the Neil Hamburger experience. JJ Whitehead, a Canadian, was the performer and he is a very good comedian. Much of his act is really well thought out observational comedy and he works the audience really well. I loved the story about pretending to be retarded at Disney in Florida. The next band we saw, albeit briefly was Chapel Club. I liked the sound of them and will be checking them out on line, some good tunes. Then it was My Forever at the Introducing stage (we really have been there a lot!) This was jangly indie pop with an edge and done really well.
I don’t how I have managed to miss Frank Turner on all my many visits to this festival, but I didn’t miss him this time. He was abso-fucking-lutely brilliant. He has passion, power, excitement and an audience that love him. I also see him as a Billy Bragg for this generation and I will definitely be buying some of his material when I get home. I hope he’s back next year too. We stayed for the first part of Serge Tankian’s (off of System Of A Down) set. He had and orchestral ensemble and introduced the rest of his band as ‘The Flying ****s Of Chaos’ (word starred out for the more easily offended of you dear readers, well actually I’d prefer that my Mum didn’t see that I had used ‘that C word’, those of you who are not easily offended can click on the stars to see the missing word on Wikipedia). He was good but not as good as when I saw him before a couple of years back. We joined Nick’s son Jake, who was with his girlfriend Suzie in the Festival Republic tent to see Villagers. The lead singer Conor came out on his own for the first song, cue my joke about it being a small village which did amuse one Villagers fan standing next to me. This is a very good band and I would say genre defying too. I reckon that if the original Wicker Man movie had a house band this would be them. I can almost picture Britt Ekland’s body double dancing to them!
So now for the Libertines, their entrance was preceded by Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again”. This was all very sentimentally Albion, but guys cut the schmaltz, you did this for the money! I have seen them here twice before and as always they were very good, but for me they will never be a truly great band. I may take some stick for that comment, but folks it is just my opinion ok? The crowd loved them though and it seemed that over exuberance in the crowd caused a short break in their set in which Pete and Carl were escorted from the stage. Arcade Fire were today’s headliners and any reservations I had about them filling that were quickly blown away. They were bloody amazing and even managed a little dig at the previous night’s headliner’s Guns N Roses by saying how punctual they were. The vibrancy, energy and power they display is phenomenal. The stage set including the film projection was at times weird and disturbing, but added to an overall brilliant experience. Obviously as they have performed with David Bowie before I was hoping for an appearance by the great man, but despite seeing some helicopter traffic during their set it never happened. I guess I should have crossed my toes as well as the fingers!
So in summary, Day 2 was another excellent Reading day. We’re knackered but still looking forward with excitement to Day 3!
“Gone, gone the water’s all gone, Mummy come back ‘cos the water’s all gone” September 11, 2009
Hello again everyone and thank you for joining me for another of my infrequent posts This one is based around a great recent news story about Mr Bowie who is no stranger to this blog! Anyway he has been granted the honour of having a spider named after him. I guess this is because of the occasional spider references in his work. Notably dear old Ziggy and his Spiders from Mars and also the Glass Spider tour of 1987. Although to be fair the less said about his 80s stuff the better I’ll feel! The discovery of the new species of spider, named Heteropoda davidbowie, was made in Malaysia by a German arachnoligist (now that is what I call a job title!) Peter Jaeger. He says he named the large yellow spider after Bowie to draw attention to the endangered status of many spiders. He is quoted as saying “We are also quickly losing genetic resources that have evolved over more than 300 million years.” Apparently last year the Rameshwaram Parachute Spider was among included on a “red list” of thousands of endangered species which was compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Less than 500 of these spiders are believed to remain in their woodland habitat on the island of Rameshwaram, which is closed to Sri Lanka. The areas they live in are slowly being cleared to increase the number of hotels and tourist facilities on the island
This isn’t the first arachnid to be named after a musician either. In 2008 Jason Bond a biologist at East Carolina University named a newly discovered trapdoor spider Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi. Can you guess who it was named after? It’s Neil Young of course!
So this got me thinking about some spider songs to add to todays post, so here we go and please send me your own suggestions as well
“Boris The Spider” – The Who A great spider clay animation video this one!
“Spiders” – System Of A Down – Now this is one scary mofo of a video
“Spiders (Kidsmoke)” – Wilco -spiders filling out tax returns indeed!
“Glass Spider” – David Bowie – the full works including the stage set from the ’87 tour that seems to have been ripped off by U2 for their current tour
“Spider Pig” – Simpsons – the full choral version which uses images of said Spider Pig in the promo stills from Spiderman 3 – Excellent!
“Spiderman Theme” – Ramones – a great cartoon of both Spidey and the band
Although it only mentions spiders I will also add Bowie’s classic Ziggy Stardust. Incidentally during my time working with some wonderful people at Accenture and Unilever in 2007/ 2008 I had the Ziggy guitar riff as my ring tone. Every time my phone rang when I was working with my good friend Elmus Da Costa Gomez (doesn’t Elmus’ name make everyone else’s name sound dull?) he would break into spontaneous air guitar antics until I answered it. Which was quite amusing at the time, but I guess that you had to be there really!