So Reading Festival was amazing, just as I’d expected it to be! We had a bit of rubbish weather on the Thursday and Friday but it cleared up fairly quickly and we even had some rare sunny patches. Our camp was awesome and we had a great location, so it was smiles all round. We decided this year to go to White Car Park (Green Car Park has a 45 min walk before you even get to the camp site) and we camped at the back in Brown which meant we were all set up by midday, plus we didn’t have the hassle of being surround by 16 year old idiots.
As usual I saw too many bands to talk about them all, but I’ll list my favourites.
My Chemical Romance – They are at the top because they just blew me away. Absolutely incredible. I’ve never really been a fan of them, but I quite liked the new album so I figured I would go and see them, and I think now I’m a convert! They had the stage presence, the over the top outfits, a great show, and a perfect setlist. Then in the encore, when we thought it couldn’t get any better, they bring on Brian May for a cover of ‘We Will Rock You’ and to help out with ‘The Black Parade’. It was exactly what a headliner set should be and I hope they silenced all the people that were moaning about their booking.
Muse – A two hour set including the whole of Origin of Symmetry plus a selection of singles? I was always going to love this. The stage was a massive re-enactment of the album cover, the visuals were massive and the sound was perfect. The only thing that annoyed me was being surrounded by girls who were silent for the first hour, and then screamed along to Starlight.
Pulp – They came on, they played an hour of hits, Jarvis flirted with the audience and climbed the speakers, and their work was done. This was definitely one 90s band reunion that didn’t feel old or rehashed.
The Strokes – I don’t think a lot of people liked their set, due to a lot of album tracks and a weird order as they kept getting told they had to go off stage. I loved it, and I thought Julian was on fine form with his weird drunken ramblings and effortless rockstar cool. They even dragged Jarvis Cocker on stage to do a cover of a song no-one had heard of, but really enjoyed anyway. ‘New York City Cops’ and ‘Take It Or Leave It’ made up for the sad absence of ‘Heart In A Cage’.
Friendly Fires – It’s hard to watch Friendly Fires and not get an insatiable urge to dance, owing to the fantastic beats and Ed’s equally fantastic hip-shaking moves. I don’t think I danced so much during the whole of the rest of the festival. The Hawaiian dancers giving out leis to the audience were a nice touch.
The Kills – I took a friend to see these for the first time and warned her that Alison Mosshart was the most rock and roll person ever, and she came away agreeing wholeheartedly. It was a great performance, although they left out a lot of nice tracks from their earlier albums that seemed to leave a gap in the setlist.
Metronomy – They have slowly got better with each performance I have seen them do this year and this was no exception. The crowd were surprisingly into it (usually their crowd consists of a few fans and some people who know Heartbreaker) and I danced lots, although not as much as for Friendly Fires.
Simian Mobile Disco – Even if you don’t like the music or the dancing, it’s worth watching these guys just to see the bizarre central setup of computers, synths and twiddly knobs, with the two members circling the peripheral while they create their sounds. Luckily for me I enjoy the music and the dancing as well, and a set that included ‘Cruel Intentions’ and ‘Hustler’ made me very pleased.
The Offspring – Not the best I have ever seen them perform and the young audience were a bit lacklustre (they clearly didn’t grow up on Americana like myself and my friends!), but they played all the songs a fan would want to hear so our camp loved it for the nostalgia value.
Here is a selection of photos for your amusement. I think I need a lie down to recover before I set off on my Edinburgh adventure!
Having a relax after setting up the tent
Animal hat friends
Our group for the whole of the Offspring
The Kills and their fantastic backdrop
My mum and my aunt on Pulp/Strokes day
Mr Jarvis Cocker himself
A very bad side view of Muse