Friday, 28 September 2012

Seen It>> Reading Festival- Saturday, August 25

Green Day>>NME/Radio 1 Stage>> The festival's worst kept secret became reality, as Green Day took to the mid-sized NME stage at 11am to deliver a pulsating retelling of their large back catalogue. Everyone in the audience was enjoying every minute, even those who had gone off Green Day in recent years (yours truly), but had growm up listening to them. Anyone who was lucky to be inside witnessed something special, and something that won't be re-encountered again for sure.

The Shins>>Main Stage>>The last time the indie pop five-piece were at Reading in 2007, James Mercer was fronting a different band. However he is now the sole remaining original member and the Portland-based quintet were here to support new record, Port of Morrow. The likes of "New Slang", "Phantom Limb" and "Simple Song" ensured that it would be a blissfully enjoyable late afternoon set in the sunshine.

Billy Talent>>NME/Radio 1 Stage>>The Canadian quartet have become something of a cult band at Reading over the years and they only added to their popularity, with another entertaining set full of hits such as "Devil in a Midnight Mass", "Viking Death March" and "Red Flag".

Mastodon>>NME/Radio 1 Stage>> Metal bands are becoming something of a water in the desert at Reading these days: hard to find. Mastodon were included in the line up after Sonisphere went belly up and they showed that metal bands still have a place at Reading, with an entertaining set that had the tent headbanging in unison.

The Cribs>>NME/Radio 1 Stage>>The Cribs are recent Reading legends and they seem to enjoy the festival more than any other band and they showed why they keep getting booked to come back. "Men's Needs" got its usual lairy crowd response, whilst Ryan Jarman was up to his usual crazy antics, as he seemingly didn't want to leave the stage. And why would you, when you're having such a great time?

At the Drive-In>>NME/Radio 1 Stage >> The year's most hyped up reunion (along with Refused), saw the El Paso post-hardcore quintet back at Reading Festival, after their 2000 appearance cemented their reputation as one of the most exciting live bands. 12 years, however, is a long time and the band looked painfully out of sorts. But that didn't stop their small but passionate crowd giving it everything and making sure they enjoyed every second of what looks to be a short reunion.

Seen It>> Reading Festival- Friday, August 24 2012

O'Brother>>Festival Republic Stage>>The post rockers from Atlanta, Georgia had the dubious honour of opening 2012's festival. They had a loud, atmospheric set which suited their surroundings perfectly, with songs such as "Machines Part I" and "Lay Down" gaining warm applause.

Cancer Bats>>Main Stage>>The Canadian hardcore punk rockers were more at home on the Lock Up stage, as their set looked flat, and whilst their usual crowd would have been energetic, the atmosphere was anything but. Their "Sabotage" cover due the biggest reception.

Coheed & Cambria>>Main Stage>>Again the atmosphere around the main stage had a flat and early morning feel to it, which clearly affected the band's set. Set closer "Welcome Home" had everyone headbanging and air guitaring though. 

JEFF the Brotherhood>>Festival Republic Stage>>Nashville, Tennessee's brotherly duo were the first band to liven the audience on the (usually) groggy first day. Rockin' numbers such as "Shredder", "Heavy Days" and "U Got the Look" were like being thwarted back to the 70s with their heavy distortion. The perfect band for an early afternoon beer. 

The Hives>>NME/Radio 1 Stage>>Howlin' Pelle Almqvist and his mad cap band were back at Reading after an eight year absence. Quite how such an entertaining festival band as The Hives were away for so long is anybody's guess, but they showed just what Reading was missing with a jam-packed set featuring classics, inane banter and freeze frames. Fagersta, Sweden's number one export (besides steel) were fantastic as they delivered song such as "Main Offender", "Hate To Say I Told You So" and "Tick Tick Boom", which featured the aforementioned Hives freeze frame. 

Touche Amore>> Lock Up Stage>>The post-hardcore quintet from Los Angeles were in town to play tracks from most recent album, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, including "Home Away From Here" and "~". The boys seemed delighted to be at Reading and the audience were delighted to have them. 

Graham Coxon>>NME/Radio 1 Stage>>Former Blur man was back at Reading and, well, it wasn't one of his best days. A set containing mostly new material failed to grab the somewhat (shamefully) small crowd's attention, with only "Freakin' Out" getting the audience moving. 

Every Time I Die>>Lock Up Stage>>The mentalist crowd of the day went to Buffalo, NY's Every Time I Die. The metalcore quintet were making their first appearance at the festival and they didn't disappoint, delivering a brutal set containing "Holy Book of Dilemma"and "Wanderlust" amongst others.

The Cure>>Main Stage>>Robert Smith and co returned to headline Reading Festival after some 33 years. The majority of the crowd would have not have even been born then, but they were still able to appreciate a legendary British band showing off their distinguishable career, with hit after hit, and a wide mixture of genres.