Despite what you may have seen from the Spotted:Reading Fest account on Twitter, Reading Festival this year was pretty good in terms of the music. In terms of everything else, it may have lacked slightly. One example is the young, innocent being of yours truly being accused of some criminal act despite being accompanied by her mother (I live on the edge, I know). But I can move on from that. Well, mostly.
My weekend kicked off with the most rock’n’roll set of the entire weekend. The crowd jumped, crouched, and screamed as they watched the sweaty, glittery mess that was The Struts as they flamboyantly shimmered across the NME / BBC Radio 1 stage. It was a set that should be used as an example to all. Seriously, if you didn’t feel great after their performance, you were already too drunk. Following a ham and cheese toastie I then found my self in the midst of a rather dry Nick Helm show.
Drenge, Palma Violets and Don Broco continued into the afternoon, performing all of their sets without putting a foot wrong. It was Swim Deep who was the second act of the day to really take my breath away however, their set was filled with any song you would have wanted to hear and even a newer, long psych number that was accompanied on stage by an intriguing spinning lady that only made me love them even more. The day turned to evening with the likes of Peace, Alvvys and Limp Bizkit before the let down of the day took to the Main Stage. I had high hopes for Mumford, I really did. But their performance didn’t have the spirit you’d expect after listening to their music.
Saturday then broke way, the sun was attempting to shine and I was starting to feel the need to nap. Walking On Cars however put a stop to any groggy feelings with their invincible set full of freebies. FIDLAR blew us away on Main Stage before Slaves, despite the death of their goldfish, ruled the roost with their punk gold. A sprint across the site and you’d have found yourself before the eyes of the soon to be indie king Rat Boy who, regardless of the chants of his beloved fans, was unable to perform the infamous ‘Sign On’. I prefered ‘Fake ID’ anyway.
Spector took the stage in spectacular fashion, blasting through both some ‘Moth Boys’ and ‘Enjoy It Will It Lasts’ tracks. Following on from that was Circa Waves who left the stage following ‘T-Shirt Weather’ covered in confetti and Wolf Alice who’s grungy, indie tones was enough to make the crowd go mad and even madder when some of the band threw themselves at the eager audience. The Wombats played into the night, making my voice hoarse just as Metallica pelted their audience with everything that was left of them, which, as it turns out, was quite a lot.
Sunday was supposed to start with Sundara Karma, but, as I said earlier, I was too busy getting accused of being a criminal to see all of their set. But, the final song was all it took for me to realize that I really did miss out on a really great thing. Gengahr soothed my disappointment though and, in fact, blew my expectations away with their dreamy performance. The Cribs caused a fight by throwing a guitar in the audience and The Maccabees did what they do best, winning them the NME readers favourite act of the festival. It was Coasts though who became my favorite act of the day, they may only be a young band but they certainly delivered a more raucous set then half of the other bands that weekend.
Jamie T and Little Comets took me into the evening before Frank Turner made me smile, sway and sing (and no, that was not the cocktails acting) just as The Libertines tip toed onto the stage for yet another boring headliner. Maybe it’s because I didn’t know all the songs or maybe it’s because standing a couple of meters away from a speaker tower wasn’t close enough, I don’t know. But what I do know is that they let me down and the hype was all a lie. They resembled more of my dad than what you’d expect from The Libertines.