This year I was lucky enough to go to Reading, the best music festival I have ever been to. For years Reading has showcased the best hardcore/punk/alternative rock outfits; as well as a host of exciting urban and electronic artists. This year really didn’t disappoint.
Triumphant sets from the likes of Foals and BBK smashed day one, insighting an instant moshing riot; BBK in particular proved they should be way above the likes of CHVRCHES on future bills. Foals’ set undoubtedly felt like their biggest milestone yet and retained their status as one of the best live bands in Britain.
Tired and hungover, I stumbled into Saturday wondering whether I’d actually be up for seeing anyone but my urge to watch Beach Baby got me down to the arena for a 12:00 am start. Confused by the lack of support I watched the 4 piece from a distance, but their show seemed frustrating due to the little audience and their set being cut short; so fans couldn’t here their lead single ‘Limousine’. Next up was Rejjie Snow, he was unreal. His hip hop energy woke everyone up, with tracks like ‘Snow (my rap song)’ going down a storm. Other noticeable sets came from those cheeky lads from Kent, Slaves, who even did a secret show on the BBC introducing stage, playing tracks from their ‘Sugar Coated Bitter Truth’ EP and of course their cover of Skepta’s grime classic ‘Shutdown’. Oh yeah and this band called the Red Hot Chilli Peppers played as well, they were half decent.
For fans of Alternative/Indie music Sunday was by far the best. Spring King kicked it off for me, new single ‘Detroit’ and ‘Rectifier’ were the real crowd pleasers and showed their worthiness of a set on the NME/Radio 1 stage. The Magic Gang packed out the Festival Republic tent, even more so than the firmly established Eagulls who played the most underrated set of the whole weekend. As the day passed RAT BOY played a rammed show in the Radio 1/NME tent where Cardy and co entertained the audience by climbing up the scaffolding and sprawling across the floor with their instruments. Up next was Cage the Elephant and I haven’t seen many better live bands than this one, the guys from Kentucky are fan favourites at the festival and with their new material adding diversity to the set, we were truly spoilt. They should have been higher up the bill. Biffy Clyro rounded off the final day but it was DJ EZ that stunned the festival that night, teenagers scrambled up the scaffolding in the dance tent forcing the gig to momentarily stop for health and safety issues – if you needed the carnage of Reading emphasising any more.
If you are contemplating on whether to head to the festival next year, don’t! Just buy a ticket, you won’t regret it whatever the line up. Click here for the first wave of tix and you can watch extended highlights here.