I’ve recently been for my 4th Reading festival in a row, simply because I love it. Even though the line-up wasn’t all that appealing for me this year, I just can’t get enough of the atmosphere and, on the whole, how nice and open to strangers people are there. Sure, it definitely has its down sides, but don’t all things? 8 months ago
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Realised that I didn’t do an entry for last year. Oops!
I did my entries for 2006-2009 OK. Oh well…here’s 2011
This year the weather was grotty all weekend. Loads of mud, not too warm, bit of wind and far too regular rain. One benefit from rain and mud is that the smaller bands in the tents get many more people in to see them than they would if it was gloriously sunny.
This year I saw:
- Mini Mansions – hadn’t heard them before but they were good live
- Islet – nah
- The Computers – oh wow I must see this band again (hadn’t heard of them before but loved their set)
- New Found Glory – OK
- Dry the River – nah
- Cerebal Ballzy – great name but not my thing
- Rise Against – a good set as always
- These Furrows – not bad
- Henry Rollins – OK but not as good as other times I’ve seen him
- The Offspring – they were OK but I’ve seen them better live in the past
- White Denim – really quite good live again
- Noah and the Whale – I like folky stuff but not this – was OK to sit and eat my dinner to it though
- White Lies – yay – start of the set with the earlier stuff was great but I’m not a fan of the more recent stuff
- My Chemical Romance – good set with lots of good numbers to keep the crowd moving and warm late at night
- Arthur Rigby & the Baskervylles – a really good and talented unsigned band on the ‘introducing’ stage – they should do well and I’ll go and see them again
- Funeral Party – nah
- She Keeps Bees – nah
- Teenage Bottlerocket – a really good find on the Lock Up stage – they rocked and bounced along and so did the crowd
- Seasick Steve – a legend on the main stage at Reading and joined by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones!!
- Street Dogs – another good find on the Lock Up stage
- Madness – oh what legends – a good mix of songs that everyone knew and a few album tracks – one of the best covers of the weekend was in this set – Outer Space in a two tone style was simply superb!!! They also got the 2nd biggest crowd of the weekend (in my estimation). The sun came out too. Great set.
- Little Roy – was interesting and got better as the set went on – it was his Nirvana covers set in a reggae style – so much so that it wasn’t always immediately obvious which song he was covering
- Pulp – not on my must watch list but I didn’t want to see any other bands at this time and thought that they would be worth watching – I was dead right and really enjoyed the set and the show
- Mighty Mighty Bosstones – not my intended headline set of the night (see below) but they put on a good fun set
Jane’s Addiction were a no show again – 3rd time they’d been on the Reading bill and the 2nd time they’d failed to get on stage at the last minute. So not impressed. Many thousands of fans stayed in the tent to boo. Don’t blame them as I was so looking forward to this too.
Sunday (the best day of music for me)
- Nightbox – good band with the best cover of the weekend – Paul Simon’s You can call me Al
- Frank Turner – his first ever main stage set and the sun shone – that man is amazing and the act I was most looking forward to (equally with Muse and Madness) – a good crowd pleasing set
- Tim Minchin – good set but they really need to put him on a full stage not in the comedy tent in the future – there were thouands outside who couldn’t get in and more still who went away before he even started
- Fight Like Apes – nah
- Panic At The Disco – fun and poppy but in such a good music day they didn’t stand a chance!
- Cocknbullkid – went because a friend was doing the sound but they were really good and her voice was excellent
- Death From Above 1979 – didn’t enjoy so left sooner than expected
- Face to Face – not seen them before and they were good (was only in there so I got my space for the next act!)
- Frank Turner – this was his secret set on the Lock Up stage – some songs the same as for his main stage set earlier in the day but more songs for his long-term fans
- Muse – wow what can I say – non-stop music (none of that encore rubbish that wastes time) and Origin of Symmetry in its entirety for the only time ever (apart from the sister festival at Leeds 2 days earlier). Easily the biggest crowd of the weekend and so many t-shirts and UV/marker pen scribbles for Muse all day long it was almost as if everyone there wanted to see Muse which hasn’t happened on such a scale for another headline act for years at Reading. Best way to end the weekend. 20 months ago