Reading Festival ’11.

So it was my first proper festival, especially after this weekend i have come to the conclusion going to Guilfest most years does not count, and it was way better than anything i could’ve expected.
So it was rather muddy & friday was rather rainy but it didn’t stop us *being me & my mum because i haz  no friends, well ones that like music anyway* from enjoying it.

Friday started off pretty badly as it was raining & i ended up being ill in the morning so by the time we got toe the arena i was not feeling like doing much but sitting down & feeling sorry for myself but, despite having to sit down after pretty much every act, we still managed to see 14, which is impressive for one day i think.

*= Not all/Most of their set because of clashes or meeting bands or whatever (or the tent had overflowed due to everyone on site wanting to hear the song of the summer *cough* Foster the People *cough*).

Friday: D/R/U/G/S*, Pulled Apart By Horses*, Architects*, The Blackout, Miles Kane, A Genuine Freakshow*, Bring Me The Horizon*, The Naked and Famous, Foster The People*, Metronomy, The Vaccines, Noah & The Whale, White Lies*, My Chemical Romance.


I also met The Vaccines which was definetely a high point, Freddie told me I had cool hair like his sister :’)

The best ones on friday were….

Miles Kane
Technically for his set we were sat on the edge of the tent watching a screen but i’m still gonna count it because he was really good. I’d only heard a few songs by him the day before, and of course Inhaler everywhere i went, they were alright but when you see it live he’s so much better and also rather attractive.
During his set the sun also decided to make an appearance and admist the La la las of Quicksand it brightened the mood of everyone until he left the stage leaving it as a definite high point of friday.

Bring Me The Horizon
Despite being a fan of this band, i went into it with the mindset that Oli Sykes was likely to be an arrogant & horrible frontman after hearing the rumours of past gigs & things, however i couldn’t have been more wrong. He just seemed so genuinely nice & all for everyone having a good time that even my mum enjoyed them, which, if you know her, is a miracle. At one point in their set they pulled a guy out of the front row to sing/scream onstage with them, which for anyone would just be surreal. Their music is also a lot better live, i still don’t get how he screams like that, and i appreciate them so much more now.

The Vaccines
After already meeting them i was on a Vaccines high to start with & i’d seen hundreds of live videos of them but i was still amazingly overwhelmed by how good they are. Before i saw them i was questioning how they had managed to get to play Brixton Academy in a year of existence, even TDCC took longer to get a headline slot there, but now i fully get why and the deserve it.
The new song, Tiger Blood, was equally as typically Vaccines & good as anything off their album, i don’t think they have written a song that is below awesome yet & when you don’t write anything longer than 3 minutes, it’s hard to cram it all in, an art they seem to have mastered perfectly.

My Chemical Romance
It was bound to be a highlight because they were headlining and they lived up to it perfectly. After moving away several times from idiots having their own conversations & getting us to take photos of them ignoring the fact MCR were destroying it onstage, we finally reached a decent spot where everyone was actually dancing & paying attention & became amazed. There wasn’t one song in the set that failed to disappoint live and topping it off with the most unexpected guest ever was pure genius.

Saturday: Funeral Party*, Yuck, Title Fight*, The Pigeon Detectives*, Seasick Steve, Two Door Cinema Club, The Kills, Everything Everything, glassjaw, Bombay Bicycle Club, Pulp, The Strokes.


Also I met Two Door Cinema Club which made my year since Kev made the NME photographer take a picture of my #basementpeople face which later appeared on the website :’)

*note my homemade E’s & Wizz T shirt*

Two Door Cinema Club
Again i was on a bit of a Two Door high because Kev had made me insanely happy earlier that day, but the show would’ve still been great without that, we got the nearest to the main stage we did all weekend, which later we’d discover was the stupidest thing we’d done all weekend, and everyone went absolutely mental.
Well everyone bar some inconsiderate old guy who stood in his jumper with his arms crossed & his backpack on refusing to move unless there was a chance he could get closer, which seemed pointless to me as he clearly didn’t like the band. Other than that it was incredible, bit gutted they didn’t play Sleep Alone as i was quite looking forward to be amongst a few in a crowd of 80,000 people that actually knew the words. I also missed Huw Stephens introduce them as a hot dog, i saw him but missed the hot dog suit, i think i have selective sight or something.
The only problem was, after their set was over, we were caught in the biggest crush of people i have ever been in in my life because Madness, an equally good live act, were playing next. It got to the point where my legs were caught round someone’s stomach about a metre behind me & i was shouting “stop pushing you idiots”, admittedly not one of my coolest moments. Then mum, in a stroke of genius, told this genuinely lovely guy behind us she was having a panic attack & he screamed until the crowd parted for her so i followed genuinely concerned that she might be dying or something, turns out she faked the entire thing to get us out, she could’ve totally been an actor.
So yeah, if you ever get stuck in a crush behind someone as scared as you, fake a panic attack, works everytime 😉
Everything Everything
I’d watched this lot at Glastonbury & despite loving their album, they didn’t look that good live but we decided to go see them nonetheless and discovered the glastonbury footage lied.
They were really good live, loads of energy & everyone was singing & being happy, i genuinely hope they win the Mercury Music prize, the album comes to life when you experience it live and is definetely a worthy winner. Anyone who can sing that high & fast at the same time is worthy of any award in my book.
Pulp
They were the band i was most excited for for the entire weekend, which surprised even me to be honest, but i found myself making a T shirt with their lyrics on the day before just to show how much i loved them and they didn’t disappoint.
Unfortunately i spent all but the last song of their set surrounded by people chatting, taking pictures & ignoring the fact Jarvis was being a complete god onstage, this was partly because we were worried about getting too near because of what happened earlier in the day and partly because The Strokes & Pulp had 2 very different crowds that, being a huge fan of both, i was unaware of until that moment.
Despite all this, i enjoyed it as much as i could & jumped around for their entire set, singing loudly, okay i got a few odd looks considering i was surrounded by people who didn’t know the words, weren’t moving and nor did they care but i couldn’t’ve cared less.
Even when the crowd were told to dance as much as they could in Disco 2000, the crowd around me remained lifeless, though they did listen to that song before resuming normal conversations afterwards meaning i couldn’t hear the lyrics to Sorted For E’s & Wizz afterwards, the fact that i knew them already is besides the point.
Mum kept telling me how Jarvis was “too far up his own arse” & the idiots around me agreed but i persevered until the very last song where we moved even further back, as we passed someone went “yeah i agree, they’re rubbish” to which i replied “i love them actually”, to find actual people dancing & singing & enjoying the set, okay they were too drunk to know any better but still, i regret not moving there earlier because Common People was definetely the best song for me and not just because it was the last song or  becuase it made me realise Jarvis Cocker is one of my new heroes, but because people actually cared.
I genuinely hope they had a better crowd at Leeds, they deserved one.
The Strokes
Next up were The Strokes,  since Pulp had left the stage everyone was moaning how awful they were (this was all complete lies) & “ready for a good headliner”, though they were about 40 minutes late (Pulp had been about 30 mins late aswell) and everyone was getting a bit agitated and bored with the repetitive playlist that had been on for the past 2 days so everyone was more relieved when they came on as opposed to excited.
However they put on a great show nonetheless, Julian is forever a dude. I stilldon’t quite grasp the whole sunglasses thing, how the heck he managed to see onstage i don’t know, but he apparently did.
Again i was surrounded by people who couldn’t care less about them but instead of returning to their tent they insisted on watching & moaning every 2 seconds, but i enjoyed it anyway, Nick Valensi is completely cool & an amazing guitarist.
The best bit of the entire set was definetely The Cars’ cover with Jarvis Cocker, i mean when you look at it it seemed obvious they would collaborate, but at the time it hadn’t crossed mine, or many other people’s minds and, despite the extremely quiet/loud mics, it was an epic moment & pretty much made my weekend 100 times better.

Sunday: Dananananaykroyd, Fucked Up, Nightbox, Frank Turner*, Dutch Uncles, Little Comets, The View*, Enter Shikari, Friendly Fires*, Panic! At The Disco, Death From Above 1979*, The Streets, Rizzle Kicks*, Muse.


I also met Enter Shikari which sealed the fact this was the best weekend ever.

Nightbox
I’d never heard of this band before but we’d discovered their description in the programme and decided we liked them already so we went to see them, the tent was practically empty meaning about 86,900 people missed out on the brilliance of them.
If Two Door Cinema Club met Fenech-Soler & added some New Order/amazing 80s synth & infectious basslines, nightbox would be the result, the kind of music you can proper dance to and not feel like an idiot because everyone else is doing it too.
Their debut EP was also produced by Sebastien Granger (Death From Above ’79) & Al-P (MSTRKRFT) making it just that bit more amazing.
They’re originally from Ireland but now based in Toronto and, having just finished their homecoming tour, i doubt they’ll be playing here anytime soon, but when they do i will, and you should, definetely go see them.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F10940985 Pyramid by nightbox

Little Comets
They were always gonna be a highlight of this weekend because, having seen them at Ben & Jerry’s Sundae On The Common, falling in love & buying their album the very next day, i knew they were great live.
Because even people at music festivals seem to have no taste nowadays and would much rather see The View than a band that wasn’t constantly smashed onstage & had more than one good tune, the tent was pretty empty so we got the barrier.
They played a really good set & for once i was surrounded by actual fans, people who knew the words :’)
The only downside being they didn’t play Adultery, which kinda sucked as everyone seems to love that song, and that their bassist seems to only own one set of clothes and he wears them every gig.
So yeah if you don’t have their album already, you should go buy it, they have a new EP coming out in October aswell.

Enter Shikari


We got near for these guys since they were & are currently one of my favourite bands, the new songs that have recently been premiered are totally confirming this, and, from what i had heard, they knew how to put on a live show.
And whoever said that wasn’t lying either.
Again we were surrounded by a few people moaning & spent the first few songs moving nearer while trying to comprehend the fact that everytime we looked up, the entire band had swapped places & were tearing around the stage like there was no tomorrow…not that this was a bad thing at all.
They played a pretty standard but awesome set, when your second song in is Motherstep Intro/Mothership (causing one guy by me to turn asking where the lyrics had gone, before going “fuck it, i’m dancing anyway”) you can’t go wrong.
It was genuinely the only set that weekend where everyone went a bit mad & didn’t care what anyone thought & shows like that are the best.
This was proved when i moved back towards the end and there was a guy, gotta be in his sixties, headbanging and dancing with his rucksack on top Havok B, you have to admire that.

Panic! At The Disco


After being pretty underwhelmed by a few songs of Friendly Fires & seeing one of many people being carried off in stretchers, we figured we should head back to the NME stage to see some of Panic.
I’d had a little obsesssion with them in 05/06 when “emo” was what all the cool kids listened to, looking back their music was not emo in any way, shape or form…meh, so i was looking forward to them since i’d heard some of their new stuff & it was a significant lot better than Nine In The Afternoon (it sounded like the theme tune to Button Moon, don’t deny it) and knew the old stuff was good.
They were one of, if not the best, acts of the weekend, i was genuinely surprised at how good they were & how many songs of theirs i knew.
Brendon Urie seems to somehow have gained looks in the past 5 years too, i’m not gonna say the show would’ve been the same if he’d kept his top on, that’d be blatant lying 😉
Besides that, they played almost every decent song they’d ever written to a decent crowd & my mum is now a big fan of Panic at the disco, by big i mean she is not letting me go to their January tour with my friend unless she is allowed to come, i didn’t figure this would happen.
I got their album this weekend, it’s definetely worth buying, though i can’t help feeling that you get past the first 6 tracks and, besides Nearly Witches, all the tracks blend into one & go a bit cheesy.

~We went to see The Streets after, best descision we made,  they are 100 times better than the hits i’d heard, it’s a genuine shame they are splitting~

Muse


I could write for hours about Muse’s set. It was just incredible.
Origin is ironically the only Muse album i don’t own so i had 2 weeks to learn almost the entire album, i’d missed out on so many good tracks in the 10 years before that, but still didn’t realise it;d be that  good live.
The stage setup & visuals were so good i did a giant art piece based on it the next week, the setlist was obviously one of the best setlist’s they’d ever played & still, almost 3 weeks after, i am yet to find the words to describe it.
One of the best points in my entire life was during the beginning of Knights Of Cydonia waiting for the guitar riff to kick in so i could go mental, the few songs before i had planned it out in my head that i’d conserve my remaining energy on doing just that.
I landed on quite a few people’s toes, i am glad that one of those people were the oblivious idiots busy taking pictures of each other going “oh i’ve seen muse before anyway”, some of us haven’t actually.

That’s pretty much it. I don’t think i’ll be forgetting it in a while.

* i have pictures but its been almost 3 weeks and i figure if i’m lucky one person might read this so if i make them wait longer for pictures they might not. i started writing from Enter Shikari today so if the bit before doesn’t make sense, sorry. i’m too tired to proof read it x)*

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