Some Guy In Some Band
After a somewhat dampening Saturday, by the time Sunday morning had rolled around at Reading Festival this year the sun was out in full force – providing the weather many had been craving all weekend.
There was a certain sense of anticipation throughout the day for tonight’s headliners, and it made for a terrific festival atmosphere wherever you went. Kicking things off on the Lock Up stage were Apologies, I Have None, whose anthemic style seemed to win over a fair few passers by, so much so that by the end of their set the tent had filled out respectably. It almost felt like a coming of age moment for the band here’s hoping they go on to even bigger and better things in 2013.
Up Next were The Flatliners, who again played to a fairly big crowd. Every track from the band seems to go down a treat, and it was a great moment to see this band receive some sorely deserved and overdue attention in the UK. Next – still firmly fixed to the Lock Up stage – it was time for Frank Turner and his new hardcore side project Mongol Horde to make an appearance.
In a set that was as frantic as it was tight, the majority of passers by were wondering what the hell the dude who sings ‘The Road’ was doing screaming his bollocks off while being topless on stage. However, those who knew what to expect seemed to lap up every moment, and while Mongol Horde remains strictly a side project it’s nice to see that it’s going to be a rather good one for as long as it lasts.
A quick jog over to the main stage sees The Gaslight Anthem kicking off their set. Running through a setlist formed mainly of the hits, their single ‘45’ goes down a treat and the usual crowd burst of appreciation was reserved for ‘The 59 Sound’. All in all it was a good set from a band that seems to be going from strength to strength, but perhaps not the ideal setting with the wind knocking some balls out of the sound.
Up next was All Time Low, who kicked off proceedings with ‘Lost In Stereo’. It’s clear that this band, despite a relatively quiet period recently, still have an absolute army of fans. The band are incredibly tight live and their cover of blink-182 – which may have come across as a bit lazy – was genuinely all about pleasing a notoriously difficult festival crowd, and this did just that. A great set from the pop punkers.
Back over on the Lock Up stage was Polar Bear Club, who had attracted a fair few fans. They looked to be having a brilliant time, and as each song of theirs went down well it’s no wonder – tracks from our 2011 album of the year ‘Clash, Battle, Guilt, Pride’ sound excellent, and it’s great to have had them back in the UK.
Closing down the weekend on the main stage was The Foo Fighters, with an appearance that clearly meant a lot to the band. What followed was a set packed full of energy and emotion, and from the moment they went on stage to the moment they left it, the crowd remained mesmerized. Special mentions go to songs such ‘My Hero’ and ‘Best Of You’ (with the latter providing the festival moment of the weekend with a huge singalong), and you only have to look at frontman Dave Grohl taking it all in to realise how much it meant. The overwhelming feeling as people began to disperse once the set had ended was that they had just witnessed one of best headlining sets that Reading Festival has ever seen.
If you weren’t that bothered about the Foo Fighters, Less Than Jake took things home on the lock up stage with what can only be described as an absolute party. The band are legends, and there’s no doubt that they deserve the top billing spot on the Lock Up. The tent wasn’t as packed as it might have been a few years ago, but the band still have what it takes to please a festival crowd.
So that’s that, another Reading and Leeds Festival weekend over with, and despite the concerns about the weather (it remained largely sunny by the way) the seemingly lacklustre line up and overall cost of a ticket, it can’t help but be felt that this years festival was pulled off with style. See you next year!
CHRIS MARSHMAN (additional: TOM AYLOTT)