Reading Festival 2012 review in pictures

3 Sep

1. Foo Fighters

We got to see Dave Grohl’s mum, child and a retiring BBC sound engineer during the Sunday headline slot alongside a nod to Kurt and Reading Festival itself. Pointing and growling with intent at the audience Grohl said “I’ve fucking been here, I’ve done this”, 20 years on from the landmark Nirvana gig at the festival.

2. The Cure

A 53 year old man in make-up and the loudest bass of the weekend played a poignant 2 and a half hour set to the smallest headline crowd of the weekend but it didn’t matter – the audience roar made up for the missing fans.

3. Angels and Airwaves

Blink 182 main man Tom DeLonge continued to bring his ‘new’ band to Reading, years after being bottled for the new direction and then returning with Blink 182 in 2010. DeLonge mentions a new film is in the works, judging the audience nervously. “Why’s he throwing shit? It’s cool to do something a bit different” said DeLonge, leading his cast of supergroup members (Nine Inch Nails, 30 Seconds to Mars) into a short set of brilliant emo-indie anthems.

4. The Kaiser Chiefs

Last month, the The Kaiser Chiefs played to 46 European video game journalists in soho on behalf of Microsoft. Weeks later, Ricky Wilson was on the back of a Vespa singing Pinball Wizard in front of The Who at the Olympics closing ceremony. Reading Festival saw the band drop the ball, revealing a tired group of blokes forced out of restirement to plug the premature Greatest Hits album.

5. The Black Keys

While bands constructed of Eton alumni channeled Shoreditch hairdresser chic and endless whirls of meaningless shoegaze, The Black Keys brought anthemic rock to Reading with all the punch of Jack White covering AC/DC.

6. Paramore

A rapid fire set of singles which saw Hayley Williams run around the stage like Freddie Mercury before declaring her love for The Cure, the DNA beneath the Twilight friendly rock. Still, the departure of original members hasn’t hampered Hayley Williams or guitarist Taylor York. Paramore tunes might be designed for teenagers but, really, rock this catchy is universal, whether you can admit it or not. Inviting an audience member to sing the last song was a mistake though – few modern rock stars have the unsinkable confidence of Hayley Williams.

7. Graham Coxon

Blistering on a high from playing Hyde Park with the other members of Blur earlier in the month, Coxon sparkles and actually speaks when acting as the front man. “You’re miles away – fucking rubbish!” says Coxon when seeing the security barriers. The geek that riffs, the struggling Miles Kane could learn an awful lot from Coxon…

8. The Gaslight Anthem

When you’re famous, successful and friends with Bruce Springsteen, not much can scare you. Apart from the biggest crowd of your life, that is. The entire band never stopped smiling at the huge crowd in front of them.

9. Crystal Castles

When you drink enough Jack Daniels, you’re allowed to spend half of the gig in the crowd, scream and behave like a Tim Burton synth nightmare.

10. You Me At Six

Squeaky clean rock following a template of Busted, Fightstar and McFly – anthems and eye candy for the ladies. And this naked man.


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