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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.

Soundtracks Festival: Dalston to New Cross, Barbarella and House Party Massacare

18 Sep

UK music festivals explained in a sentence

17 Apr

glastonbury tickets

Glastonbury Festival: 180,000 Guardian readers visit a 24 hour agricultural playground full of organic cider, scousers, sniffer dogs, Oxfam volunteers on pills and the best and worst music in the world.

Reading Festival & Leeds Festival: 90,000 emo infused fratboys, classic rockers and chunky trainered metal rapists stalk a debauched clusterfuck of freshers and rock and roll wannabes sharing a giant bottle of poppers.

V Festival (Chelmsford): 90,000 festival virgins go wild in a sponsored wonderland of Essex slags queueing to see Pixie Lott or buy a Bounty  while Dave Grohl does a secret acoustic set.

Isle of Wight Festival: 90,000 semi-naked cock-swinging locals, antipodean jester hats and sunburned mid-life crisisers go all hedonistic disco and start the world’s biggest stag/hen party to help the council combat inbreeding via mainland sperm/egg donors.

Guilfest: 25,000 people join an awkward beer festival where failed bands go to die and dead bands come to life among comedy tents and middle class children getting face-painted.

Bestival: 30,000 muddy Match.comers and gays enter the last chance saloon for 6Music types who like to dress up as dolphins and dance to Flaming Lips songs, aged 42.

Beach Break Live: 18,000 students plus 2000 thirtysomething cradle-snatchers get together for a Fisher Price festival where you fuck in fancy dress in time to Calvin Harris and get rippped to the tits on Red Bull and Maltesers.

Download: 100,000 Subway sandwich producers ditch the Xbox and go to a field to seek daylight, tattoos, pale breasted virgins and a Fred Durst autograph.

Glade: 5000 drug dealers from Clapham attempt to cover their ticket costs by selling fake E to each other in the dark.

T in the Park: 80,000 Scotsmen cook crack and drink whisky in tents made out of Morrissons bags while Kasabian play to tourists in the rain.

End of The Road Festival: 5000 Ryan Adams fans gather to hear country music, bitch about their jobs, discuss the books they studied at university and ask people to attend their pub gig next week.

Beautiful Days: 12, 000 crusties attend a job seekers jamboree curated by The Levellers, designed to shift the annual crop of weed grown in neighbouring garden centres in Devon.

The Big Chill: 30,000 public relations lice consume carrot batons, Elderflower Presse mixed with vodka and bad cocaine in a bid to network and expense booze provided to music bloggers looking to penetrate them backwards.

All Tomorrow’s Parties: 5000 creatives head to Butlins for a festival with walls rather than tents and chin-stroking rather than sex while hungover Britpoppers weep to the sounds of Belle and Sebastian.

Jersey Live: 10,000 islanders attend the imaginatively named festival in a bid to rob slack-jawed bakers doing air guitar to Paul Weller.

Latitude: 25,000 introverted indie kids attend a budget Glastonbury so their girlfriends can listen to Paolo Nutini and get drunk enough to administer a titwank before bed – may contain thieves.

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