The annual Bank Holiday bonanza that is Reading Festival was drenched in euphoria, the weather wasn’t good enough for sunshine, not the Saturday at least. Beer flowed as smoothly as Oscar Pollock of Sundara Karma’s vocals, the hometown youngsters opening on the Main Stage, with a buzzing crowd and makeshift tattoos of the band logo livening the set. Considering they were on the Festival Republic Stage at the festival last year, their Main Stage slot shows an ever-growing fan base as well as the band proving they have what it takes to be in the big time, with a debut LP arriving on January 6th. The brand of heavy yet funky blues rock provided by Clutch seemed a fitting choice to follow on the Main Stage, providing enough energy to awake the dazed campers. Given that Clutch would probably have gained a crowd more inclined to their sound at Download, they received an admirable response from the crowd.
Blossoms proved why their debut album has reached No.1, with an energetic set and a huge audience to boot. They seemed destined to be in the next generation of headliners judging by the rapturous response to sing-alongs ‘Charlemagne’ and ‘At Most A Kiss’. Slaves were as hectic and honest to the crowd as ever, Laurie Vincent launching the crowd into a roar when he shouted ”F*** Brexit” before tearing into debut single ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’ causing tidal-wave mosh pits. The Kent duo prove punk is not buried in the nostalgia of Britain’s music folklore.
Eagles of Death Metal followed and their tight-knit set emphasised Josh Homme’s vast musical talent. Their wide array of hits providing the crowd with dance tinged rock, which EODM have a penchant for executing masterfully onstage. Courteeners now hold the title of Best Known Underground Band, which surely they cannot be categorised as now? ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ produced frenzied euphoria amongst the indie disco faithful.Imagine Dragons satisfied their enormous fan-base with sufficient gusto to justify a headline slot. Although whether this headline slot should have been at Reading and Leeds as oppose to V Festival is questionable, their smoothness seeming slightly out of place before a Red Hot Chilli Peppers set.
Yes, I know, YOU SAW TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB INSTEAD OF THE CHILLIS ?!?!? In defence, they have been my favourite band for 4 years and clashes are part of festivals. Their set was everything I had hoped for: energy, dancing and a feeling worthy of utopia. New songs ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’ and ‘Bad Decisions’ featured in the band’s first appearance on British soil for three years. The boys from Bangor reassured the rapturous crowd that they are back with a bang ahead of the release of third album ‘Gameshow’.
Reading showcased to perfection what it was created to: the up and coming, the veterans and the feeling like no other you get when you can finally see your favourite band. Now it’s back to school and having to attend gigs in the frozen territory that is Britain’s winter.