So another Reading Festival has come and gone and I’m still alive, if only just.
We arrived at Reading on Thursday after a fair amount of train wrestling. People, it is almost impossible to walk down the aisle of a train while carrying a pop-up tent… do not try this at home. We went for Yellow Camp, with Simone (AKA Simole) and I getting to queue up for 45 minutes while Josh and Niamh swanned through the guest camping line.
We got what we thought was a good spot near the path between yellow two and three… except them no one camped next to us (except one side of me) and we ended up ON the path. This meant we had no wind break from the endless swirling dust (which I will get to later), the nasty little tent shakers and random camp theft.
After a quick trip into town to buy some camping chairs and drinks, we headed back to camp and met up with Brett… and learned the lesson of pacing ourselves. A visit to the Action Aid tent to play Foos Ball got my ipod dock stolen. Bollocks To Poverty is not supposed to involve actual theft! I was in a coma before 9pm with the others asleep by 10. When we woke up in the morning someone had liberated not only my chair but also Josh’s wellies… from out of our tents… while we were asleep in them.
And then after breakfast, it was time to finally hit some bands!
We started the day with Dananananakroyd, who were bouncing off the walls again. John doesn’t appear to have recovered yet from his injury that halted their recent Australian tour because he wasn’t behind the drums but they were awesome as ever.
We stuck around for Manchester Orchestra, whose singer has a remarkable resemblance to a garden gnome, especially when he wears his read beanie. It was a solid set… can’t say much more than that.
I then dragged Niamh and Josh to see Streetlight Manifesto. It was absolutely skatastic. So much fun.
Simole and I decided to see if The Horrors were any good live. They weren’t. Oh Faris, for fuck sake, we know the whole cult of your band is built around you being a miserable bastard but try acting like you’re actually an animate object and maybe have a sandwich.
I checked out Fall Out Boy on my own. It was a really fun set… proper greatest hits type stuff. I was somewhat distracted by the couple dry humping in front of me and the girls next to me who kept shrieking that Fall Out Boy is their favourite band and then talking through every song really loudly.
Back to the NME tent with Simole, where we caught the end of Florence And The Machine. Obviously I know of Florence as I haven’t been living under a rock, but I hadn’t really heard anything of hers. She is absolutely fabulous, I will be investigating further.
Friendly Fires was my set of the day. It was insane. Everyone was completely in the spirit, spurred on by Ed Macfarlane’s absolutely insane dancing. Short of the nipple-rubbing, he’s got a full Bob Fossil on the go.
Finally we all convened for Kings Of Leon, which was the oddest set I saw. The band seemed like they couldn’t be bothered… which lead to a massively disinterested audience… which lead to a very irritated Caleb Followill. As much as I love the Kings, it was all a bit shit really.
The energy was up for the evening though after our early night on Thursday and we headed to the silent disco with Josh’s sister, Eshie and friend in tow. I’ve got to say silent disco is one of the craziest/coolest things I’ve ever done. I’m not sure why when no one else can hear you singing along, it seems like you’re obliged to sing at ear-bleeding volume or why it’s easier to dance like a nutter… but it is and it rocks.