Reading: Weekend Highlights
Joseph Perry recounts his favourite moments from Reading Festival
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The Pennsylvania based outfit kicked off the weekend in terrific style, bringing their trademark energy and riffs to the NME/Radio 1 Tent. In fact, things got so lively on stage that frontman Rob Grote was forced to finish the set on his backside after falling from a nearby amp.
One of the UK’s most exciting up-and-coming bands got fans moving in front of the main stage. Their music isn’t the loudest of the acts to grace this year’s festival, but the mosh pit was by far one of the biggest and most entertaining of the three days.
Known to many as the voice of MTV’s Ex On the Beach, Maxwell put on a show for comedy fans in the Alternative Tent. By his own admission, the comic was suffering from a night before in Edinburgh. Nonetheless, the audience were left in stitches by the Dubliner.
Also delighting comedy fans was Safeword’s Katherine Ryan. Seen by many as the new Joan Rivers, Ryan wasn’t afraid to offend major stars including Cheryl Cole, Taylor Swift and Katie Price with her edgy brand of humour. It was certainly one of the best comedy sets at this year’s festival.
The London band kicked off the Friday evening, performing a variety of hits from their debut and follow up albums on the main stage. Despite some sound issues, the group battled through it - with Daniel Smith not afraid to get in and amongst the audience.
Mumford and Sons
Despite initial concerns about their suitability to Reading’s more lively nature, Mumford and Sons were a perfect fit to end Friday’s line-up. Treating fans to old hits like Sigh No More and I Will Wait, as well as new single Believe, Marcus and the band proved their critics wrong.
One of the weekend’s best bands was London indie rockers Spector. Bringing their own brand of synth based music; it was easy to see why the group has been compared to the likes of the Killers and Pulp in the past. There were no sad men listening to their performance...
After exploding onto the indie scene a couple of years ago, Peace received one of the NME/Radio One Tent’s biggest crowds - and they didn’t let them down. From In Love’s Lovesick and Wraith, to Happy People’s Money and Lost on Me, all the hits were played.
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Frontman Van McCann is known to put on a show for his audience’s, a tradition he was able to maintain on Saturday evening. Whether it was a crowd sing along to the singles Cocoon and Kathleen, or lively moshing during more upbeat tunes, it was a performance you couldn’t help but enjoy.
The Scottish band have attracted a loyal following after the success of their first two albums, notably last year’s The Great Divide. In arguably the best performance of the weekend, the crowd were showered in tickertape and inflatables as frontman San McTrusty looked to involve them at any given opportunity.
They were the big name band at this year’s festival - which was evident from the amount of band t-shirts on display throughout Saturday’s performances. A sizable crowd enjoyed hits including Enter Sandman and Nothing Else Matters, with heavy metal virgins ticking one off the bucket list in the process.
Screens had to be set up outside the Festival Republic Tent, such was the demand to see the indie group. Due to the location of their performance, some were concerned that the set list would be composed exclusively of new material. However, those doubts were soon put away when the band began playing 1996, Techno Fan and Moving to New York.
On early Sunday afternoon performance was delayed by technical difficulties, but it was worth waiting for. The tent was surprisingly busy for an early performance, with the crowd singing along to the likes of Kill Your Heroes and mega-hit Sail.
One of the best comedy acts this year came from the energetic comedian, who hilariously took apart our British customs - from the way we walk to the way we talk. The audience cried with laughter at times, but was left with profound messages about the meaning of life and ‘being in the moment’. It was top drawer stuff from one of the UK’s best.
After a lengthy absence from the music scene since his almighty arrival, Jamie T made his comeback in a surprise Readings set in 2014. Therefore it was befitting that he ended his latest tour on the festival’s main stage. The crowd enjoyed urban anthem Sticks and Stones, as well as recent hits like Don’t You Find and Zombie.
Another act making their big-time comeback was The Libertines. It’s been a crazy year for Pete Doherty’s band; since performing in Hyde Park they have sold out Alexandra Palace, headlined T in the Park and will release their album Songs for Doomed Youth later this week. There was no sign of fatigue though, with a terrific show.
A perfect end to the festival came from Reading veteran Frank Turner. Returning to the show for the ninth occasion, this time without his band The Sleeping Souls, he led a chorus of devoted fans - with some entertaining commentary along the way. His last song - a cover of Queen’s Somebody to Love - will be remembered by those in the Festival Republic arena for some time to come.
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