This was the best line-up for a festival I have been to. But apart from the bands, this wasn't probably wasn't the most eventful festival. We had a pretty quiet spot in the Orange camp nothing much really happened on Thursday, Friday and Saturday apart from some intense boozing. "BOLLOCKS!" was back in fashion with a sprinkling of "TIMMEH!" and no "118 118!" Sunday was the usual rip down with the background noise rising to a respectable "aaaaaaaaaaargh!" until about 5am on Monday. Trolley was the flavour this year which involved pushing a trolley really fast and everyone following (it looked fun at the time). It started getting a bit daft when they started pushing the trolleys onto fires... occupants and all. There was also a bit of Emo baiting. Don't quite get that one because as far as I can see, Emo (allegedly uncool) = Goth (now allegedly cool). That piccy is from Saturday when we all hit the maximum average pissedness and Jay had a kip. The furniture has mostly been supplied by concerned passers-by...
Anyhow, this is what I thought of the music...
Goldie Lookin' Chain
Great way to open the festival. The music is irrelevant. They are still funny.
Just like old Blur. You can tell he doesn't enjoy the limelight. Technically, very good.
Forgettable but entertaining
Queens of the Stone Age
Awesome Band. Awesome set. Had a good jump around to this. First time I've seen them and they lived up to expectations.
Part of the current batch of "bands of the moment". What a pile of utter cack! Dull, Dreary, Lifeless. Their spark will probably die out soon with any luck.
Surprise of the weekend for me. I went into this not knowing what to expect. They appeared on stage and the lead singer looked like a bank manager and the guitarist looked like my old headmistress. The music was amazing and felt that I got where they were coming from. Their set list included the filthy "Debaser" and the angelic "Gigantic" which shows the amazing depth of their tunes and I now understand why they are so important to the landscape of music today. These guys did it years before anyone else did.
Nine Black Alps
Juliette and the Licks
Juliette Lewis' band. You know, the Hollywood actress... Kalifornia... Natural Born Killers... Can't help but think that this is a hobby of hers and that it was all scripted. Kudos if it wasn't. It was entertaining and Juliette was wailing and whirling like a good'un. Not gonna buy any albums if you know what I mean...
NEWSFLASH! - It was too good to be true. She was definitely miming to a tape... At the Leeds festival, she dropped the mic and managed to continue singing... go figure. Silly cow.
Same as '97. Dull.
Another of the "bands of the moment". Once they have a few albums under their belt I reckon they'll be really good. The music was tight and the frontman was vocal and got the audience going. This band will get somewhere and are worth keeping an eye on.
Kings of Leon
Another surprise. Never rated them much before now but they were cool. Good solid rock with disturbing Hillbilly tendencies which works well.
They didn't split up and I'm so happy that I've finally seen them! Amazing set and Dave was on form. I think I saw his vocal chords shoot into the crowd during Monkey Wrench. And mega bonus, we saw him on the drums again! A lot of the time, when the frontman is talking and bigging up the festival, you automatically think "scripted!" but I got a good vibe from him and thought he was genuine. Dave Grohl is the coolest person in music today... FACT!
Best on stage quote of the weekend - "Glastonbury is for smelly hippies, V is for the clean people, the fucking yuppies. The Reading festival is for dirty fucking rockers who come out to have a good time. Take it from your Uncle Dave I've been looking forward to this for a very long time." - Dave Grohl
Bullet for My Valentine
Another surprise! These guys rocked BIG time. Worth watching out for in the future.
Freaks! Scandinavian deathpunk gods. Also, Gay beyond belief. Eye shadow and navy uniforms. The frontman has a thing for vats of eyeliner and furry sporrans. What Village People would have been if they were metal. I think they only have three songs but they play the chorus in different order each time. It was worth watching though.
I think I liked them. Nothing stuck in my mind about their set. This may be alcohol related but in reality, I don't think so.
Funeral for a Friend
Kerrang's best British band. I really can't see why though.
Iggy and the Stooges
Crap. Had a pizza instead.
Showman! Really enjoyed his set and the visuals were impressive and unsurprisingly spot on with the bands message and intended image. If you strip away the attitude and Marilyn Manson's personality you actually get some really decent tunes.
I would never have paid to see Iron Maiden on their own. They are one of those bands that I never really got into. But, as I have found out with a couple of other bands, you really can't judge a band properly until you have them live. I now understand why Iron Maiden is so popular. Their set was made up of tune from their first four albums only. The great thing was that even though the "newest" tune was released in 1983 (!), every one of them was amazing and intense. Iron Maiden are SOOOO good at what they do. Bruce Dickinson is an incredible frontman and I really felt that I was part of something special and even legendary. Here was another person who was talking good things about Reading that I believed. This was real original Hard Rock and made all the others look like copies, even my favourite bands like Metallica and Foo Fighters and absolutely no disrespect is meant in that. Highlights included The Trooper which had Bruce at his patriotic best and Mini Trooper (!), Phantom of the Opera, Run to the Hills and Number of the Beast along with a twenty foot high Eddie with glowing red eyes receiving a brain transplant at the end of the set before the encore. I wish I could tell you the titles of some of the others... albums are now in the post :)
Each of the headliners this year were legendary which is very rare. What a great festival.