Reading Festival: Friday Review

Published: 25 Aug 2012 18:303 comments

We review the first day of action at Reading Festival

Future Of The Left opened the NME/Radio One Stage with their loud, intense post-hardcore and Star F****ng Hipsters played hardcore punk in the Lock Up Stage - a great tonic to shake the last bit of sleep from anyone who had crawled out of their tent early enough to catch them.

READING CREW: Attention Thieves

Scroobius Pip kicked off unexpected moshpits at the Alternative Stage. His intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics, layered with sarcasm and dry wit against a backdrop of thick beats, was enough to get the tent jumping - and his impromptu stage dive caused the security guards on duty some concern!

Despite frontman Alex battling a serious chest infection, Reading band Attention Thieves did their hometown proud with an energetic, riff-packed slot on the BBC Introducing Stage. Afterwards the band told us: "It was quality. It was unbelievable... so many people. It was a massive moment for us."

Alt-J -one of the most hotly-tipped bands of the weekend - played their eclectic electro-indie to a packed tent, with the crowd holding forth in lyric-perfect singalongs - amazing for a band who have only really emerged in the past few months.

The predicted heavy rain showers failed to show, and Bombay Bicycle Club had clear(ish) skies for their set on the Main Stage - even going so far as to lead the crowd in a 'hoedown', against a rather funky light show and backdrop. The band rarely disappoint live, and this gig cemented their place as Reading Festival favourites.

Over at the Lock Up stage, festival stalwarts and punk grandaddies Bouncing Souls put on a disappointing, rather lackluster set ,where their energy-levels, rather than their classic New York skate punk sound letting them down.

Later on, on the same stage, hardcore masters Every Time I Die stirred up frantic mosh pits and provoked the kind of headbanging that you're really going to know about via an achey neck the next day - a stunning set and one of the highlights of the day for this reviewer.

Pop-punksters Paramore had the crowd as putty in their hands on the Main Stage, with their hit single Misery Business sending festival goers sprinting towards the stage to scream along to the Hayley Williams' sassy vocals.

Political punk band Anti Flag returned to Reading for the umpteenth time - and proved why Lock Up Stage booker and Radio One Punk Show DJ Mike Davies continues to ask them back. They've got the tunes, the hooks, the riffs, the fist-in-air lyrics, the punk rock credentials, the banter - and this time round, they had one the of biggest mosh pits this reviewer has ever seen, too. Oh, and they managed to dismantle their drummer's entire kit and reposition in the crowd for their closing song. Impressive stuff.

The Cure, those kings of goth, closed the Main Stage in epic form, with a mesmerising light show against a brooding smoke-filled backdrop. With a rather timid start to the two and a half hour set, the largely teen crowd slowly dripped away... until, that is, the, rather fitting, Friday I'm In Love kicked in. That's not to say it was a bad performance. Anything but. The note-perfect vocals from entrancing frontman Robert Smith against the powerful riffs on anthemic songs kept the crowd alive throughout. Mystery surrounding whether the cult 80s band would play Love Cats built up the tension throughout the atmospheric set. And they did not let fans down, as they let rip with the song as beams of light shone into the starry night.

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