Reading Festival 2017 - Friday Evening

After our morning of awesomely loud punk noises we continued on with British pop-punkers WSTR in The Pit. 

The quintet played tracks from their 2017 debut ‘Red, Green Or Inbetween’ a highlights were their latest single ‘Eastbound & Down’ and 'Fairweather' where they inspired plenty of sing-a-longs and encapsulated the essence of pop-punk.


Switching up the mood we headed off to the Festival Republic Stage for guitar-pop gang The Big Moon

While slower paced than the bands we had seen earlier, there was plenty of attitude oozing from the stage as they played the slick and hooky 'Cupid' and the anthemic 'Sucker', both from their debut album 'Love in the 4th Dimension'.

The set went down really well and if you want to check them out the indie girl gang are also off on an extensive UK tour this September and October.

We wandered back to The Pit for Counterfeit's as we have heard they give a great live show.

Their debut album 'Together We Are Stronger' was released earlier this year and yet they seem more established, tightly executed with great onstage chemistry and frontman Jamie had great audience interaction.

'Enough', 'Romeo' and 'Washed Out' were highlights of the set and the change in pace for the emotional 'Letters To The Lost' was poignant and captivating.

Next up in The Pit we caught Tigers Jaw's folky indie-rock which has a touching purity to it. Sometimes vulnerable, building and falling between pop melodies and heartfelt musings this was a great set.

'I Saw Water' pulls in Brianna's vocals with Ben's for outstanding harmonies between the two expertly using the rise and fall of the music to effect. 

'The Sun' is an upbeat summery tune perfectly place in the set with the rising anthemic lines "what about your friends, do they make you happy?" while 'Plane Vs. Tank Vs. Submarine' showcases Ben's beautifully raw vocal in a folkier stripped back song that still packs a pop hook.

When we arrived over at the Festival Republic stage for Cigarettes After Sex the ambient electro dreamy pop was already floating over the crowd. Their self-titled debut album came out earlier this year and the dreamy-pop set really had a feeling of lazing in bed with a touch of melancholy - beautiful to witness and an ethereal contrast to the raucous bands we saw earlier in the day.

Queens Of The Stone also played a secret set on the NME Stage which was a highlight for many. The set had the classics 'Little Sister' and 'No-one Knows' as well as a couple of tracks from their new album 'Villains' that was released yesterday.

Main Stage headliners for Friday were Kasabian, with several hugely successful albums one after the other and massive sell-out gigs they have gone from dance-rock outsiders to one of the biggest rock bands in the country. Earlier this year they released their new album "For Crying Out Loud" and along with all the classic tracks the set was great entertainment, cementing their headline credentials.

'Fire' was met with flares let off amongst the crowd which was an amazing sight to see. Kasabian are one of the few bands that really translate differently live, the sound was almost more acoustic in feel - the rich textural noise that normally accompanies their music is still there but somehow different in a good way, for example 'Underdog' was more of an epic experience with extended solos and great crowd interaction.

As well as a bit of Daft Punk's 'Around The World' spliced into the set, the Nirvana cover 'All Apologies' was strangely fitting, an acoustically gentle take on the song with sing-a-longs of "in the sun we feel as one" a great choice for what was a scorching day.

Canadian punk rockers Billy Talent headlined The Pit with their upbeat and diverse anthems. 'Rusted From The Rain' was a more plodding grungier sounding track that although ballad-esque still packed a punch.

'Falling Leaves' and 'Red Flag' were always going to be a highlight of the set, the closing track 'Viking Death March' was a frenzied performance delivered with such explosive energy and passion it was a fitting end to our first day.