First band for us for Sunday was Denmark’s Baby In Vain with their own brand of snarling post hardcore, crossed with hazy and laid back anthems.
Next up at the Pit stage were Raveneye, who really got the crowd going with great banter and a frenetic performance. They told us we were "popping their Reading cherry" and that they could "see each and every one of you out there ... we have raven eyes". With catchy, bluesy rock dynamic and oozing with character we would highly recommend checking them out live.
Sløtface were next up on the Lock Up stage they said of the festival; "Just thinking of the fact that we'll be on the same poster as Kasabian, Charli XCX, At The Drive In and Eminem is really exciting. We love the festival life in the UK and this is the biggest UK festival we've ever done, so this has to be amazing.”
With a fiery performance from vocalist Haley Shea was an engaging front-woman, making a point of asking the crowd if they are drinking enough water in the scorching heat and as it's so hot "ladies, if you want to take your tops off do it and if anyone give you and unwanted attention you have my permission to punch them in the nuts really hard". Handing out disposable cameras for the audience to take pictures and pass back at the end of the set they stressed not to "keep it like those f**kers in Leeds!".
Highlight of the set was their recent single 'Nancy Drew'. Speaking on how 'Nancy Drew' originally came about, the band said: "We wrote the big rock chords and electronica inspired bass hook first. Then for the lyrics - Haley wanted to take some of that power and make it about something really cool and slick. Nancy Drew in the song is basically a super hero version of the original teenage sleuth, who fights the patriarchy and indie music's boys' club."
"The song is about this super hero I tried to create that's based on Nancy Drew", Haley muses. “The album is full of things we're worrying about, so I wanted to put some positivity and strength in as well. For this song I wanted to create a kind of super hero saviour, so I drew inspiration from Nancy Drew and tried to imagine a bad-ass super hero who crushes the music industry's boys' club and the patriarchy with one punch."
With slicing punk mixed with grunge and more sombre tones, this spirited melodic punk pop set was great to watch and left us anticipating their debut album 'Try Not To Freak Out' which is out September 15th
Next up were Otherkin over on the Festival Republic stage, their debut album 'OK' is due out 29th September. Having opened for Guns 'N' Roses and been touring extensively this year these Irish garage punks are certainly ones to watch.
Staying at the Festival Republic stage, next up were London's King Nun. Hotly tipped to be a breakout act this year you can see why through the sheer enthusiasm they exude onstage.
Muncie Girls were great live, the band have a stage presence and demeanour with a natural feel to it - effortlessly cool, indie punk that is as engaging as it is endearing.
Singer Lande Hekt had earlier said how exciting it was to be “back to Reading and Leeds this year. Last time Eminem played, Dido made a surprise appearance and amongst the thousands of shocked fans, there wasn't a dry eye to be seen. We can only hope for the same this year. Also the Lock Up stage is amazing. What a way to end our summer!”
Culture Abuse put on a great show too. Singer David talked of how important it is to have people who are kind and support you - really positive words and totally endearing and engaging. They told of how this was the last day of their UK / European tour- their drummer had a freak out and got violent, the fantastic Ben was sitting in for this show, a broken ankle and other eventful stories!
Perth's Tired Lion were next up on the Lock Up stage, a highlight for us was their single ‘Cinderella Dracula’ which swings from delicate and gentle one moment to brutal and violent the next, combining front-woman Sophie Hopes raw and emotional songwriting with the bands driving guitar and bass lines and fierce drums.
Sophie said of the song: “This was written at a time when I felt quite lost … I guess you could call it young naivety. I was young and single, ready to experience the world with a kind of ‘youthful embrace’. I had a one-night stand and what was meant to make me feel content just left me angry and frustrated at myself… I wrote the lyrics down whilst waiting for this guy to leave. It was awful timing but I guess it was my way of saying ‘Fuck you, can you get out of my house’. I felt like I’d garnered this split personality –one side being desperate for affection and vulnerable (Cinderella), the other being dark and well… kinda mean (Dracula).”
Rock ‘n’ roll legend and an unmistakable icon of music history, Liam Gallagher was next up on the Main Stage bringing his highly anticipated solo performance to Reading in a UK Festival Exclusive. As one of the most recognised figures in British music, his show was an attitude filled performance fuelled with Oasis classics and tracks from his debut solo record.
Well what can we say, Ash were vibrant and enthusiastic as ever, with a great mix of old and newer songs - you can see why they have such staying power.
Kicking off with 'Kung Fu' the pure passion with which they perform is awe inspiring, Mark Hamilton has possibly the best bass-stance we have ever seen, all the guys are full of pride and commitment to their craft ... when they played 'Oh Yeah' it's one of our least favourite tracks but the audience really went wild for it singing along arms aloft.
Ash are masters of the catchy pop melodies and if the guys have any hint reticence of having to consistently play the older songs they absolutely showed none of it. The first time we saw them was 21 years ago - this must have been about the 14th time since then and it really never gets old, we pretty much knew what to expect - in a good way.
Having followed Ash since their inception we are a little biased, favouring the older material generally, quite possibly due to nostalgia, we remember first hearing Jack Names The Planets on John Peel back in the day and thinking What is this?! We love this! and then checking in HMV every week until Trailer finally hit the shops.
With a massive catalogue of indisputable hits at their disposal they still have all the captivating passion and raw infectious enthusiasm of those three guys in their late teens all those years ago, banging out energetic indie garage rock with such fervor.
Tim Wheeler said of their appearance; "We’re very proud to announce an historic 10th appearance for Ash at the Reading festival. We first performed there in 1995 and our shows at the festival stand among our favourite shows that we’ve ever played, it’s always been a highlight of each year we’ve done it. Somewhere along the way we were promised a statue upon reaching our 10th appearance, so we’re looking forward to the grand unveiling in August!"
Stadium rock royalty Muse are the perfect choice to headline the Main Stage as one of the most influential and revered live bands of modern times.
Led by the commanding presence of frontman Matt Bellamy - his voice piercingmy magnificent especially in 'Knights of Cydonia' with such a range and power so fitting to a Reading Main stage headline act.
The band were joined by AC/DC's Brian Johnson for a rendition of 'Back In Black' and with confetti canons full of paper people raining down like snow and an epic fireworks display it really was an amazing send-off to what was an awesome festival.
Gnarwolves closed off our punk experience of the festival, fittingly introduced as the most clear embodiment of punk on the The Lock Up stage.
It was riotous set from the ever touring live favourites who put on an awesome show as always. Stopping mid-song for a small Oasis rendition (Liam was playing the Main Stage by this time) they were full of banter ... tour stories, of broken down vans and the usual adventures in amongst an energetically crowd pleasing fierce set.
Gnarwolves: Thom Weeks had previously said of their appearance; "We're very excited to be playing Reading and Leeds this year. It'll be our 4th time at Reading and we get to play on the stage we first played on 4 years ago! I spent my teenage years at Reading, watching bands like Thursday and Sick Of It All, so getting to play is like living out a teenage fantasy...4 times!"