Blink 182 bring a day of musical delights to a climax at Reading 2010

Reading Festival 2010 review

published: Wed 1st Sep 2010

Blink 182

Friday 27th to Sunday 29th August 2010
Little Johns Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8EQ, England MAP
£180 for a weekend ticket
daily capacity: 87000
last updated: Thu 26th Aug 2010

Reading Festival eases into the final day, and with a growing breeze and darkening skies it might not be pleasant. There's streams of people packed up and walking out of the campsite this morning, and there's loads of blokes walking in with piled slabs of beer. The third day heralds blisters and aching legs and a slower start to the day as I miss both Kassidy, and Goldheart Assembly two acts who clashed anyway. I get down to the front of the main stage in time to see The King Blues deliver 'Save The World (Get The Girl)' and they're taking the rock festival moniker seriously adding bite to this more punky version.

Local Natives
The Reading crowd has got even younger today and the arena is packed with young girls, it's like some weird summer school where the uniform of choice is wellies, short skirt/shorts, bra and vest top, necklaces, sunglasses and either straw hat or crown of flowers. They all look identical it's unnerving as though we're in the Festival and not Village of the Damned. I'm guessing the boyfriends are still sleeping it off in the tents, although many of the them appear to be in large groups of girlie friends. Those with boyfriends present often are the catalyst to the boys behaving anti-socially, be it throwing a cup or shouting insults, a move out of the norm, testing their individuality and boundaries, and it 's rewarded with a dance or a snog. An example of teen rebellion and rock n roll in action, we've all been there.

Local Natives provide a harmonious respite from the gathering winds. It's the Los Angeles based band's first appearance at Reading and they're happy to be here. They showcase tracks from their debut album 'Gorilla Manor' and the double percussion combined with the bass make for rather a muddy sound reminiscent of feedback or perhaps the rig in the tent is suffering cone damage, either way the individual instruments creating their sound can't be cleanly picked out of the feedback soup which is a shame as it should be wonderfully complex with both 'Wide Eyes' and 'Shape Shifter' proving the highlights of the set. The five piece are in a line across the front of the NME stage, and they're a lot louder live than on the record. 'Airplanes' is a sing along moment with the crowd familiar with the lyrics. A good start to Sunday's musical offerings.

All Time Low
By the time All Time Low take to the stage, wearing sunglasses, the weather has hit, in trainers and a T-shirt I have no choice but to run for the nearest cover, and I pretty much miss the whole set, opting to brave slushy mud and rain to return to the NME/Radio One stage for Wild Beasts. I get there early and the crowd are enjoying the music over the PA. We're all un-sensibly dressed for rain so the numbers are boosted as we stay in the tent to welcome the first notes of 'Fun Powder Plot' and the band sound terrific as they romp through 'This Is Our Lot', and 'All The King's Men'. However it's the connection to the crowd during 'Still Got The Taste Dancing On Our Tongues' that leads frontman Hayden Thorpe to exclaim his genuine surprise that now the rain has gone we haven't all left.

At that point I leave, as I want to catch Fool's Gold at the Festival Republic Stage. I'm glad I did! Their world/African inspired rhythms are bound to draw comparisons to Vampire Weekend but vocalist and bassist Luke Top and guitarist Lewis Pesacov have built a band of Afrobeat Funk shot through with the roots of the Los Angeles band's record collection a hint of The Byrds and The Grateful Dead. They remind me that world music is sorely under represented these days at Reading. This is saxed-up party music of the finest order, one of the highlights of the festival, expect to see these guys again.

Passing the Dance Tent I decide to give Chiddy Bang a listen and wish I hadn't, sorry I just don't get what the fuss is about.

The Drums however are more like it. A huge crowd of youngsters and a huge cheer greet the rather camp singer Jonathan Pierce and his indie pop band who crank it up with 'It Will All End In Tears', 'Best Friend', 'Submarine' and 'I Felt Stupid'.

Limp Bizkit
The draw of Limp Bizkit on the main stage drags me away from The Drums to see Fred Durst and Wes Borland (dressed as a witch) in action. The crowds not huge, it's massive, and it's tightly packed into the front half of the arena with twenty-somethings and older representin' with some old school 'Rollin' moves towards the back. Durst says he's heard from festival organiser Melvin Benn there's a lot of girls in the crowd, he'd like to get all the girls on stage but Melvin won't let him. So instead he suggests they all mount up and get on the males in the crowd shoulders. The girls oblige, and sing along blissfully to 'Nookie' and George Michael's 'Faith' close out an enjoyable set.

Around a third of the crowd leave instantly heading for Kele of Bloc Party fame. Kele may be dressed as some off duty chef but his music more than delivers. Showing much more verve than he has in his other project mould he leads the crowd through his own material with 'Walk Tall', and 'On The Lam' although at least the final third of the crowd is static. Kele asks, "Are you ready to get groovy?" before launching into 'The Other Side', and the crowd pleasing 'Everything You Wanted'. But it's when he says, I have another band who are really quite good, this songs is for fans of said band" and breaks into a medley of 'Blue Light / The Prayer / One More Chance' and the crowd go mental. So much so, that following 'Tenderoni' dedicated to the new fans and 'Rise' he rewards us with another Bloc Party cover 'Flux' with a forced vocal style and it's a fantastic set. It'll be back to the main stage for Kele soon, surely?

Radio 6's Matt Everitt has been championing Aussies Tame Impala, so I decide to go and give them a listen. The Festival Republic tent's only about a quarter full, but I think many of them become fans of the laid back spacey rockers. The psychedelic sounds have a groove about them, and the sound generated by them is greater than the sum of its parts a good sign for any band. They win more fans by throwing out their rider of Kit Kats as they don't really want them. Although they readily admit it's an attempt to buy our love. The tracks ae melodic and the four piece are doing well to keep hold of the audience as the sounds of Cypress Hill's 'Ain't Goin' Out Like That' can be heard from the main stage.

Seattle's Band of Horses have already started by the time I get to the tent. The tent numbers are also much reduced here. I'm guessing teen girlies aren't keen on 'Weed Party', and 'Islands On The Coast', and 'Is There A Ghost?'. The laid back music is very soothing but it's lack of immediacy and dancy groove, means that more of the audience are leaving.

There's a chance to catch a little of Minus the Bear who sound terrific despite guitar problems. A band I'd like to see more of however I can hear the genius that is Weezer, finally out of mothballs, playing 'Hash Pipe' and dash over to see crazy frontman Rivers Cuomo borrow a cat hat from the crowd before clambering up the hoardings with a blow up doll, and throwing a trampoline of the stage during 'Troublemaker'. It's a first time I've seen theese musical heroes and they deliver tunes like 'Undone - The Sweater Song', ' and Surf Wax America' Before taking a left turn to play Wheatus' 'Teenage Dirtbag' - a band which I have confused with Weezer in the past, coincidence? or does everybody? Things level out for the trio with crowd pleasers including 'Brian's Theme', 'Say It Ain't So', 'Island In the Sun', 'Beverly Hills', 'Pork and Beans' and new song 'Memories' a high energy punky number. Then another weird turn with an MGMT cover in 'Kids' straight into Lady GaGa's'Poker Face'. The crowd are now ready to singalong to closer 'Buddy Holly' and it's been terrific to finally see the seminal Americans.

Returning to Reading since playing two years ago Foals have amassed a packed crowd and they're cheering each song and clapping along to the likes of 'Cassius', 'Balloons', 'Miami', and 'After Glow'. The crowd are loving it, whistling, leaping, and yelling along. Surely their next album will land them a main stage slot on the basis of the crowd they attracted.

Back at the Main Stage Paramore are delivering a set of anthems for the crowd to yell along to. Red haired Tennessee temptress Hayley Williams is dressed in a faux leopard fur coat, and opens with a salvo of 'Misery Business, 'That's What and You Get'. Judging by the pitch of the mass voiced singing along Fred Durst was right there's a lot of girls in the crowd today.

Meanwhile in the Dance Tent Magnetic Man has taken over the baton from Sub Focus' DJ Set and fills the tent to burstin' with ravin' teenagers who are boppin' after three days of festival as though they're all Duracell Bunnies. As a surprise Katy B joins Skream, Artwork, and Benga for for 'Perfect Stranger' and 'Katy On A Mission' before that the crowd had bot in and out of the tent had buzzed along to 'Anthem', 'Mad', and 'Karma Crazy'. What a great way to get everyone sweaty. The beats continue, with the tent continuing to dance away happily before Rusko showcases 'O.M.G.' and brings his brand of dustep to Reading.

Over at Festival Republic Caribou bring their mix of electronica, psychedelia and breakbeats to the tent, it sounds good from where I am outside by the bar road testing the cider.

Blink 182
Headliners Blink 182 are left to close the festival returning after a three-year break up the band are back to draw the biggest headlining crowd. And it's a set of crowd pleasing singalong hits with packed crowd sang along to their string of hits including 'What's My Age Again?’, 'The Rock Show', and 'I Miss You' appearing surprisingly early in the set. Tom DeLonge reminds us it's a clear night with the moon behind them by pointing out "That it’s not raining for like the first time in eight shows we've played over here." And proving they have the biggest crowd by being the only headliner to ask us all to move three paces back during their set. Mark Hoppus said "I'm sorry you guys missed out on Guns N' Roses on Friday night. But Tom's going to play the intro to Sweet Child O Mine." DeLonge's attempted intro is an epic fail which he covers by randomly exclaiming, "Axl Rose is naked with my dad."

Highlights 'Stay Together For The Kids, 'All The Small Things', and 'Josie' fill the time until the encore where Travis Barker wows the crowd by playing his whole drum kit upside down! Awesome. The band then conclude with 'Carousel', 'Dammit', and 'Family Reunion' - what a way to finish!

I'd intended to see the other headline acts Roots Manuva on the Dance stage and Klaxons in the NME tent but I missed them both. I was told the next morning that Klaxons were truly amazing, with their new songs working well alongside their old material and at least as good as the last time they played. If that's true and their musical skills are much improved then would they possibly be given a main stage slot at this rock festival? Surely it's more likely that other festivals will put in the call for them, and we might not see Klaxons at Little Johns Farm for a year or two.

And that's it Reading 2010 is over, and overall today has been much the stronger day for decent music and for the younger fans. The final day has been satisfying and knackering, and that makes it much easier to want to get some sleep. Perhaps this, alongside the increased police presence, also helps to keep the campsite troubles from manifesting this year.
review by: Scott Williams

photos by: Karen Williams / Zelah Williams

Friday 27th to Sunday 29th August 2010
Little Johns Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8EQ, England MAP
£180 for a weekend ticket
daily capacity: 87000
last updated: Thu 26th Aug 2010

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