God, it was great to be back at a festival wasn't it? Some organisational issues threatened to put a downer on things but so many of the acts were great.
Stormzy - Brilliant. Crazy to think that's the first show he's played in 18 months. The reaction when Dave came out, has to be a headliner next year.
Catfish - What *is* going on with them? Definitely felt like the rumours were true, completely uninterested throughout.
Ghetts - Played an incredible set to an embarrassingly small crowd due to the AJ Tracey clash.
Sam Fender - One of the biggest MSW crowds, good atmosphere, great tunes, a Friday highlight.
Mabel - Loved it. Have seen her twice before and was dodgy both times. Much better with a full band now & far more confident than before.
Aitch - Surprisingly brilliant. Massive crowd and delivered a proper arena show.
Wargasm - Dodgy sound again, drums very loud and everything else too quiet, but still a good show and an improvement on Download Pilot.
Shaybo - Clashing with Mostack on MSE meant she had to perform to a smaller crowd than expected. They kept delaying her arrival presumably for that reason.
Sports Team - absolutely smashed it, a perfect festival set. Had that been in the R1/NME Tent, it would have been a proper moment.
Tia Carys - This was incredibly awkward. Crowd turned on her when she made some antivax comments and the entire tent were chanting "WHO ARE YA?" for the rest of the show. She's clearly very talented but this was not a good moment for her.
The Snuts - Bang average indie band but enjoyable enough at that time of the day.
Maisie Peters - Secret set on BBC Introducing. Dodgy sound competing with soundbleed from everywhere else but good atmosphere.
Nothing But Thieves - The sound issues! MSW was far too quiet for most of the weekend but it absolutely killed any sense of occasion from this set. Chants of "TURN IT UP!" were taken by the band to just be some sort of "kid lingo".
Post Malone - Biggest crowd of the weekend but really not good. Just a nice enough bloke singing over a backing track to generic pop music. Just seems so lazy as a headline performance to me.
Disclosure - No idea how much they were actually doing live but had a brilliant time. Clearly influenced by Chemical Brothers' festival shows, this was a great party vibe.
Two Door Cinema Club - Enormous crowd and difficult to get a decent spot after rushing over from The Wombats who overran. Seemed decent enough and the crowd around us were into it.
The Wombats - Standard Wombats performance really just with some difficulties caused by MSW sound issues and people piling out 20 mins before the end to get to TDCC. Good fun.
Slowthai - Loved it. His live shows are hit and miss but he was on good form aside from a handful of slightly inappropriate comments. Very Tyron-heavy, great energy especially for the Mura Masa/Gorillaz collabs.
Sigrid - This was excellent. Really making her pitch as an arena artist. Such a shame she suffered from a small crowd due to Becky Hill's enormous crowd at the other end of the site. Such an enjoyable artist to watch. Brave to do anything slow or piano based at Reading but she pulled it off.
Becky Hill - One of the moments of the weekend, for sure. Huge crowd, felt a bit like watching a massive pop star on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Could not fault this.
Jazmin Bean - Small crowd and some sound issues. Less theatrical than I'd hoped but a promising set.
Alfie Templeman - Generic indie with an awkward Smells Like Teen Spirit cover (that caused hundreds of kids to run into the tent and go nuts as if Nirvana had turned up?)
Kennyhoopla - A terrific set from a future superstar.
The Academic - Worst vocal performance of the weekend? Voice gave in after about 3 songs and never recoered.
Noisy - More sound problems in the Dance Tent. If you're not in the centre, it was really naff sounding. They were great though.
Liam Gallagher - Loved it, classic festival set. Odd solo choices - would have switched Halo for Now That I've Found You and Paper Crown for For What It's Worth - but cannot complain about all the Oasis offerings.
Biffy Clyro - Incredible. Sound, production, setlist, performance. I've seen all 3 of their Reading headline sets and they absolutely smash it every time. Just feel bad for them with the tiny crowd caused by the 2 stage set up. Also had to duck out 2 songs early to make it over to LG via the bar and felt like most people did the same.
Gerry Cinnamon - He absolutely smashed this and put an end to any doubts about whether or not his slot was justified. Absolutely brilliant.
Yungblud - Crowd much smaller than I'd expected. Felt a bit like watching Busted or McFly for this generation but decent enough pop star and we had fun.
Wolf Alice - Set of the weekend for me. A shame they couldn't play for longer but what they did do was perfect.
Blossoms - The best I've seen them, definitely stepped up in terms of production and performance. Nice nod to Charlie Watts which seemed to go over most heads.
Baby Queen - Cannot believe that was only her 2nd gig. So tight and well-rehearsed, main stage ready. Had to deal with a lot of bucket hats pouring in for the Jake Bugg secret set but suspect she managed to convert many of them into fans.
L Devine - Had the misfortune of playing while KSI was on so an empty dance tent. Still turned in a great performance & much better than what was going on at the other end of the site I'm sure.
Bad Boy Chiller Crew - A shame they focused more on newer material but great vibes in a packed tent.
Niko B - Objectively terrible but enormous crowd and good to see people having such a great time.
Kam-Bu - Unfamiliar with him before the festival but definitely one to watch. Clashed with Russ Millions so a very small crowd in 1Xtra but that meant no "whomph! there is it" chanting and we got to see what he could do. Very good.
Hot Milk - Both really need some vocal training before they do more of these bigger stages. Frontwoman gave it everything performance wise but their vocal issues really show up on big stages. Decent enough pop punk but needs work.