DiS is onsite at both Reading and Leeds Festivals this weekend and through a haze of dust, here's DiS' editor with a quick rundown of Day One at Reading...
Ah, the first day of the end of summer and the sun seems to have made acquaintance with storm clouds. Weird weather and being English; it's all anyone seems to be talking about as people hide their wind-burn and sunburn in tents whilst the heavens open and close.
Your humble scribe arrives on site to hear Temper Trap play the last few notes of their set and watch the distant tent empty as I approach. There's then time to grab a cider and catch up with friends who inform me New Found Glory had awful sound and that The Virgins are, as predicted, one of the most heinous bands to walk the earth.
Then it's time for the band of the day: Deftones, fresh from a fantastic 9/10 show the night before at the Forum (review forthcoming). To be honest, the strong gusts of wind are doing more than just create dust clouds from 'the pit' and the sound keeps drifting in and out throughout the set. Meanwhile, the Sonic Youth and/or Radiohead of metal, thrash their way through 'Be Quiet and Drive' as if it wasn't a moment since their life-changing (for me, at least) set in '98. The set climaxes with 'Back To School' and every Mtv2-viewing arm flies in the air, amidst the flung beer and dust.
A quick walk around the site to see if there's anything new (The Radio 1/NME tent is positioned differently this year, now facing the mainstage to allow even more room inside) and then it's time for The Big Pink. Not massively convinced they've got the purple-thud of their TV-On-the-Bloody-Valentine thing perfected live but then I'm somewhat distracted by some cretin throwing beer all over me.
A quick towel off and then it's a few minutes of birthday girl Florence + The Machine doing her yelping thing before Placebo take the mainstage, looking strangely about ten year's younger than the last time we saw them... They play a mixture of new stuff and recent stuff, none of which amounts to much more than crimes against rhyme. The wind seems to be getting stronger and you can feel the anticipation that Brian's hair-piece might 'do a Justin Hawkins' but it doesn't and they eventually roll out the hits like it's 1996.
And then back to the Radio 1 tent to catch the band-of-the-year Friendly Fires pulse and shake their way through a set consisting of their glorious debut album which has the crowd clearly elated. Oddly, last year they played to a half-full new bands tent but their success is testament to great songs and perseverance, and I can't help but get goosebumps as the fuzz of 'Paris' begins.
Kaiser Chiefs then do their entertaining party-trick of obvious hit, album track, obvious hit, album track, album track, obvious hit, repeat to fade... Ricky is wearing an Au Revoir Simone t-shirt and has grown his hair just like Alex Turner (who set this trend and why wasn't I informed?).
Then it's Kings of Leon - who clearly are better than given credit for - but I can't help pondering "what would Kurt Cobain be thinking?" as their ready-meal version of grunge may be a crowd-pleasing commodity but it only seems to fire on one dead-eyed cylinder. Yes, yes, I really shoulda fought my way into the tent for Faith No More...