Festival Review: Reading 2015 - Day 2

by SeanAtkinson
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on 01 September 2015 in Features

Spirits seem high as the second day of Reading Festival began. The weather seemed to be holding out and Babymetal were opening the main stage. A Japanese metal band, there was a not too bad at all crowd for a midday opening slot. They powered through a variety of heavy but melodic numbers and had the crowd jumping all over the place almost immediately. There appeared to be a get together of die hard Babymetal fans congregated in the middle of the crowd and it's not hard to see why they could garner a cult like following. They finish their set by announcing that they will be returning to the UK to play the SSE Arena, and I would imagine that they may just have won a few future attendees based on their captivating 35 minute set.

Next up and making their Reading return were California punks FIDLAR, playing on the weekend before their second album 'Too' is released. The crowd were apprehensive to begin with but soon descended into a slew of mosh pits, something that becomes ever present in their short main stage slot. We hear newer tracks such as 'Drone', 'West Coast' and '40oz On Repeat' and all are very well received. 'My Generation' is probably the most unheard of the newer songs, with massive reactions coming from tracks such as 'Cocaine' and 'Cheap Beer'. It's very much business as usual from FIDLAR, as they play tight and fast. You sense they would've liked a few more minutes, and they wouldn't be alone with the crowd chanting for 'Wake Bake Skate' feverishly as the band leave the stage.

Due to bad timekeeping (I'm somehow still not very good at this festival thing), I rush over to the Festival Republic stage to catch Bad Breeding, only to find that they're not on for another hour. With time to kill, I head over to the Pit to see what Ho99o9 are all about. A New Jersey two piece, they're an instantly thrilling proposition. Straying somewhere between punk and hip hop, the crowd appears unsure as to how to take them. They certainly win over some, but their sounds wears a bit thin towards the course of the show. The lyrics are hard to make out, but in terms of the live show they cannot be faulted.

Being sandwiched in between a secret Foals set and the increasingly popular/questionably named Slaves doesn't do much for the crowd attendance for Bad Breeding on the Festival Republic stage. That said, the band do not let it deter them one bit. They are simply one of the best bands in Britain with ease, providing a thunderous commentary on life in modern Britain. They do not shy from a political narrative like many of their peers are reluctant to do. It's not just this that makes them a phenomenal band however, the songs are ferocious. We hear what will most likely make up their debut album as well as tracks we do know like 'Age of Nothing' and 'Burn This Flag'. Half of the set was spent in the crowd for the bands frontman, as he sauntered around looking a man possessed. By the end he was wandering around mic less and exhausted, watching his band finish up. Whether or not Bad Breeding will find their audience remains to be seen, but for the sake of a rather apathetic musical landscape in the UK I hope they do. They are not so much a breath of fresh air as a hurricane.

Circa Waves haven't been around for long but the Liverpool based four piece have attracted a sizeable crowd to the BBC Radio 1/NME Stage on, what has become, a rainy afternoon. They must be doing something right as the crowd are singing every word right back to them. It's a pity then, that the music leaves much to be desired. Musically it seems like everything that was forgettable about the landfill indie years has been put into a blender, recycled and served up. They lyrics don't improve much, as closer 'T-Shirt Weather' is as uninspiring lyrically as its title would suggest.

They soon make way for Wolf Alice who play their second set of the day after a secret set on the introducing stage. They garner a diverse crowd who're instantly enchanted as they begin with an old fan favourite in 'Fluffy'. There's not much else to be said about the band that hasn't been said elsewhere. There is something about them that feels like they're destined for big things and the set feels like another item crossed off their list. By taking their time with a debut album, they have a collection of songs to draw from which are wonderfully eclectic, making for a well balanced live show. 'You're A Germ' is undoubtedly the live highlight from the new record, whilst 'Bros' is taking to new heights with its added lyrics. By the end of the set, the initially polite crowd has truly let loose as a mosh out forms. The final notes ring out as band members rush into the crowd, and you leave with the feeling that this might not be the last time we see Wolf Alice at Reading Festival, but almost certainly the last time we see them play this sort of slot.

Radkey made their return to the UK this year after some time away whilst making their recently released debut album. After spells headlining, with main-stagers Drenge and a turn on Jools Holland, the trio of brothers delivered an impressive half hour set. Playing newer songs and those we already know such as 'Cat and Mouse', they have an enthusiasm and charm that's infectious.

The rain may have threatened to dampen the spirits of those camped out to see metal behemoths Metallica but it all honesty it didn't come close. Although the band recently conquered Glastonbury in controversial circumstance, it does feel like they are much more at home here. There seems to be a sea of Metallica shirts almost everywhere you look when you near the main stage area, and they are welcomed amidst a deafening roar. Their stage set up is unusual, including a selection of people who appear to be fans allowed an unforgettable front row view of their favourite band in action. The band make their way through their vast back catalogue, barely stopping to catch a breath. With other bands the endless solos may be indulgence but here they are lapped up. Metallica might not be the new kids on the block, but on tonight's evidence it doesn't show.



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