NME Blogs

Fuck The Rest, The 1975 Just Won Reading

Reading 2016 has been full of artists stepping up and proving their worth, including [a]Chvrches[/a], [a]Blossoms[/a], Spring King and Boy Better Know. But none more so than [a]The 1975[/a], who may just be the best band in the country right now.

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Astroid Boys Introduced Reading Festival To The World Of Welsh Grime Punk

Combining hardcore punk with grime might sound dangerously close to nu metal, that most maligned of genres, but Cardiff five-piece Astroid Boys are looking ahead, not back – experimenting to push culture forward. At one point during this exciting, uncompromising show, vocalist Traxx, wearing a baseball cap and checked black-and-white chefs’ trousers, looking like he’s just knocked off work at a greasy spoon, mounts the barrier and raps, "Look at me now!” to a crunching guitar riff.

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Ezra Furman Is The Act You Should Have Seen At Reading 2016 - Here’s Why

Ezra Furman’s wasn’t the longest set at Reading today, or on the biggest stage, but it was definitely one of the most exciting. Strolling out onto stage in a purple silk dress, the gender-fluid rocker looked every inch the debauched rock star. Throw in a giant wig and some platform heels and we could have been in CBGB’s watching New York Dolls circa 1977.

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Eagles Of Death Metal Revel In Rock'n'Roll Glory During Impassioned Leeds Set

[a]Eagles of Death Metal[/a] have had, to put it mildly, a hell of a year. Having gone from relative obscurity to unwanted infamy via a horrifying terrorist attack in Paris, the band - or, more accurately, frontman Jesse Hughes - have had to deal with things no rock’n’roll band should, and what they’ve had to say about it hasn’t always jibed with what others want them to say about it. Yet if Hughes’ outspoken views on gun control, not to mention his support of the abhorrent Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, have eroded some of the goodwill that came their way following last November’s events, there’s no sign of it today.

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Sigma's 'Homecoming' Set Is One Of The Sweatiest, Happiest And Biggest Moments Of Leeds 2016

Towards the end of Sigma's 40-minute set, the crowd are instructed to crouch down then jump up. They duly oblige, popping up like whack-a-moles. It's a time-honoured trick straight out of the stadium playbook, but Sigma's set isn't about originality: it's mainstream crowd pleasing. And it's working: the sweaty throng are packed in tighter than clowns in a very small car.

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Leeds 2016: Disclosure And The Problem With Top-loading A Headline Set

If Foals and Disclosure’s co-headlining arrangement seems like bet-hedging on the part of the Reading & Leeds organisers – neither ready to subvert the tried-and-tested guitar-band norm, nor to fully embrace the idea of a dance act as outright headliners – then the Lawrence brothers’ Leeds set makes a compelling case for why they deserve to go it alone next time. The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ worst-band-in-the-world status notwithstanding, this had the potential to be the most polarising of the weekend’s headline sets; in the end, it may just be the most crowd-pleasing.

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