NME Blogs

Mumford & Sons' Reading Headline Set: That Flag, Those Hats and Three Other Big Talking Points

It was a controversial booking, but also once that made sense: Mumford & Sons are a massive band – one of the few around big enough to headline Reading & Leeds – and with their third album, ‘Wilder Mind’, the group went in a rockier direction, working with producers James Ford and The National’s Aaron Dessner on a sound more familiar to the traditional Reading & Leeds crowd. For a band that like to tick off achievements in their career, they were also gagging to secure the booking – it meant everything to them to be offered the headline spot and they repeatedly mentioned it throughout their set. But there were plenty of other talking points...

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Alt-J Incite Mania With A Trippy Reading Festival Set

“Look at my arse!” Three songs into Alt-J’s Reading Festival set, a man in a straw hat runs through the crowd, shouting and pointing at his bare backside. The image is in stark contrast with the four men onstage, clad in uniform black and positioned – bar drummer Thom Green – stock still behind their instruments. The trio, onstage with live bassist Cameron Knight, are halfway through ‘Something Good’, one of the smoother cuts from their Mercury-winning debut ‘An Awesome Wave’. Its gentle melody is hardly the sort of thing to prompt people to strip, but here, as night falls on Friday at Reading, everything Alt-J do incites mania.

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Twitter's Response To Mumford & Sons' Reading Set Was Seriously Extreme

Mumford & Sons have always been prone to split opinion, and Friday night's headline slot at Reading Festival 2015 was no different. As their performance was broadcast on BBC4 to say the Twitter responses were extreme would be an understatement; there were 140 characters of gushing, emotional outpouring and there was bile-fuelled expletive-heavy anger. Here's the most entertaining of what happened.

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Kendrick Lamar Shows He's Operating In A League Of His Own At Leeds Festival

“OHHHHHH KENDRICK LAA-MAAAA-AAAAR!” sing the Leeds Main Stage crowd to the tune of 'Seven Nation Army', as the sun drops on Bramham Park and the biggest name in hip-hop in a generation bounds onstage. Kendrick Lamar has “gone been through a whole lot” – he says it himself on 'I', the soulful Isley Brothers-sampling lead single from 'To Pimp A Butterfly'. There's not a lot, you'd wager from the fiercely rapped autobiography of that record, that he hasn't already witnessed on his rise from life on violent streets of Compton to the starry peak of modern hip-hop. Hearing his name bellowed to the guitar part of a White Stripes tune turned football-terrace anthem, however, is probably a first. Welcome to the eclectic, and for the duration of his set tonight, electric, Reading and Leeds, Kendrick.

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Bastille: The Hints They Unveiled About Their Next Album's New Sound At Reading Festival 2015

Has Reading Festival changed? Back in the hardcore days it may have bottled the likes of Bastille with enough piss, mud and deckchairs to bury the entire stage; today it sings along. They're a much nicer bunch in 2015, and the group's Radio 1 playlist-friendly brand of rock finds them in a third-on-the-Main-Stage breakout slot in front of one of the biggest crowds of the day. They are undeniably massive.

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