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Babymetal Just Delivered One Of The Most Batshit Crazy Sets Reading Has Ever Seen

Babies. Metal. Two words in and this blog has already been flagged up by Berkshire social services and a team of crack CPA agents are swooping on this writer before he does any more harm. That’s how easy it’s been for Babymetal to get attention. The brainchild of some evil talent agency genius who decided to combine hardcore speed metal with J-pop idol music, they consist of three 15 to 17-year-old flamenco cyberpunk dolls doing frantic synchronised Japanese dance routines in front of a white-clad thrash band of ghouls, zombies and psychopaths. Opening Saturday’s main stage at Reading, and with a show at Wembley Arena already on the books, they are by far the weirdest and wildest phenomenon on the bill, and here’s why…

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Living Up To The Headline Hype? The Libertines At Leeds Festival - Review

With The Libertines, everything’s emotional until it becomes cynical. Or maybe it’s the other way around. In any case, that was the story of their last sojourn to Reading and Leeds back in 2010, two shows laden with six years of expectation, but which ultimately seemed to confirm everyone’s worst fears about why they got back together in the first place. They made a lot of money that weekend (“240k each after tax for me and Carl,” Pete Doherty told NME last year) but the gigs themselves were more memorable for the scenes in the crowd than anything happening onstage.

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The Libertines At Leeds Festival – Five Talking Points

Prior to his band’s headline set at Reading and Leeds, Carl Barât told NME in an interview that people were expecting “straight-up, raucous Libertines”. Closing the first night of Leeds, he made good on that pledge with a set that erased memories of the tepid response to the last time the band graced the festival in 2010, as the Good Ship Albion capsized. With their set moved earlier by 25 minutes due to Tyler, The Creator being forced to pull out after being denied access to the UK, and armed with an arsenal of new material, the Libs gave the city a night to remember – and not just due to Doherty’s questionable attempt at the local accent.

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Boy Better Know's Packed-Out Set At Leeds Festival Suggests The Grime Revival Is Just Getting Going

Another year, another even bigger year for grime. Whether it was Boy Better Know ending up onstage with Kanye at the Brits for his spectacular flamethrower finale, ’All Day’, or, uh, Idris Elba rapping about Stringer Bell on a Skepta track, we’ve seen the mainstreaming of artists who, five years ago, would’ve been playing seventh fiddle to Dizzee in the eyes of the public. Novelist came of age and turned 18. Stormzy nixed any remaining doubts that he’s a major talent to watch. And Jamie Adenuga, aka JME, entered the charts at number 12 with his third album, 'Integrity'.

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They Were The Surprise Reading Festival Booking: Did Mumford & Sons Hold Their Own?

At the rock festival famous for Nirvana's incendiary 1992 set, Queens Of The Stone Age's semi-naked 2001 appearance, The Strokes' blistering early career headline and riot grrl bad-asses L7 throwing tampons into the crowd, country bumpkins Mumford & Sons are an incongruous choice, not least because rock titans Metallica are their peers this year. While their Friday night bill-topping set may not have caused as much bluster as Kanye at Glastonbury, it's fair to say that, coming on to the Main Stage, Marcus and co have more to prove than most. But rather than face the baying masses head-on, the group instead prove that they're a headliner for a new generation of Reading and Leeds Festival punter.

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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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Jamie xx Reviewed At Leeds Festival: A Masterclass In Slowburning Euphoria

Despite the name, Jamie xx’s ‘In Colour’ is a record made for late nights and darkened rooms, so while the glorious early-evening sun that’s beating down on the Radio 1/NME tent might be great for the rest of us, it’s a pretty bad omen for him. The fact that he comes damn close to filling said tent, however, is testament to a couple of things: first, there’s ’In Colour’ itself, which is unquestionably one of the albums of the year and deserves every plaudit that’s come its way; second, and perhaps more importantly, there’s Jamie Smith’s peculiar knack for making it feel as though the sun is shining in here, rather than out there.

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