Where And When: NME/Radio 1 Stage. 5.40pm, Friday at Reading Festival.
Vibe: Shamanic. As one of the first draws during daylight hours on the festival’s opening day the crowd was still warming up. But the Middle-Eastern-influenced, gospel-tinged, pop-rock hooks, hip-hop beats and soaring electronics tore through the cobwebs to set the tone for another great year on the Berkshire wasteland.
Best bit: The pounding, rhythmic overload of ‘Rome’ upped the tempo and tipped the slow-to-start vibe into party-time.
Low point: Many of the crowd didn’t recognise tracks from the band’s first album, the shamanic ‘All Hour Cymbals’.
As singer Chris Keating huffed on stage after playing ‘2080’: “Some of you didn’t seem to know that one? If you don’t wanna dance go and see the fucking GnR show. I dunno. That was an older song I guess some don’t know it.”
Bass player, Ira Wolf Tuton: “Let’s play it again.”
Banter: “Thank you so much! See you in a coupla years. Or your 16th birthday. Or your bar mitzvah. We’ll play anything!” (Chris Keating)
Verdict: Two albums in, the Brooklyn band have a formidable arsenal of songs primed to unleash, with their tribal-psychedelic flavours making them perfect festival fodder for inebriated folk dancing on grass. Big-hitters like ‘Sunrise’, ‘Rome’, ‘2080’ and ‘Ambling Alp’ were sweet moments to be savoured.