Love, sound problems and 'steroid-fuelled anti-corporate heaven' apparently
BRMC, three songs in: Moody, black clad, smoke covered hellspawn. Oh and there’s a beaming girl in a bra and thong bouncing around onstage during ‘Spread Your Love’. As incongruent stage appearances go – it’s a corker. Stage invader vanishes offstage. And BRMC write it off in gloriously deadpan style with a simple ‘That doesn’t normally happen’.
The rest of the show is just a spectacular, although in a more traditional way, from the opening ‘Red Eyes And Tears’ to a grinding, iconoclastic ‘Whatever Happened To Our Rock ‘N’ Roll (Punk Song)’.
Brimming with deserved confidence they play new song ‘Stop’ second this was described by singer/guitarist Peter Hayes as ‘like My Bloody Valentine but not as floaty’ at the Benicassim festival. Like tonight’s ‘Love Burns’ it’s dark overtones and grimy vocals lend Reading a positively satanic overtone -despite being in a tent.
Put simply it sounds like nothing more than a greatest hits set, and from a band barely an album old that’s nothing short of astonishing.
Jimmy Eat World’s Jim Adkins may have spent Andrew WK set at the side of the stage videoing but from tonight’s performance it’s clear that he has little to learn in how to present his band. Equal to their storming Glastonbury set ‘Bleed American’ and especially ‘The Middle’ reveal themselves to be classics
Poor Jon Spencer, half a decade spent talking about the primal power of the blues and making a positive out of having no bass player and that damn Jack White steals his thunder. Never mind his lacklustre last album or that the best song tonight ‘She Said’ fails to reach the epic heights of yesteryear – it’s just not fair .
“Rock ‘n’ roll” he screams as he sinks to his knees after a theramin wig out, “Blues Explosion” he yells, then gasps and then he’s gone.
Look, right. Just forget the fucking haircuts. Yeah, they’re nice and everything but the post-sex hair is in danger of obscuring the epics that The Cooper Temple Clause have made their own in one album, a feat which most bands take three to do. Naturally ‘Use Your Enemies’ And ‘Panzer Attack’ are a cut above the rest. But this slightly bruised of bands have now earned your love.
Walter Schreifels’ Rival Schools at the cutting edge of tunes on the emo scene and tonight is no exception from ‘Used For Glue’ to ‘Good Things’ their place as standard bearers is reaffirmed, the main stage must surely beckon for next year.
Dogged with no vocals for three songs – come on how hard is it for a soundman to notice this? – Alec Empire’s Digital Hardcore roadshow rolls into town and hammers unbelievers into bloody submission. ‘Addicted To You’ is steroid-fuelled anti-corporate heaven. And he’s still the only man allowed by the UN fashion police to wear leather trousers. Bow down.
With multiple rumours of The Icarus Line’s imminent demise/imminent chart busting behaviour circulating the site there’s one thing you can never accuse them of is being boring or predictable. Any sure enough the enervating racket from the black-clad, red-tied bunch is potentially explosive. ‘Feed A Cat To Your Cobra’ is suitably genre-shredding. And if the only predictable thing is the drum and guitar smashing then be thankful.
Goldfinger’s concoction of ska-punk provides the Evening Stage with the first real filler of the day. But ultimately they’ve been left for dust by better rivals and while tracks from their self-titled debut sparkle they leave with us unsatisfied. Although chucking a guitar into the audience is not a bad way to win over fans.
With in a mere six months The Libertines have grown from fresh-faced amphetamine fuelled Londonites to fully-fledged fisty-cuffed deploying urchins, it’s at the point now when Pete, finding his microphone not working, will shoulder-barge Carl off his to finish a vocal. That it ends with Pete swinging a guitar at Carl and the two of them disappearing in a scrum, to be separated by a roadie is inevitable.
In contrast The Pattern were at the forefront of the garage rock a year ago but they’ve been left behind by faster rivals, most notably The Hives playing the main stage later today. But The Pattern are unmistakably THE REAL DEAL. Miss them at your peril.