It’s official, Reading Festival 2016 is under way. The sun’s been out, the tops came off and the beer is flowing. The music got off to a blinding start too.
First out on the Main Stage was Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls. Playing a whopping tenth Reading in a row, Turner whipped the crowd into a pop-punk frenzy, proving his chops as a fine festival opener. He was swiftly followed by another Frank, this time Carter and his Rattlesnakes, but before leaving Turner was keen to point out that they weren’t actually the same guy, declaring: “NME keeps getting us mixed up. It must be that we’ve both got tattoos.” Cheers Frank, thanks for noticing. It did get us thinking though: who actually is the best Frank? Here’s everything that went down in Reading 2016’s ‘Battle of the Franks’.
Outfits – Turner 0 Carter 1
Sure, Frank Turner looked a bit smart in his white shirt-black tie combo, but Carter swept the board in the dapper stakes. Strolling onto stage in a cream floral suit, the former Gallow looked every inch a rock star. Up your game Frank T.
Circle pits – Turner 0 Carter 2
Both Franks love a good mosh, but there’s only one winner when it comes to circle pits. Carter’s “historical” bid to “make the biggest circle pit in history” was in a different league to Turner’s half-arsed effort. Recklessly leaping into the crowd during ‘Juggernaut’, Frank C charged off around the arena, leading several hundred festival goers on a merry dance to the sound desk and back. Decent try, and one more point to the Rattlesnakes.
Big reveals – Turner 1 Carter 2
Bands often use Reading to announce mega news to their fans, and this year is no different. Frank Turner revealed a new 21-date UK tour for November and December during his set – one of his biggest to date. Carter’s news of a new album coming in January was good, but the lack of details means Frank T wins this round. He’s right back in it.
The feel good factor – Turner 2 Carter 2
As far as fun in the sun goes, you couldn’t hope for better than Frank Turner’s set today. The anthemic tunes – ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Friends’ and ‘Recovery’ sounded great – are already perfect for a summer singalong, but the tattoed folk-pirate had something even better up his sleeve – a wall of hugs. That’s right, instead of the traditionally violent wall of death, Turner had the boozed-up revellers cuddle instead. We approve, and that squares things up nicely.
Onstage Banter – Turner 2 Carter 3
At the end, the Frank War comes down to wit. Whose humorous chitchat got the crowd giggling more than the other? Turner had his moments – a funny set piece about his guitarist’s hair teased a few laughs – but Carter has to come out on top. Getting the entire field to flip the finger at his mum had the audience in stitches. He said sorry though, so it’s all good.