The Leicester band, who were making their first appearance at the event in seven years, played a 18-song set, which also included covers of The Korgis‘ classic ‘Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime’ and ‘Take Aim’, their reworking of the theme from A Clockwork Orange.
Kicking off their set with recent single ‘Days Are Forgotten’, the band ran through a hit-strewn set which featured ‘Underdog’, ‘Club Foot’, ‘LSF’, ‘Shoot The Runner’, ‘Switchblade Smiles’ and the closing ‘Fire’, which included an ending incorporating the Fab Four’s classic single.
Singer Tom Meighan bigged up the crowd throughout the gig and even dedicated a track to his daughter Mimi. He also referenced the boggy conditions, praising the crowd’s resilience. You can watch footage of ‘Velociraptor!’ by scrolling down the page.
Before the closing ‘Fire’ Meighan told the crowd:
I want to tell you something. We started a band when I was 17. I’m an old man now, 31, but thanks to you, here we are. This was my ambition, Reading. Thank you so much.
‘Days Are Forgotten’
‘Shoot the Runner’
‘Where Did All the Love Go?’
‘Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To’
‘Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime’
‘LSF (Lost Souls Forever)’
‘Vlad the Impaler’
Following them, former Gallows man Frank Carter brought his new band Pure Love to the festival and played a well-attended set which previewed their forthcoming debut album ‘Anthems’.
Later on in the day, Enter Shikari delivered their Main Stage set in typically emphatic style with a mixture of the highlights from their 2012 album ‘A Flash Flood Of Colour’ and crowd pleasers like ‘Destabilise’ and ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’.
Canadian punks Billy Talent proved themselves a talking point over on the NME/Radio 1 Stage and played a punchy, 45-minute set which included ‘Red Flag’ and new single ‘Viking Death March’, which singer Ben Kowalewicz dedicated to Pussy Riot, telling the crowd: “This song is about standing up for yourself.”
Back on the Main Stage, The Vaccines drew a massive crowd to their early evening slot. The band, who release their second album ‘The Vaccines Come Of Age’ next Monday (September 3), played a selection of songs from their new LP, including the opening ‘No Hope’, new single ‘Teenage Icon’ (watch footage here) and ‘Ghost Town’ as well as previous hits ‘Blow It Up’, ‘Tiger Blood’, ‘All In White’, ‘Post Break-Up Sex’ and ‘Wetsuit’.
Singer Justin Young thanked the crowd profusely throughout and told that they’d “made his dreams come true”.
Speaking before ‘If You Wanna’, he said: “When I was 12 years old I saw video footage of Nirvana playing on this stage, I never imagined I’d be up here. Thank you for making my dreams come true.”
Florence And The Machine warmed the crowd up for Kasabian with a powerful set, but had to battle the elements as a torrential downpour hit the site in between the end of the The Vaccines’ set and the beginning of her’s. Sadly, the rain only got worse as her performance went on and though Florence Welch and her band ploughed through an 80-minute set which featured a string of hits, including her recent UK Number One ‘Spectrum’, lots of the crowd decided to seek refuge from the rain.
This didn’t spoil Welch’s mood though, as she was clearly overjoyed to be onstage at the festival. Before ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ she demanded members of the crowd give each other hugs and declared the crowd “a performance in their own right”.
Her set also featured ‘Cosmic Love’, ‘Breaking Down’, a new version of ‘Shake It Out’ with a rave-inspired ending, a tender ‘Never Let Me Go’ and ‘Dogs Day Are Over’, before which she also told the crowd that they “had made her dreams come true”.
Welch, who was soaking wet herself by the end of the set, ended with ‘No Light No Light’ and bowed to the cheering crowd.
Reading Festival continues tomorrow with sets from Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Bullet For My Valentine, Two Door Cinema Club and Kaiser Chiefs.
Stay tuned to our Reading And Leeds Festivals hub for news reports, reviews, videos and photos from both sites all weekend.
To read the ultimate Reading And Leeds Festivals review, pick up the new issue of NME, which is on newsstands from Wednesday (August 29) or available digitally. If you’re at Reading or Leeds this weekend, be sure to Tweet or Instagram your pictures to #NMEreading and #NMEleeds and the best will make next week’s issue.