Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg, Chvrches, Bombay Bicycle Club and Royal Blood play the second day of the bash
Reading Festival 2014 is in full swing, with performances today from Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg, Chvrches, Bombay Bicycle and a host of others.
Arctic Monkeys headlined the Main Stage for the second time in their career with a set that drew heavily from their 2013 album ‘AM’.
Returning to the three-day event for the first time since 2009, the Sheffield four-piece got the show under way with recent album opener ‘Do I Wanna Know’ against a giant backdrop of the ‘AM’ album cover that has accompanied most of the shows during their recent tour.
Much of the set borrowed from ‘AM’, with the band playing nine tracks in all from the 2013 LP including ‘Arabella’, ‘No. 1 Party Anthem’, ‘Knee Socks’ and ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’. The Sheffield band also threw in some of their classic hit singles, including ‘When The Sun Goes Down’, ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’, ‘Teddy Picker’ and ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’.
Nero brought the NME/Radio 1 Stage to a close, arriving on stage a little after 10pm. Producers Daniel Stephens and Joe Ray were joined by vocalist Alana Watson as they played tracks from their 2011 debut album ‘Welcome To Reality’. The performance was the trio’s first in the UK since they appeared at Oxegen festival in 2013. The DJ platform lit up with various designs throughout the 75-minute set, including a cassette, a blueprint of pyramids and sliding tiles.
The trio played ‘Guilt’ early on in the set, with Watson patrolling the front of the stage as she delivered her lines. ‘Crush On You’ followed soon after, along with ‘Promises’, which has been remixed by Skrillex. They also sampled Justice’s ‘Stress’ towards the end of their performance, before finishing with their breakthrough track, ‘Me & You’.
Earlier in the evening, Bombay Bicycle Club played to a packed tent as they performed tracks from all four of their albums. During ‘Lights Out’ they introduced Lucy Rose onto the stage to sing the track, the recorded version of which she contributed lyrics to. She followed it up by singing on ‘Wherever, Whenever’.
Later on in the set, they brought backing vocalist Liz Lawrence to the front of the stage for ‘Home By Now’ and ‘Feel’ before Rae Morris stepped up to sing on ‘Luna’.
Jake Bugg arrived on the Main Stage just after 8pm for his second Reading set of the day, having surprised fans with a secret set on the BBC Introducing Stage earlier in the afternoon. With a set split evenly between his 2012 self-titled debut and 2013’s ‘Shangri La’, he kicked off with ‘There’s A Beast And We All Feed It’, followed quickly by ‘Troubled Town’, ‘I’ve Seen It All,’ and ‘Me And You’. After ‘Broken’, which he performed accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, he said: “Thanks very much, that was amazing. That’s made my night that has.”
‘Storm Passes Away’, ‘Messed Up Kids’, ‘Ballad Of Mr Jones’ and ‘Kingpin’ also featured, with ‘Lightning Bolt’ closing his final performance of the day. “Enjoy Arctic Monkeys, and have a brilliant weekend” he added, before leaving the stage.
Southampton trio Band of Skulls closed the Festival Republic Stage, airing the title track from their recent album ‘Himalayan’, as well as another new track ‘Hoochie Cootchie’. “This next one is an old song of ours,” said frontman Russell Marsden introducing ‘Sweet Sour’. “Let’s see what you’ve really got Reading.” ‘I Know What I Am’ followed, as part of a set that also included ‘The Devil Takes Care Of Its Own’ and ‘Bruises’.
Coming onto the 1Xtra Stage shortly before 9pm, Pusha T championed Kanye West’s GOOD Music collective as the group behind “the hardest records in hip-hop” as he headlined tonight’s BBC Radio 1Xtra stage in Reading, performing tracks from his 2013 ‘My Name Is My Name’ album.
The Bronx rapper was met by chants of “King Push” as he took to the stage, swiftly working through hits including ‘Hold On’ and ‘Suicide’, before performing a string of guest verses from tracks by Kanye West (‘So Appauled’, ‘Runaway’), Chief Keef (‘Don’t Like’) and Future ‘Move That Dope’. “Let me be clear…GOOD Music is not to be fucked with,” He concluded the performance with recent single ‘Numbers On The Board’ and ’40 Acres’.
Chvrches arrived on the NME/Radio 1 stage for their 7.30pm set, launching straight into ‘We Sink’ from last year’s debut album ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’. Their breakout hit ‘Lies’ was up next, followed by ‘By The Throat’.
“This is our second Reading Festival and it’s great to see you all,” singer Lauren Mayberry told the crowd. “It’s great to see actual humans…It’s incredible being on the same line-up and Arctic Monkeys and Queens Of The Stone Age. We’re always like, ‘Is this a typo?'” Introducing their most “downbeat” song, they then played ‘Tether’ before set highlight ‘The Mother We Share’ closed the set.
Imagine Dragons arrived on the Main Stage for their hour-long evening performance, which featured tracks from their 2012 album ‘Night Visions’. Kicking off their set with ‘Fallen’, the Las Vegas five-piece rolled into ‘Tiptoe’. Ahead of the latter, frontman Dan Reynolds screamed: “Reading! We’ve missed you. It feels great to be back at one of the best festivals in the entire world.” He then proceeded to run down to the front of the crowd and slap their hands as he strutted along the stage barrier.
“We played Reading on a smaller stage earlier [in our careers] so seeing a crowd of this size is a little overwhelming and I’m a little nervous but thank you for having us,” admitted Reynolds.
Before the band launched into ‘It’s Time’, he also told the audience: “Can I make a confession? Somebody told me I say thank you too much at shows earlier this week and it wasn’t rock ‘n’ roll enough. So I was considering not saying anything today but I don’t care. This is incredible I don’t give a damn. We were playing in bars a couple of years ago and now we’re playing to a huge crowd. Bands spend years doing this and get nowhere…So I want to say thank you.”
Finishing up with a volley of hits including ‘On Top Of The World’, ‘Demons’ and single ‘Radioactive’, Reynolds announced that the band were returning to the studio to complete their second album. He added: “Reading thank you so much for having us. We’re going to go away for a while and hopefully finish off a second album. We’ll hopefully see you next year.”
Gesaffelstein performed on the BBC Radio 1 Dance stage just after 6pm, playing a number of tracks from last year’s ‘Aleph’, along with remixes of Gunrose’s ‘Diesel’ and The Hacker’s ‘Shockwave. The French DJ, real name Mike Levy, who produced tracks on Kanye West‘s ‘Yeezus’, finished his set with an extended mix of ‘Control Movement’ from his 2011 album ‘Bromance #1’ and ‘Depravity’ from ‘Bromance #4’.
Circa Waves played a well-received evening set on the Festival Republic stage, which saw singer Kieran Shuddall praise the crowd for singing along to tracks including ‘Good For Me’ and ‘Young Chasers’. However, the Liverpool fourpiece briefly had to pause the gig as security told them to finish early due to time constraints. After a brief discussion, they managed to convince the festival staff to let them return, playing a frenetic version of ‘Stuck In My Teeth’ to the audience.
Earlier, Foster The People took to the Main Stage shortly before 5.30pm for their 50-minute set. Frontman Mark Foster’s band performed tracks from their 2011 debut ‘Torches’ and recent album ‘Supermodel’, including ‘Call It What You Want’, ‘Coming Of Age’ and ‘Miss You’. Launching into the latter, Foster hailed the crowd, saying: “How you doing Reading? We’ve played this festival more than any other festival. This is our third time here so thank you very much.”
The band’s 2011 breakthrough hit ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ preceded set closer ‘Don’t Stop’, after which finished Foster thanked the crowd and threw his guitar to the floor.
The Hives played a late afternoon set on the Main Stage, with fans stretching back as far as the nearby Dance Stage. After two songs, frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist told the audience: “We’re going to play and play till you can’t stand, and you can’t stand still, are you ready?”
Their set consisted of songs from their five albums, including ‘Walk Idiot Walk’, ‘See Through Head’, ‘Main Offender’, and an extended ‘Tick Tick Boom’. Their biggest hit ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’ closed the set, with Almqvist telling the audience: “I think you’ll come to realise that the last 15 minutes of our set was the best 15 minutes of the whole festival. If it’s not now, maybe later, maybe next week, but you will realise soon enough.”
North London quartet Wolf Alice made their Reading Festival debut this afternoon, arriving on the Festival Republic stage just before 4.30pm. Dressed in matching white outfits, the band launched into ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ as the tent filled out to near capacity. The set mixed tracks from their recent ‘Creature Songs’ EP and last year’s ‘Blush’ EP with unreleased tracks ‘Lighters’ and ‘The Jam’, which have been recurrent features in their live shows this year. They also covered Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’, segueing it into ‘Blush’.
The band brought their set to a close with their first two singles, ‘Bros’ and ‘Fluffy’, the latter of which saw bassist Theo Ellis jump off stage and into the crowd. Joining the rest of his bandmates back on stage, the four-piece then ditched their instruments to take selfies in front of the crowd.
Cage The Elephant played a high-energy late afternoon set on the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage, during which singer Matt Shultz strutted the catwalk at the front of the stage and dived into the crowd. Playing a setlist spanning all three of their albums, the singer also stood on guitarist Brad Shultz’s shoulders during ‘Aberdeen’. Introducing ‘Take It Or Leave It’, Schultz asked the crowd: “Reading we’d like to have a dance party. Is that cool with you guys?” which was met with huge cheers before the band wrapped up their set with ‘Come A Little Closer’.
Peace made their first appearance on the Main Stage at Reading. Coming on stage just after 3pm, the Birmingham band opened their set with former single ‘Lovesick’, swiftly following it with new track ‘Money’. Frontman Harry Koisser, who wore a matching black and white houndstooth jumper and trousers with a brown fur coat, told the crowd during the next track ‘Higher Than The Sun’: “Has anybody ever told you to clap?” before leading fans in a clap-along to close the track.
Later, after playing ‘Lost On Me’, the singer said: “It means a lot to see so many of you here. It’s beautiful.” The band then launched into ‘Float Forever’ from their 2013 debut album ‘In Love’. ‘World Pleasure’ followed before Peace wrapped things up with ‘Bloodshake’. “We’ve one song left then we’re going to pop off,” Koisser said beforehand, adding during the song “Reading, we’ll be back as soon as we can. Maybe the sun will be down a bit, like at night.”
Jake Bugg surprised fans with a secret acoustic set this afternoon (August 23) on the BBC Introducing stage. Billed as a special guest, BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stevens introduced the Nottingham-born musician to the stage at 2.40pm. Bugg played a six-song set featuring tracks from his 2012 self-titled debut and its 2013 follow up ‘Shangri-La’ ahead of his warm-up slot on the Main Stage later on this evening. Read the full report here.
Over on the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage, Royal Blood drew that tent’s biggest crowd of the weekend so far, with fans assembling outside the tent in order to hear their set. The Brighton duo drew a capacity crowd to their 2.25pm afternoon set, previewing material from their self-titled debut album, which is due out on Monday (August 25).
The band barely spoke to the audience throughout their half hour performance, showcasing singles ‘Come On Over’ and ‘Figure It Out’ early on, with both garnering huge sing-alongs from the packed crowd.
Dry The River kicked off their 2pm Main Stage set with two songs from their forthcoming second album ‘Alarms In The Heart’: ‘Hidden Hand’ and ‘Med School’. ‘New Ceremony’ and ‘Lion’s Den’ from their 2012 debut LP ‘Shallow Bed’ were both greeted with huge cheers, as was closer ‘Weights & Measures’. “We’re all from Newbury and used to come here as a kids, so to be playing here is mad,” said frontman Peter Liddle. “Thanks for coming out. It means the world to us.”
Danish electro singer MØ began her afternoon set in the BBC Radio 1 Dance tent singing in the wings as her band took their places. “Reading!” she yelled as she ran on-stage and launched into ‘Maiden’. Later on in the set, she began singing ‘Slow Love’ a cappella but was then joined by her guitarist, drummer and synth instrumentalist, recreating the sound of recent album ‘No Mythologies To Follow’. The biggest cheers came after a cover of the Spice Girls’ ‘Say You’ll Be There’, which she finished off with a quick crowd-surf before closing the set with ‘Don’t Wanna Dance’.
Playing their second successive Reading Festival, Lonely The Brave kicked off their set on the NME stage at 12.40pm. The Cambridge five-piece, whose forthcoming debut album ‘The Day’s War’ is due out next week (September 1), said they were thrilled to see a large crowd filling the tent. “You have no idea how much this means to us,” guitarist Mark Trotter said, “So thanks for coming.” The anthemic rock band then launched into their set, performing singles including ‘Backroads’, ‘Trick Of The Light’ and ‘The Victory Line’.
Pulled Apart By Horses paid tribute to “seven-foot ginger sexy bastard” Josh Homme while previewing songs from upcoming third album ‘Blood’ during their Main Stage performance this afternoon. The Leeds band included new tracks ‘Medium Rare’ and ‘Lizard Baby’ in a lively set during which frontman Tom Hudson took a moment to commend Queens Of The Stone Age on their Friday evening headline set. “Did anyone see those guys last night?” he asked the crowd, some of whom were dressed in horse costumes especially for the Yorkshire group’s performance. “Fucking incredible.”
The band also played a cover of The Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ following fan favourites ‘Meat Balloon’ and ‘VENOM’. “We first played here six years ago on the BBC Introducing Stage, that weird spaceship-looking thing over there,” Hudson told the crowd. “We never thought we’d make it up here,” he said of their debut Main Stage appearance today.
Closing with 2010 single ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’, Hudson moved his microphone down from the stage to the crowd barrier, motioning for fans to start a circle pit. As their set drew to a violent, noisy conclusion, guitarist James Brown leapt into the audience, crowd-surfing as feedback rung out.
DZ Deathrays opened up the NME/Radio 1 Stage, coming on at 11.50am to a small but receptive crowd. Sporting a Fidlar band t-shirt, frontman Shane Parsons thanked the crowd for being there. “Thanks for coming out to see us,” he said. “I know it’s hard getting out of bed to come and see bands but we appreciate it.” The Australian duo, who recently signed to Infectious Records to release their second album, ‘Black Rat’ (August 18), raced through their short set accompanied by a third guitar player for the first half. They played ‘Less Out Of Sync’, ‘The Mess Up’ and early singles ‘Dollar Chills’, among others.
Brighton-based trio Gnarwolves opened the Main Stage at midday with a rowdy set during which pockets of the crowd formed circle pits. The band played a number of songs from their early EPs alongside two tracks from their self-titled debut album, which is due out on September 15. These included ‘Smoking Kills’ and ‘Hate Me (Don’t Stand Still)’. Introducing the latter, Weeks thanked promoters at the Reading Festival for their support: “For some reason we’ve come from pubs to this. A lot of bands can’t and should do.”
Before they performed ‘We Want The Whip’, Weeks joked: “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to play in front of this many people and go, “Boom boom boom, everybody sing wahoy“, referencing The Outhere Brothers’ 1995 Number One hit ‘Boom Boom Boom’, to which the crowd chanted back “wahoy“. The trio then finished up with ‘Tongue Surfer’ and ‘Limerence’.
Yesterday, Queens of The Stone Age headlined the main stage, while Gerard Way made his debut solo festival appearance. Jamie T played a surprise set and the day also saw performances from Paramore, Vampire Weekend, Metronomy, Enter Shikari, Warpaint, Drenge and Brody Dalle amongst others. Read the full report here.