Foals, Chase And Status, Jake Bugg and Palma Violets also played the second day of the festival as the heavens opened at Richfield Avenue
The second day of Reading Festival 2013 has closed after Eminem headlined the Main Stage.
The rapper was joined by an eight piece band, as he came on stage 15 minutes later than scheduled and was unveiled by a large grey curtain dropping to reveal him and his band. Opening with new track ‘Survival’, he prowled around the stage in a camouflage print jacket and jeans as he made his return to the festival 12 years after he performed in 2001. For more on that, read the full report. Earlier, Chase and Status were forced to keep stopping their set after the crowd surged towards the barrier down the front. For more, read the full report.
Meanwhile, Alt-J closed out the NME Radio 1 stage with a triumphant headline set. The band gave new song ‘Warm Foothills’ its UK debut, and also covered College’s ‘A Real Hero’, which featured in the Ryan Gosling film ‘Drive’, during their set. “This weekend’s our last weekend of festivals this summer,” said keyboardist Gus Unger Hamilton. “It’s been incredible, thank you so much.” Before the band played ‘Fitzpleasure’ he added: “They say Reading’s the best festival ever, here’s your chance to prove it.”
Shortly before, Jake Bugg played a series of new tracks during his set including ‘Me And You’ and ‘Broken’ along with his cover of Neil Young’s ‘Hey Hey, My My (Out Of The Black)’. Coming on to the sound of Robert Johnson’s ‘Cross Road Blues’ the singer also performed hit singles ‘Two Fingers’ and ‘Lightning Bolt’. Over on the Festival Republic stage, Savages made their return to the festival for the second time after they made their debut last year. “Hello kids,” deadpanned singer Jehnny Beth as the band slinked on to the stage. The austere gothic post-punk group delivered a fiercely spiky set despite some of their crowd being undoubtedly pulled away by Main Stage headliner Eminem. ‘I Need Something New’ – a relatively new track not included on the band’s debut LP ‘Silence Yourself’ – drew a loud ovation as did another non-LP track, ‘Fuckers’, with Beth’s spoken word intro stating: “This song is called ‘Fuckers’. It’s for all the motherfuckers who will enter your house, they will try to sleep with your wife, they will try to eat your food… They are fuckers.” They also played intense and energetic versions of more familiar songs including ‘No Face’, ‘City’s Full’ and ‘She Will’ before closing with an excoriating ‘Husbands’.
Earlier, Foals played an action packed hour long show on the Main Stage, with a set that included ‘Spanish Sahara’, ‘My Number’ and ‘Inhaler’, which frontman Yannis Philippakis introduced by saying, “We wanna see you go absolutely fucking apeshit.” The crowd complied. Yannis also admitted that Reading was his favourite festival, saying, “We absolutely adore this festival and that’s because of the crowd. This is the best festival in the world.” He explained that playing the festival meant a lot to them, as being from Oxford, it was their local festival. “We waited a long time to play this stage,” he said. “We’re from down the road, so it means a lot.” Yannis crowdsurfed whilst playing the guitar and also climbed a stack of monitors during the gig.
At the Festival Republic stage, Tim Burgess performed a downbeat rendition of The Charlatans’ classic ‘The Only One I Know’ during his solo set. It comes just 11 days after drummer Jon Brookes passed away after losing his battle with a brain tumour. Burgess recently wrote a blog for NME as a tribute to the late sticksman, but he made no reference to his death as he played their early single. The singer also performed a series of tracks from his recent album ‘Oh No I Love You’, including ‘Tobacco Fields’, ‘Hours’ and ‘The Economy’.
Chance The Rapper paid tribute to his hometown hero Kanye West during his debut Reading Festival set. The Chicagoan rapper, who made his name with his acclaimed ‘Acid Rap’ mixtape, asked the crowd at the BBC 1Xtra stage, “Make some noise if you like Kanye. And not just new Kanye — old Kanye. Make some noise if you like ‘College Dropout’,” before covering West’s ‘All Fall Down’. ‘College Dropout’ is the album Chance credits with getting him into hip-hop. During his half-hour set, Chance, accompanied by DJ Oreo, encouraged the crowd to participate in tracks such as ‘Brain Cells’, ‘Pusha Man’ and, finally, ‘Fuck You Tahm Bout’.
On the NME Radio 1 stage, Johnny Marr treated the crowd to a bevy of The Smiths’ classics, with the guitarist leading a sing-a-long version of ‘Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before’ early in his set. Marr also played ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ and ‘How Soon Is Now?’ as well a cover of The Clash’s ‘I Fought The Law’. “So how’s Reading this year?” he asked the crowd and, when met with loud cheers, simply responded, “Cool.” Other tracks included material from his debut solo LP ‘The Messenger’ such as ‘Generate, Generate’, ‘The Right Thing Right’ and ‘Upstarts’, and he signed off with a rousing rendition of ‘There Is A Light’, which he dedicated to Palma Violets.
The south London band’s late-afternoon set on the same stage as Marr found them in a jubilant and celebratory mood. “This is a really special festival, do you know that?” bassist Chilli Jesson told the crowd, “We all met here four years ago at a campsite called Yellow 7. Is there anyone here in Yellow 7?” A riotous ‘Best Of Friends’ followed, in which he bashed William Doyle’s drum kit with his bass and then hurled a bottle of water into the audience. Other songs in Palma Violets’ set included ‘Chicken Dippers’, ‘Rattlesnake Highway’ and ‘Tom The Drum’, while they finished with a chaotic version of ’14’ which saw the band’s friend Harry Violent invited onstage and Jesson launch himself into the crowd for an epic stage dive.
White Lies, meanwhile, pulled a big crowd to the Main Stage for their afternoon set. The West London trio, who were bolstered by two extra band members onstage, showcased tracks from their new album ‘Big TV’ against a black and white backdrop of the album cover, including ‘There Goes Our Love Again’ and the LP’s title track. They also played hits from their debut ‘To Lose My Life’ and their second album ‘Ritual’, including ‘Death’, ‘Farewell To The Fairground’ and ‘Bigger Than Us’.
Earlier, Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, The Creator braved the rain to bring their EarlWolf project to the festival’s Main Stage as the heavens opened. The Odd Future rappers showcased material from their solo albums and frequently addressed the crowd between songs. At one point, before playing Tyler’s ‘Tron Cat’, the duo challenged the crowd to make the biggest circle pit they could, resulting in numerous walls of death throughout the field. Later, they picked out an audience member dressed as a baboon, getting the festival film crews to film him on the big screens. Elsewhere in their set, they singled out one audience member for being “in his ’60s”, before Tyler jumped off the stage to shake hands with fans down the front row.
Drenge drew a huge crowd as they took the opportunity to showcase a new track during their early-afternoon slot on the Festival Republic stage. “As a bit of a treat for you, we’re going to play a song not on our record for you,” drawled frontman Eoin Loveless before delivering the sludgy, sinister ‘Running Wild’, which boasted a less thrashy, more melodious sound than their previous material. Otherwise, he and his brother Rory chose to keep stage-patter to a minimum as they raced through tracks from their recently-released self-titled debut LP including ‘Dogmeat’, ‘I Want To Break You In Half’ and a ferocious ‘Backwaters’ which saw fans gleefully flaunting the no crowdsurfing signs inside the tent. They finished with a raucous, extended version of ‘Face Like A Skull’ and left the stage with feedback still ringing out.
Later, Swim Deep played to a packed tent, as fans spilled out from under the canvas to catch a glimpse of the Birmingham band. Playing tracks off of their recently released debut album ‘Where The Heaven Are We’, the group, led by singer Austin Williams, opened with ‘Francisco’ before launching into the first mass sing-a-long of their set with ‘Honey’. Later, the quartet — bolstered by live keyboardist James Balmont — treated the crowd to their version of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’. They wrapped up their set with debut single ‘King City’, which prompted a huge response from the audience and saw Williams climb the lighting rigging to salute the watching fans.
It was a similar story for the 1975, as many fans were unable to get into the Festival Republic stage as they took to the stage. With a crowd 20 deep outside the tent, the Manchester group played songs from their forthcoming self-titled debut album, including ‘The City’. The group thanked fans for coming to see them, saying, “It really means a lot” before giving Swim Deep a shout out. They then closed their set with crowd-pleasing singles ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Sex’
Earlier in the day, at the NME/Radio 1 stage, London four-piece Childhood greeted early revellers for the first of two shows ahead of their headline set tonight (August 24) on the BBC Introducing stage. During their debut performance at the festival, frontman Ben Romans-Hopcraft gave a shout out to a member of the crowd who recently received her GCSE results at the start of ‘Blue Velvet’. The newcomers, who recently supported Palma Violets, played a host of tracks including ‘Solemn Skies’ and ‘Mount Chiliad’. During the latter Romans-Hopcraft joked, “How’s it going? How was last night? Did you get fucked up? Did you do that? Typical.” Wrapping up their first set of the day with ‘Bond Girls’, the singer declared, “It’s been an honour. Thank you. Enjoy the rest of your day.”
Speaking after the set, Romans-Hopcraft told NME, “We just feel honoured to play. I know its cliched but I genuinely feel honoured to play at places we used to see our favourite bands when we were kids. Whatever fucking slot we have it’s great. He also joked, “We’re also playing at the same time as Eminem tonight but everyone should come and see us instead.”
Meanwhile, the Main Stage was opened by Mallory Knox, with fans at home campaigning for their set to be live streamed as part of the BBC’s coverage. Using the hashtag #livestreammalloryknox, frustrated fans tweeted demands for the Cambridge rock band’s performance to be shown online but were not successful.
North London group Theme Park followed Childhood on the NME/Radio 1 stage playing songs from their self-titled debut album, such as ‘Jamaica’ and closer ‘Two Hours’, whilst Lower Than Atlantis and former Metronomy member Night Works are also amongst those to have performed early sets on the second day of the festival.
Eminem will headline day two of Reading Festival tonight, making his first appearance at the event since his headlining appearance with D12 in 2001. Other artists set to perform across the day include Tame Impala, Alt-J and Jake Bugg.