Day two – a slight hangover, a craving for Mexican food and lashings of rain. These are the things that kept me sane during the Saturday at Reading.
FIVE: CELEB SPOTTING
The one day of the festival that I’m completely unprepared for celebrity encounters is, typically, the day I come within touching distance of a fair few of them. I’m around 97% sure that we passed Matty Healy from The 1975 as we enter the campsite. Obviously, I’m clutching a free pack of Ritz crackers and gawping after him whilst my best friend fixes me with a concerned glance, completely oblivious. The early afternoon finds me next to Blitz Kids singer, Joe James, in the queue for the bar. After a few minutes of internally debating whether or not it is him, I chicken out of talking to him and, instead, down my mini bottle of rose as quickly as possible. The most priceless reaction of the day, however, is near the main stage later that evening. My best friend and I see the one and only Josh Francheschi walking past us – he clocks that my best friend is wearing a Cavalier Youth shirt, grins at her and carries on walking. I’m not lying to you when I say I practically had to scrape her off of the ground afterwards. We then spent a good few minutes staring wistfully after his girlfriend who, quite frankly, has the most beautiful hair I’ve ever seen on a human being. Note to self: actually say hi to people next time you’re at a festival, Lorna, and put the fangirl away in her little box for the weekend.
FOUR: INSERT A SINGALONG HERE
I love a catchy chorus more than anything in the world. Why do you think I was such a big S Club 7 fan growing up? They had hooks for days! Today is the day of the crowd singalong and I’m more than happy to have been a part of it. Lower Than Atlantis’ set is particularly noteable here – whilst new songs Here We Go and English Kids in America prove that they’re going to crush the world with their new album, the sweetest singalong of the day comes during Another Sad Song. There are lighters and phones held aloft and your heart warms, just slightly, before you remind yourself that you don’t actually know the words, but you continue to sway enthusiastically from side to side anyway. The other kings of the singalong? Don freakin’ Broco, of course! Priorities, as always, gets a rave reception and closer You Wanna Know has the packed tent explode in excitement – circle pits, people on shoulders, drunken friends clutching on to each other and screaming along passionately – you name it, it’s in their set. With confirmation that we can expect a new Broco album soon, too, this year is shaping up to be pretty fantastic for British rock music (and radio-friendly choruses!)
THREE: IS THIS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE ON LSD?
I’m going to have to keep this paragraph brief because, quite frankly, I’m still processing this event in my mind. What event, you ask? Die Antwoord live, obviously. I’d never heard of the South African rappers before we saw their set. My best friend gingerly leant over and warned me: “they’re a bit weird and everyone in here will probably be on something” – I’m pretty sure she was right. At first glance, the pair seem like they should be a poorly constructed Eurovision act. Then they open their mouths and everything goes absolutely mental. If you can, I implore you to look it up on iPlayer. If not, you can get a taste of their completely unclassifiable music here.
TWO: FRONTMAN OR NO FRONTMAN?
Cambridge gents Lonely The Brave have got everyone talking, haven’t they? They’re supposed to be the next big thing in British rock music and, with everyone I know having seen them already, it was finally my turn to get to grips with their live show. The crowd present clearly weren’t first-timers and knew most of the words, which was a little intimidating. The best word to describe the show? Intense. Turns out that singer, David Jakes, isn’t a frontman. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed frontmen and women most, so to see a band where the guitarist takes the crowd participation solely into his hands, like Mark Trotter does, was something very, very new indeed. Jakes swigs from a bottle of water between songs and makes no contact with the band nor the audience throughout the set. He’s by far one of the most interesting singers I’ve ever witnessed, you can feel every note rolling off of him, his eyes are closed and he’s in his own world entirely. The audience are there for the ride. Does this stop Lonely the Brave being one of the best British bands in recent memory? Not a chance. They were absolutely stunning and, with their debut album due out on Monday, you need to check them out ASAP.
ONE: THAT’S WHAT I CALL A ROCK SHOW
One word to sum up Saturday: Marmozets. If you’ll excuse my language, the Bingley quartet tore the place a new one. We caught them on their first set of the day in the NME tent (they also played The Pit later that afternoon) and I can honestly say that they’ve got serious rock star quality. Frontwoman Becca Macintyre is absolutely captivating and I could watch her all day. She moves around the stage like a woman possessed, contorting her body in ways I didn’t even think was possible, whilst alternating between roaring and crooning into her microphone. The band overall are a joy to behold – two sets of siblings from the North sure knew how to show the South a good time. From stadium rock anthem Captivate You to loved single Why Do You Hate Me? and new album material like Is It Horrible? the band have everyone paying attention to them. During closer, Move Shake Hide, their true rock’n’roll qualities come out. Whilst Becca continues to command the stage, the Bottomley brothers and Sam Macintyre throw themselves into the crowd, before drummer Josh Macintyre ends their set by hurling his bass drum across the stage. The Marmozets stroll off one after the other, aware of the mayhem they’ve just created. Take a bow, lady and gents, you were unmissable.
Who did you guys see on Saturday? Do you have any tips for talking to your idols without drooling all down yourself? Any help is greatly appreciated – head over to the comments to contribute!