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Live review

Reading Festival 2012 

Richfield Avenue, Reading

added: 2 Sep 2012 // gig date: 26 Aug 2012
reviewer: Emily Gandolfi

Reading Festival 2012 - Richfield Avenue, Reading - Printable version
With the rain just managing to hold off we looked forwards to three days of an abandoned musical bliss.
Soon to be heavyweights, We Are Augustines, warmed up the audience at the Republic Stage with a heart-felt performance, as did The Courteeners, Graham Coxon and The Hives at the NME Radio 1 Stage.

At the main stage a young audience was introduced to a mixture of old and new sounds with You Me At Six leaving their impression with a frantic performance culminating with the crowd having to swing an article of clothing above their heads, a beautiful sight.

One of my main highlights of the day followed, the underrated Bombay Bicycle Club, clearly confirming that this North London four-piece has far more to say than the average band.

A few words must be spent on tonight’s headline act who brought us crashing nostalgically into the past whilst at the same time giving the juvenile element of the crowd a worthy history lesson in music. With Robert Smith in traditional frizzy hair and dark make-up The Cure captured the crowd taking them deep into their murky bass driven world with old classics coming hard and fast. But all too soon we were led into a more modern and experimental phase where the gig seemed to fester. Luckily the whole journey ended with another flashback leaving us with ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ ringing in our ears looking forwards to an indie fuelled Saturday.

A cloudy day welcomed many surprising performances the best of which was definitely Azelia Banks who involved and energised the gathered throng thanks to an incredible voice and moves on the Dance Stage.
Rain then ensued as we ran for cover at the NME tent where we were held to ransom by progressive metalers Mastodon, although after the first 30 minutes they did finally warm to me.
Another surprising but brilliant performance was delivered by Jarman trio The Cribs who blew away the crowd and quite literally all their instruments with a destructive finale leaving the gathered mass wanting for nothing even throwing the bass drum into the sweaty mass.

Great performances by Florence and The Machine and The Vaccines, who presented their new album ‘The Vaccines Come Of Age’ were well received. Kasabian ended Saturday night’s festivities giving a satisfactory performance but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Overall a great day.

Sunday couldn’t have started better bringing with it some welcome sunshine and an unexpected wake-up call from secret guests Green Day.
The Californian punk-rockers hypnotised the crowd transmitting a strong and constant supply of energy especially Billie Joe who clearly knows what a frontman should do. As he said “This is not a party, it’s a f**king celebration!”
After their hour and twenty minute set I could safely say that I’d seen the best band of the day and possibly the weekend, a first before midday.

In the NME tent The Horrors gave it their all as did Two Door Cinema Club who had the whole tent under their young bouncy spell.
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On the main stage the Black Keys seemed to fall victim to the soundman as muffed drums and guitars took the edge of an otherwise inspired set.

A perfect festival ends with a perfect performance... cue Foo Fighters who never seemed to put a foot wrong. A crowd pleasing mix of their greatest hits delivered over two hours that included various dedications to family and friends a nice touch from rock’s most loved frontman.

Three days of festival can be gruelling but thanks to quality band, music and organisation 2012 will be one to remember.

Photo credit: Marco Gandolfi - Music News

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4 stars

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