Reading and Leeds Festival: more line-up reaction

By jj on 31 March 2010

So there we all were, expecting Festival Republic to break yet another one of their promises and deliver a line up announcement that would be too mainstream for V Festival. We tuned into Radio 1. We listened to the Zane Lowe bore us for a bit and then he started rambling on like a child on LSD about which bands were being announced and you know what, it wasn’t as bad as we all thought, or was it?

Once you have the full line-up in front of you on a screen, the announcement makes sense and looks reasonable. Certainly a better attempt than in previous years for sure. Let’s not fool ourselves though; Reading Festival is no longer a rock festival. Sure, having a stage showcasing the finest in punk is a nice touch and having a few bands here and there that don’t feature heavily on the BBC stations is a welcome break, especially if it is from Fearne Cotton drilling crap into your head.

Let’s not get carried away though eh?

Weezer, Queens of the Stone Age and Cypress Hill are the real gems. Dizzee, NOFX, Gogol Bordello, Pendulum, Biffy Clyro, We Are Scientists, Gaslight Anthem and Limp Bizkit would also be a good listen. Heck, I might even give Axl and Arcade Fire a chance. Look past the bands I mentioned and you’re in a sea of crap mundane predictability. Bands are not there because they deserve to be there but bands that will ensure a sell out to mindless knuckle dragging kids that rely on mummy and her rich hubby to get a MyHab or whatever the frick they are called!

Getting caught up in the hype will make you think I’m a bit of a tosser, which in fairness is a pretty accurate description. However anyone that tells me that the comedic duo of Paramore and Blink 182 are eligible to finish off what was once the greatest rock festival around deserves to be put into a MyHab before I set it alight. Libertines subbing? Was the decision made by a person who shadows Doherty’s every move with a £5 note? Klaxons headlining the NME/Radio 1 tent? I’m struggling to find a witty metaphor for this one (yeah yeah yeah, I struggle all the time). Suffice to say it’s what hell would feel like, on a bad day, with only Bovril to drink and Twiglets to eat. There are so many repeats, they might as well call the NME/Radio 1 Tent, “Dave”.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, it’s certainly a step in the right direction (which in fairness was pretty easy), but there are the Lock Up acts to be announced. The best feature of the festival for many (myself included). A stage that show bands with a thirst for playing, a passion for music and more lumberjack shirts than... er... a lumberjack would have (sorry). A stage that exhibits bands that have the same drive that the main stage acts of Reading Festival used to have.

Look who we got closing the festival: a trio of tits (as good a drummer as Travis is, he’s still a tit) talking about poop, sex with mothers and naughty words. If I wanted to listen to that, I’d have just watched “Total Recall” at my mate Oz’s house. People say Blink 182 would get the crowd going. A fart in a coconut husk could get the crowd going. Before GLC opened the main stage a few years back, a chap with gaffer tape got the crowd worked up more than most bands on stage that day by simply gaffer taping down several leads and wires.

It feels like Reading was so close to putting one firm step forward but those two weak acts closing the festival means it’s taken two large steps back. Yeah yeah, we all know it has sold out and that Blink 182 will undoubtedly make lots of prepubescent idiots jump up and down in unison (who all sport identical attire in the hope of being individual) but so what? I want bands with a passion for music, a desire to make good music, I want to know that a band will still play music even if they didn’t get multi-million dollar record deals. I don’t want bands like Paramore who gained fame for having a female front singer who looks like the sort of girl who’d sell her virginity on eBay to get onto a course at Uni.

With what we have seen so far, will Reading Festival 2010 be remembered for years to come as a great rock festival? No, no it won’t. There’s still time though to prove me wrong. Maybe a special guest slot? Maybe Refused and Bad Religion play Lock Up? Maybe Pete, Tom, Carl, Mark, Hayley and Travis all share a MyHab which mysteriously burns down with them in it? So looking at the line-up initially, you might have given it a ten out of ten, take a step back and look at the guff and you might have given it a five, but then you realise the quality of the good acts, and the possibility of a stellar lock up line up, and it gets easily push to a seven.

This article is dedicated to Kemmel, Anders and Pinkie_182 for liking the worst band to ever headline Reading Festival. Ever.

Janusz Jasinski
http://www.strictlyreading.co.uk

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