United Kingdom | 24 August 2008
'Go Faster' greeted a sparse but enthusiastic crowd as the Manic Street Preachers set about rekindling past glories during
their Saturday night headline set in the Radio 1/NME tent.
"Welcome to the fifth Reading for us", said singer James Hatfield before launching into 'Your
'Motorcyle Emptiness' proved the night's first rabble-rouser, the overwhelmingly male
crowd delighted by Nicky Wire's onstage high jinks.
The newer songs stood up though, with tracks from latest album
'Send Away The Tigers' complimenting classic like 'If You Tolerate This'.
The finale of 'Design
For Life' appears life affirming for many. The band leave the audience to sing the words back to them, a testimony
to the Welshmen's continuing appeal.
Earlier on, Seasick Steve admitted his surprise to being so
highly billed after appearing in last year's smaller Carling tent.
"We ain't got no hit songs,
we ain't on the radio", he said. "I thought they'd made a mistake putting us in this tent."
vast audience suggested otherwise as Steve introduced his son on percussion for 'Hobo Low', before serenading a girl
from the crowd and singing an ode to the drink Thunderbird.
Annoucing a new album release for September, he
asked the crowd: "Will you buy it? Will you make me a pop star?" But it's clear they already think
so as the bearded bluesman breaks into the whirlwind repetition of 'Doghouse Blues'.
made their live return during their afternoon set, singer Blaine Harrison telling a capacity audience: "It's
good to be playing again."
Noting their recent festival cancellations
due to illness, the band mixed hits from their two albums, including recent smash 'Two Doors Down' and 'Flakes',
which sparked a mass swaying of hands.
While Laura Marling could not make it to join the band on 'Young Love',
We Are Scientists singer Keith Murray helped out on backing vocals just minutes before he was due on
the Main Stage.
One of their oldest songs 'Zoo Time' closed the uplifting set, with Blaine exiting on crutches
to tumultuous applause.
Earlier on, Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong explained why they scrapped
their album and are set to re-record it.
"We pulled our record, it was just recorded too long ago",
singer Joe Lean admitted. "We were young then."
He also promised to join
the crowd to watch next act Santogold before the band finished on a rousing 'Baby'.