Reading plagued with poor sound - again

Arctic Monkeys, The Prodigy barely audible on main stage

Photographer:Sara Bowrey

Daniel Fahey, Alex Fahey - 30 August 2009

For the third year in a row, festival-goers were left disappointed with the volumes for the headline show.

Chants of “turn it up,” drowned out the whimpering volumes to the right of the stage in the main arena with many fans leaving to watch The Gossip in the Radio 1/NME Stage or Rise Against in the Lock Up Tent.

“I was stood below the sound desk, I shouldn’t be able to hear everybody talking around me,” moaned Nathan from Cardiff to Virtual Festivals, “I went to the bar instead.”

The story is becoming a familiar tale for festival organisers with fans complaining about poor main stage volumes for Rage Against The Machine last year and Red Hot Chili Peppers back in 2007.

Arctic Monkeys
started their set with ‘Humbug’ opener ‘My Propeller’ followed by the now obligatory Nick Cave cover of ‘Red Right Hand’.

“We’re Arctic Monkeys, hello,”
was the first interjection from Alex Tuner, who choose to remain quiet in between many of the songs, jokingly saying, “have we got time for one more?”

Latest single ‘Crying Lightening’ was given an early airing but it was following the track that chants of “turn it up,” began to ring around the audience, as they would continue through the rest of the set.  

The best received songs are those from the debut album with ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, ‘Still Take You Home’ and ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ all getting large applause.

“We’re going to take it down now Reading,”
Turner said before ‘Cornerstone adding, “We’re going to take it even lower now,” before ‘The Only Ones Who Know’.

The encore of ‘Secret Door’ and ‘505’ brought the set to a close.  “Thank you Reading.  You’ve been…exceptional,” Turner concluded.

Earlier on The Prodigy had tried to get the crowd going but were also troubled with poor sound levels. “Reading, are you on fire?” shouted Keith Flint as the band went into 'World's On Fire' before going straight in to ‘Breathe’.

Keith Flint
dressed in red trousers and white vest, jumped boundlessly around the stage, grabbing at the television cameras and staring into them.  

A mid-set airing of ‘Firestarter’ kept the crowd buoyant but left Flint asking, “are you still here?” But new song ‘Take Me To The Hospital’ got the biggest reaction of the night apart from set ender ‘Out Of Space’ which was drowned out by the chorus of fans singing in the audience.

Reading Festival 2009
continues today with sets from Radiohead and Bloc Party.


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