Radiohead play career-spanning Reading set

Bloc Party, Gallows, Yeah Yeah Yeahs close festival

Photographer:Shirlaine Forrest

Daniel Fahey, Alex Fahey, Alison Kerry, Dean Samways - 31 August 2009

“Wassuup!” was how Thom Yorke chose to greet one of the largest crowds gathered for the Main Stage before the bad crashed into ‘Creep’ from their debut album.  ‘The National Anthem’ ensured the energy levels were kept high as an excitable Yorke danced into the microphone and ’15 Steps’ maintained the dance-y feel  in the early part of the set.

Enthusiastic responses were given for ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’ and ‘Karma Police’ before Colin Greenwood experienced sound problems, “Colin’s going to get drunk now because his pedal went ‘Pah!’  It’s the way it is with us boys,” explained Yorke after ‘Exit Music (For a Film)’.

Recent free-download, ‘These Are My Twisted Words’ was given an airing after ‘Lucky’ and ‘Paranoid Android’ was dedicated to all those who dabbled in drugs for the first time. An a capella cover of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s  ‘Maps’ was inserted into the introduction of the final tune, ‘Everything In Its Right Place’.

Earlier on the Main Stage, Bloc Party had made it three years in a row at second billing on the Main Stage.  “After tonight we’ve got two months off,” explained Kele, “I’m going to get fucked.”  The set list included single, ‘Mercury’ with Kele declaring that “Reading is better than Leeds,” and the closing number ‘This Modern Life’ baring the announcement that it was exactly ten years ago that Bloc Party decided to form.  A fitting tribute.

As is tradition, Gallows got their mums out on stage in the Radio 1/NME Tent, in the early evening with singer Frank Carter changing the lyrics to ‘London Is The Reason’ to “Reading is the reason.”

He also used his time onstage to lambaste the NME, talking about the departure of editor Conor McNicholas. He said, “Conor’s going to Top Gear magazine, that says it all. This magazine will go back to music, so good luck Krissi,” speaking about the new editor Krissi Murison before playing ‘In The Belly Of A Shark’.

Carter was so overwhelmed later in the set that he started to cry, telling the crowd, “I’m crying. This is the greatest day of my life.”

The group ended with ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’ and ‘Grey Britain’, which saw all the members play snare drums on stage before smashing them up once the track was finished.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
brought a touch of glamour to Sunday’s Main Stage with Karen O exuberantly dressed – as ever, in a red a balck stripped costume.  ‘Pins’ and ‘Gold Lion’ were early additions in a set where Karen O declared her love for Reading festival before playing an acoustic, slowed down rendition of ‘Maps’.  The finale of ‘Zero’ though ensured that the crowd departed in boisterous moods.

Vampire Weekend had declared it, “perfect weather for a festival,” as the first drizzle of the day started to fall, “when it’s too hot you can’t go mental.” The crowd reciprocated the words as they hit their stride launching into ‘A Punk’.  ‘One (Blake’s Got A New Face)’ proved a popular sing-a-long and the introduction of new rockier material was well received.

Elsewhere large crowds gathered for Chase and Status’ DJ set in the Dance Arena.  Amongst the drum and bass, the duo slipped Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘Give It Away’ into the set and the popular ‘Jungle Is Massive’ by General Levy.  The excitement levels were elevated as teenagers scaled the rafters throughout the set with massive cheers granted for those who made it to the top.

Lady Sovereign
had also managed to pack out the Dance Stage, her accompanying DJ scratched tracks including the single ‘So Human’ which samples The Cure’s ‘Close To Me’.  ‘Tango’ returned to the rappers live set, “I put this back in because I know you like it,” she explained to the crowd.  The set was briefly interrupted as the crowd watched a man who managed to get onto the roof of the tent and reveal is genitals.  “This is better than that Notting Hill shit,” exclaimed the singer before launching into set-highlight, ‘Love Me Or Hate Me’.


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