Rival Schools – Reading Festival 2011 review

Rival Schools at Reading Festival 2011 by Peter Corkhill
Rival Schools at Reading Festival 2011 by Peter Corkhill

Rival Schools at Reading Festival 2011 - review. We want your reviews too!


The revival and salvation of Rival Schools still hangs in the balance, and as the band start with technical difficulties, muddied sounds and a half empty tent it all looks hopeless.

From Reading Festival’s second stage to a late evening billing on the Festival Republic stage, the decent to obscurity hasn’t been pretty for the four-piece who released their first album in a decade earlier this year.

But bouncing back ain’t just for Partridge as their new ‘Pedals’ material demonstrates. Fierce, gutsy and with a pinch of maturity, ‘Wring It Out’ sounds like a euphoric rock anthem under the FR tent which quickly becomes a bustle of people.

Between these new in-roads old school fans watch with a nostalgic weakness at the knee as they relive classics like ‘Good Things’ and ‘Travel By Telephone’.

Celebrating the anniversary of Jacko’s birthday the band go into a helping of ‘Billie Jean’ asking “Do you think Jarvis knows?”

They then kick out the jams and some hard sing-a-long with fan favourite ‘Used For Glue’.

Tonight still belongs to their 2001 debut and with an almost tragic note they leave on it and the crowd more than happy to turn back the clocks. Beware though, they say in some parts of the UK nostalgia is considered an illness… at least it was in the good old days.

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