Reading Festival 2008 (Day 2) - live in Reading (Cover Artwork)

Reading Festival 2008 (Day 2)

live in Reading (2008)

live show

No space for an introduction or this will be too long. Continuing on from Day One, I had had a rather ‘heavy' night, what with all the musical euphoria and so unfortunately, failed to made it to see Random Hand and Hi-Fi Hand Grenades. My friend said I hadn't missed much, but who knows [?]

However, I certainly did make it out of camp to see the Gaslight Anthem hit the stage for their first ever gig in the UK. They hit the stage and the handful of people in the crowd who are up to date with a band which are very much an American east coast phenomena revealed themselves with roars of approval. The band certainly seemed to take a few songs to warm up, as did the crowd, but by the time they began "Great Expectations" the tent had been infected with rock'n'roll spirit. The songs were often interjected with the apparently drunk musings of front man Brian Fallon; "It's my Mum's birthday! Also, I love [Saturday headliners] the Killers! My mum's baked them a cake. She kinda does things in reverse". The awkward and confused laughter which followed aside, the Gaslight Anthem certainly made some new friends [9]

Next; Fucked Up. I was looking forward to them, having seen them before and knowing how their live shows normally end up, who wouldn't be? I was not disappointed as ‘large' front man Damian Abraham threw himself left, right and centre and located nearly all the kids at the front who were into their Canadian hardcore and gave them the mic for a line. Highly entertaining and highly sweaty; just how punk should be [8]

The King Blues entered next into a tent which was packed for the first time since Goldfinger the day before. The King Blues are essentially a group of young people who met as squatters in Clapham Common in London and formed a punk band. For a band named after their favourite drug smoking utensil, you can begin to understand their sound, with strong reggae influences and highly anti-authoritarian lyrics. They played a mixture of songs off their only album Under the Fog and a bunch from a new upcoming release. Not only did they put in a fantastic performance, but their new stuff sounded fantastic and they achieved a moment every band strives for; where fans start singing back lines of new songs they've never heard before. Throw in some crowd chanting, dancing and plenty of punk love and what you have is utterly electric; Keep an eye out for this lot [10]

Cancer Bats; I'll be brief; very good as per usual, but little different to the times I have seen them before and possibly did not adapt to the large venue as well as some of the other bands, despite another packed out tent full of fans. [8]

Once again the tiring quest that is a music festival meant another musical casualty; this time MXPX. Sorry. However, I needed to have my dancing legs rested for Flogging Molly, who rocked up and reeled off song after song to a rabid crowd, punctuated with Irish flags. "Drunken Lullabies" suitably caused complete yet delightful chaos in the tent whilst "Paddy's Lament" and "Float," from their new release went down surprisingly well. [8]

Thrice. Booked to play last year, yet pulled out, so were back to make amends. Unfortunately, I think this means they decided to skim the recent brilliant Alchemy Index releases, concentrating much more on Vheissu. Gutting. And no Artist in the Ambulance either!. A big disappointment for me, and whilst opening track "Firestarter" was phenomenal, everything else missed the mark [6]

Alkaline Trio hit the stage with Matt Skiba in a "I love Reading" shirt, bought from the nearby merch stand. But such blatant crowd-pleasing was really not needed to a packed tent of loud fans. Their set did lean quite heavily on new release Agony and Irony, but songs such as "Calling All Skeletons" translated live surprisingly well. However, they also put in a few old-timers treats including "Crawl" and quite surprisingly "I Lied My Face Off", which I greatly received, before finishing with "This Could Be Love". Top stuff from a classic band of the last decade [9]

Gallows. Last year, the Gallows put in one of the best Reading shows ever, ending in Frank Carter getting tattooed on stage and climbing a 30ft pole. What most people were asking was how would they top it? The answer? Well, they wouldn't. Firstly, Carter had two cracked ribs from their warm-up show three days earlier. Secondly, the band had decided to exclusively showcase new tracks from their future sophomore release. The band entered the stage wielding a huge black and white Union Jack. Reason? Still unknown. The new material was…slightly different from the classic Gallows sound, but to be honest, I found it hard to truly judge. Despite his ribs, Carter did crowd surf the entire length of the crowd to the sound-desk (a good 30+ meters) and the band was tight and energetic. Most entertaining of all, came as the music stopped, as Carter destroyed the stage, putting an amp through the drum-kit and ripping the mic stands to pieces. A fun ending to the day; but not a classic [7+1 for pointless destruction]

Overall, this day probably just fell short of the previous day's standard. But only just. However, overall, the Lockup Stage at Reading Festival over its two days truly created a new high water mark for showcasing punk music in the UK. If you live in the UK and like punk; you have to go. And if you live in the US, fuck it, get on a plane. It's that good.