Mumford & Sons illustration by Lana Hughes
5. Mumford & Sons
Mumford & Sons have had a special piece in my heart for a couple of years now. Having played their debut to death and enjoyed their live shows just as much, the band never fail to disappoint. When they arrived at the NME/Radio 1 Tent they packed out the space and the surrounding areas had hundreds of fans trying to capture the performance.
Despite not being able to see the band or even hear them over the crowd singing along, I still had hairs on my neck shooting up. I felt quite proud of the most modest band around who could not have put more effort in. They were made for moments like this. ‘Little Lion Man’ had never sounded so perfect and the new songs were greeted with the same enthusiasm from the crowd.
Weezer illustration by Natsuki Otani
Sunday evening, there was a chill in the air, ‘nu metal’ pioneers Limp Bizit had been and gone, the heavy rain had done the same. American geek rockers Weezer brought the sun to the main-stage along with a greatest hits set. They are a band I would never choose the listen to but I wouldn’t turn them off either.
Along with the classics, ‘Buddy Holly’, ‘Hash Pipe’ and ‘Beverly Hills’ the old timers covered Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, MGMT’s ‘Kids’ and Lady GaGa’s ‘Pokerface’ where energetic front-man Rivers Cuomo sported a blonde wig whilst rolling about in the mud.
Mystery Jets illustration by Antonia Makes
3. Mystery Jets
Mystery Jets have been knocking about for sometime now with a collection of pop songs that would give Simon Cowell’s song-writing team a fright. Today wasn’t just about the hits, it was to see if the band could work main-stage after a few appearances on the smaller ones previously.
Not only did they get some sing-a-longs from the crowd but also got them dancing when Count & Sinden joined the band to play the party tune of the year, ‘After Dark’. It wasn’t just the stage that the band controlled as the lively band members spent a decent about of time amongst the crowd too.
The Libertines illustrated by Abi Daker
2. The Libertines
2002, the NME. Radio 1 Tent saw Peter Doherty, Carl Barat, John Hassall and Gary Powell play their only Reading Festival together. Since then The Libertines have performed twice without Peter, and since the group disbanded six years ago they have all appeared under different guises.
The main-stage witnessed the band play just their forth gig since their recent reformation. It was professional and energetic. I don’t think I have ever seen the band play that well; they meant business. Talk was kept to a minimum whilst thrashing out tune after tune, they were unfazed when they had to have a quick break whilst the crowd calmed down. A tear was shed when Pete and Carl, hugged and kissed onstage, I had been waiting too long for that moment.
Libertines illustration by Miss Pearl Grey aka Kellie B.
Arcade Fire, illustration by Jenny Robins.
1. Arcade Fire
It was Arcade Fire’s last Reading Festival performance that really won me over. Win Butler lead the seven piece on a emphatic set that included songs from all three records but it was the material from their latest, The Suburbs that really had the wow factor. Words struggle to some up this performance, it was more than just music, more like a religion.
Many thanks to our illustrators. Thumbnail illustration of Weezer by Julie Lee
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