Monday, 25 August 2014

Reading Festival - Day Two

Indie rock king Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys...pic by Sidney Bernstein
EVEN from first thing in the morning, there is a sense of expectation and excitement in the air with the Arctic Monkeys waiting for us at the end of the day.

But that's still some time away. The day for RealSoundsOK starts with a touch of Tea Street Band in the Dance Tent before heading to Lonely The Brave on the NME stage.

Like Twin Atlantic yesterday, it's a tight little set that gears you up for a day of music without really getting you over-excited. I was, perhaps, put out by vocalist David Jakes taking up position at the rear of the stage by the drums rather than near the front. A band needs a leader, doesn't it?

My disappointment was not helped by a "quick" jaunt back to the car that took the best part of an hour and saw us miss Royal Blood

Lower Than Atlantis rocked it...pic by Joshua Halling
However, RealSoundsOK was back on site in time to catch Lower Than Atlantis deliver an absorbing set. Kicking off with If The World Was To End, they also performed favourites like (Motor)Way Of Life and Deadliest Catch alongside new tracks English Kids In America and Here We Go for the finale. Great stuff.

We saw some of The Hives as well as Foster The People and Imagine Dragons, none of whom managed to impress enough to make me want to see them again. And I'm gutted I made the decision to see some of these over Don Broco, whose performance - on replay - trumped them all. Sorry guys.

Another tough choice came later on as we decided against watching new kid on the block Jake Bugg (who earlier did a secret acoustic set on the BBC Introducing Stage) in favour of Bombay Bicycle Club. It was the right decision.

For me, Bugg's sound is not original. Too many of his tracks "sounds a bit like...". Bombay Bicycle Club sounded different - with a vibe and sense of fun from their indie rock that had been missing from too many of the bands today.

And, rightly, the NME tent was packed out for them - a cracking feat when the child prodigy was up against them on the Main stage.

The Hives...pic by Sidney Bernstein
Enthusiasm returned, it was over to the Main stage for the Arctic Monkeys. I've always been put out by the fact so many people tell me I have to like AM. And to spite them, I don't own any of their albums.

They are - however - purveyors of superb, British rock n roll music and in Alex Turner - who is slowly turning into The Fonz - they have one of the suavest frontmen in music today.

Starting with Do I Wanna Know?, the Sheffield lads performed a whopping 20-song set as they wound down their UK tour of their album AM.

Dancing Shoes, Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair, Crying Lightning, I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, When The Sun Goes Down were all included in a triumphant performance before an encore of One For The Road, Snap Out Of It and R U Mine?

British indie rock music at its best. Smooth, cocky and sounding superb.

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