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Reading 2016: Saturday Roundup

 
By on Wednesday, 31st August 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Following on from the complete success that was Friday at Reading 2016 – and with Foals‘ pinnacle career moment headlining the main stage – Saturday had a lot to live up to. Headlining solo today were the funk giants and great dividers of opinion, Red Hot Chili Peppers, but first we had a whole day to experience.

The weather had a go at trying to dampen the spirits by giving a mid-morning downpour, but as with all UK festivals, this only fuelled the festival-going crowd’s insatiable lust for a good time. First up were Scottish three-piece Fatherson. Clearly a milestone for the band, they delivered their emotive and euphoric set with complete expert execution. It shouldn’t be too long before they climb their way through the stages and find themselves front and centre.

The Beach, a London-based singer/songwriter recently on tour with Tom Odell, brought his band for a full ensemble run through of his thoughtful and encompassing tunes. This was an easy watch that the calm crowd relished in. Over on the main stage, American hard rockers Clutch may not have had the largest crowd for the location, but they certainly didn’t let this stop them from giving a set that was filled with solos, riffs and just about every other rock staple you need. Shout out to drummer Jean-Paul Gaster for his 9:30 Club t-shirt (Washington represent!)

Continuing the heavy streak on the main stage, Skindred gave a thoroughly vicious performance with their blend of rock, reggae and metal. The crowd, after witnessing Clutch, were more than up for a good time with heavier influences. Which was good considering what was to come across the field.

The Pit was the place to be for most of the afternoon. Like most festivals, secret sets are always a guarantee, and Reading was no different. With a gap on the stage at 4 PM labelled as ‘TBC’, a spraypainted You Me At Six poster and a band photo backstage, the most subtle of secrets was suddenly revealed. But this was not before what could probably have been one of the best sets of the festival by Heck, a musical marvel who completely dominated the stage, the crowd and everything in between. Spending the majority of the set in various states in and on the crowd, including guitarist and singer Jonny Hall sat atop a flight case while playing guitar, it was an absolutely animalistic and wild sight to behold, Heck should not skip anyone’s radar, not they’d let that happen in any case. Back to the You Me At Six secret set, the closer the time came to 4 PM, the further the tent filled out. By the time the band took to the stage through a curtain of fog, the tent was a gravitational centre. With the band having just announced a large tour of the UK, it was a close and exciting glimpse into what was to hit our cities early next year.

On the main stage, Kent breakthrough punk duo Slaves, proved that they’d earned their way on to central billing by ferociously powering through their socially relevant songs. Another historic moment for a British band at a staple festival.

Back at The Pit and following on from Reading 2016’s worst kept secret came Milk Teeth. The Gloucestershire-based band showed exactly why they’re one of the UK’s brightest up-and-comers. With songs filled with personality and a ’90s rock feel, the crowd were as immersed in the music as the band playing them. It’s sets such as theirs that give Reading its best draw and atmosphere: small bands finding their audience, laying the groundwork for a return in the future to ever larger crowds.

One of the UK festival exclusives this year, Eagles of Death Metal have been present in the public eye for many reasons over the last year, both positive and negative. All of that didn’t matter today though as they joked, sang, laughed and rocked through a main stage set that will surely eclipse what has gone before. Leading man Jesse Hughes knows exactly how to engage and entertain his audience, be it dedicating ‘Zipper Down’ cut ‘Silverlake’ to a fan-made golden cape that he wore atop a Red Hot Chili Peppers shirt, or introducing us all to his father who was side of stage and beginning a chant of “dad! dad! dad!”, he’s an expert at his craft. Ending with ‘Save a Prayer’ who he dedicated to England because “when we needed you, you did not let us down”, likely a reference to the Bataclan terror attack in Paris last November.

While this riotous party was going down, newcomers VANT had the Festival Republic tent filled with young minds that they’re hoping to reach with their politically charged songs. Judging by the reception they were given during single ‘The Answer’ that references Afghanistan and UK/U.S. relations, their plan is working.

Mancunians The Courteeners burst onto the main stage taking over from where Eagles of Death Metal left off. Theirs was a rousing, anthemic set, perfect to carry the afternoon through to ready for the evening’s festivities. Imagine Dragons were the warm-up for Red Hot Chili Peppers, and by the term warm up, they certainly did. With crowd pleasers such as ‘Radioactive’ and ‘Demons’ and their larger than life sound, there was no way they could fail.

Finally, it was the turn of the big guns, Red Hot Chili Peppers. A band who simply need no introduction, over 3 decades of funk and rock, they proved at Reading they’re here to keep the reigning crown. Taking to the stage at 9:30, the incomparable Red Hot Chili Peppers were as welcomed as they would’ve been at any point in their career, with a hungry crowd and rapturous applause. Kicking straight in with ‘Can’t Stop’, it was clear they were here to only prove this point. Though the set could have felt a touch more exciting, it was a solid performance that certainly cemented Kiedis and co.’s place at top billing. Hits aplenty, from a full crowd sing along to ‘Under the Bridge’ to an encore ending with ‘Give It Away’. Saturday night closed out with the feeling of an impenetrable force proved by the enthusiastic crowd, who had grown to almost the entire festival capacity and sought any means possible to get a view. If Saturday was anything to go by, it proved Reading and Leeds is a festival that not only secures the legends but can also breed them.

 

Preview: Tennent’s Vital Festival 2016

 
By on Friday, 8th July 2016 at 10:00 am
 

For my first official article as a full-time Irish writer at There Goes the Fear, I felt it was only fair to contribute in the best way I can: by introducing our readership to the vast amount of musical shenanigans within the small but deceptively massive Emerald Isle. I’m beginning with a preview of Tennent’s Vital (T Vital for short), a festival that has been held in Belfast for the past 12 years. This year’s event takes place the 25th and 26th August 2016.

Tennent’s Vital began in 2002 when C&C Group plc and MCD Productions teamed up to bring Belfast City’s first major music festival. In its first year, they brought in heavy-hitters Primal Scream, Idlewild, Snow Patrol and Fatboy Slim. Throughout its existence, the event has moved location 3 times: from the city Centre, to Ormeau Park a little further out, then further to Bangor, finally resting in Boucher Road Playing fields, where it still resides today. Despite the minor setback of going on hiatus between 2008 and 2010, nothing else has stopped it from growing in size and popularity. It has attracted attention from a huge range of artists through the years in many different genres. Some of these include Jurassic 5, The Darkness, David Guetta, Kings of Leon, Tinie Tempah, The Script, Pigeon Detectives, The Killers and Foo Fighters.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kETKu602XRU[/youtube]

This year Tennent’s Vital takes place on Thursday the 25th and Friday the 26th of July. It continues its long history of bringing along monstrous acts. Industry veterans Red Hot Chili Peppers will be ripping it up as the headliners for day 1. Well, when they’re not too busy saving children during a carpool karaoke with James Corden and joining street performers in London. Following the release of their new album ‘The Getaway’ in June, the funky monks have embarked on an extensive world tour, with stops at a number of the UK’s top music festivals, including Tennent’s Vital.

Red Hot Chili Peppers will be supported by Fall Out Boy, who stormed back into the mainstream following the release of their 2013 comeback album ‘Save Rock and Roll’. Additional support will come from the ever-striving Cage the Elephant, rounding out what is sure to be a great first day.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeUZy2aI11M[/youtube]

If the alternative scene isn’t your thing, never fear, as day 2 is chocked full of the best of pop, r&b and EDM acts. And who better to headline than global superstar DJ and two-time Tennent’s Vital headliner in the last 3 years, Avicii (pictured at top). He has topped the charts on numerous occasions since his introduction in 2011 and performed at major festivals across the world. However this time Avicii (aka Swedish electronic musician and DJ Tim Bergling) has announced his retirement in a letter on the front page of his website, stating this tour to be his last, so whether or not you’ve seen Avicii before, book your ticket fast and don’t miss out on seeing the incredible DJ one last time.

Jess Glynne will take her spot as top support on day 2 of the festival. After gaining instant success for providing the lead vocal track to Clean Bandit’s 2014 banger ‘Rather Be’, she has received nothing but praise and attention for her work, including a Grammy award for Best Dance Track, as well as a nomination for Song of the Year at the BBC Music Awards. She recently wowed crowds and critics at Radio One’s Big Weekend in Plymouth in May, so we can’t wait to see what she has planned for Belfast. With three further support slots awarded to the best up and coming dance acts Duke Dumont, Galantis and Zak Abel, day 2 of Tennent’s Vital is sure to be bouncing from start to finish, so be sure to wear your most comfortable shoes.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=792rzYy27aE[/youtube]

Two days, seven huge acts, one field: don’t miss out! Tickets available now from Tickemaster.

 

Preview: Reading and Leeds 2016

 
By on Thursday, 4th February 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Header photo: Red Hot Chili Peppers by Ellen Von Unwerth

Along with Glastonbury and Download Festival, there is another festival, or pair of festivals rather, that are a staple of the UK festival scene. Reading and Leeds take place in the August bank holiday weekend, which this year falls on the 26th-28th of August.

Reading Festival is actually one of the UK’s oldest popular music festivals, having been around in its current format since the 1970s. It’s become one of the prime festivals in the indie/rock scene due to its ability to gather some of the biggest names in the industry, as well as the occasional controversial headliner.

This year proves to be no different. The first of the headliners announced were Red Hot Chili Peppers, who need no introduction. They’ve been around for over 30 years, had multiple successful albums and have transcended from hard to funk to rock and everything in between. As a festival exclusive, this is the only place you can see them on the festival circuit this year. Along with the Chili Peppers’ exclusive appearance, Reading / Leeds also have the poster boys of peace and rock Eagles of Death Metal, who after the horrendous events in Paris last year have powered on and united the music world more than ever. Along with ‘Eagles…’, Imagine Dragons and Two Door Cinema Club are also exclusive to Reading / Leeds.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DyziWtkfBw[/youtube]

Recently announced to join the bill with Red Hot Chili Peppers, we have a joint headline act with Foals and Disclosure, meaning one act will be the main headline at one site, and at the other site the roles will be reversed. This is particularly exciting because Foals, who have worked from house parties to festival headliner, are infamous for live shows that turn to a frenzy, with leading man Yannis Phillippakis ending up hanging from some form of metalwork or walking above the crowd. This spectacle will be paired alongside electronic brother duo Disclosure, who have had a string of hits that have created a boost of momentum in the dance/electronic movement and brought it back into the minds of the mainstream. It’s worth noting that this pairing is not under festival exclusivity, which means we may be seeing these names elsewhere.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuQQIawCqBA[/youtube]

Other notable acts for this gigantic festival are the Brit indie group The 1975, who by August will be on their second album, with their fanbase growing faster and faster. We also have The Courteeners, the Mancunian band keeping the spirit of Britpop and the attitude of Oasis alive, while also keeping it fresh. In fact, calling it Britpop would to be selling their sound short: it’s developmental and massive. They have rousing choruses and songs that can get anyone moving, it’s always a great pleasure seeing The Courteeners on a lineup, and they never disappoint.

With these latest additions, this lineup is certainly looking strong. The newly announced acts have given the festival a much more varied approach, with multiple genres being represented, including hip-hop with Fetty Wap.  Now we await the final headline announcement – the safe bet is on Biffy Clyro – and we hope Reading / Leeds keep up the quality and quantity they need to stay ahead of the game in this festival monopoly.

For more information and tickets visit http://www.readingfestival.com or http://www.leedsfestival.com.

 

Preview: Coachella 2013

 
By on Friday, 8th February 2013 at 9:00 am
 

The behemoth event known as Coachella consistently delivers a line-up that makes all us UK-based festivalers turn from smug Glastonbury relishing revellers into green-eyed monsters, praying for cheap trans-Atlantic flights. This year of course is no different, as the Coachella Music and Arts Festival has drawn in both the best home-grown talent, and the reticent prime cuts of British exports.

You only have to look at the headliners on the Fridays. Blur and The Stone Roses are two bands with a fanatical following from years ago and who still have already inspired a ticket buying frenzy that has seen the 3-day event sell out in record time. The re-formed Stone Roses promise to bring their archetypal brand of faux mope rock to American shores, while Blur will assault the assembled masses with waves of Britpop and shouting, plus probably some kind of Damon Albarn pomp. But that’s allowed, he’s like royalty, yeah? Now that’s just two of the bands and in all honesty, that’s enough to sell out the event for me. But if you have been lucky enough to grab one of the proverbial golden tickets to the sold-out event, then here’s a little more of what you have to enjoy at this orgy of talented fellows.

The Gaslight Anthem will be making an appearance midway down the bill, and will be bringing a bit of ‘Hometown Glory’ (see what I did there) to Coachella. Mercury Prize winners and golden trio of the recent British indie scene the xx will also be performing a set in support of their (now not so) new record ‘Coexist’. Alongside Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith will be Franz Ferdinand performing slightly lower down on the bill than you’d expect of a band with their formidable reputation. On the same day, Saturday, dance groove titan Moby will be performing, as well as Sigur Ros, Hot Chip and New Order. I did tell you it was an orgy of talent, eh?

To finish the weekend off then, what better way to do so then a dosing of nostalgia served with a hearty portion of topless men, with long or shaven, hair jumping about on stage. I of course refer to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who will be closing the event.

Coachella 2013 is already sold out, but we’ll be keeping an eye on things in Indio 12-14 April and 19-21 April.

 
 
 

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