Review: Reading Festival 2012, Friday


I arrived in Reading and after a long and painful journey from one end of the site to the other, I was finally allowed in. The guest area was very very impressive, the best I’ve seen so far this summer. The first act I managed to catch was Scroobius Pip. One of his last shows for a while with his live band and the Distraction Pieces record so it was great to see it again. He always puts in so much effort and energy which makes the crowd very ‘rowdy’ as he likes puts it. He played on the Alternative Stage which usually plays host to stand-up comedians so as soon as it came to about 10 minutes before his set everyone stood up and starting to form a crowd for him.

I caught a few of You Me At Six‘s songs and they seemed very at home on the Main Stage. It’s always good to see the bands that go up stage by stage each year. I had to leave in order to see Alt-J on the Festival Republic Stage and I’m so glad I didn’t miss it! They were superb. For those of you who have listened to and loved An Awesome Wave would have been in heaven. Hearing tracks such as ‘Tessellate’ (along with the interlude preceding it) and ‘Matilda’, live was well and truly spine-tingling. Niki and The Dove were next and they were delightfully strange. The duo perform very well and they seemed to have some adoring fans in the crowd.

Next on were Bastille. They performed brilliantly and with so much energy. Compared to their Triangle Tour it was fast paced to suit the lively Reading crowd. With the likes of ‘Pompeii’ causing a rupture of excitement. Potentially their best performance to date; Bastille should be very proud of the performance at this year’s Reading. Shortly after their performance on the Festival Republic stage they performed live on BBC Three. After Bastille I managed to catch the end of Paramore’s set which sounded great. Frontwoman Hayley Williams got a girl from the crowd to come and sing ‘Misery Business’ with her as well as the thousands of people singing along. It made for a great atmosphere at the Main Stage.

Instead of sticking around and watching The Cure I headed over to the NME/Radio1 Stage and ended up accidentally watching the whole of Foster The People‘s set. I can confidently say it was one of the best accidents of the weekend. They were awesome. Despite not knowing their songs apart from the obvious ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ and ‘Call It What You Want’ they put on such an energetic performance which really got me (and the rest of the crowd) ready for The Maccabees headline set. I think everyone will agree when I say the crowds at Reading are different than anywhere else in the world and this was particularly relevant for The Maccabees show. The crowd simply boosted the set into a whole new level. The same songs that you would hear at another one of their shows were automatically taken up a notch by the excited crowd. They played a set fuelled with classics spanning across their 3 albums with the likes of ‘Went Away’ and ‘X-Ray’ gaining particular crowd attention. Overall a very good start to my weekend at Reading Festival.

Check out the Saturday and Sunday reviews coming soon.

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About Author


I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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