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The Top 100 Reading Anthems – Pt.IV (65-50)

 

65: While the title of this countdown is Top 100 Reading anthems, you can guarantee “Not Nineteen Forever” will incite a riot over at the Leeds site. The Courteeners are huge up north, particularly in Manchester where they routinely play arenas. This track provides an interesting contrast between the fast indie beat, more associated with the South (London in particular), and the deep drawn out vocal, the type that Guy Garvey is known. Not the cheeriest track in the band’s arsenal, but the one with the most devastating punk line. David Hayter

64: So Mumford & Sons won’t be returning to Reading this year, well fear not, if rousing indie folk floats your boat, look no further than Dry The River. Sitting somewhere between the previously mentioned Mumfords and Bon Iver, Dry The River specialize in waning but rustic anthems that swell and stomp irresistibly, and when it comes to Reading 2012, it’s “Valves & Chambers” that will have everyone’s hands in the air. David Hayter

63: Possibly the most egregious example of what makes Enter Shikari so loved and loathed in equal measure, “Sssnakepit” mixes cringe inducing raps with bombastic riffs and snarling yelping energy. After the intro, the track hurtles downhill with a perfect chant-along vocal and a snowstorm of blurring guitars, dance effects, and some dubious dub. Whatever your opinion of Enter Shikari and “Sssnakepit”, one thing is for certain, it will tear the main stage to shreds. David Hayter

62: On their way to becoming Reading veterans, Pulled Apart By Horses are one of the most energetic bands to be making their way up the line-up, this year they find themselves opening the main stage. This is no doubt thanks to the likes of the massive anthem “High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive”, which has everything from the powerful vocals and a gigantic crescendo to even more massive ending. Kyle Prangnell

61: Bombay Bicycle Club have grown from strength to strength since their first album, but that record, and this song in particular, are what stick in my mind. One of the most danceable songs in BBC’s catalogue thanks to the inspired bass-line – if you fancy a dance and a good time whilst waiting for The Cure, this will be the one to get you in the mood. Kyle Prangnell

 

60: ‘Killing An Arab’ is the first single to ever be released by the little known 3 piece post-punk band called The Cure in 1978. The track is Robert Smiths interpretation of Albert Camus’ novel ‘The Stranger’. In which the lead character, in a moment of existential grief and confusion shoots dead an arabic chap for no reason at all other than because he could. It attempts to portray the pointlessness of philosophy and and finding meanings in life and furthermore represents the overwhelming meaninglessness of life and the ultimate meaninglessness of everything we do (“Whatever I Do, Amounts To The Same, Absolutely Nothing”). All of this condensed in to a two and a half minute poppy post punk track. The Cure had certainly arrived when this single dropped. It’s a classic track that has fallen several times in to disrepute as ‘inciting racial hatred’, and encouraging xenophobia. Because of this Smith has changed the lyrics several times at lives shows, ranging from the acceptable ‘Killing Another’, to the regretful ‘Kissing An Arab’. It’s time this track was played uncensored, because frankly anyone that believes and/or uses this track as an attempt to justify their own racism is either a liar or a fool. As a track it has a simple, angular post-punk sensibility with an arabic twinge to Robert’s guitar playing. Vocally, Smith has yet to develop his signature vocal styling’s, and thus we have this effective,  lackadaisical and monotone punk drone. Overall this track is a wonderful yet brief piece of The Cure’s history, it’s short and punchy, has some intense lyrical themes, and when outed properly it adds a massive visceral presence to a ‘The Cure’ concert. Here’s hoping it’ll be brought out for Reading and Leeds this year. Adam Grylls

59: Reading really loves Two Door Cinema Club – that is an undeniable fact. The NME was torn to shreds two year’s ago, with a barrier pressure record being set (according to Melvin Benn), and in 2011 they successfully transitioned to the Main Stage. In 2012 they’re back in the tent, and will be debuting a heap of new material, but the atmosphere should remain frenetic as they could unleash this jerky and urgent gem at any moment. David Hayter

58: Katy B had an incredible 2011 dropping more irresistible singles than any other pop star. This girl nailed the post-dub step chart take over, doing it with integrity, sick beats, and intelligent lyrics expressing a freedom of thought and a love of music. “On A Mission” is about one woman’s relationship with the beat and the club, sinking into the bassline, and savouring the moment and the music. Of course it also happens to have one of the most coo-able chorus in pop history. David Hayter 

57: Bullet For My Valentine’s second appearance on this countdown comes courtesy of “Scream Aim Fire” the beastly single taken from the album of the same name. Bullet may not be the hardest metal band in the world, but this track kicks like a mule with its rapidly escalating riffs and scream-along (duh) chorus. A live favourite for many years, and don’t be surprised if they pull out some pyro during this track. David Hayter 

56: Ruby….Ruby…Ruby….Ruby. It’s not big, it’s not clever, but my God it’s catchy. “Ruby” was the pinnacle of the Kaiser’s success, the big comeback single that seemingly singled a great career in the making. Sadly, The Kasier found themselves on the slide, but that can’t diminish they infectious brilliance of this pop gem, that has avoided the aura of staleness that surrounds “I Predict A Riot” in 2012. David Hayter.

55: “My Hero” is a mixed bag live, in front of the right crowd it’s a roaring life affirming anthem, in front of a dead crowd, it’s actually quite depressing. Thankfully, Reading always brings the energy and in 2006 the bellows were deafening, and the atmosphere was electric – expect the same in 2012. So the minute those drums start pounding, savour the tingles; it’s going to be special. David Hayter

 

54: ‘Post-Break-Up Sex’ defined The Vaccines, it was their second single from their ever-hyped debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines. Filled with lyrics about awkward teenager moments: breaking up from a relationship and using a one off encounter to try and move forward. The song itself is short, sweet, punchy and highly addicted live, leaving the listener wanting more, craving more ‘Post-Break-Up Sex’. One of 2011’s classic indie anthems, which I am most positively sure will go down an absolute mosher on the main stage at this year’s Reading and Leeds. Simone F

53: One of the few instrumental tracks to make our countdown, “Phantom Pt.II” capture Justice’s post-Daft Punk powerhouse dance. Combining slamming electronic slabs with the intensity of a metal riff (a early harbinger of Brostep?), the track was perfectly designed to get people bouncing and grooving simultaneously. It’s not subtle, but it packs a hell of a punch. David Hayter 

52. The Cribs – Be Safe

The brilliant “Be Safe” features a guest spot from Sonic Youth’s Lee Renaldo (via video screen) and it absolutely stole the show at Reading 2010. The contrast between Lee’s cool calculating stream of consciousness and the raw yearning energy of The Cribs chorus creates a spell binding live spectacle. Crowds never quite know how to react, they roar along to the chorus, and randomly shout “Be Safe” and stare at Lee with a curious mix of reverence and bemusement. Who says 21st Century indie lacks ambition and is devoid of spectacle? Open All The Boxes! David Hayter

51: This cut is the epic finale to Odd Futures latest album and is the track that most effectively represents just why the group have struck a chord with their fans (and detractors). Every member has their own verse with Syd’s presence being felt throughout laying down the beats with her unique approach to production. Each verse is infected with the individual personality of the member performing it. Jasper (the non rapper) is a cheeky little entry adding to the general not-giving-a-fuck-ery this track represents. Frank Ocean’s cool and effortless entry hints (or not so much hints and outright tells us) toward his recent struggles with coming out. Everything OF is here, it’s snotty, obnoxious, punky and an undeniably great. It is however, not until the final verse, penned and vocalised by Tyler The Creator, that thing track reveals itself for what it is. It’s retaliation, it’s a joke, and it’s a declaration. Throughout the 10 minutes Odd Future have celebrated everything of which they have been criticised for in the press, they lay out rap cliches and relish in them (just for the affect). Then the final verse sees Tyler retaliate against this in an act as close to being heartfelt as one might think Tyler is capable of, by celebrating the brotherhood that is Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, and all of which they have accomplished at this point. Masterfully rhyming ‘as fuck’ with.. ‘as fuck” putting his finger up to the world and suggesting “Instead of critiquing and bitching and being mad as fuck, just admit not only are we talented, we rad as fuck”. They are never going to do what is asked of them, they are in many ways a 21st century reinterpretation of punk rock…. But like them or loathe them you need to respect them. Adam Grylls

 

50: Django Django’s debut album was only released at the beginning of the year, but it seems as though they’re in for success with the likes of “Default”, which is a huge contender for catchiest single of the year. A great indie-pop song that verges on the left field: it has a making of a classic already, and will, without a doubt draw, a big and boisterous sing-a-long crowd. Kyle Prangnell

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