Before I begin this article I want to make sure everyone is calm and relaxed. The F5 key has taken a battering tonight so let us go through this slowly and surely. The first thing I’m going to say about this line up is well done Reading. After poor performances in 2010 from GnR and the ‘ever so boring’ comeback of The Strokes in 2011, Reading this year has rolled out an impressive set of headliners and sub headliners.
On the Friday we see the return of Paramore to Reading festival and after an impressive set in 2010 this could be the dark horse of the festival. The Cure are headlining the Friday night and these emo seniors should bring something fresh to the table. On the Saturday night in Reading, Kasabian will headline the main stage with Florence and the Machine subbing. In the run up to the announcement I was unsure whether or not I would welcome them as a headliner but my decision is thus; looking over four previous albums and with their latest release (velociraptor) making for heavy mainstream success this should be a good set. Florence and the Machine fresh out of their performance at the Brits have shown their worth by playing to arena sized crowds over recent months. It could indeed be one of the most entertaining sets of the weekend.
Last and nowhere near least is the triumphant return of Reading and Leeds veterans the Foo Fighters. This really did sell my ticket as they are an extremely strong headliner with a huge back catalogue that will turn haters into fans.
Back to the rest of the line up and it seems to be the traditional odd mix of Punk, Hardcore, Rock and Indie but this year (thankfully) Reading hasn’t sold its soul to NME and Radio One. Hardcore superstars Cancer Bats will be gracing the mainstage at Reading this year on the Friday along with the likes of Deaf Havana and You Me At Six. This seems like an extremely strong day for the festival as it sells itself as such a mix of genres. Particular highlights for me include Paramore and NME stage veterans Crystal Castles. Although I don’t think Crystal Castles strobe lights will be the same during the day.
Saturday mainstage sees the return of one of my favourite bands of all time Enter Shikari who will be ‘juggernauting’ there way through what can only be described as a barrage of hardcore, dubstep and drum and bass. Other than that for me the Saturday mainstage seems pretty standard seeing the likes of the Mystery Jets and indie youngsters the Vaccines.
Sunday mainstage will see classic rock comeback kids The Black keys as well as the weird combination of Bullet For my Valentine followed by Kaiser Chiefs. Also on the Sunday we see The Gaslight Anthem and pop punk group All Time Low. Not at all a bad day which is topped off by the return of the Foo Fighters.
On the NME stage there are very few bands I would be interested in seeing but there are a couple of little gems including At the Drive in and Billy Talent. For me the rest of it seems to be filled with the regular Reading festival indie grouping which is fine if you enjoy it.
Over all as a fan of the festival I am surprised with the strength of the line up compared to previous years and this years highlights for me will be Enter Shikari, Cancer Bats and the return of the Foo Fighters.