BBC Radio 1’s Mike Davies’ impressive and surprising Lock-up Stage announcement last night (or extremely early this morning, depending on how you roll) gave Reading Festival a welcome boost.
The headliners scream from the page; the legendary Descendents, and the more elusive, yet no-less worshipped, Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
The latter have been a band that festival-goers have continually asked for, so to finally see them come to our fair shores for Reading Festival is something of a coup.
Descendents, meanwhile, have something to prove after their disastrous two-night stand at the 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – make that one night – after Milo Aukerman wrecked his vocal chords three songs into the first gig (OK, let’s call it a half).
But perhaps the stand-out act is Hot Water Music. Chuck Ragan has recently played Reading Festival in his capacity as a solo-artist, and he appeared to enjoy himself.
And the rest of the band has also come to the festival, as The Draft, so the logical step would be for them to get their shit together and bring us some motherfucking gruff punk.
I don’t think it’s an understatement to say their announcement is the best news of the week, and yes, I realise that yesterday Osama Bin Laden was killed.
In a you-look-left-we-go-right announcement, the Flatliners, H2O and Saves the Day and a host of other likely bands, were nowhere to be seen, but instead the likes of Off!, Leftover Crack and Street Dogs make appearances.
Capdown are another big name, kings of the UK ska scene, and with their recent reformation they were always likely to take their righteous place at the Reading table.
Meanwhile The King Blues, The Bronx, Flogging Molly and Comeback Kid round off the major acts, each of them lending a different complexion to a line-up already burgeoning with diversity.
Bedouin Soundclash, Your Demise and Face to Face are the best of the rest, but overall it’s a strong and varied line up.
Then there are the ‘Special Guests’. Feel free to debate that to your heart’s content.
But that makes 24 acts in total, meaning there’s no room for a double slot on the Lock-up Stage this year, unless it’s the special guests themselves, which would be poor.
Assuming it’s not, that’s good news, because there’s no band suitable for it on the line-up, for a variety of reasons. The most likely act is Frank Turner, and as handsome and roguish a troubadour as he is, it would be a weak booking because he’s played the festival many, many times before. And these days can barely be considered a punk act in the first place.
Full Announcement: Bedouin Soundclash, The Black Pacific, Boy Sets Fire, The Bronx, Capdown, Comeback Kid, Descendents, Face To Face, Flogging Molly, Hot Water Music, King Blues, Leftover Crack, Mariachi El Bronx, The Menzingers, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Mouthwash, Off!, Sharks, Special Guests, Spycatcher, Street Dogs, Teenage Bottle Rocket, Title Fight, Your Demise
by Rik Sharma