In the five years since Albeuqerue’s The Shins last played Reading & Leeds, there has been significant change in the band. Singer and guitarist James Mercer remains the only band member to have appeared at their 2007 performance, having fired members of the band and undergone a complete line-up change for the release of this year’s fourth album, Port of Morrow.
If there was any band that needed the sunshine to come alive during their set, then it was the quintet’s breezy indie pop on a late afternoon appearance on the Main Stage. The summery bliss of old favourites “Australia”, “Phantom Limb” and the folky “New Slang”, worked perfectly with the admirable backdrop, whilst “Bait and Switch,” “Simple Song,” “The Rifle’s Spiral” and “Port of Morrow” showed the band’s new arena-ready direction that was fit for the open air.
With a position on the Main Stage inbetween hip hop collective OFWGKTA and perennial Reading & Leeds favourites Enter Shikari, you may have feared for The Shins. However, they provide the perfect late afternoon relaxation for early ravers and those awaiting acts later on the bill, as well as providing a joyful and vocal atmosphere. Siobhan Gallagher