Monday, August 28, 2006

OH, TIS READING: A final round-up

So, it's all over now, apart from the panicky looks on the faces of the people responsible for keeping the trains clean.

Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam rolled down the doors on Reading, with something even approaching jokes in the set. Even NME was shocked:

"There's a lot of flags from a lot of different countries," Vedder observed of the crowd, before playing 'Dissident'. "Being from American I guess we should say 'we come in peace!'."

Stephen Colbert is said to be "unfazed" by the newcomer to the satire circuit.

The rest of the world - like the Irish Examiner were more interested in the sobbing:

Shedding a tear, Vedder told the crowd: "A band doesn't come to England enough for a turnout like this. This is the first time we've played Reading in 15 years. You guys have been camping here for three days and we've been staying in a hotel."

God, yes, thinking about reclining in bed flicking through the porn channels while everyone else is queueing to poo in a hole really makes you sob, doesn't it? Let's hope nobody told him the tickets for the event had sold out ages before their presence was announced; and by the end of the event, Plinky Ploop could fill out the area in front of the main stage.

In the same report as their Pearl Jam coverage, the NME suggests the reason why BBC Three may have felt the need to edit down Placebo's troubles:

Leaving the stage for ten minutes - during which time female members of the audience flashed their breasts for the big screens' cameras - the band were eventually able to return and complete their set.

Explaining what happened afterwards, frontman Brian Moloko told the BBC : "My guitar broke and I missed all the breasts!"


You're not going to find us making jokes about how there were giant tits up on screen, but then their instruments broke and they went off for a bit. Not us.

Showing the sort of difference of opinions that used to be commonplace in the NME but seem less so these days, the Reading blog offered two takes on the My Chemical Romance battering.

First, Conor McNicholas himself blogged:

In between songs you can almost hear a pin drop. They're simply dying out there. "We might be outsiders here today," he quickly adlibs, "but we represent every single outsider out there." Only the empassioned faithful in the moshpit agree. They plough on. Gerard rages against the Daily Mail and its claims that MCR are a "cult" that "promote self-harm" but it's too late, the only hard being done is to MCR's collective ego. The band with the biggest crowd at the NME Signing Tent today are in a face-off with Reading Festival. And still the bottles keep coming.

About an hour later, an unbylined piece takes a different view:

My Chemical Romance just came offstage having played the most defiant set of their career. Led by Gerrard Way - who marched on the set waving a Union Jack the band were showered with bottles, golf balls - even, tangerines. But for a band who pride themselves on being outsiders, despite being one of the biggest bands in America, it was the perfect spur for a career defining set.
Probably the finest moment came when Way lead the crowd in a chant of "Fuck The Daily Mail" in response to a recent article in that hate-mongering rag about how emo encourages self-harm, suicide and probably how it was the root the cause of the recent Israel-Lebanon conflict. Don't bet against MCR coming back to a similar reception next year - as headliners.


I can't believe I just wrote the words "Conor McNicholas himself", like he's the pope.

ContactMusic thinks Reading brought the reunion of Carl Barat and Pete Doherty a step closer, as B-Unique, who are plotting some Ferry Aid of a charity single, did negotiations round the back:

An insider says, "B-Unique are determined to sign Pete and want Carl on board too. They met up with Carl at the Reading Festival (in England) to move things forward. "It will all be confirmed in the coming weeks."

Pete, of course, can be persuaded to do anything with the promise of a roll of untraceable fivers.

For many, the presence of Peaches Geldof at Reading spoiled everything. My Name Is Trouble wasn't happy:

The reason im writing this is because i seen Peaches fucking Geldof in the paper with her "indie rock" boyfriend, the both of them looking like fucking twats at the reading festival. i dont like her dad as it is, but the fact that she has this sorta princess lifestyle off the back of his questionable success annoys me. And surprise surprise she's wandering about in a leather jacket, leggings (girls, please dont!), lily allen style tacky jewellery and some poncey scarf tied round her neck. Also, her boyfriend looked more feminie than she did. They just try too hard. Anyway sir bob phoned her and ordered her to come home from the festival early! hahahahahahahahahaha

To be honest, we don't see a problem with a girl having a boyfriend who's more girly than they are. But we do see the problem with Peaches G. Bob Geldof pops up in the Daily Mail, defending his daugter:

"She is a 17-year-old girl. She is allowed to go to no more parties really than other kids go to. She goes to a rock festival. She does a DJ thing on the odd occasion for 80 quid a night. I mean, give her a break."

She does the odd dj thing for eighty quid a night. Oh, and gets commissioned by her father's TV company to churn out supposedly insightful programming about what the young people think.

Some of the best newspaper coverage of Reading is on the business pages: The Guardian exploring the big sell-out:

[Carling] also gets top billing on one of the biggest festivals: gone are the days of the Reading festival, it is now the "Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds". The festival took place this weekend with Franz Ferdinand, the Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs among the headline acts.

There is no doubt about the returns companies can expect. During the 1990s, the heart of Carling's sponsorship strategy lay in football, helping it increase beer sales from 2m barrels a year to 3m. After 2000 it switched its focus to music and now sells 5.7m barrels a year. That's 52 pints a second.


There may be a question forming about how having beer companies sponsor music festivals aimed at teenagers sits with a nation supposedly trying to calm heavy drinking. It's interesting, of course, that Carling couldn't run a TV commercial with Eddie Vedder promoting their product, but he can pop up doing half an hour at the "Carling Weekend."

Not, of course, that Carling would want you to think the festival is adrift on a sea of beer. Wayner's blog shows it was really a sober affair:

Was drinkin my beer a little bit quickly, and theer was a bit of a queue for the old wristbands so i drank more then i expected by the time i had met up with everyone at the campsite. We drinked about for a bit then stumbled to the arena for festivities.[...] In the arena i got a bit excited when i saw a small little window open at the left hand carling bar, i decided to sprint to it but after about 20 meter's my handstring fucked about and i pulled it or summit, it well hurt to walk about for a bit. Me and Paddy decided to get two drinks everytime we went to tha bar, and soon the Towers of London were on stage. [...] DRUNK.... The next few hours were a bit of a blur...think i had a lot of alcohol saw The Subways and saw The Mystery Jets with Liam....so i've been told.

And so on. Taking the concept of a Carling Weekend a little too literally, perhaps.

What about the security, and the tickets, and the unbreakable rule of the wristband? It seems if you were prepared to put up with a spot of nasty unhelpfulness, you could get a second chance. ~*Didi*~ she was soft and i was hard did:

the worst bit was losing my wristband and panicking that i wasnt going to be able to get into the arena to see the bands. plus the security bloke who i had to cajole into giving me another one was an absolute TWAT. he was so rude but never mind after tears, phonecalls and filling in of forms i was able to get a replacement.

If you want a pithy summary of the weekend, you're best of turning to Flossy Ann:

Reading Festival =
..
Flogging Molly, Kaisers, Real Big Fish, Less Than Jake.


That leaves us feeling a bit overwritten.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't mind Peaches. Sure if she's going to go out and party she should just admit it, and she's going to look like a fool if she ends up walking out of rehab someday. She doesn't have a bad fashion sense though, and she's usually wearing tights and not the less classy leggings.

April said...

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