Adventures in Music: Reading 2010 – Friday

Typically perverse, I’m going to talk about Reading on Glastonbury weekend. Someone on our intranet was selling tickets, you see. I told my colleagues earlier that out of 132 bands announced for the 2010 Reading Festival, I had heard of only 19 of them, and liked only one.

I declared myself “officially old”.

Hey! That’s no good! I need to fix this. I mean, I’m realistically only a third-to-half of the way through my projected lifespan: it’s a little too early to send me to the knackers yard, so I guess I need to catch up.

Friday 27 August 2010:


Guns ‘n’ Roses. Need no introduction. Didn’t Robin Finck join them at one point? Yes. Have they been any good since Appetite for Destruction?

Queens of the Stone Age

Oh yes, of course I know this lot. I know this song. It’s catchy, but underwhelming. Needs more cowbell.

Biffy Clyro
Welsh, apparently. I think of only novelty pop, sheep and the Manics. They’re closest, of course, to the latter. While they’re not exactly blowing me out of my seat (bubbles! Blowing! Geddit?) they strike me as perfect festival material. I think after a few pints of warm lager you’d have a blast watching this lot.

Ah yes, I remember this bunch from way back. I’m not really surprised I can’t remember what they sounded like – they fall into the awful middle ground a lot of bands do with me, where I actually forget they’re playing while they’re playing. They’re sort of Muse-lite, which isn’t a very enviable position.

Hunh … musta missed this of my list of 19 bands I knew of from the lineup. Make it 20, then. They remind me of Green Day, who (other than one song) also made absolutely no impression on me whatsoever.

Gogol Bordello


Sort of a folky mishmash, part wistful accordion, part Pogues. I actually like this more than anything I’ve heard so far. It’s extremely catchy, and while there’s the suspicion it’s more than a little tongue-in-cheek, it’s intensely musical and passionate.

Billy Talent
Yawn. The chord structures are quite interesting, but it is overall so wet and overproduced and insipid, it’s just annoying.

A Day To Remember
Yikes! It’s b*llocks!

Young Guns
They have the same sort of overwrought, overearnest appeal of 30 Seconds To Mars (before they became awful, of course). There’s a lot of energy to them, but what 30STM had in psychedelia, Young Guns make up for in emo. Overall, it’s arresting, but it’s not good.



Nice video. Oh, it’s quite painful, this – in a good way. Reminds me of prime Chemical Bros, actually. Reminds me of how embarrassed I felt for my friend trying to impress me that he’d seen the Pistols live in ’77 before I realised I’d turned into him, re Radiohead in ’92.

This pretty much sounds like the s*** I didn’t like much back in ’93. Bland, business-as-usual upbeat indie pop.

Mumford & Sons
That’s all folks.


This is what I’d describe as “functionally good music”. The sort of music I’ll like but I’d never be passionate about. Reminds me of the Hackers soundtrack, which was required listening, back in the day. I like the video.


‘The Guardian praised the group’s latest album ‘Odd Blood’ describing it as a “master class in modern, multicultural, weirdo pop music”.’
I’m excited already, but when I finally hear the tune I recognise it and are left cold. Their newish single ONE is a similar mixture of intrigue and disappointment. It’s like … Paul Simon. All the elements are right, but ultimately no cigar.

The Big Pink
They’re on 4AD and sound like a classic 4AD band. Oooh, and I know this! I heard it on Radio 1 ages ago. Perhaps I’m not as unhip as I thought I was. 21 then.

Two Door Cinema Club
After a lifetime of hearing sh*te from people who should know better, hearing a bunch of hipsters who just genuinely seem to like music seems unexpectedly charming. There’s no real danger of me running out and buying their album, but they’re spared the indifference/hate I feel towards most music.


New Young Pony Club
Oh, I know this lot. Doesn’t do much for me.

Surfer Blood

Frankie & The Heartstrings
Very standard punk pop


Alkaline Trio
Look, even though we’re only one minute in, I’m going to put it out of its misery. I’ve heard approx 2500 songs exactly like this before and didn’t like any of them.

Sick of It All
I know who they are. Not a fan.

Against Me
This is why I stopped buying records for nine years.


Streetlight Manifesto
“Ska heroes”, apparently. Something about them reminds me of They Might Be Giants. I don’t want to chop them into little pieces, which by this point is a really good sign.

Strike Anywhere
Ah, I’m not going to be mean.

This Is Hell

Static Thought
Also no


OK, they’re kinda charming in a very formulaic way. They’re cute: riot grrl glam rock for girls in lipstick.

The Skints
I think you have to be stoned to appreciate this.

Crazy Arm
My Bitch-o-meter is waltzing off the chart

Blood Or Whiskey
(no results on search)


Marina & the Diamonds

OK, so it turns out I know this too. What’s this, 22/132?
It’s the sort of thing that makes you want to see/hear more by the artist without really getting into them.

The Sunshine Underground

Blood Red Shoes



My first thought is Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but of course they were so many other bands. Doesn’t stop them from being f***ing incendiary, however derivative. A band I’ll like in spite of myself.

Adam Green

OK, so I really liked Warpaint to start with. Dunno how into them I’ll get, but they haven’t sounded awful to me yet.

Avo Buffalo

Egyptian Hip Hop
Again, there’s an energy to this that separates it from its woeful indie fodder contemporaries. It reminds me slightly of The Fall. Melodic indie funk. Compelling.

Pulled Apart by Horses
Obviously have some aptitude but not my thing.

Summer Camp
(Not found)

Funeral Party



They’re actually really good. Too good to be this far down the bill. So theyr’e not doing anything particularly new, but f*** me do they have energy!

*intense indifference*

The Cheek
(not found)

B*llocks. Turns out I know this one too. What’s that now: 23 bands?



One comment on “Adventures in Music: Reading 2010 – Friday

  1. Pingback: Adventures In Music: Reading 2010 – Saturday « Reinspired

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