But when did a little bit of mud ever hurt anyone eh? There was ambiguity at times, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst asked the crowd, “Is that mud you’re throwing or doo-doo?”. Doo doo was the response and I for one, having seen others trying to vomit into water pistols, remain undecided. Talking of the mighty Bizkit, their set was great and drew in a massive crowd. Many of whom, I suspect rather like myself, used the opportunity to hark back to their student glory days. Either way, Fred knew the score and stuck to the hits. He was rewarded for his efforts by many topless girls sat astride willing shoulders. Everyone was a winner.
Cheesey pervs aside, other highlights of the day included The King Blues, delivering a potent mix of politics, ska and punk to a crowd who lapped it up despite the rain. Lead singer Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox was his customary little ball of loveable rage and leapt into the crowd towards the end as a beleagured security guard held on to the back of his trousers. Highlights included ‘Boulder’, ‘Headbutt’ and ‘The Streets Are Ours’ – the latter a heartfelt dedication to the recent putdown of an EDL demonstration at the weekend. We were all happy to oblige him in raging against the scumbag far right extremists. The Steets Are Ours? Too right Jonny.
Kele Okereke played a storming set in the NME tent, easily one of my festival highlights. Creating the best atmosphere I experienced in my entire time at the festival, Kele continued to manage his transition from Bloc Party pretty well, playing up to new and old fans alike. He told us: “Some of you may know, I used to have another band. They were really rather good.” That was the closest he came to answering the calls for a firm stance on whether Bloc Party’s days are numbered but, if his set was anything to go by, solo success not only beckons, it’s claimed him for one of its own. As you’d expect, Flux went down extremely well, but so did Tenderoni and Everything You Wanted. Kele, what can I say? You’re buff, your’re back and everyone loves you. I’m in New York soon and just booked tickets to see him there – I’ll keep you posted…
Wild Beasts got a good reception and came across as thoroughly nice boys, while Weezer prompted many calls for a full UK tour soon. Headline-wise, Paramore put on a solid performance, and I was amazed that I seemed to be the only one there who didn’t know every word to every song. Especially since the punky popsters are not known for being syllable-light. Following the obligatory calls for Hayley to “show us your tits”, I ditched the band in favour of We Are Scientists, who delivered an energetic performance, characterised by witty quips and a brilliant rendition of After Hours. I gather they were followed by an amazing Klaxons set but since they and Blink are not my bag, I opted to beat the mass exodus and head home.
What a festival. Well done Reading; critics hang your head in shame.