Tuborg Festival Blogger

Reading Festival. My last festival of the Summer.

The question is: how am I supposed to get any reading done at a festival? Only time will tell I guess. Pitch tent, swig a Tuborg and get ready for the weekend I’ve been looking forward to for months. Rock into the Guest area and within three minutes have met both Kelly Osbourne and Jack Penate. Out to the Main Stage and The Enemy are in full flight. I thoroughly enjoy my introduction to what will be a stellar weekend. Much to the dismay of my friends, I trek over to the Radio One tent to see Jack Penate – I’ve never seen him live and figure now’s as good a time as ever. I rather enjoy the twenty minutes I spend with him before getting restless and cruising back to the Guest area for some more Tuborg.

Trying to see MGMT in the Radio One tent would prove to be more difficult than getting a suntan in London in December (or July, or really anytime for that matter). Now I can’t say I’m a huge MGMT fan – probably more a headstrong opposition to all the hype surrounding them. But I manage to get within earshot of the tent and within half a song have fallen in love with Andrew VanWyngarden, dressed in a tie-dyed Kaftan that would challenge only the likes of Sam Sparro, and stay until the claustrophobia starts to kick in. Back to the Main Stage for The Wombats.

Next up on the Main Stage: Queens of the Stone Age. Oh yeah. There’s something so manly and raw about boys and their guitars that I am enthralled. Rage Against The Machine – Friday’s headliners – come onstage in orange boiler suits cuffed and hooded. Let the political tirade begin. There's no denying that Zack De La Rocha's voice is as strong as ever, despite the unnaturally low volume imposed on the main stage resulting in his between-song rants are hard to decipher at times. Could be a blessing in disguise. It soon becomes apparent that, despite the anticipation of Rage, most of the audience don’t actually know any other songs except ‘Killing in the Name Of’. Nevertheless the energy is electric and Rage do not disappoint.

After a fairly decent sleep I’m up bright and early for Saturday’s shenanigans. Head over to the Radio One stage for Santagold, who is a fabulously mellow introduction to the day. Hang around for The Ting Tings to see if they live up to their almost overwhelming hype that surrounds them. They are lots of fun and provide the setting for the best dance I’ve had for the whole weekend. The Raconteurs rock out, followed by Bloc Party who are electrifying and I finally get the chance to have a good sing-a-long. Finally it’s time for The Killers. Mr. Flowers, decked in a fabulous turquoise jacket (very reminiscent of his Las Vegas roots), opens with ‘For Reasons Unknown’, and ploughs through many hits including ‘Bones’ and 'When You Were Young'. Disappointed by the severe lack of volume, I enjoy the set nonetheless but feel for the band rocking their hearts out without the audience being able to appreciate them in full volume. Closing with ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’, confetti sprays out onto the audience. You can hear them go bang and everything. What a great finale. Roll back to the Guest bar for a nightcap and stagger back to my tent (which I swear has moved locations since the morning).

Sunday rolls around quicker than I would like, and I spend the morning wandering around the market stalls, and wonder if £4 for five minutes of oxygen at the O2 Bar is really worth it. Isn’t oxygen meant to be free? Noon rolls around and before I know it it’s beer o’clock. Two tuborgs and a falafel and yesterday’s hangover is soon a distant memory. Meander over to the Alternative stage and watch a couple of comedians ease the rather decent-sized crowd into the festival spirit. I’m back in the vibe and it’s time to brave the Main Stage. Now I’ve never been a huge fan of Tenacious D, but settle on the grass to watch it nonetheless, and am thoroughly entertained. Not so much by the music but by the costumes and on-stage antics of the boys. Sunday’s headliners: Metallica. What more to say there. Always consistent performers, I have seen them four times previously, and they have never disappointed. Much to my pleasure they play lots of classics, ‘Nothing Else Matters’ being an absolute treat – it’s my favourite Metallica track and they don’t often play it live. I feel very spoilt and am, as always, amazed by their technical prowess and high energy after so many years of touring. A fabulous finale.

All in all: a great festival. Just a pity I didn’t get any reading done.
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