So this year’s Reading festival somehow went off without the audience drowning, mostly thanks to the organisers turning carparks into campsites rather than forcing people to buy lilos and the like, and the hottest and most gorgeous three days of weather we will have this year. Sunshine on a bank holiday? I don’t believe it, and I was there! So here’s the best Reading festival awards blog you’ll read at ALD this particular week. Honest…
The My God You’re Fun Award – The Pipettes
First band on the Main Stage, everything and everyone to play for, and the weather’s unexpectedly rather damn nice. It left the Pipettes in the odd position of being in better circumstances than expected, but with more pressure (i.e. people) have ccrawled out of their tents as a result. And? And it was a blinder. There’s something massively endearing about the girls and their backing boys. Maybe it’s the easy on the ear but not sopoforic songs. Maybe it’s the rubbish but cute dancing. Or the polka dots and attitude. Whatever, they were a perfect start, and I’ll be off to buy their album asap.
We’ve had some of their stuff on here before, so here’s a jive-y little cover from the girls.
The Pipettes – ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’
I’ve Heard The Future And It’s Noisy Award – Crystal Castles
Oh my god. Drawing possibly the biggest crowd of the day in the Dance Tent despite being about third on, Crystal Castles sound like a Gameboy being microwaved whilst a madwoman yells over the top. Considering the last band to attempt this setup are The Knife (i.e. completely brilliant) how could it fail? It couldn’t. CC were brilliant, confrontational and yet somehow tuneful… ish. It is especially satisfying as this is band who’s first single was recorded by mistake, the singer pratting around in the studio and those vocals being used on ‘Alice Practise’. CC may be the hipsters choice at the moment, but sometimes those twats get it right. Sometimes.
Crystal Castles – ‘Alice Practise’
The Why Weren’t You Huge Award – Jimmy Eat World
When they got onstage for their Main Stage afternoon gig (the first of two) most in the crowd were there less out of obsession than out of a strange feeling that they should be there. Good choice. Very good. JEW proceeded to play a classic set of songs which you didn’t realise you knew and loved. It was almost perfect. Culled from Bleed American and Futures mostly, it demonstrated that there’s something unfair in a world which allows The Fray to become bigger than JEW’s real emotional rock. You should own Bleed American. No arguing. Being light on the earlier stuff was a shame, as it missed out the magnificent ‘Crush’, but they rectified that in their evening set. Stamina gets you everywhere.
Jimmy Eat World – ‘Crush’
Pissed And Wonderful Award – Patrick Wolf
Technical problems? Check. Pissed performer? Check. Fabulous glitter and violins? Check check check (actually !!! were good as well, but not pissed). Oh Patrick, how wonderful you are, with your craziness and beautifully dramatic songs. He’s like Rufus Wainwright with a folk fixation rather than a Judy Garland fixation. He also knows how to get an audience going. Thundering electro and folky strings shouldn’t really work but they do. His audience love him and it could spread. Yes, this is a gushing hagiography but ALD was there, y’hear? We were there! And there’s every chance that in future that might count as something to brag about, almost on a par with that time ALD saw The Killers at the Warwick Students’ Union with only 15 people in the crowd [snip! stop being boring – ed]
Patrick Wolf – ‘Overture’
If there’s any demand for more awards then we might write some more. At the moment we’re just trying to work through the two year supply of museli bars we took and forgot to eat…