Reading rocks festival
By Linda Serck
So the Reading Festival has come and gone, but this year was extra special for local band fans as a host of Berkshire bands were on the bill. The Session Introducing presenter Linda Serck finds out how the festival was for them.
After the gig: Tripwires and Linda Serck
Three days of sunshine, 150 bands on the bill and a buzzing atmosphere topped off another memorable three-dayer for me.
But what I found particularly distinctive this year is the amount of bands with local connections on the bill.
To start with, of course there are the two Berkshire bands who performed on the BBC Introducing stage: Tripwires from Reading and Fox Cubs from Newbury.
Tripwires opened the stage on Friday before hundreds of fans and those new to their music.
I don't think I've ever seen Tripwires perform such an intense and rich gig. And speaking to the lads afterwards, clearly the quartet are a confident bunch who fully deserve to be playing at the world-famous festival.
"It was really good fun and it went better than we thought it would be," they said. And despite it being a landmark performance there weren't any pre-gig jitters.
"It wasn't something that we gave too much thought because at the end of the day we practiced what we were going to play quite a lot, so I think it was more excitement than nerves."
Fox Cubs I've come to realise are the ultimate perfectionists who don't seem to like superlatives when it comes to describe their performance. I saw their gig and thought it was mind-blowing. All dressed in black the band delivered a 25-minute whirlwind set bejewelled with musical gems, particularly their self-released single You Never Learn.
However, catching up with the band backstage, where frontman Tim was signing CDs, the band could only muster:
"It was alright, it was a bit sketchy, it was the second set we've done with our new drummer so it was a tiny bit ropey. There were a couple of mistakes but nothing to cry about."
Radio One/NME stage
Pete and the Pirates were second on the bill on the Radio One/NME stage, having opened the Carling Stage (now known as the Festival Republic stage) last year.
Now here's a Reading band who are destined for the main stage, but guitarist Pete Cattermoul jokes that it may take some time:
"We have a 30-year plan - if we keep moving at this rate we figure in 20 to 30 years we'll be on the main stage headlining."
Frontman Tommy Sanders hammered home what it means for the band to play the festival:
"Reading is like the God of all festivals really, the line up and calibre of bands that play here - it's the Big Daddy of the festivals, so it's quite a privilege.
"But for us it's more the Reading link - we're from Reading and we're playing at Reading so it's really nice."
On the main stage Dirty Pretty Things played on Saturday, featuring the one and only Didz Hammond from Reading, and formerly of the now disbanded Cooper Temple Clause. Before them on the bill British Sea Power may once have supped a beer or two in the same bars as Didz, as a few of them attended Reading University.
Festival Republic stage
The Festival Republic stage perhaps shone the greatest spotlight on Reading-based bands.
Headlining on the Friday were dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip. Dan moved to Reading about ten years ago after attending the university, and now lives off the Oxford Road somewhere - even organising gigs at South Street arts centre.
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
But before them came the penultimate headliners Does It Offend You, Yeah? who, apart from one, are all from Reading.
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Drummer Rob Bloomfield from the band was only too happy to be back in his home town, albeit temporarily:
"It feels really nice coming back to Reading because we live here and I haven't been here for months. I'm going away for two months tomorrow (Saturday 23 August) so it's really nice just to be home.
He added: "Also, this is the festival that we all grew up with. I must have been here about ten or 11 times and probably paid to get in for it probably about once so I probably owe the Reading Festival some money, so I'll play this gig for them!
"I started off thinking it (playing Reading Festival) was a ridiculous distant dream and then as you grow up you see the bands and think 'I can do that'. And now we're here!"
last updated: 28/08/2008 at 13:59