Can' t stop talking about The Gossip - Main stage at Reading is go

Christ almighty, is this really Reading? On the way here my only thoughts were whether I was ready for the first underwater festival. That, and the odd hungover thought about how many records the Horrors must sell in Japan.

Anyway, the sun comes out the minute Beth Ditto comes on. It's dazzling, but nothing on the crimson Geisha Girl dress she's got on. That and the look of someone who's determined to drill home her message, despitet he jetlag.

Within five minutes, her dress is around her waist and the audience has a decision to make. Is this pop-future? Songs you should know by now come and go. 'Listen Up'; 'Jealous Girls', you know the drill. Meanttime, Nathan H plays bass, guitar and both at once with an ease which comes easy to the born bedroom geek. It gets you thinking- really, why aren't all bands like this, so desperate to bend the rules, so eager to fuck with the perception of what rock'n'roll can be?

Minutes pass. Beth does an Kung Fu kick, her skirt rides higher and the riff to 'Standing In The Way of Control' starts up. "The sun is shining-I hope you brought your hotpants!" she bellows.

Right now, sweltering in the sun, it feels like the festival is hers already. She's doing it for you.

Words: Paul Moody


Editor's Letter

The 39th Uncut Playlist Of 2014

A lot to get through here, but I'm indebted once more to the resource that is www.nyctaper.com, who this week have posted two amazing live sets by Steve Gunn and Ryley Walker. Elsewhere, there's a new Waterboys track to check out,...