I knew I was heading for trouble at last night’s Hold Steady show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom when I realised that I was so excited by what I was listening to that I was knocking back a pint per song – which meant by rough reckoning that I was soon going to be either behaving outrageously or completely unconscious, unless one of us slowed down.
Strange to think that a format should have been so exciting, but when Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation emerged in 1988, among the intriguing things about it was that it was a double album.
With the double albums that me and my friends played at the time – this would have been Electric Ladyland, The Song Remains The Same, if I’m honest Focus 3 – part of their mystique derived from the fact they were from another era.
We’re back home after three days in a field by the Thames, clothes have been washed and hangovers nursed, so it must be time to discuss who rocked Uncut’s world at the Carling Weekend: Reading Festival and who rocked the boat of musical excellence…
I mentioned in yesterday's blog about how much of a fan I am of Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow's vampire noir that celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. To be honest, it's been flapping round by brain all day like a rabid bat, so I thought why not write about it...
There’s nine-minute songs, endless guitar solos, an awe-inspiring light show... Smashing Pumpkins' headline appearance at Reading Festival was pure prog - but was it bad cabaret or awesome future-rock spectacle?
While my compatriots are at Reading Festival, I've been spending a quiet weekend either enjoying the sun on London Fields or watching the typically variable output terrestrial TV has to offer. It's a dirty job, and all that.
The scale of the Klaxons’ popularity, meanwhile, isn’t something you hear while the music is in progress, more something you can see for yourself. The queues extend miles out from the fringes of the tent. Messages are passed back about what a good time is being had inside.
In spite of the day’s good vibes emanating from the mainly non-rock sounds of the Radio 1 tent, it’s impossible to ignore the Lock-Up stage, and the power of Gallows. Flaming red hair, covered in tattoos, with singer Frank Carter it’s as if someone was granted three wishes, and one of them was “Create the perfect Scotsman. But make him from Watford. And loud.”
Reading on Sunday is, emotionally speaking, a game of two halves. So much so, at the start of the day it helps to imagine a line halfway between the main stage and the Radio 1 tent, where you can stand and ask yourself: “So. Do I want to be happy? Or do I want to be depressed?”
Such has been the drooling media focus on Kate Bush this week, it might be tough to imagine British music journalists listening to anything else these past few days. I'm not, in fairness, exempt from the hysteria: here's...