Smashing Pumpkins at Reading: rock karaoke or prog genius?

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?


Michael Bonner

Bank Holiday films -- oh, for the love of God...

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.


Rave Vs. Grave: continued...

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.


Reading Evening Round Up - Gallows, CSS and LCD Soundsystem

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 Sunday: Rock Off or Rave On - Hadouken! Cold War Kids and New Young Pony Club

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?”


Row, row, row your boat, Devendra!

It’s probably the hottest day of the year so far. A cool breeze is blowing and the sun is blazing away – what better day to be messing about on the river with the world’s premier psych-folk artiste?


Red Hot Chili Peppers at Reading

Watching Red Hot Chili Peppers on the Main Stage reminds us of catching Arctic Monkeys last year second on the bill in Leeds. The whole area is as jam packed as then, with drunken punters stretching right up to the food stalls at the side of the arena.


Dinosaur Jnr and the Rise and Fall of Alt.Rock

I'm watching Dinosaur Jnr. for the first time since their dysfunctional, tuneless, late '90s swansong at London's Astoria. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are about to close today's festival and the Pumpkins due tomorrow. It's set me thinking about what's happened to US alternative rock since its '91/'92 annus mirabilis.


Arcade Fire destroy the competition at Reading

They might have played every festival this summer, but surely that means they've had loads of practise...? Arcade Fire tonight showed they had more to give than the average group, putting many of the other acts to shame.


Bloc Party - a kind of homecoming...

Bloc Party have been hanging around all day here, flitting in and out of the press tent, big smiles on their faces. Back in the halcyon/wilderness (delete as appropriate) years of the late 90s, Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack first met at Reading Festival and decided to form a band - tonight, then, is a sort of homecoming.



Editor's Letter

Revealed: The New Issue Of Uncut…

For many of us who came of age in the mid '80s, The Smiths probably provided the soundtrack to a political maturing as much as an emotional one. My epochal moment of teenage rebellion came on July 23, 1986, a day I had strategically reserved for the purchase of The Queen Is Dead, so as to...