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