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Live Reviews

Sum 41

Alexandra Palace, London

Friday 21st October 2022

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SUM 41 – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

Outside the venue its wet, miserable and 2022 is kicking our ass. Once inside Alexandra Palace in London however, well, its summer 2001, we’re with our friends and we don’t have a care in the world!

Yes, tonight the venue plays host to not just headliners Sum 41 but also special guests Simple Plan as we all get to relive our youth. But up first, some fresh blood and local artist Cassyette, who has been busy making a name for herself over the past couple of years.

With tonight’s show sold out well in advance, there is a decent crowd in early for her to impress and impress she does. Owning the stage like a seasoned veteran, she is able to stir up that early crowd and get them engaged fully in proceedings.

Tracks such as ‘Dear Goth’ and ‘Mayhem’ sound huge in this large venue and intimate that hers is a name that will become more familiar for the masses in the future.

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Cassyette – ‘Dear Goth’

After a short gap, Simple Plan are ready to launch into a barrage of pop punk goodness. With a full production behind them, and the audience lapping up every moment, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Simple Plan were the headliners tonight.

All the fan favourites are present as the band commence our journey back in time. This is an immensely fun show that reinforces just how iconic Simple Plan are in their field.

Finally it’s time for headliners Sum 41 to arrive on stage to huge levels of expectation. With the band celebrating the anniversaries of their first two albums, ‘All Killer No Filler’ and ‘Does This Look Infected?’, fans are ready for a party.

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Sum 41 – ‘War’

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And it’s a party that they get with barely any lull in pace or atmosphere. Fan favourites such as ‘Motivation’, ‘The Hell Song’, ‘We’re All to Blame’, ‘War’ and ‘Underclass Hero’ dominate the setlist.

Whilst those two early albums are focused on, it’s a career spanning set from the band. Add to this pyro galore and you have a sensational show. ‘In Too Deep’, ‘Pieces’ and ‘Still Waiting’ all feature later in a relentlessly good set.

By the time the evening ends with ‘Fat Lip’, the band have succeeded in removing all our cares and have done their legacy justice.

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Live Reviews

The Snuts

UEA LCR, Norwich

Monday 17th October 2022

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THE SNUTS – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

When the industry is always looking for the next big thing, The Snuts have certainly thrown their name in that hat over the past couple of years. A huge debut album has now been followed up with a brave, adventurous and importantly well received sophomore record.

To really breakthrough though artists need to back up what they do on record when taking to the stage. Tonight we head to the UEA LCR in Norwich to see what progress the band have made on this front.

Up first however are local favourites Youth Killed It who command the stage as if they were the headliners. Full of genre-bending rifftastic sing-a-long anthems, the band control the stage with utter ease. Whilst just the opening act tonight, there would be worse bets to place than one predicting that Youth Killed It will return to headline this stage.

Next, the audience are serenaded by young singer-songwriter Heidi Curtis who is able to charm the baying crowd with her uplifting performance. Curtis is most definitely one to watch in the coming years.

Finally the venue get the group that they’ve been waiting for as The Snuts arrive onstage to a powerful politically charged video. Yes, video… the band instantly showcase their intentions to raise their live credentials with a elegant stage set up.

It’s not all style and no substance however, as The Snuts are able to back it up with a stunning performance full of effortless cool swagger. The audience are held in the palm of their hand as they mix material from their two albums.

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The Snuts – ‘The Rodeo’

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Fan favourites such as ‘Glasgow’, ‘All Your Friends’ and ‘Always’ sound absolutely huge while newer tracks ‘The Rodeo’ and ‘Zuckerpunch’ show that new album ‘Burn the Empire’ is also full of anthems.

If tonight The Snuts were auditioning to be the next breakout indie megastars then they’d have been given the part before they even finished their routine!

An encore of ‘Burn the Empire’ and ‘Fatboy Slim’ is really just the icing on what has been a delicious cake. The Snuts it would appear are ready to take over the world.

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Pulled Apart By Horses

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Saturday 15th October 2022

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PULLED APART BY HORSES – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

All 📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

Perennial contenders Pulled Apart By Horses have just released the fifth studio album of their near fifteen year career. ‘Reality Cheques’ features a more streamlined sound and tonight in Norwich we get to see how that translates on stage.

MAGNOLIA PHOTOS

Opening the early evening show at the Waterfront Studio are local newcomers Magnolia. It’s difficult to find much about the band online and even harder to pigeonhole them into any genre.

Describing themselves as psychedelic post-punk, there are certainly elements of those genres present in amongst their experimental sound. There are also many others as killer riffs segue into moments of pure randomness. There are times of brilliance and times of dreadfulness in their short set. Only a young act, there is something here, I’m just not sure what it is yet!

THE HOWLERS PHOTOS

Next up are a band clearly further along their discovery path. Londoners The Howlers recently released new EP, ‘Further Down the Line’ and songs from that record are highlights tonight.

The group own the stage like they are industry veterans and the crowd are left in awe of a top quality support slot. These are the shows where newer acts can win new fans and build their audiences and the likes of ‘The Boy I Was Before’ and ‘El Dorado’ will have done some excellent building work tonight.

PULLED APART BY HORSES PHOTOS

Finally, our headliners Pulled Apart By Horses take to the stage and from the first angry guitar strum the intimate audience are raucous! To say that both band and crowd are up for it tonight would be an understatement and that makes for a fantastic atmosphere on this Saturday night.

New album, ‘Reality Cheques’, naturally features heavily in the set list for Pulled Apart By Horses and as they open with ‘Pipe Dream’ and ‘First World Problems’ it’s clear that the album passes the live test. The new songs sound massive as do older tracks such as ‘The Haze’ and ‘The Big What If’.

During a cost of living crisis, small shows such as this are superb value for money and our headliners deliver an energetic and engaged display from start to finish – something often found lacking with arena shows.

As Pulled Apart By Horses close their set with fan favourites ‘V.E.N.O.M.’, ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’ and ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’, they reaffirm themselves a standout live act and rubberstamp the fact that five albums in they remain a creative force.

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Frank Turner

Junction, Cambridge

Friday 30th September 2022

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FRANK TURNER – CAMBRIDGE – LIVE REVIEW

You know that gig season is in full effect when you head along to a Frank Turner show. Yes, the man that is always on tour is on his rearranged ‘Never Ending Tour of Everywhere’. Tonight that means the Junction in Cambridge and another sold out show.

It’s almost a guarantee at a Turner show that you’ll be greeted by some fantastic support acts and this tour is certainly no different. Up first are Truckstop Honeymoon who serenade the crowd with their entertaining bluegrass folk sound, and their whimsical quips! The duo will be picking up many new fans on this tour as they introduce themselves properly to the UK.

The main support act on this tour is non-other than Pet Needs, who have featured on both our ‘Discover’ New Music and Full Pelt Music Podcasts. The band are intrinsically linked to Mr. Turner at the moment. He has produced both their albums and taken them on tour around the world. That said, it really feels like the band are breaking out and solidifying their own name.

Shows like tonight will go a long way towards that and it’s telling the amount of Pet Needs merchandise on display in the audience. Early fan favourites such as ‘Tracey Emin’s Bed’ and ‘Kayak’ intermix with new songs ‘Ibiza In Winter’ and ‘Fear for the Whole Damn World’ as the band showcase their enormous potential.

WATCH ‘GET ON THE ROOF’ FROM PET NEEDS ON YOUTUBE
Pet Needs – ‘Get on The Roof’

Read our review of ‘Primetime Entertainment’ from Pet Needs

Closing their generous time on stage with ‘Overcompensating’, ‘Toothpaste’ and ‘Get On the Roof’, anybody not yet alert to Pet Needs now surely are. The crowd give the band a huge ovation as they depart ready to continue to plot for world domination.

The audience is hot tonight and as Frank Turner takes to the stage the atmosphere is palpable. Imagine then the reaction as Turner bursts straight into a run of ‘Four Simple Words’, ‘The Gathering’, ‘Photosynthesis’, ‘Punches’ and ‘1933’ – hardly time for band or audience to breathe!

Turner’s latest album, ‘FTHC’, is a punk record and that ethos is certainly captured on this tour. Thankfully for Turner his audience are open to this change in pace and band and crowd are one tonight making this a great Friday night out.

Frank Turner is known to take particular care over his setlists and tonight is a typical career spanning affair with fan favourites, deep cuts and new tracks all on offer. Highlights tonight include ‘A Wave Across A Bay’, ‘Be More Kind’ and ‘Non Serviam’.

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Frank Turner – ‘Non Serviam’ (Live)

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At this point you know what you are going to get from a Turner show, and that’s an amazing time. Realistically that makes him a very difficult person to review, his consistency and endurance are unrivalled and you never really get a misstep.

Tonight the show climaxes with an encore of ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’, ‘Recovery’, ‘Try This At Home’ and ‘I Still Believe’, which drains every remaining drop of energy out of the venue. Don’t take Turner for granted, get down to a show and have a great night!

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The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 1 – Frank Turner

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Hard-Fi

Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes

Thursday 29th September 2022

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HARD-FI – MILTON KEYNES – LIVE REVIEW

Tonight is a hot ticket, with venue staff stating that they could’ve sold the venue out four times over, and that people had been inquiring about just listening from outside the venue.

The reason for the excitement is that tonight indie rock standouts Hard-Fi will be playing their first show in eight years. Not just that but it takes place in the intimate surrounds of one of the UK’s premier independent music venues – the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes (or Wolverton as singer Richard Archer points out).

Yes, the return of Hard-Fi is very welcome and given the lyrical content of some of their early material, it’s somewhat apt that the band responsible for ‘Cash Machine’ return during one of the most tumultuous weeks of the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Tonight serves as a warm up for their big return shows in Manchester and London, but before Hard-Fi arrive on stage we have the warm up for tonight. Eddz channels his inner Ian Brown, performing solo to a backing track. In front of a baying crowd, Eddz styles out the performance well and certainly leaves the stage with more fans than we he arrived.

The venue is rammed tight by the time the returning heroes arrive on stage and opener ‘Middle Eastern Holiday’ instantly engages the crowd. The atmosphere is electric as the band find their feet through the likes of ‘Can’t Get Along (Without You)’ and ‘I Shall Overcome’.

There is a slightly misguided rendition of The White Stripes classic ‘Seven Nation Army’ early in the show which feels oddly placed and generally unnecessary, however the next tracks ‘Tied Up Too Tight’ and ‘Good For Nothing’ ensure that the crowd remains firmly onboard.

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Hard-Fi – ‘Cash Machine’

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A run of ‘Better Do Better’, ‘Bring It On’, ‘Fire In The House’ and ‘Cash Machine’ is fantastic, and just shows the depth of the bands back catalogue. Despite only having 3 studio albums to their name, Hard-Fi certainly have the proverbial bangers for days!

Whilst there are times that it’s clear this is their first show in a very long time, the band shake off any gremlins to deliver a memorable night for their fans. ‘Suburban Knights’ and ‘Hard To Beat’ close out the main set for a three song encore which ends of ‘Living For The Weekend’.

The band are living for this weekend and their big return shows, but after this performance, fans will be hoping that Hard-Fi stick around for a while longer!

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Lonely The Brave

Junction, Cambridge

Wednesday 21st September 2022

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LONELY THE BRAVE – CAMBRIDGE – LIVE REVIEW

It feels like an eternity ago that Lonely The Brave burst onto the scene with their incredible early EP, ‘Backroads’. That’s probably because that actually was almost a decade ago, and wow has the world been through some tough times since then.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the band either, with the switch of vocalist in 2018 a major hurdle. Thankfully the band secured the talented Jack Bennett to fill the very big shoes of David Jakes.

The problem for the band now is that just when they would need momentum the most, the world stopped moving. The pandemic disrupted all people in all walks of life with the music industry hit very hard.  Imagine then the impact on Lonely The Brave as they looked to move seamlessly into their new era.

New album, ‘The Hope List’, was released in the midst of lockdown in January 2021 and plans to tour in support were naturally delayed. That time has belatedly arrived now and tonight they play a special hometown show at the Junction in Cambridge.

There are two support acts on tap with VLMV up first, captivating the early audience with a sonic smorgasbord of guitars, synths and vocals. Cult icon Jamie Lenman then blasts though a short set of new material which ramps up the intensity in the venue. Both acts have done a good job warming up a slightly lethargic crowd ready for the hometown heroes to arrive.

Welcomed warmly onstage Lonely The Brave instantly mix new tracks such as ‘Keeper’ and ‘Distant Light’ with old favourites like ‘Black Mire’ and ‘Trick of the Light’. This is a theme that continues throughout the evening.

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Lonely The Brave – ‘Trick of The Light’

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Bennett as we say has had big shoes to fill vocally and he manages to do those old favourites justice tonight whilst also adding new layers both sonically and corporeally.

There is an unusual tense atmosphere in the venue tonight, which feels highlighted by this being a hometown show. It’s only really when the likes of ‘The Blue, The Green’, ‘Backroads’ and ‘Black Saucers’ appear towards the end of the show that the audience relaxes a bit.

Performance wise the venue witnesses three strong sets tonight from three acts at varying stages of their careers. The industry is in a tough spot right now, but you’d hope there is enough talent on show here that these acts can kick on from here.

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The Xcerts

Portland Arms, Cambridge

Tuesday 20th September 2022

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The cost of living crisis currently strangling the UK has become the latest threat to the future of our independent grassroots music venues. The Music Venue Trust had already engaged with The National Lottery for the #ReviveLive campaign in answer to the pandemic, but now it takes on even greater meaning.

It’s venues such as the Portland Arms in Cambridge where we are tonight that are vital to the music ecosystem. No introductory venues – no cultivating superstars. No regional venues – unsustainable travel to gigs for fans. No new superstars and unaffordable costs for fans – the collapse of the music industry! That may seem dramatic, but it’s the short, sharp and real threat that we are facing.

Tonights #ReviveLive show features Scottish rock band The Xcerts and has been pushed back a day to avoid the Queen’s funeral. Despite the change and the lack of a support act, the venue is suitably stocked with audience members come the time for the band to hit the stage.

The setlist tonight comprises tracks from all four of the bands studio albums but focuses heavily on latest effort, 2018’s ‘Hold On To Your Heart’. ‘Drive Me Wild’ and ‘Daydream’ from that album start us off and ease the audience into the show, before ‘Shaking in the Water’ really gets things moving.

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The Xcerts – ‘Daydream’

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That album is a masterpiece so fans are more than happy to hear multiple tracks from it. There is an audible delight however at the presence of two brand new songs in the set tonight. Both ‘Everything I Cannot Live Without’ and ‘Jealousy’ sound promising for more stunning work to come from the band.

The Xcerts deserve all the success in the world and the final run of ‘Show Me Beautiful’, ‘There Is Only You’, ‘Crazy’, ‘Hold On To Your Heart’, ‘Aberdeen 1987’ and ‘Feels Like Falling In Love’ is a real testament to their quality.

There are great nights like this happening in every major city and town in the UK every night of the week. The venues these are happening in and the bands killing it onstage need your support now. If you are able to, get yourself to a show and ensure that when all our problems hopefully dissipate, we still have venues and bands to enjoy!

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Ash

O2 Forum Kentish Town, London

Sunday 18th September 2022

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ASH – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

Disillusioned and close to bankruptcy, it is fair to say that 2001’s ‘Free All Angels’, was a make or break record for Ash. Whilst debut album, ‘1977’, had hit the number one spot and made the band a household name, sophomore release, ‘Nu-Clear Sounds’ had seen the bands momentum stall.

Having seemingly hit rock bottom, a refreshed approach saw the band write and record what would be their saving grace, ‘Free All Angels’. Returning the band to the top of the charts, and serving as a springboard to greater success, it is again fair comment to say that the album rescued the group’s career.

This week has seen the band celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the album with three very special shows. Rejoined by guitarist Charlotte Hatherley, who departed the band in 2006, Ash have played the album in full first in Manchester, then Birmingham and finally tonight at the O2 Forum Kentish Town in London.

On the eve of the funeral for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, there is a perfectly observed minutes silence at 8pm.

Shortly thereafter opening act The Gulps take to the stage and do a suitable job of raising spirits and getting those in attendance ready for our headliners.

WATCH ‘SHINING LIGHT’ ON YOUTUBE
Ash – ‘Shining Light’

A mighty roar greets Ash and particularly Hatherley to the stage and the band proceed to play the entirety of ‘Free All Angels’. The quality of the record is borne out with opening trio, ‘Walking Barefoot’, ‘Shining Light’ and ‘Burn Baby Burn’, with even frontman Tim Wheeler commenting on the run.

The singles, naturally, played a large role in the success of the album but it is the overall quality that ensures that remains as revered today as when released in 2001. ‘Candy’, ‘Someday’, ‘Sometimes’ and ‘There’s A Star’ are all glorious before ‘World Domination’ brings the run though to a close.

This doesn’t end the evening however as Wheeler quips about making the most of their time with Hatherley, before introducing the first song that they worked on together, ‘A Life Less Ordinary’.

Ash are a fine live act, but tonight the addition of Hatherley really ratchets things up a notch or two. The added layers and intricacies level up the band and the likes of ‘Goldfinger’, ‘Orpheus’ and ‘Clones’ sound absolutely huge tonight.

Towards the end of the night the band break out tracks such as ‘Numbskull’, ‘Kung Fu’ and ‘Girl From Mars’ much to the delight of the audience.

WATCH ‘BURN BABY BURN’ ON YOUTUBE
Ash – ‘Burn Baby Burn’

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Tonight has been a reflection of a period of time not just for Ash but in British music. It’s an evening drenched in nostalgia but for those in the venue it’s all about the immediacy of the performance. It’s only fitting that a final airing of ‘Burn Baby Burn’ closes out what has been a successful celebration of a truly great album.

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Arkells

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Thursday 15th September 2022

ARKELLS – NORWICH WATERFRONT STUDIO – LIVE REVIEW

With the nights drawing in and the first full festival season in three years now completed, it’s time to head back indoors for our live music fix. And where better to start than in one of the UK’s many incredible intimate independent venues!

That brings us to Norwich at The Waterfront Studio for a sold out show from Canadian acts Arkells and Lights. Getting to welcome international acts such as these back into venues such as this is another reminder of the progress live music has made to return this year, and the venue fills up early with fans eager for an evening of great music.

Whether or not they’d be in receipt of such was never really in doubt considering the acts present. Up first is the multi-talented Lights who clearly has her fair share of diehard fans in attendance. Thankfully for them she has a whole hour to showcase her genre-bending indie pop, to the delights of those in the venue.

Latest album, ‘PEP’, features highly throughout a career spanning set list and album tracks such as opener ‘Prodigal Daughter’, ‘Beside Myself’ and ‘Okay Okay’ are highlights in a consistently powerful and uplifting show.

WATCH ‘PRODIGAL DAUGHTER’ ON YOUTUBE
Lights – ‘Prodigal Daughter’

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Yes, the bar for tonight is set very high by Lights, and many seasoned professionals would flounder in their attempts to follow such a performance. Luckily for both the band and the packed venue, Arkells are more than up to the challenge.

The Opening trio of ‘Past Life’, ‘Leather Jacket’ and ‘Michigan Left’ set the stage for another top tier performance from this well-oiled touring machine. At this stage of their career, the group have songs for days so it’s refreshing that they are willing to accept audience requests such as ‘Hand Me Downs’ which occurs next.

Arkells provide another career encapsulating set list with a particular focus on recent efforts ‘Blink Once’ and ‘Blink Twice’. Big hitters such as ’11:11’, ‘Knocking At The Door’ and finale ‘You Can Get It’ all elicit huge reactions from the crowd, however the highlight of the night comes from something special and unique.

Frontman Max Kerman regales the crowd with the tale of a young married couple having their first dance to ‘And Then Some’, with the track being performed by a local covers band. Kerman proceeds to recreate the moment of the first dance with the couple in the crowd, even bringing out the singer of said band, Counterfeit Brits, to sing.

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Arkells – ‘Human Being’ with Lights

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Another memorable moment comes via ABBA cover, ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’. Expect the unexpected appears to be the theme of the night as Lights also returns to the stage to perform ‘Human Being’ with Arkells; much to the delight of an audience who will remember this night for years to come.

Live music is well and truly back, and our independent venues are leading the charge with amazing shows such as this taking place every night of the week. The tickets to catch these two fantastic international acts in intimate UK venues are surprisingly inexpensive. Thankfully for you there are a number of shows remaining on this tour, so do yourself and your local venue a favour and head along to one!

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Reading Festival

Saturday 27th August 2022

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READING FESTIVAL – SATURDAY – FESTIVAL REVIEW

Reading & Leeds Festivals are the traditional end of the UK Festival season, and this year is a milestone year as a full calendar takes place for the first time since 2019. Let’s not dwell on why, instead let’s head straight into the action on a packed and hot Saturday at Reading Festival.

Sold out well in advance, Saturday at this year’s event is a particularly hot ticket with a stunning line-up throughout and topped by Arctic Monkeys and Bring Me The Horizon.

We are in the arena bright and early for surprise opening act Wargasm who storm the main stage with a set packed full of energy and attitude. The band appears to be on a world conquering mission, and nobody can argue their work ethic. It’s also damn hard to argue with their captivating stage presence and musical outlay.

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WARGASM – ‘Fukstar’

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We then head into the ‘Festival Republic’ Tent for the next couple of acts. With the new two main stage structure at Reading & Leeds Festivals the separate ‘Pit’ and ‘Lock-up’ stage has sadly been a much missed casualty. There is much less choice now for the music connoisseurs amongst the crowd; which isn’t a problem with a stacked line-up like today but is very evident on Friday and Sunday.

This change does mean there is less cohesion in the line-up with heavy rockers Static Dress followed by lad rock upstarts The Skinner Brothers in the tent. Despite their difference styles both deliver energetic and well-received performances for the early risers.

There is more indie-fuelled sing-a-long action next back on the main stages with The Lathums pulling in a decent crowd. Whilst there is nothing earth-shatteringly new about what they do, The Lathums do this modern stock-indie reasonably well.

WATCH POPPY PLAY ‘BLOODMONEY’ AT READING FESTIVAL
Poppy – ‘BLOODMONEY’

Whilst there were no moulds broken on one main stage, over on the other is Poppy, an artist who has broken every mould she’s been in. Yes, originally a Youtube sensation, then a bubblegum pop idol and now a heavy metal phenomenon, Poppy crosses many boundaries. Today she oozes rockstar appeal as she owns the stage with their eclectic musical offerings, proving along the way that she retains a very bright future.

A bright future is also ahead for Sueco, who attracts a good sized audience in the tent next for his debut UK performance. Over the next thirty minutes Sueco has that crowd in the palm of his hands as he runs through fans favourites including TikTok sensation ‘Paralyzed’.

Enter Shikari are a band more concerned with the future of the planet than that of their career and they take a main stage next for a politically charged call to arms with epic musical accompaniment. New single, ‘The Void Stares Back’ including guests Wargasm sounds absolutely huge as do tracks from previous album, ‘Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible’.

WATCH ENTER SHIKARI PLAY ‘{ THE DREAMER’S HOTEL }’ AT READING
Enter Shikari – { The Dreamer’s Hotel }’

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A passionate speech is curtailed through either a power failure or for the conspiracy theorists – censorship. Either way even with a stifled end to their set, the band show once again that they are one of the best live acts on the planet.

We’ve mentioned the stacked line-up today and part of the reason for such excitement is the collection of a number of bands in the best live act conversation. Next up on the other main stage are Fontaines D.C. who receive a hero’s welcome by swelled crowd.

WATCH FONTAINES D.C. PLAY ‘BOYS IN THE BETTER LAND’ AT READING
Fontaines D.C. – ‘Boys In The Better Land’

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New album, ‘Skinty Fia’, takes centre stage as the band deliver the likes of ‘I Love You’, ‘Jackie Down the Line’ and ‘Roman Holiday’. A young fan coming out the crowd to ace guitar on ‘Boys in the Better Land’ provides one of the highlights of the festival, and the band leave the stage having proven themselves to be in the pool of future headliners.

Another band no doubt destined to headline Reading Festival in the not too distant future is Wolf Alice. Whether rocking hard on ‘Smile’, serenading us with ‘Safe From Heartbreak (If You Never Fall in Love)’ or showing their all round brilliance on ‘The Last Man on Earth’, Wolf Alice are a band that can literally do it all.

WATCH WOLF ALICE PLAY ‘HOW CAN I MAKE IT OK?’ AT READING
Wolf Alice – ‘How Can I Make It OK?’

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A twelve song set absolutely flies by this evening and with a rammed field of fans left desperate for more, surely a full headline show from the band is a must next time they come to town.

That’s one thing Reading & Leeds Festivals have always excelled at – giving new headliners their shot. That’s exactly what they do next with heavy hitters Bring Me The Horizon finally being given the main stage headline festival set they earned years ago!

What those who gather for the performance are greeted with is a band at the peak of their powers, both creatively and as a live act. The band proceed to deliver a memorable set for all the right reasons. This is a victory for Bring Me The Horizon and for heavy music and the band do all in their powers to fulfil all expectations.

WATCH BRING ME THE HORIZON PLAY ‘BAD HABITS’ WITH ED SHEERAN AT READING
Bring Me The Horizon – ‘Bad Habits’ feat. Ed Sheeran

Read our review of Bring Me The Horizon live in London

The setlist is flawless, the visuals are stunning, the crowd interaction is on point and the band sound incredible; this is a real moment. A moment made even bigger by the band bringing out Ed Sheeran for a dose of ‘Bad Habits’ to the ear-piercing sound of teenage girls screams.

This is the sort of performance that you don’t want to follow but that’s just what Arctic Monkeys have to do next. Being one of the most hotly anticipated acts of the weekend and one much craved by fans in recent years, surely this would be easy for megastars such as Arctic Monkeys.

WATCH ARCTIC MONKEYS PLAY ‘R U MINE’ AT READING
Arctic Monkeys – ‘R U Mine’

Sadly for those in attendance what the band deliver is a lukewarm showing. The opposite of Bring Me The Horizon, the setlist is poor, the visuals are basic, the crowd interaction is nearly non-existent and the sound is too low. A stunning day such as this needed a big finish and that should in hindsight of been Bring Me The Horizon.

Arctic Monkeys are a huge act with a back catalogue you can hold against anybody else, but today it feels like a phoned in effort. It isn’t a bad show by any stretch of the imagination; it’s a good show that should’ve been a great show.

Hopefully the band can rediscover their spark with new album, ‘The Car’ on the way, but tonight belongs to a different Sheffield band!

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