Festivals 2015: Reading & Leeds Review – Metallica, Bring Me The Horizon, Royal Blood + more

Ellie Langford reports on the second day of Reading Festival

PHOTO: Jen O'Neill

PHOTO: Jen O’Neill

Just 3 years after they played the BBC Introducing Stage Marmozets have managed to make the leap to the coveted main stage. The dove into their raucous set on ‘Move, Shake, Hide’ with the unabashed vigour and raw energy that has driven their success. Dwarfed by the size of their stage, however, some of the reaction their music deserved was lost. And yet, they still brought a rock party to the early crowd by blending Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’ into the intro of ‘Born Young and Free’.

PHOTO: Jen O'Neill

PHOTO: Jen O’Neill

The dubstep rock band Modestep had Reading in the palm of their hand for their utterly massive mid-afternoon set. Their throbbing and winding sound was unrelenting and hugely infectious, resulting in moshpits galore and an insatiable crowd. Opening tracks ‘Sing’ and ‘Rainbow’ showed what they were made of, and it simply went uphill from there. By the time ‘Sunlight’ came on Josh Modestep had created utter carnage in the crowd below and the band had outdone all expectations with a killer performance.

PHOTO: Sidney Bernstein

PHOTO: Sidney Bernstein

At the NME stage the stylish personas and honey-thick vocals of Spector were effortlessly charming the crowded tent with tracks ‘Celestine’ and ‘Bad Boyfriend’. The crowd radiated good vibes as the assembled clapped and sang along spontaneously. By the time the set closed on ‘All The Sad Young Men‘ these London boys had perfectly rounded up their swish and laid-back brand of alternative rock.

PHOTO: Jen O'Neill

PHOTO: Jen O’Neill

With just a drummer, a bass guitar and a lot of rain to work with on stage Royal Blood definitely had a challenge ahead of them and yet they still secured a massive reaction and and even more massive sound worthy of a headline act. After reeling in their fans with ‘Little Monster’ and ‘Figure It Out’ the duo gave Reading a treat with the debut of their mighty riff-heavy new song ‘Hook, Line and Sinker’. The effortless way that they rocked the crowd despite the pouring rain showed that Royal Blood definitely deserve their ever-growing reputation.

PHOTO: Kennerdeigh Scott

PHOTO: Kennerdeigh Scott

Ever since their sell-out Wembley gig, the new kings of rock Bring Me The Horizon have proven they know how to put on a show. The crowd was prepared for the proceedings by Radio 1 Rock DJ Daniel P. Carter who introduced a hugely helpful health and safety video – take your drugs before the show and say goodbye to your loved ones, we were advised. Oli Sykes and company enter accompanied by hypnotic lights, dystopian images and massive smoke cannons ready to open Reading up. No pit is big enough, according to Sykes, for the massive intensity of ‘Shadow Moses’ and ‘Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake’. With middle fingers in their air and flare guns galore the crowd unite with the Bring Me boys as they throwback to their metal days with ‘Chelsea Smile’ and bring us to today with new song ‘Throne’. Prepare for a takeover, because after that performance Bring Me The Horizon will be headlining Reading and Leeds some day very soon.

PHOTO: Jen O'Neill

PHOTO: Jen O’Neill

Legends Metallica are given a warm welcome to the home of rock as they start a set filled with some of the biggest production the festival has ever seen. The gloomy weather perfectly matched their apocalyptic stage set up and heavy sound. Fans were treated to classics, some of which hadn’t been heard live in the UK in decades, such as ‘King Nothing’ and ‘The Day That Never Comes’. Over two hours of any band, however, is a little much and even the fans they had assembled on stage seemed a little less than thrilled at points. And yet, a band that was once firmly stuck in a niche stood strong and tall on stage converting their audience song by song with a stream of riffs, grunts and homages to the golden days of rock. By the encore Metallica had won Reading’s heart yet again, and they closed on the much anticipated ‘Whiskey in the Jar‘, ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and ‘Enter Sandman’ accompanied by balloons and fireworks.

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