With the final day of Reading festival, the line up felt like a perfect close to a great weekend. With loads of big names to see, it was a case of getting up early and diving right in. Seeing The Struts have a main stage slot felt like a proud moment. Having watched them come from small local festivals I had attended back in 2012 and 2013, it was incredible to see such a talented band get the crowd and excitement they deserved.
Another band that felt like a throwback was The Hunna, after first discovering them at Gloucester’s Underground Festival, they’ve been a firm favourite and held a solid place in my playlists since 2016. It was incredible to see such a change and development in their music. The band’s 2016 album 100, had a distinctive indie, pop sound that was filled with that summer anthem feel; perfect for an August bank holiday festival. Diving into more recent music there’s a definite rock and slightly heavier sound showing huge appeal to a diverse audience. The set at Reading Festival felt incredible to be in the crowd for from start to finish. With a good mix of old and new tracks it felt inclusive to old school fans, people just getting into them, or festival attendees who were hearing The Hunna for the first time.
Not only were we also treated to a brand new song written over lockdown, but a surprise appearance from none other than Kelsey Karter, who features on the track. Having not performed live in two years the whole band were clearly bursting at the seems with excitement to be playing for crowds again. One of the most touching moments was Ryan Potter leading a tribute to his late brother-in-law, “King Kev.” It was a truly beautiful moment to be a part of, that had a huge amount of people coming together to support someone.
Wolf Alice also dominated the main stage, and will certainly be headliners in the future. Front woman, Ellie Rowsell had the most incredible stage presence and you could tell just how humbled the band felt to be on that stage. Opening with the bold and loud, Smile, the crowd were geared up for a great set. Following on with throwback track, Bros, from 2015 album, My Love Is Cool, gave a stunning indie pop sound that fully embraces a summer festival feeling. Beautifully Unconventional was another great bop to sing along to with Play The Greatest Hits showing off the range of the band and shinning a light on their newer offerings.
With a Yungblud show, you know you’re signing up for more than live music; you’re getting a performance. Starting with a Rocky Horror inspired visual, before sprinting on stage and kicking off the show, it was gonna be non stop, from start to finish. Having only seen odd clips of Yungblud or hearing parts of tracks, it was exciting to see a performance with so much energy. There’s no doubting that there’s a headline slot in the near future with his name on it. Giving Sunday a proper rock n’ roll feel with his performance, gave a real boost for the rest of the evening filled with music. Like many other performers, the passion and love for his fans is overflowing. With the biggest grin performing, it felt like a magical moment seeing music return for the people who live and breathe it.
Finishing off Sunday at Reading, for myself and fellow writer Caitlin, was the one and only Biffy Clyro. Biffy are a band I’ve followed for 10 years and it didn’t feel real to finally be experiencing their music live. Having spoken to fellow fans, I got more and more excited for what turned out to be a set that exceeded my expectations. Biffy Clyro continually create captivating music with unforgettable riffs, beats and lyrics that get stuck in your head. Coming onstage and making a statement with Frank Zapper song, Mother people, it was clear the crowd were ready to help close Reading in style. Kicking off the set, the Scottish rock band kicked off the set with opening track North of No South from 2020 album, A Celebration of endings. With every song I couldn’t help but sing along at the top of my lungs. Tiny Indoor Fireworks gave a bright and optimistic feeling that was definitely felt across the crowd. A personal favourite track, Biblical, was one that blew me away beyond belief live. Exploding with its powerful chorus, it was an unforgettable moment. Everything about the performance felt so loud and proud; with every ounce of energy put in.
Being back at a summer festival felt like coming back to life and closing it with one of my favourite bands made it even better. Even with the pressure of it being the first festival in almost two years, it still exceeded any excitement I had built up already. Every time I saw fans having the best time and singing their heart out, it gave me the biggest smile and just solidified how important live music is and the impact it has on people. It’s safe to say the count down to Reading Festival 2022 is well and truly on!
Tickets for Reading and Leeds Festival 2022 are on sale now!