Thursday, 30 August 2012

Reading Festival: Crystal Castles and The Cure

You may remember that a short time ago, the boyshape and I took a brief soujourn to Reading Festival. I'm not sure how well-known this music festival is outside of the UK, but it and its sister festival in Leeds (called Leeds Festival...) take place every year over the August bank holiday weekend in England. Dan and I purchased day tickets to visit on the Friday, because I wanted desperately to see headliners The Cure. However, we really loved the atmosphere (and the shopping) and if we go again will book weekend tickets so that we can go with friends and have a tent in which to dump all our stuff instead of hoiking it around the entire time.

Incidentally, Wikipedia sayeth that Reading Fest is the oldest music festival still running today, which is pretty cool. I did not know that.

Most of the bands on the Friday line-up we weren't hugely interested in, although we did catch a bit of The Hives's show and had to suffer through Paramore (sorry, I just can't seem to get into them AT ALL) as they were the last group performing pre-Cure and we wanted to make sure we were somewhere with a good view.

There was an hour's train ride to get to the festival and then a lot of walking; the interesting thing was that many of the houses and shops along the route from the station to the festival grounds had set up market stalls in their driveways and gardens. One woman was selling little stuffed animals from her garden wall and I bought a bat for £1, which I considered a good omen.

Upon arriving at the festival we got our wristbands and took a few hours to get our bearings and do a bit of shopping. I treated myself to lots of half-price and sale goodies including a pretty new corset and top hat. :-) We also amused ourselves with a bit of Goth-spotting; Goths were definitely in the minority amongst the shorts-and-wellies-clad attendees but there were many old-school types in leather and aviators, one girl looking fab in a long net skirt and corset top and - run away with me now, please - I did spot one young lass in bloomers and stripy tights. It was love. ;-)

Dan enjoying one of his many, many, many, many cups of tea. The man likes tea.
Me derpy-derping, shortly after eating a breakfast burrito. That thing had saute potatoes in! It was incredible...
The weather wasn't great - I think there is some rule that whenever there is an outdoor festival in the UK it will rain - and at three o'clock, after a lovely and incredibly fattening junk food lunch, we headed into the main arena because I wanted to see Crystal Castles. No cans were allowed in the arena and it was quite amusing to see the places our fellow festival-goers were willing to stick a cold can of beer to avoid it being found when they were patted down. (The woman patting Dan down squeezed his bottom. Twice. I was NOT amused.)

Standard touristy photo!
I hadn't really heard much of Crystal Castles before, save on a friend's iPod, but I really enjoyed their set and will be looking up more from them in future. Although Alice Glass's melodramatic rolling-about-on-the-floor-grabbing-handfuls-of-stuff was a tad odd.

Of course, the highlight of the day and the reason for attending the festival - not to mention the reason we missed the last train home and had to beg a family friend to rescue us from Reading Station at 1am, (thanks Robert Smith, it's all your fault) - was The Cure.

Robert Smith sounds no less incredible than I expected, and is still rocking big hair and sequins for which I applaud him! The band played many of my favourites including A Forest, One Hundred Years, Friday I'm In Lovr (of course!!) and The Caterpillar, which sounded brilliant live. Watching The Cure in the rain was definitely one of the high points of my year. They are such an iconic band that I could hardly believe I was really seeing them - I know, I'm such a fangirl!

Here's a short video that Dan took of the Cure (please excuse me looking a bit odd; I didn't realise he was videoing, I thought he was showing me something! Luckily it's dark so you can't tell too much...), I think it serves to demonstrate just how amazing Robert's vocals are. 

The whole experience was very different from the small gigs I usually attend but I absolutely loved it, it was a real treat to see one of my favourite bands and I look forward to going again one year soon. :-)

Were you there?


Bored_Homeschooler said...

Oh,I am so incredibly jealous right now. Worth sitting through Paramore,I take it?LOL

ZeroNovember said...

Sounds like you had a great time!

I didn't go this year (actually haven't been since I had backstage tickets in 2001)

I went in 98, 99 and 2001 but after that there were no bands I wanted to see. I had some amazing experiences and saw some great bands. I loved all the stalls and meeting people.

I vividly remember getting my nose stud kicked out by a crowd surfer and having to stick a massive safety pin in the hole until I could buy a replacement one, and every year my makeup would melt in my bags :P

theEmocarebear said...

Sounds like fun. :D

Bazinga. said...

I'm so jealous of your having seen The Cure :3 I've been wanting to see them for what seems like ages now!

Daniel_8964 said...

I like the video of The Cure festival and it sounds awesome. I love the 'A Forest' song (I have the seventeen seconds album and we do have something in common), Did they play Disintegration, Pornography, A Reflection too? They are the songs I adore about The Cure and it shows you certainly had a good time :)

AsylumAlice said...

Wow, I am getting increasingly jealous of your "bands-I've-seen" repitoire! The Cruxshadows, the Cure, Emilie Autumn...jeeze! The festival looked so fun. In Colorado we just have country bands. :) You don't like Paramore? Sadness...actually, I've met a few people who can't stand them (my sister included!)

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen them in over 20 years. The last time I had the chance, about 9 years ago, there were sound issues with the prior band (Duran Duran), and there was no definitive answer if the festival was going to even continue, so we just left after more than an hour of waiting for the problems to be solved. I *did* get to see Marc Almond, though, so I was still happy.

Dani DeathBiscuit said...

Oh gosh. That's fucking cool. I love you.

Nightwind said...

It looks like you the two of you had a real blast! We have lots of music festivals out this way but none of them ever seem to include Goth bands. Your very fortunate.

OddGhoulOut said...

I was never always a fan of The Cure, but I've been listening to them more and more lately. They always make me in a good mood. I love your make-up in this post too.

By the way, I tagged you on my blog. I hope you get a chance to do it! :)

Far away girl said...

I'm jealous of the Cure and Paramore.

Also I was wondering if you had any suggestions for shops to go to in Camden? I'm going there in 3 weeks for the first time, but I only have a couple of hours to spend there before the train.

Vulcan_Butterfly said...

Awesome! Seeing The Cure would be amazing.I'm a big fan of Crystal Castles, I'm going to see them soon! Exciting!

Anonymous said...

Your stripy tights are so gorgeous! Do you wear them also ripped or throw away then?

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