The 8 best performances at Reading Festival 2017

Monday 28th August 2017

Photos: Emma Viola Lija

In no particular order, picking out the brilliant and redeeming performances from the ostensible shit-show of this year’s Reading Fesival.

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Blissfields 2017 Review

Monday 10th July 2017

Headliners Metronomy and The Cinematic Orchestra stepped triumphantly up to the mark, but the smaller acts deserved far greater recognition than they got at this year’s Blissfields Festival

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Photo: Niall Green

The attendance at Blissfields has increased continually since its conception in 2001, a fact due in no small part to its consistently eclectic, if not entirely discerning, musical line-ups. Vanguards of modern British music like Tricky and Super Furry Animals have played here, as did Wolf Alice and Laura Marling in their formative years, but an unfortunate preponderance of Radio Friendly Unit Shifters have also been invited to perform at the Hampshire festival, ensuring that it always attracts both music fans and veritable non-fans alike.

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The Orielles Live Review, DM’s Boot Room, Camden

Friday 30th June 2017

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Photo: Press

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes – a guitar band is playing a gig in the back of a shoe store in Camden. Is someone, somewhere, trying to exhume the tired corpse of an old music scene? No, curb your cynicism – ‘cos the guitar band is called The Orielles, and they’re one of the best new groups to emerge from England’s dreaming this year.

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Neon Waltz Live Review, Omeara, London Bridge

Sunday 26th February 2017

neon_waltz_750_1234Photos: Agnieszka Kocinska

You might be excused for thinking that London’s railways have changed a lot since Paul Weller immortalised the capital’s “Cold and uninviting, partially naked” tube stations in 1978. For after leaving the refurbished and repolished London Bridge terminus, around the corner you might just find a new music venue tucked into a hole in the wall beneath the railway line.

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Goat Girl & Dead Pretties Live Review, The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch

Wednesday 4th January 2017

goatsPhotos: Alberto Pezzali

When I think about those prophetic moments I heard a great band for the first time, then I often recall that quote by Lester Bangs: “They’re events you remember all your life, like your first real orgasm.” The problem is, if its guitar bands that turn you on, then your ears would have been decidedly chaste, or at least only transiently promiscuous, over the last few years. But as we welcome in the new year, Gigwise has tipped a whole host of strat-wielding young groups for big things in 2017.

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The Specials Live Review, The Great Hall, Exeter

Saturday 5th November 2016

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Photo: thespecials.com

Few and far between are the days when I don’t find myself pining listlessly for those fabled years when our student unions were a certain fixture on band’s tours across the country. Stuck as I am now in the comparatively less proliferant live music scene of 2016, seeing The Specials perform live at the university’s Great Hall therefore seemed too symbolic an opportunity to miss.

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