Category Archives: three-piece

Music: Reading Festival 2010 Special – Headliners


August’s arrival can mean only one thing – the countdown to Reading Festival 2010 – this year’s alternative music extravaganza has well and truly begun.

Over 100 artists from various music genres and levels of commercial success will take to the six stages over three days at what Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighter’s described as “The best festival in the world”.

Unfortunately with so many countless bands to chose from it can be difficult to choose who to see to guarantee maximum musical enjoyment (and subsequently drunkenness). So, in order to avoid potential panic, This Is Entertainment presents the the first part of the essential Reading Festival ‘Must-see’ Guide.

The big names

The reason people go to festivals is to see the big headline acts right? Perhaps…but it’s not true for everyone.

The beauty of festivals is that so many acts are available all at once, meaning you might wander aimlessly into a tent at 2pm on the Saturday to discover a band you never would have listened to otherwise. The point of this guide as a whole is to give direction to your aimless wanderings, but before all that let’s start with the basics and look at the big names.

Guns ‘n’ Roses

A band out of touch and out of its time grace the Reading Festival stage for the first time – despite appearing at Leeds in 2002, which is surprising considering the bands worldwide fame. In their heyday at the end of the 80s they were one of the world’s most intimidating rock groups, even providing a tune for Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 1991.

Now though, they are a shadow of their former self, with frontman Axl Rose recovering from a decade-long ego trip trying to piece together his magnum opus Chinese Democracy and the fighting between Axl and former band members has dragged on for decades.

Still, there is a new line up – with only Axl remaining as founding member – and fan response to their latest album wasn’t terrible, but I still can’t see them being as fun as Alkaline Trio.

Tracks to catch: Sweet Child O’ Mine, Paradise City, Shackler’s Revenge
Verdict: Miss

Arcade Fire

The radio-friendly indie band of the festival takes control on the Saturday, a theme which echoes down through the rest of the main stage, though more will be overjoyed by the resurgence of drug-fuelled Pete Doherty and The Libertines.

For Arcade Fire though the appearance couldn’t have come at a better time, with their new album The Suburbs assaulting the charts at this very moment after jumping to the number one spot after its release last week.

If you’re wondering what songs the band sing then it’s quite difficult to nail down a song you may have heard of, the style is very much that of modern hippies, a swaying, laid back sort of pop/rock, though one or two tracks might be familiar from BBC television show adverts.

Tracks to catch: Rebellion (Lies), Wake Up, Keep The Car Running
Verdict: Maybe

Blink 182

Another reformation but this time a welcome one, the nasally voiced teenage heart-break-ridden trio have returned to give us a reason to smile as the last act of the weekend.

The pedigree of the band is sketchy at best – strangely people don’t take a band seriously if they run along a road naked in their videos… – but that’s the point of Blink, they entertain first and foremost.

During their last appearance in 2003 the band made even the most tight-faced Blink-haters soften a little with their mixture of boyish banter, catchy tunes and audience participation – at one point they had the audience hold up their phones instead of lighters because “it’s the 21st Century now kids.”

With a new album nearing completion (expected early 2011), fans will be hoping to hear some new songs, and praying they are as good as they remember. It’s been a long time since their last self-titled album in 2003 and the fans are all grown up now, their spirits dampened with years of recession, war and no new pop punk heavyweights around to liven things up.

Tracks to catch: Carousel, The Rock Show, All The Small Things
Verdict: Must See

Stay tuned to This Is Entertainment for more crucial band details…

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Introducing: Streetfight Silence Live from the Cellar Bar Bracknell

Bracknell’s Cellar Bar was rocked to its foundations last night when 80s-inspired synth rock band Streetfight Silence took to the stage.

Though they were second on the bill, the three-piece, Bracknell based themselves, wipped the crowd out of their Sunday night comfort zones to get connected with some quality music.

Russ Merry, who spends his days working at Legoland to pay the bills, tackles lead vocals and guitar with Chris Cooley on the drums and Chris Penfold on bass. The group have already won the Wokingham Battle of the Bands, bagging them a cool £200 and time at a high end recording studio, making them a hot contender for this year’s Best British Newcomer at the Kerrang! Awards.

The gig drew an sizeable crowd and managed to get them singing along to melodic ballad “After All”. The energetic performance brought the dingy venue to life with some solid drumming, ambitious bass and impressive guitar work from Russ himself.

The band will soon go into the studio to record more material, but you can get your hands on the “Skys The Limit” EP now, or check out myspace.com/streetfightsilence.

Live: The Living End at Manchester Club Academy 21/04/09

Blistering guitar, infectious drums and slammin’ double-bass were order of the day in Manchester as Aussie trio The Living End stormed the Club Academy.

As competent support act Tellison left the stage the crowd was wrought with anticipation, it has been two years since the boys last played in Manchester, and tensions were beginning to run very high.

With an explosion of sound, the band leapt into fast-paced opener Raise The Alarm from new album White Noise. The crowd embraced the new material as if it had been in their minds for years, ‘woah-ing’ at every opportunity.

Following up a strong with a set filled with classics like Prisoner of Society, Roll On and We Want More. Anthemic new tunes such as How Do We Know were accepted by the audience after only a moments hesitation, uniting the groups wide age range of fans in one voice.

With such energy on stage you might expect the musical precision to suffer, but if anything it was enhanced, with lead man Chris Cheney’s fingers flying up and down the fretboard of his eletcro-acoustic axe, which is largely responsible for the band’s distinct rock n roll twang.

Beat master Andy Strachan relentlessly pounded the drums with an impressive mix of perfectly crafted rock beats, stopping only for a moment when he got a little over-excited and cracked a cymbal.

The third side of this rock triangle belongs to Scott Owen and his famous double-bass. Immediately giving Owen a massive presence on stage, the bass is over a metre and a half from scroll to spike and almost a metre wide, its difference in sound from a standard electric bass is noticeable, as well as the custom glow-in-the-dark paint job leading to the looming presence of a glowing skull when the lights go down.

Owen’s impressive party piece sees him hoist the great instrument up in the air and proceed to play behind his head in homage to the great Jimi Hendrix.

Cheney, not to be out-done, soon teamed up with Owen to climb up the side of the bass for a dramatic finale, before using a nearby beer bottle as a real bottleneck to unleash an astounding slide solo as beer sprayed everywhere, only relenting to down the last few drops.

Musical improvisation was by no means an isolated incident, as the threesome broke into fierce upbeat arrangements numerous times during the evening, as the crowd looked on with awe and wonder.

Despite the recent turmoil in their homeland from bush fires, the band were determined to show England that it had only strengthened their resolve on stage, and kept excitement levels raised until the very last. A truly mesmerising show.