Monday, August 31, 2009


Anyone remember a band named Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Come on, you must recall them. Came from Reading. Had a strange habit of naming their songs after films, irrespective of whether the title then went with the song in any way whatsoever. You do? Oh good!

Good, because a few months ago guitarist Morgan Quaintance left the band to go full-time with his other project, Plugs. Surprisingly, it turns out that Plugs are to DIOY,Y? what Chateau Rothschild is to that plonk you get from Sainsbury's in a plastic bottle. 'Imaginary Friend' is a bouncing, shouting classic of a song, whilst set closer 'That Number' combines an extremely catch chorus with a tune so danceable your feet end up hating the band when it ends. Without a doubt, the find of the weekend.

Manchester Orchestra

Something very odd has happened here. Three festivals ago, Manchester Orchestra were not bad. In 36 months they seem to have stuffed themselves up their collective rear ends and are now churning out horrible, proggy nonsense that even the sort of people who bought Haven albums would find overblown and risible.


It's Friday, it's 12 O'Clock, it's Reading so it must be time to start absolutely chuffing it down with rain. If the organisers of the Reading Festival could've planned it this way, they would've done, as those who had made it onto the site for the Festival's start are sent running pell mell into the nearest available tent.

All of which means that Glasgow's Dananananackroyd not only get to open the whole festival, but they get to do so in front of the largest crowd they have ever seen in their lives.

Their bouncing, choreographed routines give the impression of a lifetime devoted to too much tartrazine and too many re-runs of Wayne's World and it is a shame that they haven't really worked out how to use their two drummers to good effect, but the energetic stage show and thunderous music make them the idea band to get the Bank Holiday weekend started.

Friday, August 14, 2009

TV On The Radio

This was weird. I mean, really weird. I've been attending live shows for 25 years now and I've never experienced anything like this.

First, there's the opening. The stage sat empty for over 20 minutes. When even your road crew can't find a reason to get onstage and faff about for a while, you're reaching a new level of self indulgent delay.

That self-indulgence continues as the band appear, launch into 'Halfway Home' and then play a further four tracks from the critically acclaimed 'Dear Science' album. There's a ripple of appreciation from the packed Brixton Academy, but no real enthusiasm. It is as if the masses thought they were attending the Proms instead.

And then all hell breaks loose. Without warning, TVOTR rip into 'Wolf Like Me' and it is as if this is all that 98% of the audience have come for.

But then it all goes flat again, as if a black and white film had momentarily flared into colour and then back again, the moment is lost as the band return to their more experimental material. Perhaps sensing the mood, the band bugger off after a perfunctory two song encore, leaving 30 minutes before curfew and with a huge aura of promise unfulfilled