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Reading & Leeds 2014: Friday Review + Rolling Updates

Rock Sound
Rock Sound 23 August 2014 at 09.26

Relive all of the Friday action at Reading & Leeds Festival with The Story So Far, Tonight Alive, Young Guns, Papa Roach, Sleeping With Sirens, Neck Deep, A Day To Remember, You Me At Six, The Wonder Years, Every Time I Die and Blink-182!

2321: Leeds Festival, we out! Day 1 was a blinder, and we'll be back nice and early tomorrow for more of the good stuff.

2315: Digital Editor Andy Ritchie has just watched Blink-182. To say he's conflicted is an understatement.
"In 2003, Blink-182 played high up the bill at Reading & Leeds Festivals, right underneath Linkin Park. It was brilliant. They were agile, hilarious and almost note-perfect. Fast-forward 11 years, and they're now topping the yellow poster, and not for the first time. Today though, they’re predictable, underwhelming and more than a little sloppy. Expecting a CD-perfect performance from Mark, Tom and Travis is probably missing ‘the point’, but in 2014, nearly 25 years into their existence, it’s a little worrying that they can’t quite get their shit together on this biggest of stages. To give credit where it’s due, Travis is pure star and the backbone of their set and the stage, and Mark Hoppus' dulcet tones are warm, homely and generally on point. But Tom DeLonge still struggles vocally (his continuing bastardisation of vowels only accentuates that fact), and together, the whole package feels a little flat. Yeah, they play the hits (‘Feeling This’, ‘What’s My Age Again’, ‘Up All Night’, ‘Always’, ‘Dumpweed’, ‘Carousel’ – whichever Blink era is your bag, you can get your fill here), but it'd be nice to have them put on a proper, seamless rock show for once. And that doesn't happen tonight."

Click here for the full Blink-182 gallery

21:10: Andy Ritchie just dove into the Festival Republic stage for a Mayday Parade fix. These are his thoughts:
"Mayday Parade are the band that for no particular reason, you always inadvertently forget are actually really quite excellent. They might not be the most outspoken, colourful or exuberant of bands in their peer group, but when you watch them churn out a 30-minute set of solid, nearly note-perfect, impassioned pop-rock fare, it's their reliability in delivering quality singalong bangers that makes them so memorable. Derek Sanders' voice is a truly phenomenal weapon, and in the peaks of 'Ghosts', 'Black Cat', 'Jersey' (and the rest of them), he truly breaks the shackles of his understated frontman persona. Maybe they won't ever be a Blink-182 or a Paramore or an A Day To Remember, but Mayday Parade are comfortable in who they are - and they truly excel at it."

2045: Every Time I Die just blitzed through the Lock Up tent. Andy Biddulph was there to witness the mayhem.
"While a microphone-swinging, long-haired frontman Keith Buckley may look a little like Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazzara these days, the unholy noise that pours from his mouth is an entirely different beast. He sizzles on 'Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space' and soars on 'Decayin' With The Boys', and the crowd duly bow to the unstoppable force that is Every Time I Die. The band even have a novel way of dealing with being told they have one song left, with Buckley shrugging "We're going to play our last song now. It may sound like two songs, but it's definitely one." The first 'half' is a hip-shaking 'We'rewolf', and typifies a band not only on top of their wits, but also approaching the top of their game."

1950: Andy Biddulph is having loads of fun watching pop-punk today. Here's his take on The Wonder Years' set a little while ago.
"Neck Deep have shown exactly what the new breed of British pop-punk has to offer on the Lock Up stage a little earlier, but now the pressure is on relative old-timers and Stateside stalwarts The Wonder Years to reassert their dominance. A thin crowd fills out eventually, but those who get down early are treated to a classic TWY set. 'Woke Up Older' sparks huge singalongs, a romp through 'Passing Through A Screen Door' is hair-raising and a final, shirt-tugging 'Come Out Swinging' mean that while their 35 minutes in the spotlight isn't as action-packed (or well-received) as their transatlantic counterparts, it's easily twice as cathartic."

Click here for the full You Me At Six gallery

1910: Another band that could well be headlining this thing in a few years are You Me At Six. How close are they, Ryan Bird?
"There's something strangely poetic about the fact that the second song You Me At Six play today is 'Underdog'. On the same day that they announced a UK tour taking in the biggest arenas that the nation has to offer - only stadiums are left if they want to go higher - they find themselves just two slots off the top of a bill that only seven years ago they could only have dreamed of occupying at all. They've survived major label hell, painful uncertainty and all manner of internal strife on top. So when tens of thousands of people scream the title of the song loud and proud, it's enough to make the hairs on your neck stand up. With a set that spans a career that took them from nothing school kids to chart-topping superstars in their mid-twenties, today their evolution is both audible and visible. Despite some problems in the latter department that sees the electronic screen at the back of the stage occasionally cutting out, the likes of 'Loverboy' and 'Kiss And Tell' are perfect festival fodder for an audience that's not only watched them grow but grown with them. There are no moments of shameless self-worship, nor are there any attempts to turn this into a thing of legends - there are merely the songs and the audience. These things alone combine spectacularly this evening, and as they leave on the back of a very, very big 'Lived A Lie', seeing them go higher still in the future doesn't seem that outrageous."

Click here for the full A Day To Remember galllery

1830: We saw them cartwheeling around this afternoon, but did A Day To Remember bring their tricks to the stage? Andy Ritchie reports back:
"A Day To Remember might be in the mood for cartwheels, and you can't really blame them. 'Common Courtesy' has allowed them to conquer every remaining dream in 2014, and a Reading & Leeds main stage slot marks another line crossed on the bucket list. They aim straight for the throat with an opening combo of 'The Downfall Of Us All', '2nd Sucks' and 'Right Back At It Again', and the usual CO2 bells and tee-pee-in-the-crowd whistles are all present and correct. It's fun, but there's a hint of lethargy showing through in their performance today, with Jeremy's voice especially sounding like it could do with a week off from the summer festival circuit. Today doesn't exactly grab the headlines like their all-conquering show at Ally Pally, or their Download set last summer, but it's not a wasted journey by any means."

1730: Neck Deep just destroyed the Lock Up stage. Andy Biddulph was there to witness it.
"The crowd that assembles at the Lock Up stage for Neck Deep is nothing if not enthusiastic, but the roars that greet Ben Barlow when he peeps around the stage backdrop are nothing compared to the moment the Wrexham quintet launch into 'Kick It'. The raucous half-hour of pure pop-punk power that follows is undeniably impressive, and takes in a spiteful run through 'What Did You Expect?', while the pit that accompanies 'Crushing Grief (No Remedy)' turns seven shades of ridiculous - it has cartwheels, crowdsurfs, a guy dressed as a banana: the lot. But even that pales in comparison to the singalong to 'A Part Of Me'. In lieu of any riffs or angst to power along to, everyone just stops, raises their hands and screams along in what'll surely end up being one of the most spine-tingling moments of a weekend that's another triumphant step on this band's seemingly unstoppable rise."

Check out our full gallery of Neck Deep photos here.

1640: Ryan Bird just witnessed a plucky Sleeping With Sirens strut their stuff. Here's what he made of it all.
"It's strange to think that Sleeping With Sirens only played their first UK headline shows 15 months ago, particularly when you see just how high they find themselves on today's main stage billing. Perhaps it's this relative lack of history that leads to the throng before them being a little smaller than a couple of the ones gathered earlier on in the day, but those here witness a set that deserves to reach more people. Using a couple of heavy duty missiles early on in the form of 'If You Can't Hang' and 'Here We Go', it's clear that grabbing attention early doors is the name of the game, and the dedicated mass that makes up the first few rows laps it up with aplomb. Everyone else, however, seems a little bemused. Sticking them on this stage this quickly after their British arrival was always going to be a hard sell, but if the response afforded to them by their own disciples is anything to go by, Sleeping With Sirens are a sight that the mainstream may well need to get used to. Because if nothing else, they're gunning for it."

Check out the rest of our Sleeping With Sirens photos in their gallery.

1635: ...looks like there's some absolute carnage going down over at Neck Deep.

1559: Oh LOOK who's showed their faces. Only those You Me At Six scamps. They made good use of their 15 seconds to plug today's other big news story:

1554: Ryan Bird is back from Papa Roach. Safe to say, he had A Lovely Time:
When Papa Roach played Reading & Leeds for the first time some 13 years ago, to say that their sets were more like genuine moments would not be an exaggeration. Therefore, the fact that they're finally gracing the festivals with their presence again in 2014 is a genuinely big deal. Feeling like a homecoming of sorts, the one-time nu metal upstarts waste no time in making more than a few people froth at the mouth with a delicious one-two of 'Infest' and 'Between Angels And Insects', quickly setting the tone for a set built on smiles and good times. Grinning like a loon throughout, frontman Jacoby Shaddix looks as though he wouldn't want to be anywhere else today, even taking the time to expose his backside to the biggest crowd of the afternoon thus far. "We've been in this band since some of you were still shitting your pants," chuckles Shaddix. "Thank you for showing us some love today." He may have shown us more than we needed in return, but as the mass singalong that greets a particularly heartfelt 'Scars' and a positively riotous 'Last Resort' prove, love is very much the word to describe how Leeds feels about Papa Roach today. 

1514: Our 15 seconds at Reading & Leeds Festival series is go! So far we've had Neck Deep giving us some freestyle....

...and A Day To Remember doing cartwheels. Because why not?
More to come!

1450: Editor Ryan Bird reports back from Young Guns...
"Aside from the odd one-off show or the occasional festival set, we've been pretty starved of Young Guns over the last two years. So it probably shouldn't come as any real surprise that they're greeted very warmly indeed this afternoon. Diving straight in with new single 'I Want Out', several thousand people begin treating the area in front of the main stage as their very own trampoline. "It feels like we've been waiting forever for today to arrive," smiles Gustav Wood shortly before they run through two presently untitled new tracks. Hugely electronic-influenced, they suggest a fairly hefty musical departure may not be far away, but judging by the muted response, today is perhaps not the time or the place for them to be unveiled. That said, when you've got songs as massive as 'Dearly Departed' and a quite stunning 'Bones' in your locker, you're never going to be too far away from victory. Which, for the most part, is exactly what today proves to be."

1335: Tonight Alive had to work for it, but Editor Ryan Bird reckons they just about pulled off their main stage slot today.
"You could hear a crisp packet hit the floor from 50 yards away as the banner goes up to signal Tonight Alive's imminent arrival. It doesn't bode well for the Australian pop-rockers, but not long after they stride onstage and launch straight into a massive rendition of 'The Edge' without so much as a quick hello, things suddenly seem a little brighter. Despite vocalist Jenna McDougall apparently arriving onsite via the '70s (just look at those flares!), their hugely melodic cuts go down well enough with those present, with a crystal clear run through 'The Ocean' in particular seeing plenty of hands reaching for the sky. It's unspectacular but hugely effective, and in terms of holding their own on the biggest stage going, Tonight Alive can call today a win."

See Jenna break out the crab and much, much more in our photo gallery of Tonight Alive's set earlier today.

1250: Reviews Editor Andy Biddulph just got back from the first main stage band of the day, and The Story So Far impressed...
"Noon on a Friday isn't exactly optimum time for a good old-fashioned violent finger point, but The Story So Far - who almost didn't make it to this show due to plane woes - do a fine job of getting the early birds off their feet. Old cuts like 'Quicksand' and a roaring, spitting 'Daughters' spark hearty singalongs, while newer material like 'The Glass' and 'Things I Can't Change' find rangy frontman Parker Cannon in fine voice, and translate from sweaty clubs to the cavernous main stage remarkably well. There's a steady stream of crowdsurfers pouring over the barrier by the time triumphant finale 'High Regard' rolls around, capping an impressive set from one of the weekend's wildcards."

Want to see the rest of our photos of The Story So Far opening up the main stage? Click right here.

1130: The sun's shining, there's pop-punk on the way and everything is right with the world. The Story So Far are up first on the main stage.

1100: Leeds, we have arrived! And while we wait for the bands to kick off, there's some BIG news to digest, involving a couple of the acts playing this weekend.

Firstly, You Me At Six (they're on the main stage today at 6pm in Leeds) have just revealed a MASSIVE co-headline tour with All Time Low for February 2015. They're going into arenas and if you want to see them in London, it's The O2 on Valentine's Day. 

Read more

Not bad, not bad. On top of that, Sleeping With Sirens have also announced the UK / Euro leg of their World Tour.

Read more

We haven't even had breakfast yet!

0900: Morning! We're making our way to the Leeds site as we speak and the action kicks off in just a few hours time.

As is customary, the last week has seen some of faves playing Reading & Leeds warm-up shows across the country. Why not have a gaze over some photos while you get pumped for what's to come?

On Wednesday, Gerard Way played his first proper public show in Portsmouth. That was pretty special, wasn't it G?

Full gallery of Gerard Way in Portsmouth

Yeah, that was pretty special.

And then last night, we had Sleeping With Sirens at London's Underworld. The Florida mob look on fighting form for the weekend.

Full gallery of Sleeping With Sirens in London

We'll have eyes on the main stage when they stride out later. Expect (more!) photos, and our thoughts on their set to come.

See you back here at midday for The Story So Far, yeah?

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