If Mattie Vant has never exactly been one to shy away from grand state-of-the-nation statements, then today he’s using the band’s high profile slot on the main stage (broadcast to the nation, let’s not forget) to really go for it.
Taking to the stage at 2pm, he’s daubed ‘white men are evil’ on his jacket (make of that what you will) and fires through the band’s canon of political nuggets with only a pause to tell the crowd that GCSE results don’t mean anything. The tinker.
For an early afternoon set - especially on the third day, in the wilting heat - it’s an impressively dedicated throng in attendance. ‘Parasite’ finds Mattie instructing the crowd to run on the spot for its frenetic ‘Jonny B Goode’-esque verse, which they dutifully do. Later, the frontman makes the crowd squat down and burst up before inciting a pit for ‘Do You Know Me?’. Throughout, the sizeable crowd greet the likes of ‘Fly-By Alien’ and ‘Peace & Love’ with the kind of perky enthusiasm that shows Reading punters are still a remarkably resilient bunch.
Transitioning onto the biggest stage, Vant make the step up with ease. A little more nuance wouldn’t go amiss, but hey - there time for that to grow.