Reading & Leeds 2014

Gnarwolves cause carnage with opening set at Reading 2014

The trio’s Main Stage slot is a triumph on all accounts.

Gnarwolves cause carnage with opening set at Reading 2014

It’s been twelve months since Gnarwolves defied the odds and packed out the Lock Up tent before midday, but this year, they’ve got a bigger challenge on their hands: opening the Main Stage.

Marking just their second performance at the weekender, you’d think they’d be boasting a fair share of nerves, but instead, those seem to replaced with glee. Muttering into his microphone, “this is madness,” before kicking headfirst into their opening track, guitarist Thom Weeks spends most of his introduction laughing in disbelief at the crowd gathered in front of them.

There’s everything you’d hope for from a punk rock set on the Main Stage: from mosh pits to crowd surfers, there’s more than a few dust tornados spiralling up into the atmosphere thanks to their crowd kicking up the dry ground. ‘Melody Has Big Plans’ sounds massive, ‘History Is Bunk’ garners more than an impressive singalong and new album cut ‘Smoking Kills’ has a powerful poignancy that’s hard not to be affected by.

Even their onstage banter is brilliant: from Thom’s call-and-response of Outhere Brothers’ ‘Boom Boom Boom’ to drummer Max Weeks’ joke about Thrasher tshirts, they manage to translate their personalities, despite the massive unnatural gulf between them and crowd. There’s shout out to friends, and encouragement to support the local UK scene; they’re not forgetting their roots in the face of a huge slot like this.

If anything, their time on stage is a celebration: a powerful moment for a band who have more than put the time in and toured the toilet circuit. Today may have been a surreal part of the trio’s journey so far, but there’s no doubting that it was one of the most deserved.

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Tags: News, Festivals, Gnarwolves, Reading & Leeds

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