Happy indie Christmas, pals! It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That is, if your ideal festive hangout is a 30 degrees day in August and everyone is in 1975 t-shirts. That’s right, Reading Festival is here, with a scorching weather forecast and equally hot line-up.
Kicking the Friday festivities off is the fluorescent blue-haired No Rome on the Festival Republic stage. Playing to a packed out tent of teens who seem to know every single synth chord, the Filipino Dirty Hit signee blasts through hits from last year’s ‘RIP Indo Hisashi’ EP. Starting off with ‘Do It Again’, before ‘Cashmoney’ and ‘Five Ways To Bleach Your Hair’ really get the crowd going, it all may work towards a similar formula, but that doesn’t make the tunes any less catchy. Finishing on biggest song ‘Narcissist’, it remains his finest achievement, and also gives a cheeky nod to that bloke who’ll be dazzling the Main Stage as tonight’s headliner.
Next up is Charli XCX with a surprisingly early set on the Main Stage. Bringing the party none the less, she pumps up the crowd with a set consisting of huge bangers and tracks from her upcoming self-titled album. ‘Blame It On Your Love’, ‘Cross You Out’ and ‘Gone’ don’t pack as much of a punch as her older stuff, but the latter does get a hilarious reaction shot of a woman mid-gasp as Charli shakes her arse during the dance break. It’s her older and more commercially successful stuff that really gets the crowd going, with people rapping every word to ‘Fancy’, singing every word of ‘Boys’, and even a mosh pit forming during last track ‘Boom Clap’. The rock purists may moan about pop taking over Reading, but Charli is every bit a rockstar.