“ Rocket From the Crypt, Reel Big Fish, Good Ridance, Snuff, Mad Caddies, 28 Days, Dropkick Murphys, Ignite, Snapcase, Capdown, Save Ferris, Linea 77, Kids Near Water. „
The Concrete Jungle Stage on Saturday 25th August is what I'm mostly looking forward to about Reading Festival. This is the stage that will be showcasing some of the finest ska/punk/rock bands. Although I've already seen some of the bands I'm still really up for seeing them again and checking out what the other bands have to offer. (I’m not going to pretend that I’ve been a punk fan for my whole life so I apologise if I don’t do the bands justice with these summaries!) So here's the line-up (starting with the headliners): ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT - We seem to be very privileged to be seeing them on the Concrete Jungle Stage because they have a very punk/rock attitude of never playing a venue that has a stage! These guys from Cleveland are always suited and booted for their shows; you might mistake them for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Well, they’re not. They started punk before any of that Offspring rubbish started and have a huge discography to their name, but their most well known song has to be 'On A Rope' which came out in 1996. One of the strangest things about the band is their Tattoo fan club (inspired by the release of the 7-inch ‘Tattoo’, funnily enough), which you can join if you get a Rocket tattoo anywhere on your body, making you eligible for free admission to any of their shows for the rest of your life! Maybe after seeing them at Reading you’ll want to rush out and get one of these tattoos done – but I wouldn’t go to the tattoo artists on site ‘cos if they’re anything like the piercing guys then you’ll be sorry! http://www.rftc.com REEL BIG FISH - To me and most other ska/punk fans these guys are legendary (I personally think they should be headlining). I saw them earlier this year at the Wedgewood rooms in Portsmouth and they blew my mind. No doubt they'll be just as great on a festival stage as they were at the small v enues which were crammed with fans. They also sound great on record, especially in the car when you crank up the volume and sing along to all their funky tunes which are full of big horns, catchy choruses and witty lyrics. One of the best things about Reel Big Fish is their sense of humour and their use of satire. A lot of punk bands get accused of ‘selling out’ when they sign to a record company and make it big. Reel Big Fish address this with their song ‘We Care’ from the album ‘Why Do They Rock So Hard’: “Thanks for calling us sell-outs and not taking a joke…and we’re sorry that so many people, got to enjoy out music, by hearing us on the radio…” Check out their cover of A-ha’s ‘Take on Me’ and one of my fave songs ‘She Has A Girlfriend Now’ – told you they had a sense of humour. http://www.reel-big-fish.com GOOD RIDDANCE – One of the bands pulled out of the Deconstruction Tour 2000 and I don’t really remember seeing Good Riddance so it might have been them, or it might have been Mad Caddies! Nevertheless I intend to see both bands this time round. Good Riddance are from Santa Cruz, California, and have been kicking around their hardcore punk music for about a decade now and have 4 albums released through Fat Mike’s (of NOFX fame) Fat Wreck Chords. http://www.punkbands.com/goodriddance/ SNUFF – These guys replaced whoever cancelled at Deconstruction and were a definite crowd pleaser because they’re home grown talent. Everyone knew all the words so it was one big sing-along to their own hits and also all the cover versions they’ve done (they have a mini-album of TV adverts and theme tunes). They are also now signed to Fat Wreck Chords because Fat Mike is a fan – that’s gotta be a compliment to them and a recommendation to us! http://www.snuff.net/ MAD CADDIES R 11; These guys hail from Santa Barbara and are also part of the Fat Wreck Chords happy family. I’d describe their music as both fast and furious and laid-back swinging ska punk. Their songs appear on both of the Honest Don’s compilations: ‘Honest Don’s Welcome Wagon’ and Honest Don’s Greatest S**t’s’. If you go to their website you can listen to the Mad Caddies Player and hear some tracks – I’ve just listened to their cover of ABBA’s ‘SOS’! http://www.madcaddies.com/ IGNITE – To be honest I’ve never heard of Ignite so I’ve got a (scary) quote from their website which I think should be taken with a pinch of salt: “Ignite are a semi-professional 5-piece soft rock & soul band. We cover a wide variety of well-known artists such as Bryan Adams, Eric Clapton, Robbie Williams and The Commitments. Although Ignite only formed in 1998, all the musicians have a wealth of musical knowledge and experience. Our versatility allows us to cater for many kinds of venue including pubs, clubs, weddings and other private functions.” I couldn’t find any samples of their songs so don’t know what they sound like, but their sound is apparently raging, aggressive hardcore – we’ll just have to wait and see! http://www.ignitemusic.co.uk/ 28 DAYS – I saw 28 Days when they supported Goldfinger and was mightily impressed with their hardcore/hip-hop/pop-punk sound. These guys are from Melbourne, Australia, and have released an eponymous debut album; an EP called ‘Here We Go’, and the latest album ‘UpStyle Down’ which includes the single ‘Rip It Up’. Relatively unknown a few months ago, I think they’ll be quite well received at this year’s festival. No site available DROPKICK MURPHYS – A pretty scary looking bunch from the Irish/American areas of Boston , who mix together ska, streetpunk and that ever important Oi! Their music is about bringing people together and having fun, with their beliefs beliefs in working class solidarity, loyalty and friendship so they’re big softies really! Having released a fair few albums, they’ve been around a while and will probably be for some time yet. http://www.dropkickmurphys.com/ CAPDOWN – I went to a Capdown gig not knowing who they were and it was really good (not just because we got in free!). They are a four-piece skacore act from Milton Keynes and they’re name means Capitalist Downfall which is much better than they’re previous band name of Soap! They’ve done loads of touring so if you haven’t caught them doing they’re amazing live act then I suggest you do so! http://www.capdown.co.uk/ SHELTER - Shelter vocalist Ray Cappo went to India to study eastern philosophy, Sanskrit, natural medicine, and Yoga. The philosophies that Cappo learned became the backbone of Shelter, as they are what sets them apart from other rock bands with their unique blend of spiritual and melodic, yet hard-edge music. The bands message is one of hope and inspiration. Shelter champion vegetarianism, natural foods and a positive drug-free lifestyle. Doesn’t sound very punk/rock. Sound more like a bunch of hippies. http://www.ineedyourshelter.com SAVE FERRIS – The only band on this stage to be fronted by a woman – and what a woman Monique Powell is! Stunning to look at and listen to, I’ll be right at the front singing along to their ska/punk pop tunes. First recommended to me by a die-hard punk friend about 2 years ago, I’ve been patiently waiting to see them live. So I was ecstatic to hear they would be at Reading AND doing a tour. You may recognise them from the movie ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ from the prom scenes. They have released 2 albums: ‘It Me ans Everything’ (which has a superb cover version of Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ ‘Come on Eileen’) and ‘Modified’ which is a bit more sassy and mature. http://www.saveferris.com/ LINEA 77 – To be honest I’m not a big fan of the Italian metallers Linea 77 but they play post-hardcore stuff and I prefer the tooting of horns of ska. Anyway, They’ve got a new album out called ‘Ketchup Suicide’ on Earache Records. http://www.linea77.com KIDS NEAR WATER – This is a new band that I haven’t heard of but they’ve been getting rave reviews (Kerrang gave their 5 track mini-LP ‘Extended Player One’ 5 K’s) and so I shall be seeing what all the fuss is about. http://www.kidsnearwater.com is still under construction.