We've got that second day festival feeling; sleep-deprived, hungover and aching in places that we thought we were too young to ache. But there are only two options; power through, or miss a load of brilliant music. We know exactly what we're going to do.
Today, Sundara Karma open up the main stage to their home crowd, and boy is it a show and a half. Treating their amorous fan-base to a couple of teasers from their forthcoming album, Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect, whilst drawing in countless new fans with their infectious, twinkling sound; the boys go down a treat. What is blatantly apparent throughout the set is their pride in their local festival. Having seen Sundara Karma on the BBC Introducing Stage back only in 2014, they sure have deservedly worked their way up to the top.
Making their Reading & Leeds debut (and announcing that they had previously thought that it was one festival) Tuff Love take-over the Festival Republic tent next. Through their gentle nature and obvious passion for their music, the trio are wonderfully endearing. By swaying between harmonious, calming indie and tracks fronted with edgy, shaking guitars, Tuff Love give us a more than impressive set.
Off the back of Tuff Love, the crowd in the Festival Republic tent expands in anticipation for Inheaven. The group’s intense and dedicated following is flaunted through the energy shown in the pit, and reciting their lyrics word for word. Inheaven lap up the affection by putting their all into a vibrant and sassy performance, complete with a classic front-man crowd surf.
Next up are one of the most highly anticipated bands of the weekend, Slaves. The Kent duo draw an unbelievably huge crowd to their afternoon slot on the main stage, and without doubt, make the most of their time in the spotlight. Isaac and Laurie reveal a few gems taken from their forthcoming LP, all of which receive a huge sign of approval from the chaos. As if we weren't already lucky enough, Slaves turn out to be the guest slot over on BBC Introducing later that evening. The surprise set has a noticeably different atmosphere, thanks to the smaller crowd and variation in the set-list. In the short-time available Slaves resurface their older tracks, 'Suicide' and 'Bad Machine', as well as closing on the pair's infamous Live Lounge cover of Skepta's 'Shutdown'.
Scattered throughout the day are a whole load of interesting and career-affirming sets from the likes of VANT, a decent riff-y band of the alt-rock persuasion. And not to forget the awesome King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, a wicked Australian seven-piece that muster up a twisted concoction of retro psychedelia and bone shattering rock.
As the day wears on, the sun begins to set and our feet are hurting, but it's not home time yet. One last trek over to the NME tent for the wonderful Two Door Cinema Club is in order. After managing to establish a decent spot in view of the stage, as 10.30pm approaches and the tent fills out, the word 'sardine' can't help but spring to mind. Regardless of the late night set, the boys take to the stage to rapturous applause from the seismic crowd who are all full of energy, chanting every single word to the Irish lads’ anthemic beats. Reviving tracks from their debut, such as 'Something Good Can Work' and 'I Can Talk', to more recent tracks such as 'Changing Of The Seasons', the band are met with equal enthusiasm and adoration. Choosing to close on the elating 'What You Know', Alex Trimble and co. end the set on a high and their fans spill out the tent, with no regrets that we're now 90% sweat.
Suitably tired but incredibly satisfied, we leave Richfield Avenue on day two ready for bed and raring for tomorrow.
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