I am well aware that Rhian Daly has already covered Reading Festival in her roundup, excellently so, i must add and if you haven't already, check it out! But i noticed that a lot of the bands that i went to see, she didn't, so unafraid of writing a far less impressive version of events than Rhian, I've done my own. Hope you enjoy it. Ignoring the fact that you are stuck in a dirty, boggy field, surrounded by masses of beer and cider cans and various other rubbish, constantly smelling of your own filth and the fire from the blokes camping next to you, suffering from severe sleep deprivation, surrounded at best by complete idiots and at worst complete (enter expletive) there's not many places in the world where you can have a more fun weekend, than Reading festival if you ask me. If you didn't go, you are probably quite sensible, but no doubt you'll want to know which bands were good, which were bad and which were Rage Against the Machine. That's where I come in. arriving on the Wednesday in order to allow my brother to get a weekend ticket, we are greeted by the sight of around 2000 people all queuing up, for access to one ticket booth. That's half the fun of reading though, queuing next to smelly obnoxious people, for reasons you aren't quite sure of. Nevertheless he's one of the lucky ones, and after about 3 hours queuing he is in, and the weekend can begin. I get my nose pierced in one of the tents on-site. Not the best idea when you are basically sleeping on farmland, but it's still in now, and my nose hasn't decayed, so it worked out ok, and I didn't cry. Anyway, to the bands. FRIDAY The clichéd major label punk stylings of Anti-Flag kick off the proceedings, and despite fairly tedious rants that manage to establish nothing that we don't already know- yes George Bush is a bit of an idiot, and yes peace is, generally, a good thing- they do manage to be quite good fun. Sure they're not covering any new ground, but they mean well, and they aren't a bad way to wake up in preparation for the rest of the day. Next up, over on the Lockup Stage is Blackhole. Having not heard a lot of them beyond the odd track from their EP before today, they come across as a promising prospect. Resembling, somewhat inevitably Gallows (the front man is Frank & Steph Carters brother) they put on a high octane show, that's pretty good to watch. By the time Frank joins his younger brother on stage, Blackhole have already won themselves a fair few new fans. They are certainly one to watch out for, unpretentious, loud and fast hardcore that's powerful live. Time for a bit of unabashed nostalgia over on the mainstage, with Taking Back Sunday playing to a group of 18+ kids, acting as though they are 14 again. The sound for this is quite honestly atrocious, and it's hard to pick out much beyond the drums and bass, and this is within the inner circle, at the centre. Nevertheless its great to see and songs like ‘Cute Without the E' reduce the crowd into whiney idiots, screaming along. It's just a shame the sound was so bad. No such problems seem to exist for Dizzee Rascal who whips the crowd up into a cacophonous frenzy, with a 45 minute set full with hits and singles from each of his three efforts. ‘Sirens' causes many white kids more at home listening to the Fratellis to, in Dizzee's words ‘bounce'. However it's clear there remains a fair amount of confusion, as moshing takes place among those doing gun signs. This man knows how to work a crowd, and without doubt, yet again produces one of the best and most enjoyable sets of the weekend. Back to the Lockup stage for NYHC legends H2O, who are back touring after almost a decade away.  Lots of tracks off this years ‘Nothing to Prove' get an airing here, along with older classics such as ‘Thicker than water'. Highlight is ‘What Happened?' without doubt one of the best songs I've heard all year. It's good to have them back. [caption id="attachment_2231" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="H20 GO!"]H20 GO![/caption] Over on the mainstage Biffy Clyro continue their Reading festival trend of playing to bigger crowds each year. Whilst some (many) purists may claim they peaked several years before they released the stuff that makes up much of their set list today- set closer ‘57' is the only pre-‘Puzzle' song played- there aren't many bands writing radio friendly alternative tunes that can compete with Biffy right now. Following them, but over on the Lockup stage I go to investigate Tiger Army. Dubbed as pyschobilly, there's little here to interest me, they sound pretty generic, and do little to capture my attention or make any real impression. At the NME/Radio 1 stage, MGMT pack the tent to the brim. Whilst it often may seem that there's two bands on evidence here, one capable of indie-pop gems such as ‘Kids', ‘Electric Feel' and ‘Time to Pretend' and the other, more self indulgent band immersed in psychedelia and LSD, this set has more than enough to keep most captivated. The album tracks aren't quite up to the standard of the aforementioned songs, but its an impressive performance nevertheless, capping off a great year for MGMT. Late of the Pier also pack out their tent, although it's the smaller Festival Republic stage (formerly the Carling Tent, and before that The New Bands tent). The crowd here also leave satisfied, with every song wonderfully catchy, in an unconventional way. Oh, and the bassist has a dressing gown on, the singer is wearing some pyjamas and the keyboard player some sort of wizard gown, and seems to have invented a new form of dance in between playing. I've forgotten what the drummer was wearing. This is a great performance regardless of stage attired, one that is high on energy and a lot of fun. Back to the Lockup for some legendary skate(sk8) punk, in the form of Pennywise. Whilst it seems apparent that the bands heyday has been and gone, and despite the fact that the majority of the crowd probably should know better, it's still an enjoyable performance, not only for nostalgias sake. All this leads up to Rage against the Machine. Such is the hype surrounding tonight's set; it was always going to be difficult to live up to it. For much of the crowd this is the first time seeing a band that they grew up with, and for such a formative band to be playing a massive festival like this, it's a big deal. Hence why it is important that they don't suck. And they don't, almost sounding as fresh as they did ‘back in the day' regardless of questionable motives, and the faint stench of hypocrisy. It's impossible not to get excited as the air raid sirens sound, and the band appear on stage dressed in Guantanamo bay outfits. Rage clearly have not mellowed with age, de la Rocha still sounds like he's really, really pissed off, even if it is in a champagne socialist way. Bursting into ‘Bombtrack' it's clear they are not going to disappoint. Questions about the sound level cannot spoil this performance, and hearing 100,000 people in a field chanting ‘Fuck you I won't do what you tell me' is something that cannot fail to have impact.  They're tight as anything, and whilst not quite as edgy as they once were, given that any two bit ‘alternative rock' band around today seems to have an opinion on how things should be run, they give the fans exactly what they want. You can almost pretend Audioslave never happened. Almost. An amazing performance to bring the first day to a close. Come back tomorrow for the next gripping installment!