Are You Listening? Festival: Various Venues, Reading – festival review

Are You Listening? Festival

Various Venues, Reading

26th April 2014

A host of bands descend on Reading as the town is completely taken over for the second time by Are You Listening? Festival to raise money for local charity Reading Mencap. 

After unearthing such fine local talent as Sundara Karama at last year’s event, Are You Listening already has a well -earned reputation of putting together some of the best bands in Berkshire on their exciting lineup.

This year they certainly weren’t taking their foot off the pedal. The scale and size of the festival is so impressive with eight different venues across the town playing host to an array of musical talent pretty much non-stop throughout the day.

Red Kite (see photo above) got things going in exquisite style with their brand of thrashy, catchy alternative pop. Combining their upbeat numbers they got those lucky enough to get down early enough bopping away with wonderful slow builders that emerged into huge anthemic tunes which epitomised the quality music fans would see throughout the festival.

Over at Oakford Social Club, local favourites Adam & Elvis (see photo right) brought their style of cheeky Britpop and were strong contenders for best lyric of the day with their wise words of “If life gives you lemons, then make gin and tonic”. Undoubtedly advice we should all heed.

Despite this, a highlight for me was the stunning Saltwater Sun down at The Bowery. This isn’t just because their bass player looks like a Chris O’Dowd doppelgänger, but because they genuinely sounded sensational. Their EP, Silk Fade, is full of wonderful and trippy psychedelic tunes, which along with cracking stage presence all creates a fantastic show.

Komodo Krimes also unleashed their brilliant mixture of alto-pop disco sounds during the festival. The band who’ve been compared to the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club were full of infectious energy and enthusiasm that ran through the crowd like wild fire.

To try and review all the fantastic music that took place would be probably be the definition of an exercise in futility, but without a shadow of a doubt the small section of Are You Listening? Festival I saw was a superb example of great local music coming together for a great local cause.

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Are You Listening Festival? is online here: areyoulistening.org.uk. It’s also on Facebook and they tweet as @aylfestival.

All words by Chris Craddock. This is Chris’ first article for Louder Than War.

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