Reading review 2008: Mystery Jets

Their set isn't the triumphant return we hoped for. It's marred by terrible acoustics and a crowd who just don't seem motivated to take part in the noble art of chucking beer around

Where and when: NME/Radio 1 stage, Saturday, 3.40pm, Reading

Dress code: It's a trip back to the 80s - or, at least, a dodgy jumble shop from the 80s. Guitarist Will Rees is sporting guitar-shaped Elton John glasses, a pink suit and green Doc Martens, whereas singer Blaine wears an aqua-green blazer topped with a string of pearls.

Who's watching: A surprisingly laddish crowd, who seem up for getting lairy to, er, sensitive songs about knitting babies' shoes. Also, the majority of the site's teenage girls are here in full fluoro get-up. Must be those sexy aqua-green blazers.

In a nutshell: After cancelling a string of summer festival appearances, it's great to see Blaine Harrison back onstage (he'd been receiving hospital treatment for a condition relating to his spina bifida). But today is perhaps not the triumphant return we hoped for, marred as it is by terrible acoustics and a crowd who just don't seem motivated to take part in the noble art of chucking beer around and damaging their vocal chords. Sure, everyone goes wild towards the end for Two Doors Down, but we've been taking notes and, compared to yesterday's Richter scale-registering reaction to MGMT's big hits, it's barely a rumble.

High point: Blaine's vocals sound on the verge of collapse during a tender rendition of Flakes.

Low point: We tried three different locations but the sound still sucked the big one.

How hard did they rock?:
Not very, unless your idea of rock involves a lot of distorted bass.

Contributor

Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Reading 2008 review: MGMT

They prove that, on occasions, theatrical guitar solos can be as fun for the crowd as the guy gurning his way through it onstage. If the Raconteurs are reading - we said 'on occasions'

Tim Jonze

23, Aug, 2008 @10:12 AM

Article image
Reading 2008 review: Glasvegas

It takes a certain kind of magic to unite football fans with fey indie types, but such is the genius of this band. Theirs is a wall of sound that makes Hadrian's effort look like a paving stone

Candy Marie

25, Aug, 2008 @4:16 PM

Article image
Reading 2008 review: Jeffrey Lewis

Jeffrey Lewis is the anti-Reading, a troubadour who lacks volume, sleekness and headbanging fans, but makes up for it by owning a heart that's bursting with charm

Tim Jonze

23, Aug, 2008 @5:00 PM

Article image
Reading 2008 review: Holy Fuck

Canada's Holy Fuck tick all the right boxes for those who appreciate their experimentalism and pulsating rhythms in equal measures

Rosie Swash

25, Aug, 2008 @4:59 PM

Article image
Reading 2008 review: Crystal Castles

Their messy techno-punk doesn't cause quite the reported mayhem of their Leeds gig, but it does feature the singer leaping from the speakers and playing dead

Rosie Swash

25, Aug, 2008 @4:46 PM

Article image
Reading 2008 review: Fucked Up

For a band whose live performances often result in violent moshing and bleeding foreheads, Toronto hardcore quintet Fucked Up prove to have impeccable manners

Rosie Swash

23, Aug, 2008 @3:59 PM

Article image
Reading 2008 review: The Killers

Their set is too similar to last year's headline performance at Glastonbury. More Springsteen, more keyboard-chord intros, more studied seriousness. It's incredibly dull

Rosie Swash

25, Aug, 2008 @2:36 PM

Article image
Reading 2008 review: Bloc Party

They have never hidden their love for Reading, where singer Kele Okereke and guitarist Russell Lissack first met, and play with the glow of a band who are performing at their spiritual home

Rosie Swash

25, Aug, 2008 @3:01 PM

Article image
Reading 2008 review: Emmy the Great

As the other stages reverberate with the message 'Bass, How Low Can You Go?', Emmy is offering up the philosophical question 'Acoustic Guitars, How Twee Can You Be?'

Tim Jonze

25, Aug, 2008 @5:14 PM

Article image
Reading 2008 review: Manic Street Preachers

While the Killers struggle to overcome the puny volume on the main stage, the Manics play with a passion that could make the speakers on a back-of-the-bus mobile sound deafening

Tim Jonze

25, Aug, 2008 @3:35 PM