BUKANDSKIT FESTIVAL 2. Reading Abbey RFC, Reading. 19.06.05

It starts as a distant buzzing, like maybe there's a wasp in the car that you can't see.

Then it's more.

There's a bassy rumble, relentless banging and flashing lights.

Through the pollen haze of a sun cracked field in the middle of Reading comes the sound of loud music and the smell of overpriced beer and burning burgers. A festival is disturbing the peace in Reading but it's not the one you're thinking of.

The BukandSkit festival, a one-day, two-stage event is celebrating its second year today. The event is something of a renaissance day for British bands- Biffy Clyro and Capdown are headlining- and a genuine showcase for local talent- Reading bands open both stages.

The line up reads like a 'who's who' of the UK underground and as an introduction to the day TwinZero's crash site rumble is an ugly early-afternoon wake up call. Karl Middleton leads his merry men through a set of metallic pounding punctuated by razer sharp riffing and tribal tattoos.

Thirteen fulfill every prophecy of their name and suffer the first bad luck of the day- it's kinda hard to play your cymbals when they're at home. But after a mad dash to borrow some equipment they get to play their very now sounding poppy rock but push everyone's stage times back.

But the show must go on.

For Reuben- who transform their normally sedate grunge into sunshine-magnet festival rock- and Oceansize it must go on a little longer than expected when news filters through that Million Dead have broken down in Italy.

Sylosis have recruited Jor's old singer and seemingly pirated his confidence too. Their old school thrash and new style metal mix finally looks good enough to break into bigger leagues, the majors will soon come knocking.

Sikth are on form. There was a worry about how much of the truly awful new stuff they would play but only one song, 'The Death of a Dead Day', is aired and isn't half bad after all. Despite the blistering heat the first real mosh goes to Sikth and a belting version of 'Hold my Finger'.

Inside, on the second stage, it's like standing in an oven but Eden Maine play a blinder. Towering examples of aggressive, progressive mood music like an awesome 'The Hunter and the Hunted' and 'Hail Satan!' shimmer and flex in the heat. Their frontman all handclaps and dancing feet one minute, a flailing storm of plaid and hair the next.

This Girl have to face off main stage competition from Biffy Clyro and the advance of time as last trains and buses beckon but maintain an edge that people never seem to understand and the man will never pay enough money for.
People keep leaving but the band keep playing the good time rock'n'roll they make their own, even turning the mediocre material from their most recent album into hummable quirky perfection.

People are going home tired but happy, BukandSkit 2 has most definitely been a success and proven the British rock scene to be alive and well. As if we ever had a doubt.

Roll on next year.

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