Reading Festival: Young Guns & Sleeping with Sirens

Polished rock anthems are the dish of the day on the Main Stage

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Steadily rising to the top of British rock music, Young Guns (6) have had a pretty incredible ride since releasing Bones in 2012. Spending most of 2013 in America off the back of Bones (the single) going supernova in the wake of its Wrestlemania backing, we finally get Young Guns back for ourselves, and they bring plenty of new material with them.

New single I Want Out continues down the path of Young Guns’ signature anthemic rock style, complete with plenty of ‘WOAH’ moments for the audience to chant along to, a call to arms that they are more than happy to take on./o:p

More polished than the silverware in Buckingham Palace, Young Guns’ performance is about as clean-cut and safe as it gets. Though this will put them in good stead to further take on the States, the lack of anything out of the ordinary leads to a very PC show that somewhat goes through the motions. Two more new songs suggest that the band will be bothering larger venues in the very near future as the stadium rock elements of their sound are turned to 11. They round off a successful — if not entirely memorable — return to English soil with Bones, and it’s a solid reminder to British audiences that they’re still at the top of their game, before they head Stateside again for a tour with You Me At Six.

Later on, it’s pretty incredible to see a band like Sleeping With Sirens (below, 7) so high up on the Main Stage at Reading. However, as most of today’s acts are catering towards a younger audience, they’re an obvious choice.

Taking to the stage in sunglasses, vocalist and teen heartthrob Kellin Quinn’s arrival results in several thousand girls screaming in unison. Mixing metalcore with straight up 80s rock riffs, the band have plenty in their arsenal to keep the mid afternoon crowd entertained for the entirety of their set. Tracks like Congratulations and Tally It Up, Settle The Score fill out the field with a full sound and hark back to the likes of Story Of The Year, or any multitude of ‘MySpace famous’ bands.

We also can’t review the band without mentioning Kellin Quinn’s unbelievably high-pitched voice. Jeers from some older members of the crowd tell us that it’s not welcomed by everyone, but it is entrancing. Sleeping With Sirens are the type of band that can help any teen work their angst out, but they also have the live chops to back up what some may see as a superficial venture, and they prove this on their first Main Stage appearance.