Reading Festival Nostalgia

Reading Festival 1983

It’s Reafing Festival weekend. The streets of the town are full of people in wellies and the supermarkets contain stacks of cheap lager the size of Canary Wharf. It all reminds me of the last Reading Festivals I went to back in the early 1980s, when I was the same age as the people going now. Reading has always been a teenage rite of passage.

It’s a reminder of the fact I’ve been a Marillion fan for 33 years this weekend, after seeing them half-way ip the bill in 1982. They were back the following year as special guests on the Saturday night, opened with Grendel. They blew Black Sabbath and their fibreglass Stonehenge off stage. Little did I imagine their music would still be a big part of my life more than three decades laer.

It’s remarkable how many of the bands from the 1983 bill above are still around. I saw Marillion a few weeks back, headlining the Prog stage at Ramblin Man. Pendragon played the same festival. The Enid were at HRH Prog. Magnum, Pallas, Big Country, The Stranglers and even Man are still on the circuit.

This year’s Reading Festival bill includes Metallica, who have been around for 30 years. Can you imagine 1980s festivals having 1940s crooners and big band jazz on the bill?

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2 Responses to Reading Festival Nostalgia

  1. Chuk says:

    I always think that when I hear my kids listening to the Beatles, who broke up the year I was born. It’d be as if I liked music recorded in the mid 30s to mid 40s when I was a teen.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    My parents were (just) from the pre rock’n'roll generation, so there was a complete disconnect between the music of my generation and theirs.

    Saying that, they listened to classical and jazz rather than the pop music of their day, and that’s stuff which has lasted.

    I know there’s probably an element of generational bias, but I do believe the years 1955-1985 were a golden age of popular music, and produced work that’s stood the test of time in the way pre rock’n'roll crooners and show-tunes have not.