The organisers put together an immense bill for the Evening Session stage at this year’s Carling Weekend, but allowing Spiritualised the privilege of closing the festival truly was a masterstroke. They performed a rapturous set of sublime brilliance, and stole an already amazing festival.

Jason Pierce is the sort of front man that is able to magnetise the crowd whist doing little more than standing side on, swooning a bit and singing only very occasionally. He is lucky to be blessed with a backing band packed with excellent musicians. Performing their hundreth show of their career tonight, with a more basic set of only seven musicians, it was clear that the occasion demanded magic. Spiritualised chose to unleash a barrage of explosive noise, which was close in style to the music of Pierce’s early music with Spacemen 3

True, he performs material, largely from his last two albums, that we know – 'Electricity' and 'Come Together' stand out – but for the most part, the melodic and orchestral music for which he has received much acclaim was abandoned in favour of a more extreme and abstract vision. I was lucky enough to be one row from the front and it was indisputably a pulsating and memorable experience. It’s difficult to truly explain, but it was a pleasure to hear a band perform a set I didn’t expect but with such skill. Bands like The Icarus Line, Alec Empire and The Dillinger Escape Plan all performed extreme and noisy sets – and all were storming – but no band matched the power of Spiritualised set. Seeing it was an absolute pleasure!

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Commenting On: Reading Festival, 25/8/2002 - Spiritualised

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