The Main Stage at Reading is a big place. It must be even bigger when there are only two of you, but if Slaves were worried about seeming small they certainly didn’t show it.
The boys pile in with early classic ‘White Knuckle Ride’ and don’t let up for the entire set. Guitarist Laurie said the pair had ‘dressed up smart’ for their first Main Stage outing, Laurie in a Tartan suit and Isaac in a grey one. No shirt or tie, though.
It doesn’t last, of course. Within minutes the pair are stripping back their clobber almost as much as their music.
A shout of “f*** Brexit” from Laurie leads us into ‘Rich Man, I’m Not Your Bitch’, the incredible response of the crowd clearly pleasing the smiling Slaves.
Every song yields a sing-along and a mosh pit, leading both band members to proclaim their love for the fans and thank them for their support through the years.
Old favourite ‘Girl Fight’ is a standout moment in the set, a throwback to the earliest days of the band and a thank-you gift to everyone who has been with them since.
Slaves have had four successive promotions in consecutive years at Reading, from the tiny BBC Introducing Stage to the heights of the Main Stage without pausing for breath. With a second album due soon, and one of the most passionate fan bases around, there’s only one more place to go: a headline slot beckons.
Originally published as part of NME/University of Reading’s Reading Festival coverage at: http://readinglive.nme.com/