The Spinto Band

Kerry Meech 26/08/2006

he main stage line-up at this year's Reading Festival had been met with a mixed reception when first publicised, with many punters baffled by the very thought of Franz Ferdinand headlining, even the merchandise stalls cashed in by providing T-Shirts quoting many a puzzled fan- “FRANZ FUCKING FERDINAND?!” However, although the line up of the main stage remained questionably throughout the weekend, there were no such worries in the Carling Tent, in fact many of the festivals memorable highlights were provided by the acts of this stage.

The release of The Spinto Band's new album, 'Nice And Nicely Done' has seen the band embark upon new territory, with performances on Jools Holland and this, their first ever Reading Festival. It was apparent from the minute that they walked on stage that they possess a certain geeky charm and are quite happy to use it to enlist the crowd in their quest to 'raise the tent', not that much charm is needed when you have the weaponry of their catchy songs. Right from the word go the audience was transformed into an all skipping, all hopping mess courtesy of album tracks 'Did I Tell You' and 'Trust Vs Mistrust', so much so that by the time 'Direct To Helmet' was played it was obvious that the inner-child had conquered all.

The band itself seemed possessed by the music they were creating, with bass player/singer Thomas Hughes frantically jolting from side to side, looking not unlike a bad dancing uncle at a wedding; perhaps it wasn't such a good idea for him to have “(I)sneaked into the oxygen tent before the gig”. Even when the brilliant bittersweet 'Oh Mandy' floated from the stage the immense singalong which erupted from the crowd turned one of the albums more poignant tracks into a cause for eardrum bursting chanting and mellow moshing, and yes indeed there was mellow moshing™.

The finale of the set was a no-brainer for anyone who has had the chance to listen to their new album, not only does 'Brown Boxes' detail the perils of a relationship (always a winner),but it features some sublime kazoo solos too. The fact that a group of excited, kazooed girls were stood in front of me, trying in vain to play their new instruments in time to the band, did nothing but reaffirm my appreciation of the song even more; here lies the beauty of The Spinto Band-their ability to create interesting and fun songs.

Perhaps Franz Ferdinand have earned their place as opening headliners, but you'd never experience the awesome power of 20 or so kazoos during their set, now where's the fun in that?