Around RG1 In 20 Bands (or there abouts).

A thesis could be transcribed describing the primordial testosterone-fuelled post-GCSE war field that is Reading Festival yet little more than scratching the mere surface with a scalpel would realistically be achieved. This weekend saw circle pits-turned boxing rings during The Chapman Family, wrestling in front of Karen O, permanent marker sales boom in the surrounding area as obscenities were scrawled across foreheads and forearms relentlessly and a stretcher or two carrying away victims of bottle showers. It's been compared with Guantanamo Bay as well as concentration camps and whilst that may be a fair few steps too far, burning portaloos and bins rolling through hoardes of tents are commonplace. Glastonbury this ain't.

Bizarrely, head for the hallowed 'Guest Area' and an altogether diversely repulsive gaggle of deluded nothings and nobodies swan about as if lunging their necks out for scraps of bread in the duck pond. It's along the lines of a sanctuary for the drug-addled anorexics, hanging on to the threads of tenuous links in the vague hope of a free cocktail although perhaps sanctuary's an inappropriate use of vocab as friends of friends of acquaintances spawn faster than frogs, thus it's booming. Our key to unlock the gates of an entirely superficial tangible networking compound is perhaps the most tenuous; a friend of a patient of my mum's manages Alex Turner's Arctic Monkeys, a ridiculous strand of connections that I'm far from ashamed to conceal. Conversely, every other ligger swigging watered-down, over-priced beer seems to brag about bottom-of-the-bill bands and insecurities with "unknown" roots (offering to sell cocaine's a slight give-away...) although it's something of a two-finger salute to brandish nothingness across my chest. The irony of course is that the self-respecting Turners and Yorkes of this musical parade veer clear of the great luxuries laid on by Festival Republic as if swine flu were born out of the back end of Reading, albeit installing their own personal portaloos. Yet their headline shows are simply showstopping and whilst lines are chopped and drinks are shot elsewhere, the real magic's on the stage, not the stars. That said, rebellion splurges out when you least expect it; blue-wristbanded behemoths flock to their secluded waster space following nigh on every main stage slot as if the last pint of Tuborg in the entirety of Berkshire is up for grabs. Overheard by one too many, an obnoxious American "in a band" proclaims how sick and unwell his girlfriend of the hour is feeling, what with having to stand in a queue for over precisely 49 seconds. At this point, a chap in a Sherlock Holmes cap turns around, clocks the 4st 7lb walking, barely talking celery stick and screams "BUY HER A FUCKING BURGER. THAT'S WHAT SHE REALLY WANTS." Maybe it's one of those moments that doesn't quite transpire to storytelling but as Reading crowd moments go, that was right up there.

Finally talking music, the weekend was filled with 'moments', some better conceived than others. High/ lowlights came thick and fast in a haze of wonderment/ disappointment and with little middle ground mediocrity, an awards scheme seems the most appropriate to delve deeper into the musical side of Lord of the Flies-turned 21st century...

Otherworldly Pleasure: Radiohead

Back, back, back from the dead: Rival Schools

Brainless Bravado: The Prodigy

Brightest Sparks: The Big Pink, The Joy Formidable

Most Likely to Induce Epilepsy and/ or Insanity: Marmaduke Duke

Brain Cell-Bashing Brilliance: The Chapman Family

Hearts On Sleeves, Minds At Unease: Brand New, Alexisonfire

Supergroup Stupidity: Them Crooked Vultures

Fluorescent Guitars, Adolescent Agony: Deftones

Stellar Superstar: Ian Brown

Daft As A Punk Broom: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Most Likely To Morph Into Ziggy: Patrick Wolf

Most Valid Alternative to Notting Hill: Friendly Fires

Slickest Niceties: Metronomy

Greatest Vocal Elasticity: Mike Patton (Faith No More)

Oh So Guiltiest Pleasures: Little Boots, Jamie T

So Two Thousand And Late: Vampire Weekend

Ripest Fruition. Welcome to the Big Time: Arctic Monkeys.