The Guardian festival blog: Kings of Leon to Kanye West: the cringiest festival TV moments | Music

The faces of presenters Edith Bowman and Colin Murray were wildly fluctuating barometers of rock-TV strife as they welcomed Bobby Gillespie and bassist Mani to the sofa: the hosts began sunnily, but within seconds Gillespie had effed and Mani had joked about stabbing hippies to death. Then everyone relaxed into it but, just as Ede and Col thought they’d escaped, Bobby G labelled Basement Jaxx “fucking cocksuckers”, and it was time for a cheek-puffing apology, because – magnificently – all this was pre-watershed.

Kings Of Leon at Reading Festival, 2009.

Kings Of Leon at Reading Festival, 2009. Photograph: Kevin Nixon/Classic Rock Magazine/Rex/Shutterstock

Boredom is one’s natural fear when faced with a televised performance by the Nashville cousins, but nobody was expecting their Reading headline slot, in the wake of a mainstream breakthrough, to be a knuckle-in-mouth binge of cringe. That’s what it became when singer Caleb Followill told…


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