Young Guns ready to fire up Reading Olympic Torch celebrationsBy Mike Pyle
July 10, 2012
Hotly-tipped rockers Young Guns will be headlining the Olympic Torch Relay celebrations at Madejski Stadium this evening.
They told Mike Pyle why it will be the highlight of their year
The last 12 months have been eventful for rockers Young Guns. They released a top 20 album, toured the world and got told they will be second from the top spot on one of the stages at this year's Reading festival.
But drummer Ben Jolliffe says the highlight is likely to be when they play at Madejski Stadium in a unique gig to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Torch in Reading tonight.
“It’s been an incredible year,” says Ben. “We’ve just been so lucky – we’ve been to the best places in the world and done some great things and it's been a blast.
“I just can’t believe it when I look back – I’ve been trying to take photos on my phone just so I know where I’ve been.
“But to hear that we’re going to play at the Madejski Stadium on the torch relay is just amazing.
“I’m from Marlow but Reading is nearly my home town. I used to go to Reading College and I’ve been to the Madejski Stadium a bunch of times. I go to Reading Festival every year.
“A while ago our promotor said it was a possibility and we were like ‘yeah, whatever’ but then they said ‘no, really, this could happen’.
“Then they told us we were going to be playing the Madejski Stadium and I couldn’t believe it.”
The band have been busy trying to hone their set for Tuesday’s Olympic celebrations, which kick off at the Mad Stad from 4pm.
“It’s not something we’ve done before, a proper stadium gig,” Ben says.
“It’s a shorter set but we want to be able to just play our best songs. Sometimes when you’re playing a festival or something you want to play the faster songs to get people moshing but I think this will be a good chance to show people what we can do.”
The summer is set to be a whirlwind of gigs and tours for the band, including an appearance second from the top on the Festival Republic Stage on the Saturday of this year’s Reading Festival.
It will be Young Guns’ second appearance at the festival having opened the event on the Main Stage two years ago.
“I’ve been going to Reading Festival every year since I was 14,” explains Ben. “I always used to think about how exciting it would be to play there and that all the bands must be flying off in private jets when they finish their sets.
“When we finished we drove back to my mum’s!”
Young Guns will headline the show which will feature the day’s last torchbearer lighting a celebratory cauldron as well as entertainment from local groups and acts.