August is drawing to a close and the festival that all rock fans love to hate is looming, here’s my guide of who to see at Reading and Leeds 2018!
Reading (Friday), Leeds (Saturday)
- Creeper. Need I continue? They bring it to ya every time they stand on a stage. For fans of a chorus, big emo vibes, community and the catchiest songs to ever catch on.
- The Front Bottoms. This may just be my love for Talon of the Hawk speaking, but for a short festival set, TFB will hit you with songs that your mouth just bursts to sing along to.
- Wolf Alice. They’re far more punk than most rock outlets give them credit for and ultimately just a quality act. Lead singer, Ellie Roswell is an ethereal character, she glides on stage like an angel but makes sure to remind anyone watching that she can be hard as fuck. Their sound is as varied as Marmozets, touching everything from the Pixies to Bikini Kill.
- The Fever 333. THEY’RE COMING IN MOTHERFUCKER (Unless you’re from Leeds, if so, they’re coming nowhere near you, sorry kids). If you want a wonderful burst of punk energy and anger at our political climate, check these out. I wonder what part of the tent Jason Aalon Butler will climb?
- The Xcerts. There’s some decent stuff on the Pit stage this day, but if you want to go out and support a British band that deserves it, check out The Xcerts. It’s got a good dose of heart in it and they’re a band I want to see succeed, despite my being fairly indifferent about their music.
Star Pick of the Day! – It’s Creeper (obvs), they’re absolutely unmissable for anyone that wants to have a good time.
Watch out for… – A Bring Me the Horizon secret set on the NME stage.
Reading (Saturday), Leeds (Sunday)
- Kendrick Lamar. For me, Kenrick is to the rap world what Eminem was 18 years ago. He’s the guy that bridges fans of all genres, he’s exciting, he can be scary and he’s not afraid to take risks and be provocative. Kenrick’s quality is rare but brilliant, this is a much deserved headline spot for him.
- Dua Lipa. Okay, so far not full of praise for the rock scene – BUT – Dua Lipa is releasing some of the best pop songs around at the moment and this set is gonna be loads of fun. I don’t want to see anyone not dancing during ‘One Kiss’.
- Skindred. Those who have seen them live know. Those who haven’t deserve to be nagged forever about how unmissable these lot are live.
- Brockhampton. Rap’s most exciting outfit, a secret that has rocketed out of the underground and a live act that is so incredibly vibrant. To miss these would be silly, to pack yourself into a tent filled over capacity for them, that’s smart.
- Black Peaks. When Black Peaks came around a few years ago, their sound baffled me, the range of influences they drew from and the way they ended up sounding completely unique made me fall in love with them. They’re a delight live too, a four-piece with far too much talent for that little tent, just wait til frontman Will belts it out on ‘Say You Will’.
Star Pick of the Day! – Dua Lipa. I’m telling you, her songs are just SO good.
Most Talked About – Brockhampton. I imagine we’ll be discussing their set for years to come
Also check out… – Bloxx and Teenage Wrist.
Reading (Sunday) Leeds (Friday)
- Sleep Token. I still haven’t gotten over seeing Sleep Token at Download yet. Their sound, their live presence and the atmosphere they created sent me through a loop. I’m so excited to relive their musical journey all over again at R&L.
- Milk Teeth. These are hands down the best festival tent band around in 2018. They’ll fill their 30 minute with so many punk ragers that you won’t know what to do with yourself but go and download their entire discography after.
- Don Broco. The leap in popularity that these have took this past year is something wholly deserved. They’ve done it by releasing class arena rock songs while not losing an inch of what made them exciting.
- The Bronx. What a treasure this lot are. Hardcore punk goodness, boundless charm from frontman Matt Caughthran and magnetic tunes that will literally drag you into the pit. Supporting The Bronx is a sign of having great musical taste, be one of those people.
- The Glorious Sons. When I reviewed these back in March, I went in expecting boring blues rock, that’s not at all what I got. The Glorious Sons write anthemic, catchy country songs that are as much rock as they are pop. They have an irresistible rasp and a whole lotta heart. I can’t vouch for them live but those songs should be too massive to be missed.
Star Pick of the Day! – Milk Teeth. Whether you’re a fan of rock, punk or indie, these lot will give you the time of your life.
Headliner? – Easily the worst selection of stage headliners. I’m opting for Kings of Leon simply to see if they’re as good as everyone says they are. But lets be real, you’re gonna have more fun seeing Diplo.
Want more suggestions? I put this playlist together, it features loads of great tunes from the bands playing the festival!