With the summer festival season almost reaching its halfway point, many legendary European festivals have already taken place and provided the perfect place for people to lose themselves in a field with their friends. Despite this, though, many massive festivals are yet to take place, notably Reading & Leeds Festival this coming August Bank Holiday weekend. Considered as one of the greatest rock festivals in the world, Reading & Leeds provides the perfect place for bands of all genres to give the crowd a perfect way to finish their summer holiday. This year, the bigger-than-before bill is headed up by Queens of the Stone Age, Paramore, Arctic Monkeys and Blink 182. However, there are tons of other fantastic bands worth checking out, and All Things Loud have below listed the 10 best bands that you should see at Reading & Leeds this year.
- ENTER SHIKARI
In a similar way to how Coldplay keep on returning to Glastonbury, St. Albans quartet Enter Shikari are a band who Reading & Leeds Festivals just can’t do without! Having played almost every year for the last 7 years, the Rou Reynolds-fronted hardcore electro punks are playing their highest ever billing at the festival on the Main Stage. Aside from older classics Sorry, You’re Not a Winner, Juggernauts and Mothership, expect songs from 2012’s A Flash Flood of Colour and their 2013 Rat Race EP. If you’re lucky, they might even knock out a new song or two from their upcoming fourth album, set for release in 2015!
- ROYAL BLOOD
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last half year, you’ll have noticed all of the hype which has surrounded Brighton-duo Royal Blood since their break earlier this year. Debut single Out of the Black showcased how two guys (armed with one bass guitar and some drums) can make a sound bigger than most bands around today! Follow up single Little Monster got them mainstream recognition and plenty of airplay, with new single Figure It Out proving that Royal Blood are no one-trick pony. Expect the tent to be overflowing when Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher take to the stage in August, with their debut album following two days later!
Back in their home country of Japan, Crossfaith are metal behemoths. Over in the UK and Europe, however, the Monolith-quintet are only just starting to make a name for themselves after successful appearances on the Vans Warped Tour and at Download Festival. Combining the purest hard rock and metal with electronic bleeps and dubstep elements, Crossfaith are the early afternoon Main Stage act you just don’t want to miss. If running around circle pits to songs like Jagerbomb and The Evolution are your thing, then you can’t avoid it!
- WOLF ALICE
Never has the Internet been as awash with hype as with Wolf Alice, the London alternative rock quartet who has taken the blogosphere by storm since their breakthrough in 2013. Early single Bros and recent single Moaning Lisa Smile perfectly showcase Ellie Roswell’s sweet-yet-fierce voice, and how it perfectly contrasts the rest of the band. They’re low on the bill with a Festival Republic Stage slot, but this shouldn’t take away from the fact that Wolf Alice is the hottest prospect for the future. Expect no place in the tent come the time they take to the stage.
Indie rock has changed lots in the last ten years since Arctic Monkeys erupted onto the scene. Birmingham’s very own Peace are currently leading a pack of new-wave, sun kissed indie rock for the Internet generation, having spent the most part of a year building up hype and playing massive festival shows as well as sell-out solo tours. Breakthrough hits Follow Baby and Bloodshake, as well as MTV hit Lovesick, proved that Peace are here to stay. Having unveiled two new songs from their upcoming second album, World Pleasure and Money, Peace have not only showcased a new, funkier direction but also ensured that Peace will always remain Peace. With Peace there are no gimmicks or frills; it’s all about the music.
- OF MICE & MEN
The heavier aspect of the rock spectrum is represented extremely well at Reading & Leeds, with there being a stage dedicated especially to the heavier acts that just won’t cut it on the Main Stage. For 2 days this year, this stage is called the Lock-Up Stage, but for one of these days it’s known as The Pit. The Pit will be headed up by American metalcore giants Of Mice & Men, playing their biggest UK festival show ever to a crowd we can all be sure will be explosive. New album Restoring Force was the first step in world domination for Austin Carlisle & co., so expect a show nothing short of raucous and legendary from the five-piece.
London’s Jungle are no strangers to hype, with their mystery-shrouded image and captivating sounds being enough to make them one of the most talked about acts of the last year. Playing as a seven-piece live, the J and T fronted group are preparing to release a funk-laden debut album on XL Recordings in two weeks’ time, giving the Reading & Leeds crowd a perfect amount of time to get accustomed to their summer bangers, R’n’B grooves and funk anthems. Jungle will bring the party, so make sure you’ll be there to make sure you experience them before they get massive.
Another band who have gone in the funk direction are Joe Mount’s Metronomy, whose new album Love Letters showcased an old-school Motown vibe to the quartet’s usual electronic wobbles. As their secret set at Glastonbury last week showed, Metronomy certainly know how to engage with crowds of all sizes by combining funk, electro, rock and even soul elements into their live show. Prepare for the likes of The Look and The Bay to be festival highlights, with the whole crowd singing along and jumping as if it were their last night on Earth.
The all-female quartet Warpaint are flying the flag for minimal indie rock at Reading & Leeds this year. Their new, self-titled release has made way for a busy festival summer which included a mesmerising set at Glastonbury last weekend, as well as other stops throughout Europe. The Emily Kokal-fronted group are sure to bring some hypnotic and mesmerising sounds to your eyes with the likes of Billie Holiday, Disco//very and Love Is To Die most likely to make your day even better.
- GERARD WAY
Gerard Way’s relationship with Reading & Leeds has always been quite tumultuous, with his former band My Chemical Romance having played a series of controversial (yet still impressive) sets at the festival. With the band having called it quits just over a year ago now, the eclectic frontman has decided to go solo, with his first live performances taking place at Reading & Leeds. Debut track Action Cat, which doesn’t sound too indifferent from his former band, showcases Way’s impressive vocal range in a short punk rock banger which is supposedly not at all representative of the rest of his upcoming music. With such a special relationship between Way and the festival, expect plenty of hype to surround his set in the days counting down to the festival. Not to be missed, regardless of whether you were a fan of My Chemical Romance.
Of course, the above 10 names are not representative of the whole line-up, with other impressive names on the poster including Temples, Chvrches, Jake Bugg, Sleeping With Sirens, Palma Violets and Architects. Regardless of who you see, you’ll still have a great festival!
Reading Festival takes place place at Reading’s Richfield Avenue, and Leeds Festival takes place at Leeds’ Bramham Park, from 22-24 August.