Preview: Reading and Leeds 2017

By on Thursday, 8th June 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Looking toward the end of summer and the culmination of this year’s festival season which, if you’re a UK citizen, means only one thing. Reading and Leeds Festival, taking place 25-27 August. The mammoth twin fests once again return to the North and South of England, and with a lineup that is going to have you bouncing all the way home on the Monday morning after.

The thing that makes Reading and Leeds so special is the eclectic mix of bands. (Err, bar Glastonbury’s Katy Perry supporting The National: that’s something else entirely.) The stages opt for a core representation, meaning if you head over to the Pit Stage you guaranteed to find a band thrashing the life out of their guitars, as opposed to the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage where, well, you’re more likely to find some thunderous beats and want to shake a tail feather. The one thing the stages all have in common is you’ll have a bloody good time at whichever you choose.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk5iMgG-WJI[/youtube]

You’re going to need to bear with me on this one because this year, the line-up is so jam-packed with acts that you can’t miss out on, it’s hard to not just pop the poster up and circle the entire thing. Without a shadow of a doubt, the headliners this year are strong, though Muse could have chosen to take a break from the top slot for a while to give some new blood a chance, to be honest. Kasabian will really making the top of the bill theirs, with a formidable arsenal in the form of their back catalogue that will echo for miles around, especially post-show with all the chanting that follows. The one name on the bill that stands out is none other than Slim Shady himself. Eminem is returning to the UK after a prolonged absence. A man who needs no introduction, his set Saturday will be something you won’t forget for a long time.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVkUvmDQ3HY[/youtube]

Now that the headliners are out of the way, we can get into the gubbins of the lineup, the gems and the up ‘n’ comers. While we don’t have the stage splits yet, here’s who you should keep in mind for when that time arrives, based on the Reading location lineup:

Friday

Start your festival off nice and easy with SXSW 2016 alum Barns Courtney on the Festival Republic Stage. He’ll be spilling some blues rock that should soundtrack the (hopefully) sunny mid-morning perfectly. Of course, with it nearing the end of the festival season by the time we get to the end of August, you should make the most of being able to get a bit silly in a field with your friends, so head to the NME Stage where Chicagoans The Orwells will stir up a riot with their snotty punk attack. Stick around after their set to catch Declan McKenna. The fresh-faced singer/songwriter who also impressed at SXSW 2016 is on his way to becoming the soundtrack for a generation, and what better way to experience that than in a field full of kids who have just finished their exams.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FafAfiWtog[/youtube]

The Pit stage has one of the quickest up ‘n’ comers in the UK rock scene, Puppy, at the early end of the list while heading it up will be Billy Talent, who will instigate a surefire sing-a-long fest. The Festival Republic stage also has Toothless, a majorly strong contender for one of the albums of the year. Ex-Bombay Bicycle Club bassist Ed Nash has created a beautifully coherent indie record that is just as well executed live.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8WPIU8XJmY[/youtube]

Saturday

Now that you’ll be all warmed up for the festival, and Kasabian have got you well into the spirit of losing all inhibitions from their show the previous night, take that feeling and get involved in the ruckus that’ll be, once again, on the NME stage with Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes. After his main stage performance last year – quite literally surveying the crowd with one of the longest mic leads we’ve ever seen – all eyes will be on what madness can ensue this year. The main stage has a double run of blood, as in, you get the one-two punch of Scottish indie duo Honeyblood, then pop-punkers Moose Blood.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P1WIpgKqcA[/youtube]

Also playing the Saturday are Canadians Japandroids who, quite frankly, released one of the records of the year with ‘Near To The Wild Heart…’. They’ll be over on the Festival Republic stage. You can also catch the sweet summery sounds of Glass Animals, Sundara Karma and TGTF favourites Everything Everything all on the NME Stage too. Just prior to seeing Eminem, it’ll be a right throwback to the 90’s and early ’00s with Korn. What a time to be alive, I’m exhausted already.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRGrNDV2mKc[/youtube]

Sunday

Somewhat a more reserved day, which is quite possibly needed after the assault of the previous 2 days. Kick things off with Fickle Friends on the, you guessed it, NME Stage. More summery sounds that will soothe your assumed titanic hangover. But, since this is it, the last day, go have a riot in the Pit stage with Norwegian punks Slotface. Easily the band of the moment, their long-awaited debut should also be out by then! The main stage has some real treats in the form of UK punk spokes-band VANT, who then lead nicely into the current kings of the UK metal scene Architects.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GCSUSwcDwg[/youtube]

One name that’s being billed as an apparent exclusive, although it’s appeared on the Glasto lineup is none other than Liam Gallagher. Having completed a recent tour of a few small UK venues where he’s sounded back on top form, including one benefit show for his (and my) beloved Manchester, and is performing some classic Oasis tracks, excitement for his appearance is an understatement. Muse should surely bring a good show: spaceships, drones, lasers, you name it, they’ll probably bring it!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4ozdiGys5g[/youtube]

That’s a lot of information to go forth with, but the most important thing to do when experiencing Reading or Leeds Festival is have fun. It’s the blow-out fest, the last of the majors in the UK for the season, and is a beast in its own right.

Tickets are still available for both Reading (here) and Leeds (here).

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TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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