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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).

 

iTunes Festival / September 2014

 
By on Wednesday, 23rd July 2014 at 8:00 am
 

Kasabian (pictured above), Calvin Harris, Sam Smith and Pharrell Williams are amongst the first wave of artists announced for the 2014 iTunes Festival.

Taking place at London’s Roundhouse throughout the duration of September, the line-up also includes the likes of David Guetta, young Australians 5 Seconds of Summer, Kylie Minogue and American hitmakers Maroon 5.

Tickets for each of the gigs are free to competition winners and the shows will be live streamed via iTunes or on Apple TV.

Speaking about the festival, Kasabian said, “We’re very proud to be in this year’s iTunes Festival line-up, and we are excited to be playing alongside so many great artists. We have had a huge year so far. Expect some surprises!”

Robert Plant, who headlines the festival on Monday the 8th of September, added, “We’ve been roaring around the world this summer from Morocco to the Arctic Circle. The band is on fire. It’s now time to shake it on down in NW1.”

The iTunes Festival 2014 line-up so far is as follows:

Tuesday 2nd September 2014 – Beck
Wednesday 3rd September 2014 – David Guetta
Thursday 4th September 2014 – 5 Seconds of Summer
Friday 5th September 2014 – Kasabian
Sunday 7th September 2014 – Calvin Harris and Kiesza
Monday 8th September 2014 – Robert Plant
Tuesday 9th September – Sam Smith
Wednesday 10th September 2014 – Pharrell Williams and Jungle
Thursday 11th September 2014 – Maroon 5
Tuesday 16th September 2014 – Blondie and Chrissie Hynde
Saturday 27th September 2014 – Kylie Minogue

Further artists are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. In its 7-year history, the iTunes Festival has played host to a vast array of big names, including Oasis, Lady Gaga and Arctic Monkeys.

The festival made its debut in the US earlier this year with a five day run at the Moody Theatre in Austin, Texas during SXSW 2014. Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar and Pitbull were amongst the artists on the line-up.

For further information about the iTunes Festival including ticket applications, visit the official Web site.

 

Kasabian / November and December 2014 UK/Irish Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 2nd July 2014 at 9:00 am
 

Fresh off the back of their triumphant Sunday night headline slot on the Pyramid Stage of Glastonbury 2014, Kasabian have announced a UK and Irish tour for this coming winter. This campaign also includes 5 nights at London Brixton Academy. Tickets go on sale this Friday (the 4th of July) at 9:30 AM.

Their next single ‘Bumblebee’ is out on the 4th of August. For all of TGTF’s coverage including a live performance of ‘Eez-Zeh’ from Glasto, walk this way.

Wednesday 19th November 2014 – Glasgow SSE Hydro
Friday 21st November 2014 – Leeds First Direct Arena
Saturday 22nd November 2014 – Birmingham LG Arena
Sunday 23rd November 2014 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Tuesday 25th November 2014 – Bournemouth International Centre
Wednesday 26th November 2014 – Brighton Centre
Friday 28th November 2014 – Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Monday 1st December 2014 – London Brixton Academy
Tuesday 2nd December 2014 – London Brixton Academy
Thursday 4th December 2014 – London Brixton Academy
Friday 5th December 2014 – London Brixton Academy
Saturday 6th December 2014 – London Brixton Academy
Monday 8th December 2014 – Dublin O2
Tuesday 9th December 2014 – Belfast Odyssey Arena
Thursday 11th December 2014 – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Friday 12th December 2014 – Manchester Phones 4U Arena

 

The BBC at Glastonbury 2014 (Sunday): Kasabian headline Pyramid Stage with ‘Eez-Zeh’

 
By on Monday, 30th June 2014 at 10:30 pm
 

Wherever you were this weekend, whether you were at Worthy Farm or not, us here at TGTF have you covered when it comes to Glastonbury 2014. The dedicated people they are, the folks at the BBC have been working all hours during the festival and feeding us live coverage as it becomes available. What does this mean for you? We’ll be passing along all the best bits to you, our faithful readers.

2014 at Glastonbury was Kasabian‘s time, being anointed with the privilege of closing out the Pyramid Stage Sunday and therefore the festival. I wasn’t sure about the band’s electro direction in their single ‘Eez-Zeh’, but clearly the punters at the Pyramid Stage had no such reservations. Watch the band perform the song below.

For more of the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage online, head this way. Stay tuned for more videos from Glasto 2014 right here on TGTF.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3cQmzt1CJw[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1515: Kasabian

 
By on Wednesday, 7th May 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

Martin and I were just talking in a Sheffield pub this weekend about Kasabian‘s lucky break being chosen as to be near the top of Glastonbury 2014’s bill. Have a watch and listen to their latest hoppy promo for single ‘Eez-eh’, which drops on the 2nd of June. One week later on the 9th of June, new album ’48:13′ will follow.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST6nEvIEY4s[/youtube]

 

Reading 2012: Day 2 Roundup

 
By on Friday, 31st August 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

What rhymes with ‘shredding’?

Not Leeds, Glastonbury, Creamfields or Latitude, that’s for sure.

The rumours were traversing the Twitter/blogosphere all week preceding Reading Festival and at 11 in the morning, it turned from rumour into fact. Green Day (pictured above) arrived on the NME and Radio 1 Stage and from that moment, no matter what happened in the next 24 hours, the day was theirs.

The three American boys, led by the imperious Billie Joe Armstrong, burst on stage, the crowd arrayed before them erupted. Grown men cried, teenage girls swooned and ‘Welcome to Paradise’ rang out across the sprawling mass of bodies in front of the punk superstars. With a back catalogue as enormous as theirs, it was no surprise that their set was a long one, with over 20 songs from their entire 2 and a half decade long career played.

Frontman Billie Joe commanded the troops like a first class general, leading the crowd in a number of “whoops” and “hey ohs!”, which intertwined with the collection of hit after hit that Green Day played. New track ‘Oh Love’ was met with the same adoration as stalwarts like ‘St. Jimmy’ (which was played at a speed of the likes that would not be seen at the festival all weekend).

While the set did seem constrained by time, as ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ was interrupted midway through the intro, the band did still manage a set to go down as one of the Reading Festival’s classics. ‘American Idiot’ was screamed back at the band by every single member of the crowd; such is the admiration for the band. A classic set in all ways. (10/10)

The unenviable task of following up Green Day fell to Post War Glamour Girls and in the impossible task, the Leeds-based rockers sadly didn’t provide much excitement. But in all fairness, they were following up Green Day, and it was barely even lunchtime. Credit to the band, they came on and they gave it their all. (5/10)

A trip to the Main Stage was in order next, to see Brighton-based duo Blood Red Shoes, performing for the first time on Reading’s Main Stage. The band were anything but overwhelmed by the situation, though Steven Ansell powered away on drums while Laura Mary-Carter proved an outstanding talent with her soaring vocals, which intertwined with ‘Ansell’s.’

The highlight of the set was near their set’s close as the band played ‘I Wish I Was Someone Better’. However, it should be noted that opener ‘It’s Getting Boring By The Sea’ which appears on the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World soundtrack was definitely an impressive performance. The two members of the band may have looked small in their expansive surroundings, but they made the stage their own with their mix of garage-y, bluesy indie rock and roll. I can only see them playing higher up the bill next time around. (7/10)

Back to the NME Stage I went to see Scottish heroes Twin Atlantic, in a set which was likely to be described as a bit like Biffy Clyro. What a lazy comparison. Yes, they are Scottish, whoop dee dee, so are Frightened Rabbit, but they don’t get followed by comparisons to Simon Neil’s band of rock titans, do they?

Twin Atlantic deserve plaudits of their own and on the strength of the set they played; I won’t be the only person giving them. As their brand of radio-friendly, visceral guitar music is exactly what any festival needs to pour some life into it. ‘Free’ was roared to the heady heights of the NME/Radio 1 Stage, while ‘Make a Beast of Myself’ brought on the same kind of sing-along that Green Day provoked earlier that morning. (8/10)

Staying on the NME/Radio 1 Stage, next up were one of the breakthrough acts of the past 12 months, Dry the River, who brought their hauntingly poignant brand of indie-folk mash-up to Reading.

For a band that sounds so outstanding on record it’s safe to say, hearing them live was rather disappointing. The performance seemed labored, as if every track was as difficult for frontman Peter Liddle as passing a kidney stone. ‘No Rest’ offered a glimpse of the kind of quality that this band can produce, sounding like a less energetic, but more honest Mumford and Sons. But overall, this festival may be one to forget and move on from, as this band can and will be so much better then they were on Saturday. (5/10)

From a somber set in the tent, to a riotous screaming collision of genres on the Main Stage I moved to see Enter Shikari, a band who are so eponymous with Reading Festival, I’m surprised they haven’t been booked as the house band yet. Their new album delves even more into the politically charged work they have been creating of late. So ‘IMPORTANT’ political nonsense aside, they provide entertainment in its droves.

Classic ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’ is roared from the stage by Rou Reynolds, while new track ‘Arguing with Thermometers’ is greeted with a singalong of huge proportions. They may not have matched the sheer mentallness of 2 years ago, but their set went down well. (7/10)

I moved from British DIY stars, to Canadian punk troubadours next, in the form of Billy Talent. A band that certainly brought the tunes, but sadly the performance did nothing to match them. Often all you could hear was frontman Benjamin Kowalewicz wailing down the microphone incomprehensively. Set closer ‘Red Flag’ brought a riotous reaction, but in a formulaic set with very little merit to it, it all felt just a little bit contrived. Come up with something new, Billy. Then we’ll talk. (4/10)

To close the day there was another choice to be made. At the Drive In or Kasabian. A choice which I now regret, not for musical reasons, but for the fact that the former of the two has announced that their gig on Tuesday 28th August will be there last as a band.

As you can tell then, I saw Kasabian. Hardcore legends aside (At the Drive In) the Leicestershire based lad-rockers served up a set of unashamed arrogance and brilliance.

Tom Meighan swaggered around the stage like he owned it and for those two hours he absolutely did. The hits were reeled out at breakneck pace and each one was greeted with the adulation such a spectacular performance deserved. The band was fantastic, from start to finish with set closer ‘Fire’ bringing an end to a set which should quite rightly go down as one of the band and even Reading Festival’s best. (10/10)

 
 
 

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We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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