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Preview: Reading and Leeds 2016

 
By on Thursday, 4th February 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Header photo: Red Hot Chili Peppers by Ellen Von Unwerth

Along with Glastonbury and Download Festival, there is another festival, or pair of festivals rather, that are a staple of the UK festival scene. Reading and Leeds take place in the August bank holiday weekend, which this year falls on the 26th-28th of August.

Reading Festival is actually one of the UK’s oldest popular music festivals, having been around in its current format since the 1970s. It’s become one of the prime festivals in the indie/rock scene due to its ability to gather some of the biggest names in the industry, as well as the occasional controversial headliner.

This year proves to be no different. The first of the headliners announced were Red Hot Chili Peppers, who need no introduction. They’ve been around for over 30 years, had multiple successful albums and have transcended from hard to funk to rock and everything in between. As a festival exclusive, this is the only place you can see them on the festival circuit this year. Along with the Chili Peppers’ exclusive appearance, Reading / Leeds also have the poster boys of peace and rock Eagles of Death Metal, who after the horrendous events in Paris last year have powered on and united the music world more than ever. Along with ‘Eagles…’, Imagine Dragons and Two Door Cinema Club are also exclusive to Reading / Leeds.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DyziWtkfBw[/youtube]

Recently announced to join the bill with Red Hot Chili Peppers, we have a joint headline act with Foals and Disclosure, meaning one act will be the main headline at one site, and at the other site the roles will be reversed. This is particularly exciting because Foals, who have worked from house parties to festival headliner, are infamous for live shows that turn to a frenzy, with leading man Yannis Phillippakis ending up hanging from some form of metalwork or walking above the crowd. This spectacle will be paired alongside electronic brother duo Disclosure, who have had a string of hits that have created a boost of momentum in the dance/electronic movement and brought it back into the minds of the mainstream. It’s worth noting that this pairing is not under festival exclusivity, which means we may be seeing these names elsewhere.

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

Other notable acts for this gigantic festival are the Brit indie group The 1975, who by August will be on their second album, with their fanbase growing faster and faster. We also have The Courteeners, the Mancunian band keeping the spirit of Britpop and the attitude of Oasis alive, while also keeping it fresh. In fact, calling it Britpop would to be selling their sound short: it’s developmental and massive. They have rousing choruses and songs that can get anyone moving, it’s always a great pleasure seeing The Courteeners on a lineup, and they never disappoint.

With these latest additions, this lineup is certainly looking strong. The newly announced acts have given the festival a much more varied approach, with multiple genres being represented, including hip-hop with Fetty Wap.  Now we await the final headline announcement – the safe bet is on Biffy Clyro – and we hope Reading / Leeds keep up the quality and quantity they need to stay ahead of the game in this festival monopoly.

For more information and tickets visit http://www.readingfestival.com or http://www.leedsfestival.com.

 

Preview: Reading and Leeds 2015

 
By on Tuesday, 16th December 2014 at 9:00 am
 

Round and round the big festival headliner roundabout goes. Will it be Muse? Unlikely, give it another few years. Foo Fighters? I’d bet good money this is going to happen. Blink-182? Bit early! Metallica? Yeah, why not! They’ve not released anything as a band proper since 2008’s ‘Death Magnetic’!

Upon the announcement, what did Lars Ulrich have to say about playing Reading and Leeds for the fourth time? “We are practically the house band.” You’re not wrong, Lars.

Now, I’m not saying the announcement of undeniably the greatest thrash metal band touring at the moment is a bad thing. But it does seem that these big ticket festivals are becoming overly reliant on a select group of supergroups, rotating the same headliners and introducing a new name to the melting pot oh so infrequently. Queens of the Stone Age and Paramore joined the top table patriarchy last year through their co-headline slot. But really the first time a band reached the line-up summit was Biffy Clyro in 2013. Their headline set at Reading and Leeds last year raised the bar, showing exactly what a band who have been lifted to the top of the bill can achieve with the proverbial wind of change in their sails.

Fast-forward to 2015 and we have, as mentioned by Mr Ulrich, Metallica topping the bill for the fourth time. You know what you get from the Americans, which I can pay testament to after Sonisphere earlier this year. You get a headline set full of flair, personality and tunes. They slayed Glastonbury and left egg on many a head with their superb showmanship. It’s an even safer booking for Reading and Leeds, as heavy metal tends to go down far more favourably in front of 100,000 16- and 17-year olds off their heads on warm Kopparberg and MDMA, compared to 200,000 woolly liberals stoned off their heads stumbling around a farm. Nobody can deny that when the opening riffs of ‘Master of Puppets’ drops, the tweens and the hardcores will all unite in throwing some horns. It’s a no brainer.

As for the rest of the first announcement, the most enticing has to be the return of Jamie T. ‘Carry on the Grudge’ dropped in September of this year and encapsulated everything any fan of the 28-year old poet wanted. The tunes were the kind which burrowed their way into your cerebral cortex and didn’t budge. The South London-born singer-songwriter went away and evolved forward and I can see Richfield Avenue going absolutely mental for him.

As for the rest, Wilkinson is one of those bookings which will appeal to the Snapchat generation, much in the same way Macklemore and Ryan Lewis did last year. For me, I feel it’s not the way I would like to see the festival going.

But I also understand that an event like Reading and Leeds needs to sell tickets.

D’uh.

To purchase basic weekend tickets for Reading Festival 2015, go here, where the price currently stands at £205 plus fees. For tickets to its more northern counterpart Leeds Festival 2015 offered at the same price, head this way.

 

Preview: Reading and Leeds 2014

 
By on Tuesday, 18th February 2014 at 9:00 am
 

Nigh on 100,000 beer-swilling under aged lads and louts in a field – coupled with loud music and flashing lights – sounds like a less than ideal scenario looking at it from that perspective. Flipside: some of the best bands in the world at the moment, playing their hearts out at the festival they all seem to have gone to as a kid.

Every band wants to pull a set that people will look back to and say one of two things: “Fuck, I was there”, or “fuck, I wish I was there”. Reading and Leeds Festivals (this year on the 22nd to the 24h of August) have produced some of the most memorable festival sets of the last decade – Them Crooked Vultures in 2009, Foo Fighters in 2012 and Biffy Clyro’s triumphant headline debut last year, just to name but a few. This festival delivers memories that last a lifetime – whether it’s hailing and raining sideways, or the kind of glorious sunshine which has you reaching for gallons of After Sun – Reading and Leeds are a staple of the British festival calendar.

This year is no different. Whilst Blink-182’s headline set in 2010 was hardly the kind of note perfect spectacle which you expect of acts like Arcade Fire, their set was an emotive, nostalgia-driven, fart joke-driven manifestation. The kind of blast through the hits you want at festivals like Reading and Leeds and with a new album on the horizon this year, we’re sure to be treated a Rock Show Like No Other.

Joining them at the top of the bill are Arctic Monkeys, fresh from a domination of the popular music charts in 2013 with their fifth album ‘AM’. Their Glastonbury set last year was a triumph from the 21st century’s finest likely lads: the set was dripping with hit after hit, hook after hook and the swagger of Turner just shows the frontman he has become. Another behemoth of a headliner.

Lower down on the bill there’s a veritable plethora of new and emerging talent, coupled with some more established stars. Picks of the bunch have to be new boys on the block, Royal Blood, who will also be appearing at SXSW 2014. Their material aired of late has hints of the bass groove you’d expect from a Queens of the Stone Age album, whilst some of the drum beats feel like pre-‘Origin of Symmetry’ Muse.

Whilst The Lock Up Stage is no more, Of Mice & Men will bring some metal to the proceedings. For the masses, there’s Radio 1 darlings and TGTF favourites The 1975 and 2013 Mercury Prize-nominated stars Disclosure. Throw into the mix Metronomy and take into account we still have another headliner to announce, alongside umpteen more acts lower down the bill, I know where I’ll be spending my August Bank Holiday. Simple.

Visit the official Reading and Leeds festival Web site here for more information on tickets and such.

 

Update: More than 60 bands added to Reading and Leeds 2013 line-up

 
By on Monday, 29th April 2013 at 9:00 am
 

Festival season is fast approaching and the picturesque images of rolling hills, covered in revellers swigging lukewarm cider move ever-closer. Rain or shine, a festival is an atmosphere unbeknownst, to anyone who hasn’t been a merrymaker at these events. People band together, the person in the tent next to you becomes your best mate and personal hygiene goes well and truly out of the window, to be forgotten until the pleasure of a shower on the Monday morning.

No festival epitomises the festival spirit more than Reading and Leeds. Where the abundance of top rock acts are complimented by the intense variety you can bear witness to. One minute you can be watching an unsigned acoustic troubadour from Shoreditch on the BBC Introducing Stage, only to go on the next starring world-beaters from across the Atlantic, with their own musicals and platinum selling albums on the Main Stage.

2013 will be no different with the Main Stage playing host to the Real Slim Shady, Eminem, who will surely bring all his theatrics and the tunes that we all know and love to the festival. Meanwhile, Green Day (pictured at top), System of a Down and Biffy Clyro will be raising hell with their huge riffs.

Live action specialists Pure Love will be returning to reading and Leeds after recording the video to Riot Song at the festival last year. Anyone who has seen Frank Carter in his previous mantle as Gallows‘ frontman will know that he brings a live-wired energy to his live performances, and with Pure Love alongside Jim Carroll, Frank ups the ante to bring a set which will be a must see at the festival. In a tent, chaos will ensue.

TGTF dance favourites Fenech-Soler have slowly been ploughing away, working their butts off and producing some of the catchiest electropop that is out in the ether at the moment. Their set on the Radio 1 Dance Stage will be a sure-fire way to dance off that Saturday hangover.

Another TGTF favourite Lucy Rose is returning to the festival after her triumphant set last year and her appearance with close bros Bombay Bicycle Club. This year her indie-folk stylings can be sampled on the Festival Republic Stage alongside one of the most understated, yet brilliant bands of the last decade British Sea Power.

The brand new Rock Stage will be headlined by debut performers Shikari Sound System, Enter Shikari’s lesser known alias. Lining up beneath them festival veterans and victims of a power cut in 2009 on the Main Stage Funeral for a Friend, Wade McNiel-fronted Gallows, plus Northern Irish band And So I Watch You From Afar. Adding to the talent on the Main Stage are pop-punkers We Are The In Crowd, festival specialists Skindred with their unique reggae metal sound and British punk rock band Lower Than Atlantis.

Weekend tickets are still available for the 23rd to the 25th August 2013 Bank Holiday Weekend, at a price of £202.50 before booking fees. Buy them here on the official Reading and Leeds festival Web sites.

 

Update: Reading and Leeds 2013

 
By on Wednesday, 6th February 2013 at 9:00 am
 

Reading and Leeds. The rockers’ festival, taking place August Bank Weekend, 23 to 25 August 2013.

Forget all this chatter about it getting a little too indie. Where Download goes down and out to bring you the heaviest of heavy metal, Reading 2013 sits proudly on rocks shoulders and goes hey! We don’t have to all wear black to throw some horns and get down and dirty (insert your favourite metal cliché here), we just need some sick bands to thrash about to.

Enter the sick bands. In 2012, Reading and Leeds had stellar headliners in the form of Kasabian, The Cure and the ultimate festival closer Foo Fighters. They were supported by Florence and the Machine, Paramore, The Black Keys, Enter Shikari and a host of huge acts.

How do they top that? Well, how about getting the biggest rapper in the world, Eminem. FACT. Getting everyone’s favourite shirtless Scotsmen Biffy Clyro to headline. And by booking a re-formed Fall Out Boy, a rejuvenated Bring Me the Horizon and System of a Down. BLOODY SYSTEM OF A DOWN. Remember them, and just how hard they rocked, yeah, well, just imagine how hard they are going to rock the Main Stage.

Add to that the pure power of Deftones, the hottest new band around in the shape of alt-J, a Sub Focus live set for you dub junkies, an 18-year old with a number one album (Jake Bugg), math-rockers Foals and jesus. You’ve got the makings of a helluva weekend. A perfect mix of what’s hip and new and the best of the ‘older’ generations of rock.

And they’re not even finished. What next? I simply can’t see them topping what they’ve got so far. So if you’ve been swayed, weekend tickets, early entry permits, camper van permits are still on sale and are available from Seetickets, here for Reading and here for Leeds.

 

Preview: Reading and Leeds 2013

 
By on Friday, 30th November 2012 at 8:00 am
 

Now that we’re heading straight headfirst into winter, are you longing for those long summer days, with hopefully relatively dry conditions at your favourite music festival? It seems slightly mental to be talking about Reading and Leeds, but in case you haven’t heard, the tickets go on sale in 1 hour (9 AM) today, Friday 30 November. The festivals return August Bank Holiday, Friday the 23rd August to Sunday the 25th August 2013 at Richfield Avenue, Reading and Bramham Park, Leeds.

Already announced for the event are Californian band Deftones, who will headline the Main Stage, Mercury Prize-winning Cambridge alt band alt-J (pictured at top), who will headline the Radio1/NME Tent, and producer Sub Focus will headline the brand new BBC Radio1 Dance Stage. More bands will of course be announced in the coming weeks.

For the November/December presale only, 2013 tickets are frozen at 2012 prices, plus applicable booking fees: weekend tickets are £197.50, early entry permits are £15.00, campervan permits are £60.00 and lockers are £15.00. Don’t have all the cash right now? No worries: you can put £50.00 now to reserve your spot, with the rest to be paid in March 2013.

If you buy your full-price tickets now, you will be entered in a lucky draw from some pretty great prizes across both Reading and Leeds: 2 x VIP packages (including the chance to watch a band from the side of the Main Stage and five cases of Tuborg); 4 x Backstage tours, plus a Spotify premium account for 3 months and a Reading and Leeds t-Shirt; 10 Backstage tours; and 20 x Reading and Leeds merchandise bundles. Book now (or, er, get ready in an hour to book) to avoid disappointment!

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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 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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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