Itís that time of year again, the prestigious Reading and Leeds festivals are happening this weekend in England and sporting an even more packed and eclectic line up than ever before. We all know the big bands and headliners; Blink 182, Paramore, Queens of The Stone Age, Arctic MonkeysÖso today we are focusing on some of the acts across the other stages away from the Main Stage. Head to the replies to see a selection of artists you should mark down and check out this weekend.
With their self-titled debut album being released in the UK next week and many people already falling for their heavy rock and classic Led Zep x The White Stripes in-your-face style tracks, this is definitely a band to look out for. Already garnering a huge amount of new fans with every performance, the band is set for Main Stage status within the next 12 months, so the fact they are playing early in the day in the Radio 1/NME tent this year means they absolutely cannot be missed. What’s even more impressive is that all of this primitive noise comes from just a duo; Mike Kerr (vocals, bass) and Ben Thatcher (drums). Check out album opener, “Out Of The Black”, below:
Playing the infamous Lock Up Stage on Sunday, this brand of punk rock is the perfect way to kick-start the final day of the festival and melt away any hangovers. Effortlessly cool, full of noise and intensity – PUP will be right at home at both Reading and Leeds.
Another duo on the list – the Loveless brothers, Eoin and Rory, released one of the best albums (let alone debuts) of 2013. Dirty, grungy rock full of sneering and snidey attitude. Seeping with blues and punk influences, tracks such as “Bloodsports”, “Nothing” and “People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck” solidify how tame and charmless acts such as The Black Keys have become…this is how it’s done.
The band’s debut album, Annabel Dream Reader, premiered on NPR this week to high praise. Taking psychedlia elements, the eccentricities of a Syd Barret-era Pink Floyd and throwing punk rock at it all gives the band’s sound a dark and exciting force. A perfect opener to the BBC Radio 1/NME Stage on Sunday afternoon.
Another band who released their debut album earlier this year, fans of The Menzingers or METZ will love this English “version” which could be classified next to the likes of Ceremony’s Zoo, The Cribs, Iceage and Killing Joke. Shoegaze elements add a deep atmosphere to the otherwise brilliantly snotty punk sounds.
Catfish and The Bottlemen
For anybody that’s still throwing a hissy fit that Arctic Monkeys don’t sound like they did on their debut album…you may be able to soften that long burn with Catfish and The Bottlemen who release their debut album, The Balcony, in September. Brimming with the observational, colloquial lyricism of early Alex Turner and infectious indie-pop to back it up, they are sure to become a new favourite band for many people over the next year. Catch them whilst they are on one of the smallest stages at the festival, the Festival Republic Stage.
Label mates and touring buddies of The 1975, Wolf Alice has released a series of singles and EPs to whet fans and new listeners’ whistles before announcing their debut album. Tracks such as the fantastic “Moaning Lisa Smile” from the Creature Songs EP display the band’s true knack for writing infectious grunge infused with pop melodies. A band to get very excited about and to look forward to hearing more from. Jump on board now.
Fans of Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell need to pay special attention to Marika Hackman. Whilst only having released a few EPs (including a fantastic covers EP featuring anything from Warpaint to Dusty Springfield to The Knife or Nirvana) the levels of intrigue that surround this artist are astronomical. Plenty of live sessions and brooding versions of Hackman’s tracks exist on YouTube, all of which should be hunted down for a great display of the emotive and enthralling music this young, yet incredibly talented, multi-instrumentalist has to offer.
Friend of Bombay Bicycle Club, James Page aka Sivu, does not disappoint fans of the aforementioned band in any way. With a similar quiver and falsetto to Jack Steadman’s vocals, except spread beautifully over often-orchestral compositions, Sivu is definitely an artist who can easily make you swoon and be swept away in the various aural landscapes he creates. Debut album, Something On High, is released in October and you can check him out on the Festival Republic Stage over the weekend.