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February 2021

75 bands you need to see at Reading & Leeds 2017

We could have done more, if we're honest.
Published: 10:00 am, August 25, 2017
75 bands you need to see at Reading & Leeds 2017

#1 Bastille

Bastille are an odd band. Already this summer they’ve found themselves sandwiched between Run The Jewels and Frank Ocean at a festival in Denmark, shared a lineup with the likes of Rammstein & System of a Down in Germany and played before Rod Stewart at the Isle Of Wight Festival. They started off as a DIY bedroom indie band but second album ‘Wild World’ is a little bit of everything; Tarantino films, genre shuffling mixtapes and real world reflection.
Read the feature

#2 Kasabian

Sure, it’s not Kasabian’s first Reading & Leeds rodeo, but we still figure it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, lads. We want these five tracks in your headline set. It shouldn’t be difficult, they’re all bangers.
Listen to the playlist

#3 Circa Waves

There may not be a band more primed for this summer than Circa Waves. If you thought you knew exactly what they stood for, what they want to be and who they are – then ‘Different Creatures’ is about to change things up. Throwing off those summer-day restraints, it’s the counter-punch record that’ll catapult them up festival bills, send them back on the road to those live nights of joyous abandon and onto the biggest stages – but more than that, it’s one that means something. With ‘Different Creatures’ there’s only one destination for Circa Waves.
Read the feature

#4 Alma

21-year old Finnish songwriter Alma has already been tipped by one of the biggest pop stars on the planet (that’s Elton John, ‘FYI’).
Listen to: Certified banger ‘Chasing Highs’.
BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#5 Baby In Vain

“We might be play some of the new songs from our album ‘More Nothing’ live for the first time.” - Lola, Baby in Vain
Listen to: recent track ‘To Heaven And Back’.
The Lock Up, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#6 Blossoms

They’re up for a Mercury, they ranked high in your 2016 end of year poll results and they’re on the Main Stage.
Listen to: ‘Charlemagne’ durrr.
Main Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#7 Charli XCX

The Absolute Queen Of Pop lives for the party so expect this set to be non stop bangers. It’s not like Chaz knows anything else.
Listen to: The genius of ‘Boys’.
BBC Radio 1 Dance Tent, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#8 Deap Vally

Two women. One whole load of glorious rock ‘n’ roll noise. Deap Vally are glorious.
Listen to: ‘Smile More’.
Main Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#9 Freak

Connar Ridd – aka FREAK – makes the kind of racket that deserves to be played at ear-splitting volumes: messy, packed with attitude and heaps of fun.
Listen to: You know what they say - everybody loves a bit of ‘Cake’
The Pit, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)


One night, Lynn Gunn reached New Orleans, got to her room and lay down. All she heard was silence. After PVRIS's whirlwind debut ‘White Noise', the success, the relentless touring, it wasn't until this moment that she realised she hadn't heard exactly this – nothing – in years.
"It was the first break I had in over two, three years of touring. It was the first time we had more than four or five days off," remembers Lynn. They were in the garden district, a beautiful area of the city where she was surrounded by scenery to admire at every turn. "I just remember getting to my room, laying down and hearing silence. I didn't hear the rumbling of a bus; I didn't hear the sound of a band in the background or any kind of external noise. It was just peace and quiet. I heard crickets; I heard the wind. It was really the first moment I breathed in years."
Read the feature

#11 Against The Current

Sugar-doused alt-pop with lashing of fierce and more than a sprinkle of superstardom.
Listen to: banger-laden debut album ‘In Our Bones’.
Main Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#12 Arcane Roots

They used to come in two sizes (big riffs or bigger riffs) but now they’re playing with much more.
Listen to: The doom-party anthem of ‘Curtains’.
The Pit, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#13 Architects

The best thing in metal now. The best thing in metal ever.
Listen to: The gargantuan crush of ‘Gone With The Wind’.
Main Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#14 At The Drive In

It’s been a turbulent journey from ‘Relationship of Command’ to today but all you need to know is that At The Drive In are back.
Listen to: ‘One Arm Scissor’. Obviously.
Main Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#15 Boston Manor

There’s countless bands doing what Boston Manor does, but no one does it better. It’s a little bit emo but a whole lot of fun.
Listen to: Very good debut ‘Be Nothing’.
The Pit, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#16 Casey

Beautiful hardcore that pits frustration, poetry and anger against one another.
Listen to: The impossible to ignore ‘Little Bird’ .
The Pit, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#17 Counterfeit

Reckless rock and roll with a grand message of community. Together we are stronger.
“Like always we’re gonna go in there and tear it up, but we do have a few special things planned in terms of show elements that we’re adding because it’s Reading & Leeds!” - Jamie, Counterfeit
Listen to: groovy anger-banger ‘Enough’.
The Pit, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#18 Culture Abuse

Frank Iero, Billie Joe Armstrong and Gerard Way love ‘em. It might be ‘cos they take a little bit of everything and make it sing.
Listen to: The end of the world romance of ‘So Busted’
The Lock Up, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#19 Defeater

“Defeater don’t write songs so much as write histories,” says the Reading & Leeds website. Couldn’t put it better ourselves. So we haven’t.
“I haven’t been to Reading before, but I’ve dreamed of attending or playing Reading since I heard about it in 1992.” - Derek, Defeater
Listen to: 2015’s full-length ‘Abandoned’
The Pit, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#20 Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

The most entertaining band around. It’s dangerous, daring, revolutionary and it’s impossible not to get caught up in the chaos.
Listen to: The smirking wonder of ‘Lullaby’.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#21 Gnarwolves

They started life as misfits and despite going via the Main Stage, not much has changed. It’s okay though, that’s exactly how they like it.
Listen to: The open arm flourish of ‘Straitjacket’.
The Lock Up, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#22 Marmozets

They’ve been gone for a hot second so the weird and wonderful gang will be out to remind you just what you’ve been missing.
“Marmozets are awesome and I’m excited to see what they’ve been working on as they haven’t played in a while.” - Jamie, Counterfeit
Listen to: Stunning debut album ‘The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets’, which is still a kick in the face.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#23 Muncie Girls

Big smiles, big hearts and bigger souls, the band have important stories to share and you’re going to want to hear ‘em.
Listen to: The powerhouse swing of ‘Respect’.
The Lock Up, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#24 Puppy

Equal parts bark and bite, the band will take you on a trip of technical prowess, big riffs and pure imagination.
Listen to: The warped brilliance of their ‘Vol. II’ EP.
The Pit, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#25 Tigercub

Proof that the UK underground is producing new heroes by the month, Tigercub’s ascent is only just getting started.
Listen to: New single ‘The Divided States of Us’.
The Pit, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#26 Tigers Jaw

Seriously, rock bands seem to love tigers. This Scranton, PA duo work in different sonic sphere’s though
Listen to: Their latest full-length ‘spin’, produced by scene-king Will Yip, is out this month in the UK.
The Pit, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#27 While She Sleeps

This year, While She Sleeps decided to shun the machine and do things their own way. Obviously, they smashed it.
Listen to: Latest album ‘You Are We’ brings the noise.
The Pit, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#28 Zeal & Ardor

Black metal meets a little bit of everything. The band may have been born in a bedroom but they’re already a force of nature.
Listen to: The madness of ‘Come On Down’.
The Pit, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#29 Shame

“Can we just note that our manager is standing two feet away right now, so there’s going to be a lack of complaints and a lack of truth,” jokes Shame frontman, Charlie Steen. The band erupt into laughter, as they gather in a nearby pub for another night in another city that makes up their unstoppable 2017 so far. “I mean, we’ve been banned from a few countries, and haven’t been turning up for shows actually!” continues Steen, providing an insight into the humour, spills and fun that the South Londoners are currently rolling through, as arguably one of the must-see attractions of this year’s festival season. And there’s a clear reason why.
Read the feature

#30 Oh Wonder

Oh Wonder's Anthony has curated his perfect 'in the car on the way to Reading & Leeds' playlist.
Listen to the playlist here

#31 Declan McKenna

How many ways can we tell you that DECLAN MCKENNA IS BLOODY BRILLIANT AND YOU MUST SEE HIM OR ELSE. That do it? Good.
Listen to: ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ is one of the best debut albums in years, tbqh.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#32 Eminem

It’s the return of the self-professed rap god. You might have heard of him.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for old Marshall, his early albums had such a massive impact on my childhood and teenage years. He’s not playing the same day as us but he’s playing Leeds the day after, and I’m really hoping to be able to stay on and see him. He’s definitely one of those bucket list artists in my eyes.” - Ash, God Damn
Listen to: The spilt spaghetti of ‘Lose Yourself’
Main Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#33 Everything Everything

Oddball pop you just can’t stop.
Listen to: New album ‘A Fever Dream’ isn’t out until the day before they hit the festival - so blast out a bit of ‘Photoshop Handsome’.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#34 Fickle Friends

How many new bands do bangers better than Fickle Friends. None. Zero. Literally nobody.
Listen to: ‘Cry Baby’ still “slaps” - seriously, we’re doing slaps now?
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#35 Flume

Aussie production royalty, Flume isn’t full of smoke.
Listen to: Last year’s really very good album ‘Skin’.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#36 Get Inuit

For some reason they’re playing the dance stage but it doesn’t matter. Wherever Get Inuit go, we will follow.
Listen to: The life-affirming dance of ‘Pro-Procrastinator’.
BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#37 Glass Animals

Glass Animals are bringing ‘How To Be A Human Being’ to R&L with the intention of starting a pineapple party for the ages.
Listen to: ‘Pork Soda’ is tastier than you’d think.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#38 Grouplove

“We’re probably gonna play some new songs nobody knows. We are recording right now and everything is feeling very good.” - Hannah, Grouplove
Listen to: ‘Ways To Go’ from 2013’s ‘Spreading Rumours’ still sounds awesome.
Festival Republic Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#39 Halsey

Her voice has been all over the radio but it still belongs to a generation who are trying to find their own. Powerful, important pop.
Listen to: Monster jam ‘Strangers’.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#40 Honeyblood

Ready for the magic? Thought so.
Listen to: Erm, ‘Ready For The Magic’, durrrrrrrrrr.
Main Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)


“Do I have any onstage festival tricks? I spit in Bowen’s face. They like that.” - Joe, IDLES
Listen to: ‘Brutalism’ is one of the best albums we’ve heard this year.
Festival Republic Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)


Reading is the festival INHEAVEN were born to play. Last year they smashed the Festival Republic stage, now they’re going one bigger. Expect fireworks.
Listen to: ‘Drift’ is a perfect summer sizzler.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#43 Jagwar Ma

Last year’s full-length ‘Every Now & Then’ proved Jagwar Ma were in it for the long haul. When it comes to those August weekends, there are few better.
Listen to: ‘Give Me A Reason’ and its woozy grooves.
Festival Republic Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#44 Japandroids

Loud, melodic rock with pop sensibilities and catchy choruses. The Canadian duo have no problem in getting a riot started.
Listen to: This year’s bangerific album ‘Near To The Wild Heart Of Life’.
Festival Republic Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#45 King Nun

If there was a trophy for the best new band in the country, you’d get short odds on King Nun making the final. They’re that good.
Listen to: Opening gambit ‘Tulip’ rips.
Festival Republic Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#46 Lany

Slick grooves. Slick moves.
Listen to: Their self-titled debut album.
BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#47 Haim

Haim were supposed to play Reading & Leeds last year - then they pulled out to finish their second album. It’s done and out now, packed with the kind of festival ready, arms aloft anthems that send the clouds away and the sun out to play.
Listen to: ‘Little Of Your Love’ is going to go off.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#48 Sigrid

Here is a list of new artists with more pop megastar potential than Sigrid:
(Yes. It’s empty.)
Listen to: ‘Plot Twist’ is solid gold, but then it all is.
BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds

#49 Liam Gallagher

It’s not that Liam Gallagher’s set at Glastonbury 2017 was bad. It wasn’t. Really. But it did sort of struggle in places. See, none of us have heard his debut album ‘As You Were’ yet.We know its lead single, ‘Wall Of Glass’, as well as those other, slightly less good tracks that followed, but that’s it. And anyway, festivals aren’t a place to bring out solo material from ‘the new album’ - they’re for bangers. And Liam - Liam has the key to some of the biggest, baddest bangers of the last 30 years. So here’s our plea, r’kid. For one night (well, two), put the promo campaign aside and give us what we want. No, not your brother. An hour or so of Oasis classics. It’ll be legendary. Promise. We’ve even helped by sticking you together a suggested setlist. Please?
Listen to the playlist

#50 Sundara Karma

Sorry, Leeds, but when Reading’s Sundara Karma play Reading Festival, the stars align and magic happens. Like their fellow hometown heroes The Amazons, they’ve dropped an album and taken flight in the last twelve months.
Listen to: ‘Flame’ is still lit.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#51 Life

We could go on about LIFE’s ‘ouvre’, but really, we want to stand in a field and shout ROLLOVER! ROLLOVER! really, really loud.
Listen to: ‘Euromillions’. ROLLOVER! ROLLOVER!
The Pit, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#52 Loyle Carner

If praise for a debut record was measured in hot meals, that would explain why our Loyle is so good at the whole cooking lark. Obviously this metaphor worked better in our heads.
Listen to: First full-length ‘Yesterday’s Gone’.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#53 Major Lazer

You want chart friendly bops on a weekend? Major Lazer’s got ‘em.
Listen to: Grab a ‘Cold Water’.
Main Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#54 Marika Hackman

With her second album ‘I’m Not Your Man’, Marika has set herself perfectly as a festival powerhouse. She’ll smash it here.
Listen to: The brilliant ‘Boyfriend’.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#55 Mura Masa

UK music’s enigmatic prodigy, Mura Masa and a cast of all star mates have already delivered a debut record that perfectly pitches for festival fun.
Listen to: ‘1 Night’, cos we all know our Charli will be on hand.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#56 Muse

They don’t trust The Man but they love flashy lights and wild guitar solos. What more do you really want?
Listen to: The giddy-up anthem of ‘Knights of Cydonia’.
Main Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#57 Off Bloom

If we’re looking to lay it down, we’ll be after Off Bloom and their pop perfection. Proof that Reading & Leeds has evolved into something diverse and exciting in recent years.
Listen to: ‘Falcon Eye’ is a 14/10 banger.
Festival Republic Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#58 POND

Everywhere they go, they always take ‘The Weather’ with them.
Listen to: Seriously. ‘The Weather’. It’s the title of their most recent full-length.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#59 The Amazons

In the first half of 2017, The Amazons set themselves up as one of the hottest bands in the country, smashing radio airwaves right, left and centre. At Reading, they’ll prove just how far they’ve come.
Listen to: The second best song called ‘Black Magic’. Sorry lads, but t’Mix always win.
Festival Republic Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#60 Pumarosa

One of the most exiting new talents on the planet, ‘FYI’, Dear Reader.
Listen to: 5-star debut ‘The Witch’.
Festival Republic Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#61 Rat Boy

Last time Rat Boy played Reading & Leeds, he nearly took the tent off its moorings. This time round, prepare for take off.
Listen to: New album ‘Scum’, out now.
Main Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#62 Sløtface

Your New Favourite Band. No question.
Listen to: The very, very, very great ‘Magazine’.
The Lock Up, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#63 Superfood

Reinvented and reinvigorated, Superfood are perfectly pitched for festival fun.
Listen to: Comeback track, ‘Double Dutch’.
Festival Republic Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#64 Ten Tonnes

With a smashing new EP and a slew of festival slots this summer, everything’s coming up Ten Tonnes.
Listen to: The Hugo White-produced ‘Silver Heat’.
Festival Republic Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#65 The Big Moon

The band took a stand against boring long ago and it’s been nothing but excitement ever since.
Listen to: The absolute party jam of ‘Bonfire’.
Festival Republic Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#66 The Japanese House

Blissed out vibes ahoy - our Amber will sooth those weekend hangovers.
Listen to: Her new ‘Saw You In A Dream’ EP.
Festival Republic Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#67 The Magic Gang

The Magic Gang will be back to top stages at festivals like this one day. They may well do it from the middle of the bill this year.
Listen to: ‘Your Love’.
NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#68 Toothless

In Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Nash played festivals the world over. As Toothless, he’s got it down all by himself.
Listen to: Debut album, ‘The Pace of the Passing’.
Festival Republic Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#69 Two Door Cinema Club

Indie bangers need no introduction.
Listen to: Last year’s ‘Gameshow’.
Main Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#70 VANT

Mattie VANT has something to say. Reading likes a good gob off, too.
Listen to: ‘Fly-By Alien’.
Main Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#71 White Room

“We may have a few things up our sleeves. We’re planning on playing our next release ‘Eight’ in its entirety, which is currently being drip fed into your ears one double A side at a time online.” - Jake, White Room
Listen to: ‘Stole The I.V.’ It premiered on, no less.
Jack Rocks Stage (Reading)

#72 Will Joseph Cook

Big Willy’s spent 2017 proving he’s got the indie pop smarts to dominate any arena. Expect the sun to come out for his sweet dreams.
Listen to: ‘Take Me Dancing’ seems apt.
Festival Republic Stage, Sunday (Reading), Friday (Leeds)

#73 Yonaka

Brighton firebrands Yonaka love to make a good din. Reading & Leeds seems a perfect fit.
Listen to: The brilliantly snotty ‘Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya’.
Festival Republic Stage, Friday (Reading), Saturday (Leeds)

#74 Black Honey

Cinematic superheroes Black Honey are a band with a fire burning bright. It’s gonna set the world alight before too long. Reading & Leeds beware.
Listen to: ‘Hello Today’
Festival Republic Stage, Saturday (Reading), Sunday (Leeds)

#75 Blaenavon

“The excitable guy isn’t in the rhythm section” - Frank and Harris may not be taking this entirely seriously...
Read the feature

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