This month sees the return of the legendary Reading Festival, an event synonymous with our town. With headliners from Kendrick Lamar to Kings of Leon to boast about, it’s fair to say the festival will have its fair share of huge acts grace the main stage. This year though, we thought we’d shine a light on some of the smaller, local and fan favourite acts that are appearing across the festival that you may not have heard about, or ones that’ll get you excited for the August bank holiday!
Festival Republic Stage, Friday, 5.30pm
Dream Wife last played in Reading at Are You Listening Festival to a packed out room and leaving to an ecstatic response. They’re sure to get the same on the Festival Republic stage this year. Angular riffs, punchy lyrics, and addictive melodies all weave together to create what makes Dream Wife so incredible, with their live show being a tour de force.
Dance Stage, Saturday, 1.55pm
Noname’s breakthrough mixtape, Telefone, grabbed the attention of music lovers worldwide with her beautiful voice, engaging lyricism, and luscious instrumentation. Her unusually placed set in the Dance Tent is sure to win over new fans and set an intimate mood for the beginning of Saturday.
NME/Radio 1 Stage, Saturday, 3.40pm
Last year, self-confessed hip hop boy-band, Brockhampton, released three albums in their Saturation trilogy to huge critical and fan acclaim. It quickly saw the multi-member band play passionate live shows and build a world around them that is hard not to be invested in. This year they’ve been teasing a new album and their latest singles have show a huge diversity to the group, with only more promise for the future, this set is sure to be one that will be talked out for years to come.
The Lock Up Stage, Saturday, 4.50pm
Canadian Punks, Metz, have forged themselves as one of the most brutal, unforgiving and, most importantly, exciting guitar bands of recent years. Drums are hit so hard they send shivers down your spine, breakneck guitars pierce through the speakers, and bass lines push you down to the ground, all features that have kept Metz touring the world. Their live show is unmatched, and is sure to send the audience wild in The Lock Up stage, mosh pits galore.
Festival Republic, Saturday, 5.50pm
Ireland’s Otherkin, are no strangers to Reading or the festival. Having played numerous times in the town centre to rapturous response, as well as commanding a whole tent to sit down, before unleashing them into a tent wide mosh pit, at last year’s festival, is why Otherkin keep being invited back to play Reading. Songs like ‘Ay Ay’ will have you screaming the lyrics from your lungs, whereas ‘Yeah, I Know’, builds and builds until the tension is too much before dropping into a whirlwind of powerful guitars.
Festival Republic Stage, Sunday, 12pm
Husky Loops create minimal riff based music to dance to, with an underlying intensity that will keep you captivated. Blending irresistible grooves with hard hitting guitars, songs like ‘Dead’ best exemplify this, and despite the early start time, their set on the Festival Republic stage is sure to be packed out with old and new fans alike.
BBC Introducing Stage, Sunday, 12:30pm
Reading locals Saltwater Sun‘s return this year has seen them release two incredible singles in the form of ‘Hot Mess’, and ‘The Wire’, pushing their music to new levels. Their midday slot on the BBC Introducing Stage is a must see if you’re a fan of brilliant lyricism, glorious guitar lines and a groove that you can’t help but dance to. Saltwater Sun are going places, and this slot at Reading Festival only proves that.
Main Stage, Sunday, 2.55pm
South London post-punks, Shame, have won the country over with the release of their debut album, Songs of Praise. With songs like ‘Concrete’ and ‘The Lick’ being stand out moments. These tracks are only made more intense live in their live show, which is being heralded as one of the best in the country. With seemingly eternal energy, Shame will undoubtedly bring their A-game, and send that main stage crowd into mayhem.
BBC Introducing Stage, Sunday, 4.20pm
Another local band who’ve made the bill at Reading Festival are the much-loved Valeras. On the back of their recent singles ‘Louder’ and ‘Painkiller’, and tours with everyone from The Wombats to Demob Happy, this is a band who have something to prove. Do not miss their show on the BBC Introducing stage – if you haven’t seen them before, you’re sure to be dying to see them time and time again after.
BBC Introducing Stage, Sunday, 7.20pm
Sports Team’s name has been coming up a lot recently, and for good reason. Their live shows often descend into chaos, with songs about Margate, a scathing humorous take on the South London scene and Motorola phones. This is a band who are quickly rising in profile, and are sure to win you over too. They headline the BBC Introducing stage on the final night.
I love to write about the bands I'm listening to, and the gigs that I'm attending in Reading. I'm a proud champion of the local Reading music scene, and am always looking for new acts to see live. Aside from writing about local music, I am also the co-founder of Reading based record label, Porterbrook Records.