Reading Festival Preview (part 1)

Today and next weekend we will have our two previews of Reading and Leeds Festivals. In this post, we’ll look at some of the artists who might suit what we might call the more traditional rock audience. Whilst that isn’t aimed specifically at an age-related demographic, it might suit those of you attending who do know what I’m talking about when I reference Nick Drake, Van Morrison or Traffic for instance.

Then next week we’ll have the more cutting-edge, “contemporary” artists. But all of the recommendations here are well worth catching, in our opinion. And we do suggest you see as many acts as possible at he Festival. By all means, if you’re having a “moment”, stick with whoever you’re watching, but otherwise, make the most of the seven stages and get round to see some variety of artists – it really is a great place to do that.

Two more points. I’m focusing in the main on the lesser known acts here – doesn’t seem much point saying “go and see the Arctic Monkeys, they’re really good”. If you have got this far, you know that. And the focus is also, with a few exceptions, on the three main “rock” stages plus a bit of the BBC Introducing stage. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the Dance Stage , the 1xtra stage, ( R ‘n B / urban) or the Lock Up (hardcore etc). Anyway, back to the recommendations.

The Districts (Friday, Festival Republic stage)
Young US band blues rock band, think Exile on Main Street, Kings of Leon. A bit ramshackle but the better for it.

King Charles (Friday, Festival Republic)
Exotically coiffured folk / rock / reggae / soul singer, great fun, great performer.

Temples (Friday, NME stage)
Remember the psychedelic days of the late 60s / 70s? Traffic, Early Floyd? Well, The Temples (from Kettering) discovered their parents (grandparents) albums and loved them.

Vampire Weekend (Friday, Main stage)
OK, I know they’re one of the big bands but don’t miss this. The best album of the decade so far maybe will form the centrepiece of the set.

Marika Hackman (Saturday, Festival Republic)
British singer-songwriter and yes, she’s pretty. But she can really sing, her folky songs can be low-key but carry a strong emotional core (think Nick Drake). Watch out for the mobs of adoring teen-age boys crowding the stage.

Hozier (Saturday, Festival Republic)
Irish singer songwriter and yes, he’s (reasonably) pretty. But he can really sing, there are touches of everyone from Van Morrison to Solomon Burke to Ben Howard in his music and I predict he is going to be HUGE.

Lonely the Brave (NME, Saturday)
Cambridge band with big, stadium rock songs a la U2, Gaslight Anthem, Biffy ... rousing!

Royal Blood (Saturday, NME)
Heavy blues rock, White Stripes type duo from Brighton will rock the place. How does he get that noise from one bass guitar? I need to know.

Augustines (Sunday, Festival Republic)
Closing the festival on that stage, Augustines play Springsteen influenced passionate, tuneful rock that will energise the late night crowd – excellent front man too. Forget Blink 182 is my advice.

Wonder Years (Sunday, Lock-Up)
US post-punk band who made one THE best albums of 2013 – a punk concept album with some great ballads! Punk yes but tuneful and intelligent with interesting lyrics.

Jack Garratt (Sunday, BBC Introducing Stage)
A British Bon Iver? 22 year old with a huge talent and extraordinary voice – will be huge one day, you will be able to say you saw him with just a handful of people on the Introducing stage...



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