Reading (and Leeds) Festival – punk / ska bands to look out for

Only two weeks to the Reading and Leeds Festivals!

So today, in the third part of our series on lesser known bands you may want to look out for, we’ll cover the punk / hardcore / ska / crazy Irish folk axis.

Reading is a second home for mainly US “hardcore” and punk bands of a certain age – most of them now are old enough to be the Dads of the kids moshing and pogoing happily in front of them. They can merge into an identikit noise, but sometimes you get a Festival moment when everything clicks... Ska would seem to be a quite different genre, but in practice, the rhythm, the dancing, the energy.. They’re close cousins, if not siblings.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones , headlining the Lock-up stage, 10.30 Saturday night, are a ska-punk band from Boston, formed in 1983! When I was just 5 years old... (if only). Remind me of Madness with a punkier edge perhaps? This is the band that my wife is most looking forward to at Reading...

If you’ve never seen Flogging Molly, don’t miss them. If you have seen them before, I’m sure you won’t miss them. Americans of Irish origin, think of the Pogues crossed with the Clash with just the odd touch of Springsteen.  Passionate, wild, and as this is right at the end of the weekend, I predict absolute mayhem in the tent. Moshing from the front row to the back...  (Getting excited just watching this video). Lock-up stage, 9pm Sunday.

F****d Up (fill in the blanks) have matured from an out and out hardcore band to something much more subtle. Their latest work – David comes to life – is a 70 minute concept album no less, and it’s brilliant. The lead singer still screams most of the time, but their new songs are serious rock songs both lyrically and musically. They could still be the first hardcore band to breakthrough to arena status, and a killer performance at Reading would help a lot.  NME tent, 1.30pm (ridiculously early) on Sunday. This is an amazing video as well – a band doing something really different.... (the actual record doesn’t have the  kids on it I should say).

Finally, Cerebral Ballzy (designed to offend) look about 14 and sound like they listened to a lot of the Ramones and the Damned and decided it was a bit too complicated. They’re going to be amazing or jaw-droppingly awful – who knows? Be at the Festival Republic Stage 3.45 pm on Friday and find out...

You know, I’ve just realised I’m as excited about these 4 bands as any this year – perhaps I’m regressing to 1976..  and yes, I remember this stuff first time round!

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