The Top 15 New Bands From Reading Festival (that we saw …)

A week on from Reading Festival and we thought we would do something a bit different this weekend. As always at Reading, a real highlight is finding some acts we love who aren't the established artists. So we thought we would feature our 15 favourite and less well-known artists from the Festival; we’ve defined that as those that have not yet released their first album.

Today, we're going to do ten of them in purely alphabetical order. And just to be different, we’ll do that in three batches, adding to this post  – three this morning, three this afternoon and four tonight! Then tomorrow, we will have our top 5 in traditional countdown manner. (Trying to rank all 15 was just too much). Let’s kick off then.

Area 52 are a very young band from Reading itself. Three girls, two boys, making a very mature slightly grungy rock sound, but with a real melodic sensibility too. That gives them cross-over potential (think Paramore or You Me At Six), giving them the potential to play Download type rock festivals as well as Reading and Latitude. They carried it off live too. But Area 52 is a bad name from a Google perspective, guys ...


The Big Moon are an all female band from London who are already developing quite an individual style after putting just a few tracks out. Lots of guitar but some quirky touches make them stand out from the indie crowd.


Blossoms have a jingly-jangly tuneful indie-pop thing going on, very tight live, nothing terribly innovative perhaps but very enjoyable - even if the Reading weather did not provide the sunshine that would have gone perfectly with their music!


Coasts have a debut album out soon, which will feature tuneful indie-dance-pop audience pleasers like this. They played with a real vibrancy and energy that really lifted the tent at Reading. And it’s only about 18 months since my daughter saw them performing to literally a handful of people in the Portland Arms!

Kit Trigg can do the Royal Blood guitar blues thing (he is an amazing guitarist) but also has a softer singer-songwriter side, he’s young (20) and good-looking too which does not hurt!

Neon Waltz had a disappointingly small crowd at Reading but songs like this show their potential, with a depth to the song-writing and playing well beyond the indie-rock norm (a Scottish Arcade Fire perhaps?) But a bit more “attack” live wouldn’t go amiss, we’d suggest.


San Fermin feature trumpet, baritone sax, violin, male and female vocals, and they were certainly one of the more unusual bands we saw. We only say a couple of songs but enough to know this is a band making interesting, unusually intelligent and complex but accessible music.


Sundara Karma are another local, young Reading band – two in this list! Their playing in time will get a bit tighter live, but they have some big songs already, an infectious attitude, and all the ingredients to become a major indie hit.


Sunset Sons have already had a couple of big YouTube “hits” and look destined to make it big. Good live, got the audience going, and talented songwriters in a somewhat “adult rock” style - Keane / Imagine Dragons / Snow Patrol maybe. This song was a big sing-a-long at Reading.


White Room – another really bad name for a band in Google terms! Is their name linked to the Cream song? It could be, as although this is another very young band, their sound is pretty retro, blues rock, a touch of 60s / 70s psychedelia – but what a great sound!


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