Despite the rain falling hard and fast onsite at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in Norwich, the second day of the festival was one full of anticipation ahead of the arrival of Taylor Swift to Norwich. Perhaps perfectly timed by the universe, the clouds cleared and the sun emerged to beam down upon the incredibly large crowd just in time for Swift's performance that cemented her dominance as the biggest and best popstar in the world right now.
Having conquered the charts, Clean Bandit made sure everyone was dancing as if there were no tomorrow, playing tracks from their debut album 'New Eyes' as well as bringing out the incredibly talented Rae Morris to perform collaboration 'Up Again'. Violinist Neil Milan brought out his trademark dance moves as he bounded about the stage like he was headlining.
Rae Morris performing onstage with Clean Bandit at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend. Image from the BBC
Gaining exposure at such an early stage of an artists' career brings with it an incredible weight of exepctation, and Irish singer-songwriter SOAK showed signs of nerves as the usually chatty performer kept talking to a minimum as they delivered heartbreakingly beautiful odes that would have you think she was much older than her young years. Channelling the raw emotion of legends such as Tom Waits. 'Be A Nobody' and 'Blud' brought the In New Music We Trust stage to a stunned silence, as the audience became visibly introspective about what these songs that many had perhaps never heard before made them feel.
SOAK bringing the In New Music We Trust Stage to a standstill
As a self confessed pop music sceptic, it was with trepidation that Rita Ora's set was approached. But such scpeticism was unfounded, as Ora delivered one of the highlights of the weekend. However you may want to criticise artists who perhaps don't have total creative input when making music, there is no denying that Rita Ora can sing. Really sing. Her set was heavy with hits from across her already impressive career and tracks such as 'Doing It' and 'RIP' went down an absolute storm with the age spanning crowd. Pop music at it's finest.
As the sun peered out from behind the clouds, Jungle took to the In New Music We Trust Stage to kickstart the carnival atmosphere ready for the night ahead. 'Busy Earnin' 'Time' and 'Julia' amongst many others had the tent bursting at the seems with people dancing and partying their way through a set that felt very much like a victory lap for a band that experienced runaway success across last year's festival circuit.
How does one describe James Bay? Well according to more than a few people poised to see him, he falls somewhere between "the most beautiful man in the world" and "his face was carved by angels" which when coupled with his amazing voice and melodies shows exactly why he was deserving of this year's BRIT Awards Critics Choice Award. 'Hold Back The River' and 'Let It Go' erupt massive crowd singalongs that are almost loud enough to drown out Bay's own voice.
One name has been synonomous with this year's Big Weekend. You might have heard of her before? She likes to shake it off with fellas with hella good hair and recently she unveiled an already iconic video seeing her army of powerful ladies do battle against the forces of evil. Still unsure who it is? It can only be Taylor Swift.
Introduced by a BBC Radio 1 listener who won the opportunity to welcome Swiftie to Norwich, Taylor was greeted by screams of 'TAYLOR! TAYLOR!' as she emerged in a decadent sparkly outfit to reminds us all what a star she is. Opening with 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together', the next 40 minutes passed like some sort of euphoric chorus direct from the heavens. There were lifelong Swifites rubbing shoulders with recent converts following the release of '1989'. Strangers became friends over a shared love of shaking it off and that is exactly the kind of slap in the face that any present music snobs needed because in case you didn't get the memo; life's too short to be hating on someone as perfectly brilliant aas Taylor Swift. Ya hear?!
The beauty of BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend, is that you don't get just one globe conquering act in a day. Oh no, you get TWO! Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters never thought he'd get to say Taylor Swift was his opening act which was greeted with thunderous cheers from a crowd who have grown up with his mighty powerhouse of a band.
Playing to a crowd of die hard Taylor Swift fans was never going to be an easy for a band who fall on the total opposite side of the music spectrum. But the appeal of the Foos is twofold – first you have the anthem after anthem back catologue of tracks such as 'Walk' and 'Congregation' and then secondly you have the heart warming personality of Dave Grohl that feels like you and he have been friends for decades.
The euphoria washing over Earlham Park throughout 'Times Like These' induces a swelling of happiness and warmth in the heart of everybody onsite. Closing with a spectacular firework display, Big Weekend closed it's doors for another year and as the crowds poured away from the site in Norwich, there really was a collective consensus that this was without a doubt the biggest Big Weekend there has ever been.
Next week (23rd & 24th May) sees Radio 1's Big Weekend land in Norwich, bringing with it some of the world's biggest artists including Taylor Swift, Muse and Florence & The Machine all descending on Earlham Park. With three stages packed with bands and artists from all over the world, consider this your go to guide whether you are attending or watching from home.
BBC Introducing Stage
Fickle Friends – Canvassing the power of pop music, Fickle Friends wield music that was made for festival atmospheres. Upbeat and melodic synth pop oozes around the vocals of frontwoman Natti building to spectacular euphoric crescendos that have already earnt them support from the likes of Huw Stephens. Listen to their tracks 'Swim' and latest single 'Could Be Wrong' on their SoundCloud and you'll understand perfectly why Fickle Friends are set to be one of this summer's runaway success stories. https://soundcloud.com/ficklefriends
HONNE – Roughly translating as 'true feelings' or 'desire' in Japanese, Honne make the kind of sultry futuristic music that will no doubt soundtrack the conception of more than a few babies in the years to come. Still very much an underground sensation, Honne have already been compared to the likes of Drake and Frank Ocean for their low-fi high impact soundscape. Their debut single 'Warm On A Cold Night' carries on the smoothness of the 80s synth scene and carries it romantically across the threshold and bang into the 21st Century, ready for some serious vibe heavy baby-making.
In New Music We Trust Stage
Circa Waves – Having already made one of the best songs of the summer with 'T Shirt Weather', Liverpudlian lads Circa Waves have the same frenetic energy that helped Two Door Cinema Club sky-rocket to success. Their debut album 'Young Chasers' is packed to the rafters with absolute belters that will no doubt be sang back at high volumes in the Norwich sunshine.
Hozier – He seemed to take over the world with melancholy ballad 'Take Me To Church' but for those thinking that Irish Hozier was merely a fleeting one hit wonder, he'll be on hand to prove he is more than worth his salt. He's already been nominated for a Grammy, meaning that this afternoon set is likely to be full of couples ready to soundtrack their schmoozing alongside many other music fans that fell in love with his debut record.
Years & Years – Olly, Emre and Mikey won the BBC's Sound of 2015 Poll at the start of the year for their ridiculously upbeat and heartfelt sound. With album 'Communion' slated for release in one month, the boys already have a wealth of well loved and well rehearsed material including their number 1 single 'King' and latest ode to love 'Shine' which sees frontman Olly Alexander not only wear his heart on his sleeve, but rub it all up in your grill. If you want to hear what the future of great pop music looks like, it's here and by jove is it wonderful.
Jungle – Make sure you're not 'Too Busy Earnin' to miss Jungle carry on the party. Taking to the stage in a caccophany of rainforest sounds and noises, Norwich is set to feel more like the Amazon throughout this set. Their self-titled debut album was nominated for the Mercury Prize and are a must see even if you caught them on last year's festival circuit.
SOAK – Having been made BBC Radio 1's 'Track Of The Day' and having been in session for Huw Stephens, it's no surprise that SOAK has landed a slot on the In New Music We Trust Stage. At only 18 years of age, SOAK has a wiseness and world weariness in her lyrics that channels the soul of Tom Waits putting a unique black and white filter over the world. SOAK us undoubtedly one of the best songwriters around right now and her mellow melancholy will be in high demand across the summer and beyond. It's gloomy without being sad and quite cathartic to listen to no matter what the weather.
The Main Stage
Charli XCX – Her tracks with Icona Pop and Iggy Azalea propelled Charli XCX into the global spotlight, but it is her own hefty catalogue of bratty punk pop you should be paying attention to. Charli is very underestimated when it comes to how good of a role model she is to teenagers . Preaching self love and a devil may care attitude to authority, Charli's set is one of my most anticipated sets of the entire weekend for unrelenting energy she puts into performances and the amount of #tunes she has following on from the release of her debut album 'Sucker' which was overflowing with belters.
Florence & The Machine – Despite having broken her foot at this year's Coachella festival, sitting down still hasn't been holding Florence back from re-conquering the world with cuts from her soon to be released third album 'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful'. Florence was propelled from the womb ready to be crowned queen of the summer festival circuit and Big Weekend marks her first UK festival performance since she signed off her secodn album Ceremonials at Reading & Leeds in 2012. This return has been a long time coming for fans of all ages and with an even bigger Machine to back her powerful lungs, Norwich won't know what hit it when Florence is carried onto the stage.
Clean Bandit – Opening the Main Stage on May 24th, Clean Bandit have all of the hits on hand ready to get the people of Norwich jumping high into the sky ready for the final day of Big Weekend. With their collaborator Jess Glynne playing the day before, we can hope for a joint rendition of 'Rather Be' at some point across the weekend.
George Ezra – Since Mumford & Sons have put down their banjos, George Ezra is here to fill that barn dance shaped hole in your life with his take on acoustic power folk. The undoubtedly deafening roaring along to hits such as 'Cassy O' and 'Blame It On Me' will cement Ezra's status as a much loved nation's sweetheart. His thunderous soul will be perfect for the people of Earlham Park to get down to and warm up for the evening's headline act.
Taylor Swift – No preview for Big Weekend would be complete without mentioning one Ms Taylor Swift. Having taken over the world with her record '1989' Taylor might just cause the biggest number of people shaking it off in one place at one time. Armed with more than three albums worth of hits and fan favourites, Taylor's arrival on Norwich soil is a very very big deal.
You can check out the entire line up for BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in Norwich here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ewh8q9/performances/lfbj3d
And you can also check out a mash-up of all of the acts announced for the festival here to get you in the festival mood: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p02pd4gj/big-weekend-mashup
On this morning's BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, Scott Mills announced the line-up for Radio 1's Big Weekend 2015, taking place at Earlham Park, Norwich on 23 and 24 May – including Foo Fighters and Muse who will headline the event.
Some of the hottest UK and international acts will join them to perform at Europe’s biggest free ticketed festival which brings the whole nation together for one weekend of amazing live music.
Joining headliners Muse to perform on the Main Stage on Saturday 23 May alongside the already announced Florence + The Machine are 5 Seconds of Summer, David Guetta, Ben Howard, The Vaccines, Fall Out Boy and Charli XCX.
Alongside Foo Fighters, who will headline the Main Stage on Sunday 24 May and Taylor Swift who has already been announced, Sam Smith,Rita Ora, George Ezra, Clean Bandit, Olly Murs and Imagine Dragons will also perform.
Snoop Dogg, Rudimental, Jess Glynne, Hozier, Years & Years, Ella Eyre, Slaves, Mallory Knox and Circa Waves will all perform onSaturday 23 May on the event’s In New Music We Trust Stage.
On Sunday 24 May, the In New Music We Trust Stage will host performances from Jamie T, Alt-J, Sigma, Catfish & The Bottlemen,Jungle, James Bay, SOAK, Raury and Lower Than Atlantis.
Matt Bellamy from Muse said: “I’m very excited to play. The last time we played Big Weekend, for us it was a disaster, so I can’t wait to make up for it on this performance. I’m really looking forward to coming back and doing a great show. I’m pretty sure that we may unveil another new song that we will play for the first time which is pretty exciting.”
Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters said: “I’m really excited – I can’t wait to come out. I don’t really think we’ve ever played there before so I’m looking forward to it.”
Jess Glynne said: “My first Big Weekend in my own right and what a line up to be a part of. I can’t wait to play Norwich with my band and let you hear some of the songs from my new album. It’s going to be big.”
Ben Cooper, Controller, Radio 1 and 1Xtra said: “Radio 1’s Big Weekend will be fantastic – great music, great fun and a great location.”
The line-up for the BBC Introducing Stage will be announced in Huw Stephens’ show.
A particularly commanding lady will again make her appearance at Werchter next summer. Florence + the Machine will perform in the Festival Park on Thursday 25 June. Other names already confirmed for Rock Werchter 2015 are Foo Fighters, Muse, Pharrell Williams and alt-J. More to follow shortly.
Florence Welch is a young woman of pedigree who has always dreamed of a musical career, full of creative twists and turns, just like that of Björk, Kate Bush and PJ Harvey. And she created a dream team to make sure it happened. The key figure is keyboard player Isabella Summers, who is nicknamed 'Isabella Machine' because of her electronic music talents. Instantly the band is much loved by the British critics and dominating the radio over here with 'Dog Days Are Over' and 'You Got The Love', a fine cover of an old soul number. In 2010 the debut album 'Lungs' (2009) led to a memorable concert at the festival's former Pyramid Marquee. The tent should have been three times bigger and was rocked so hard by the fiery Welch that it left a rip in Florence's long black dress. Two years later on the Main Stage she says 'Let's hope that happens again'. She captures the hearts of the audience with ease. It's onwards and upwards from here.
Rock Werchter is pleased to announce Muse will headline on Sunday 28 June. Foo Fighters will headline the festival in Belgium on Thursday 25 June 2015.
Foo Fighters are coming by general demand. Every year we collect the wish lists from the friends of the festival and this year Foo Fighters are right at the top. To be sure of landing the band of the moment Rock Werchter is moving its dates forward a week. This is because the band is heading back to the States at the end of June to play a huge concert in front man Dave Grohl's home base of Washington D.C. on Saturday 4 July. In 2015 Foo Fighters will play Werchter for the third time in their 20 year history. They made their last appearance way back in 2005. Put together in eight iconic recording studios, the new album 'Sonic Highways' (2014) is Grohl's homage to the rich musical history of America, of which Foo Fighters are a fine example.
Muse have released six studio albums and have sold in excess of 20 million albums worldwide. Widely recognised as one of the best live bands in the world, they have won numerous music awards including five MTV Europe Music Awards, six NME Awards and six Q Awards. They have twice been awarded "Best British Live Act" at The Brits and have also been nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning Best Rock Album for The Resistance. Their last tour commenced in October 2012 and saw the band perform to over 2 million fans worldwide. Muse's sold out show at Rome's Olympic Stadium in July 13 was the first concert film to be filmed and presented in 4K Ultra High Definition. The band are currently in the studio working on their seventh studio album, scheduled for release in 2015.
With exclusive appearances from THE CURE, KASABIAN and FOO FIGHTERS on the Main Stage and hundreds of other artists set to appear, this is the only place for music fans to spend the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Other acts confirmed to appear include PARAMORE, FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE, THE BLACK KEYS, THE MACCABEES, JUSTICE, AT THE DRIVE IN, METRONOMY, LESS THAN JAKE and SOCIAL DISTORTION with many more names yet to be announced over seven stages.
The festival takes place at Little John’s Farm in Reading and Bramham Park in Leeds where 160,000 music fans spend the best weekend of the year listening to the greatest line-up of rock, indie, metal, punk and dance music.
Did You Know:
There is a competition running online atwww.readingfestival.com and www.leedsfestival.com where you can win the chance to become the Lord or Lady Mayor of the festival. Your ticket will be upgraded to VIP; you can watch your favourite band from the side of the stage, have a backstage slap up lunch and much, much more.
Reading & Leeds actively operate and promote deposit schemes for cups and water bottles, facilitating the collection of recyclable waste and ensuring we achieve the highest rate of recycling. A 10p deposit is taken for each cup which is refundable if the cup is taken back to the refund points.
When the bands stop the fun doesn’t – at Reading & Leeds films are show in the cinema tent till late and there is dancing in the Silent Arena at both sites where you can disco dance till dawn, plus late night entertainment to be announced at the Alternative Stage in Leeds including DJ’s, interactive films and much more.
Vodafone customers can ensure their mobile phone is charged throughout the festival weekend by leaving it at the Vodafone VIP Recharge Truck. Vodafone only customers can also enjoy an unrivalled view of all the performances on the Main Stage by visiting the Vodafone VIP viewing platform.
Relentless will bring the new look Energy Sessions Arena, sponsored by Relentless Energy Drink, to the campsite at Leeds each night from 10pm to 3am – a massive outdoor stage playing host to an array of not-to-be-missed DJ talent and delivering a unique experience for festival-goers.
2012 is the tenth year the Festival has been at Bramham Park in Leeds, but Bramham Park has been open to the public for sixty years this year.
Jägermeister will be turning up to Leeds with their massive three story specially converted ex-military 25 tonne Ice Truck. The Ice Truck will be situated in the main arena and comes complete with a serving bar, dispensing Ice Cold Jäger shots from tap machines that chill the Jägermeister to zero degrees.
River Island will be getting involved at Reading this year with a festival ‘Swap Shop’ – exchange your dirty festival clothes for some brand spanking new River Island kit, safe in the knowledge that you’re doing your bit for charity. River Island will clean your dirty kit and donate it to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Check the festival website for details.
Everybody who buys a weekend ticket gets a free burger and beer on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival, with vegetarian and soft drink options if preferred. Don’t just stick to that though, this year there will be all the usual foody options available but also the likes of tapas, a full carvery and even ostrich!
Reading & Leeds Festival is partnering with goCarShare. It's built around Facebook and connects festival-goers, so you can see if you have any friends or friends of friends, heading the same way. There is priority parking right by one of the site entrances for the first 200 cars to sign up, which means no time wasted looking for a space and a short walk to the campsite. All occupants of the car, passengers and driver, will be in with a chance to win a pair of tickets for either Reading or Leeds 2013. The goCarShare team will even wash your car for you! Full details and T&C’s on the Reading & Leeds websites.
Azealia Banks released an eagerly awaited new track ‘Jumanji’ last week, taken from her debut album 'Broke With Expensive Taste’ due later this summer and Reading & Leeds are one of the only festivals to catch her at.
Iceland’s Of Monsters And Men have never been to Reading & Leeds. They’ve said “We're really excited. We've never played a UK festival, BUT we have played in London. We expect sun but also a lot of rain. We're not afraid to get muddy!”
The Joy Formidable make their only UK appearance of the summer at the festival. They have just completed work on their second album with legendary producer Andy Wallace (Nirvana, Jeff Buckley Rage Against The Machine), the follow up to their debut ‘The Big Roar’. No doubt fans will get their first preview of the new tracks at Reading & Leeds.
The Black Keys release a new single ‘Dead and Gone’ this month, taken from their hugely successful album ‘El Camino’. Released to widespread critical acclaim in December, ‘El Camino’ debuted at # 2 on the Billboard Top 200 and has already been certified Platinum in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and Gold in France, Ireland, the UK and US.
Will Rees from the Mystery Jets was asked recently what he was looking forward to this summer – “Leeds (Festival). They’ve got dodgems.” Whereas Ryan Jarman from The Cribs said “Reading is always my favourite ‘cos that’s the one I always used to go to when I was growing up, even when Leeds started. I’ve been there every year since 1997.”
Next weekend Foo Fighters will appear on the series finale of ‘Saturday Night Live’ in the US, hosted by none other than Mick Jagger.
Weekend tickets £197.50 plus applicable booking fees
Day tickets Fri, Sat, Sun £85.00 plus applicable booking fees
Early entry permits £15.00
Campervan permits £60.00
Reading car parking £5.00
Weekend ticket prices include camping
Sunday Day Tickets at Reading Festival are now sold out.
Over the years, READING & LEEDS FESTIVAL has seen some of the most memorable musical moments in history. 2012 will be no exception and we are very proud to announce three exclusive Main Stage headliners coming to entertain the 160,000 fanatical music enthusiasts who make this the most thrilling festival on earth. If you want to see every band that matters then Reading & Leeds Festival at Little John’s Farm in Reading and Bramham Park in Leeds is the only place to be this August Bank Holiday Weekend.
The greatest rock band in the world right now, and masters of whipping crowds into a frenzy, FOO FIGHTERS will kick off proceedings in Leeds on Friday and close the show in Reading on Sunday, playing their only UK shows this year. THE CURE have an unrivalled catalogue of both commercially and critically acclaimed hits and this is a long awaited return for this hugely influential and important band. They play Leeds on Saturday and Reading on Friday, their only UK shows this year. The biggest and most exciting UK band to have emerged in the last decade, KASABIAN make their first headline appearance at the festival on Sunday at Leeds and Saturday at Reading. Their epic and anthemic tunes will fill the fields at these, their only festival shows in England and Wales in 2012.
The NME/Radio 1 Stage always proves hugely popular and with THE MACCABEES, AT THE DRIVE-IN and JUSTICE lined up for 2012 it’s sure to be busier than ever. METRONOMY will top the bill on the Dance Stage bringing their blistering live show to the festival.
Many more names are still to be announced on these stages as well as the full line-up for the NME/Radio 1 Stage, Lock-Up Stage, Dance Stage, Festival Republic Stage, BBC Introducing Stage and the Alternative Stage. This is definitely the finest line-up you’ll find at any festival this summer with over 200 acts appearing at the most incredible event. Get your tent packed!
THIS YEAR’S HEADLINERS
THE CURE TO HEADLINE
ONLY UK APPEARANCES OF 2012
Friday 24th August at Reading Festival
Saturday 25th August at Leeds Festival
THE CURE are arguably the biggest alternative rock band of the last thirty years with a stellar catalogue of critically and commercially successful albums and a worldwide fan base. Hugely influential, the group have earned their iconic status with countless hit singles, legendary live performances and their unique sound blending moody atmospheric songs with sparkling pop sensibilities. Incredibly the band have only appeared at the Reading Festival once before, in 1979 around the release of their debut album ‘Three Imaginary Boys’, so this is a long overdue return and both sites are sure to embrace this classic act.
ONLY FESTIVAL APPEARANCES IN ENGLAND AND WALES OF 2012
Saturday 25th August at Reading Festival
Sunday 26th August at Leeds Festival
In their own words, KASABIAN were “built to headline festivals”. Since the release of their debut self-titled album in 2004, the Leicester group have swept all before them. With a string of festival anthems including ‘Fire’, ‘Club Foot’ and ‘Empire’, KASABIAN can rightly claim to be one of the UK’s biggest bands. Their latest album ‘Velociraptor’ continued this huge success, debuting at Number One in the UK, and confirmed their place at the top table of modern rock ‘n’ roll legends. A group which encapsulates the heady spirit of festival season, these shows will be a summer highlight for rock fans everywhere. KASABIAN are guitarist Sergio Pizzorno, singer Tom Meighan, bassist Chris Edwards and drummer Ian Matthews.
Having recently picked up five Grammy Awards, a Brit Award for ‘Best International Group’ and NME Award for ‘Best International Band’, and having seen last year’s ‘Wasting Light’ debut at Number One in 12 countries, FOO FIGHTERS return to headline Reading & Leeds Festival as the undisputed biggest rock band in the world today. Since first appearing at Reading in 1995 and ascending to headlining the Reading & Leeds Main Stages in 2002 and 2005, FOO FIGHTERS have never received anything short of a spectacular welcome from the crowds at Reading & Leeds.
In the tradition of their historic 2008 Wembley Stadium doubleheader and last year’s Milton Keynes weekender FOO FIGHTERS are poised to make this year’s Reading & Leeds a legendary event and a true must see for every music fan in the UK.
Friday 24th August at Reading Festival / Saturday 25th August at Leeds Festival
Grammy-nominated and multi-million selling three-piece PARAMORE are confirmed to perform their ONLY UK FESTIVAL APPEARANCE at Reading & Leeds Festival 2012. This will be the band’s first UK show since their sold out tour at the end of 2010 which culminated in two nights at London’s O2. In the two years since their last visit, the band have toured across the globe, from South East Asia, Europe, and South America, to the US, Australia and Japan and we welcome them back to the festival with open arms. Taylor, Jeremy and Hayley are currently in the US working on the follow-up to their chart topping platinum third album ‘Brand New Eyes’.
Saturday 25th August at Reading Festival / Sunday 26th August at Leeds Festival
With over 1.5 million sales of her second album ‘Ceremonials’, a Number One in the UK and Top Ten in the US, two NME Awards for ‘Best Solo Singer’ and ‘Best Track’ FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE have been riding the crest of the wave since picking up the ‘Critics’ Choice Award’ in 2009 at the Brits. The band have toured all over the world and are currently on a UK arena tour which will see them play to over 100,000 devotees. Florence first appeared at Reading & Leeds on the Festival Republic Stage and now this second from top of the bill placing continues the meteoric rise of this fantastic new British superstar.
Sunday 26th August at Reading Festival / Friday 24th August at Leeds Festival
Having recently headlined three shows at Alexandra Palace in London and sold over 1 million copies of their latest album ‘El Camino’, THE BLACK KEYS can safely take the title of band of the year. The group released their breakthrough album ‘Brothers’ in 2010 to widespread praise, debuting at Number Two in the US en route to winning three Grammy Awards and an MTV Video Music Award. As drummer Patrick Charney has said of the band’s recent success, “We’ve taken the long road to get where we are. We’ve experienced everything from driving a thousand miles to play for no-one to winning Grammys” and of the new album, “I think where this record is going to shine for me is playing the songs live.” Six albums and counting leaves The Black Keys with a remarkable cache of songs from which to select and this set will be a feast to delight in at their ONLY UK FESTIVAL APPEARANCE.
Friday 24th August at Reading Festival / Saturday 25th August at Leeds Festival
North London’s BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB have sold in excess of 350,000 albums and have performed to more than 150,000 people to date and have a headline appearance at their ‘local’ Alexandra Palace coming up soon. This year also saw them nominated for no less than three NME Awards which when added to an Ivor Novello nomination, two Top 10 albums and the NME’s ‘Best New Band’ Award in 2010, has seen this low-key quartet soar. Last year’s ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’ has just been certified Gold in the UK and we expect new and old favourites to be aired at both sites ensuring an ever burgeoning and loyal following.
There aren’t many bands who reach their third album ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ while still only aged between 21 and 22. Fewer still have sold out two nights at Brixton Academy, two nights at Hammersmith Apollo, or have played to a total of 65,000 people on their many UK tours. That YOU ME AT SIX are also playing the Main Stage at Reading & Leeds Festival is yet another huge accomplishment. Since the release of their debut album ‘Take Off Your Clothes’ they have been at the forefront of British rock music and have made many fans along the way. Expect a lively crowd!
Fiercely uncompromising duo Ethan Kath and Alice Glass aka CRYSTAL CASTLES have created a stir from their inception with shows that enthrall and excite an impassioned cult following. Two eponymously titled albums, and an inspired collaboration with Robert Smith from headliners The Cure in 2010 have cast them to an audience across the world which has seen a staggering 50 million plays and counting on Myspace and LastFM. This year heralds the arrival of their third as yet untitled album, and this is a chance to catch a band that will inevitably put on one of the most talked about shows of the weekend.
Tom DeLonge from Blink-182 references ANGELS AND AIRWAVES as his "art project" and with the release of the double album ‘LOVE Part One & Two’ accompanied with a full length science fiction film scored by the band this is certainly no ordinary hiatus from the day job. The band comprises of Matt Wachter on bass (formerly of Thirty Seconds to Mars), guitarist David Kennedy (ex. Box Car Racer) and Ilan Rubin (formerly Lostprophets and NIN) on drums – truly a supergroup for a super weekend.
With an eagerly awaited sixth album coming this year, COHEED AND CAMBRIA have been described as “mix(ing) up the standard pop-punk scheme with creative and original riffs”. The band have picked up fans world-wide with their unique blend of progressive rock and hardcore, having toured extensively since forming in 1995 and have earned a formidable live reputation – check them out.
Not many bands can really live up to the title ‘hardcore punks’, but Toronto’s CANCER BATS are the real deal. With a new album ‘Dead Set On Living’ coming later this Spring, which vocalist Liam Cormier has hinted at being a slight departure from previous releases, the four-piece can only pick up more fans along the way and will definitely win over the Reading & Leeds audience this year.
DEAF HAVANA formed in Kings Lynn in Norfolk but have taken influences from all over the world to create their own new British rock sound. Their debut album ‘Meet Me Halfway, At Least’ earned great reviews in the rock press, described in one mag as “(they) blend the best elements of screamo with ballsy southern licks all placed lovingly on a bed of chugging riffs” and the follow up ‘Fools and Worthless Liars’ elevated them higher with a number one record on the BBC Rock Chart. Sure to wake up the festival in style.
Saturday 25th August at Reading Festival / Sunday 26th August at Leeds Festival
Armed with a debut single and immediate acclaim at the tail end of 2010, THE VACCINES certainly hit the ground running and tore into 2011 with gusto. On its release the band’s debut album ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’ pocketed further plaudits both critically and commercially achieving sales in excess of 250,000 in the UK. The band have an enviable reputation for their live shows and having hailed that “The Vaccines do it better than any British band have done in years” – they picked up the ‘Best New Band’ accolade at this year’s NME Awards. This summer you can see why when they make their debut on the Main Stage.
2012 has already proven to be a fantastic year for ENTER SHIKARI with their fourth album ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ crashing into the Top Five in January with stunning reviews. Known for their fiercely independent stance, the band have stuck to their own ideals since they formed in St. Albans in 2003 taking their unique mesh of hardcore punk and breakbeat techno round the country with relentless gigging. This has given them a fearsome reputation as one of the most exciting live bands around and if previous appearances here are anything to go with, the crowd will go absolutely crazy. Get ready to mosh!
With James Mercer at the helm, Grammy-nominated THE SHINS set sail for Reading & Leeds Festival in support of their new album ‘Port Of Morrow’. The first new material in four years sees the band establish themselves as one of the most inspiring acts of our times. Mojo declared “the intermesh of emotion and technique is a rare trick to pull in pop, yet The Shins have just made it look easy”. With over one million records sold worldwide, The Shins’ melody, charm and infectiousness can’t be denied.
You’d have to have spent 2011 in hibernation to be unaware of the hysteria and hype currently surrounding ODD FUTURE. The Los Angeles rap collective are one of the most talked about acts in recent times. With their crude sense of humour and confrontational subject matter, the buzz surrounding them continues to grow ahead of the release of forthcoming album ‘OF Tapes Vol 2’. One of the most unique and intriguing acts to emerge in a long time; this spectacle is not to be missed.
Hailing from West London and three albums down the line, MYSTERY JETS have accrued success in abundance with their own quirky pop sound. Their imminent fourth album ‘Radlands’ saw the band relocate to Austin, Texas for the recording, the first time the band have recorded outside of the capital. A fervent fanbase will be down the front for classic songs from the new and previous albums.
Since the release of their debut almost four years ago, Brighton-based duo BLOOD RED SHOES have embarked on a gruelling, unrelenting tour schedule to all four corners of the world. The release of their recent third album ‘In Time To Voices” comes of age musically from their punk rock roots moving into an altogether more ambitious three dimensional sound that includes some of their most bold and defiant tracks to date. An electrifying live prospect making their debut on the Main Stage, make it a date.
Sunday 26th August at Reading Festival / Friday 24th August at Leeds Festival
No strangers to Reading & Leeds Festival, KAISER CHIEFS returned from a two-year hiatus last year with the release of their fifth album ‘The Future is Medieval’. The band have a career spanning selection of hits which they can call upon, be it the effervescence of debut ‘Oh My God’, the generation jumping ‘Ruby’ or the anthemic enormity of live classics ‘The Angry Mob’ and ‘Modern Way’. Kaiser Chiefs have wowed crowds worldwide, gained a phenomenal reputation for their live shows led by singer Ricky Wilson’s ebullient persona and along the way evolved into one of the UK’s most successful and favourite bands of the past decade.
Hailing from Bridgend in Wales, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE have become one of Britain’s biggest metal bands over the last few years. With three amazing albums behind them (the latest being 2010’s ‘Fever’ with a new one promised soon) and massive success both here and in the US they have picked up awards and plaudits for their modern take on traditional rock. Always popular at the festival expect a packed crowd for the new kings of heavy.
ALL TIME LOW never fail to get the crowd bouncing, and their vibrant pop punk will liven up any audience and this festival will be no exception. The four-piece from Baltimore formed in 2003 and have released four albums to increasing acclaim. Their hilarious video for last year’s cracking hit ‘I Feel Like Dancin’ has notched over 3.5 million hits on YouTube and their fans will pack out both sites this summer.
All the way from New Jersey, THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM come to the Reading & Leeds Festival Main Stage with expectations for their new album ‘Handwritten’ riding high. They have won over fans worldwide with their anthemic tunes and energetic live shows where they take the spirit of The Clash/The Replacements and their most famous fan Bruce Springsteen and make a modern sound unmistakingly their own. Look out for arms in the air …
EAGLES OF DEATH METAL have attracted a cult following over the years with three dark and heavy albums and very sexy live shows! With a cast list that reads like a who’s who of rock with members culled from QOTSA, Foo Fighters and the likes of Mark Lanegan contributing, the band are mysterious, menacing and magnificent.
Incessant touring has seen this quartet from Southampton hone their live performance to great acclaim. Having released their debut album in 2009 BAND OF SKULLS surfed a wave of feverish approval following their inclusion on the ‘Twilight: New Moon Soundtrack’ and with the attention afforded to them in far-away places, the UK eventually caught up. This year’s ‘Sweet Sour’ album has again caught the critics’ imagination and with recent support slots with The Black Keys already taken care of they’re set to unleash their fresh arsenal of songs.
Fuelled by a love of classic rock, punk and post-hardcore bands, Leeds quartet PULLED APART BY HORSES quickly gained a reputation for their live shows which more often than not resulted in blood-letting and generally chaotic scenes, their shows are no less entertaining now. With a second album ‘Tough Love’ out now, PABH have been no less enthusiastically embraced and see a repertoire including dueling Thin Lizzy-style guitars, dark melodies reminiscent of Queens Of The Stone Age and the explosiveness of early hardcore that retains the defiance that has ridden with them from their early days. Miss at your peril!
Friday 24th August at Reading Festival / Saturday 25th August at Leeds Festival
THE MACCABEES’ third album ‘Given To The Wild’ was released earlier this year to massive critical acclaim and soared into the UK charts at Number Four. The South London five-piece are enjoying a hugely successful year so far, and with a sold out Brixton Academy under their belts The Maccabees are further cementing their status as one of the most exciting British bands of our time. We welcome them for their first headline appearance on the NME/Radio 1 Stage.
FOSTER THE PEOPLE have garnered a huge amount of critical acclaim and public adoration on both sides of the Atlantic since the release of their debut album ‘Torches’. With last year’s feel-good hit of the summer ‘Pumped Up Kicks’, word of their music spread in a manner that was shockingly quick, even in the age of endless internet churn with everyone agreeing on one thing: this was a band on the cusp of an undeniable breakthrough and Foster The People show no sign of slowing down.
Band of the people, THE COURTEENERS, head to Reading & Leeds Festival ahead of the release of their third studio album, the follow up to 2010’s ‘Falcon’. With the Manchester four-piece eager to road test new material, head honcho Liam Fray recently declared their new sound as “industrial Motown”. An incredible live band, this could be one of the years most talked about performances.
Saturday 25TH August at Reading Festival / Sunday 26th August at Leeds Festival
Hailing from El Paso, Texas AT THE DRIVE-IN came, conquered and released three albums: ‘Acrobatic Tenement’, ‘In/Casino/Out’, the EP ‘Vaya’, and their ultimate swansong ‘The Relationship of Command’ which is now cited in dispatches as one the most important albums of its genre. Then they split. Now it looks like the many who were never able to see this incendiary live act back in the day will have their dreams fulfilled with this NME/Radio1 stage headline show. This band are name checked and revered by fellow musicians and fans alike and this, their ONLY UK FESTIVAL APPEARANCE will definitely be unmissable.
On the eve of their fifth album ‘In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull’ THE CRIBS make a return to the scene of one (or two) of their best ever shows. Recently reverting back to their near legendary three-piece status the band continues to evoke passion amongst their fiercely dedicated and ever growing fanbase. The Jarmans – brothers Gary, Ryan and Ross have always been fiercely independent, proud of their DIY ethos and from their early days adept at writing great songs leaving a catalogue of classic punk rock brilliance, battle scars and memories. The Cribs will once again be thrilling, spilling, entertaining and engaging.
Canadian punks BILLY TALENT come to Reading & Leeds Festival with expectations for their upcoming fourth album riding high. The band, led by vocalist Ben Kowalewicz had been playing together for almost a decade before a name change lead to a record deal and their debut eponymous album was released in 2003. “A sh*t-hot, world-dominating hard-rock band has grown out of these four former Mississauga teenagers' shared high-school dreams of … well … growing into a sh*t-hot, world-dominating hard-rock band” is how they describe themselves. Check it out for yourself at the NME/Radio 1 Stage.
MIIKE SNOW are back and return with their new album ‘Happy To You’ later this month. The hugely talented Stockholm-based three-piece have previously dabbled in the DJ scene and in punk bands, alongside electro and new wave, which lead to writing and production stints with the likes of Madonna and Britney Spears. Now ready to step out of the studio again, these shows are a must see for all music fans.
Sunday 26th August at Reading Festival / Friday 24th August at Leeds Festival
Ed Banger’s JUSTICE make electronic music that everyone can rock to. With riffs now as heavy as their beats, the Grammy-nominated Parisian pair head for Reading & Leeds armed with new album ‘Audio, Video, Disco’. The record has established them as an international force who are equally at home blaring from a dance club sound system or performing in an arena. Expect a powerful and mesmerising headline performance from a truly unique group.
Since releasing their debut album ‘Tourist History’ in March 2010, TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB have rapidly become one of the biggest new success stories in UK music. After selling out headline tours in the UK, US, Europe, Australia, Asia, Japan and South America, playing two successive sold out nights at Shepherds Bush Empire and selling out Brixton Academy in under four hours, the band have deservedly earned both a devoted word-of-mouth live following and huge critical acclaim. The Times have called them “the band of the moment” and NME declared that they have “quietly become one of the UK’s best loved bands".
The release of THE HORRORS’ third album ‘Skying’ saw the band’s already impeccable credentials soar even higher. The record was celebrated across the board by fans new and old as their finest yet and recently won the NME ‘Album of the Year’ accolade. Not that their debut ‘Strange House’ and follow up ‘Primary Colours’ hadn’t already cemented their reputation as one of the most original and ground breaking groups around. Both dense and expansive, insidiously poppy and stubbornly arty, The Horrors are one of the bands you must see at the festival.
SBTRKT returns to Reading & Leeds Festival after last year's triumphant DJ set on the Dance Stage, this time round, fans will be treated to his famous live show. His self-titled, Mercury nominated debut album propelled towards the top of DJ’s playlists around the world with his combination of funk, soul, synths and bass. Fresh from releasing single ‘Hold On’ with Sampha, SBTRKT now has his sights firmly set on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Saturday 25TH August at Reading Festival / Sunday 26th August at Leeds Festival
After ranking high on several Best Of 2011 lists with their Mercury-nominated album ‘The English Riviera’ and playing to a sold out Royal Albert Hall in October, METRONOMY now turn their attention to 2012 with a headline set on the Dance Stage. Expect a belting, unashamed summer pop set which is sure to propel the quartet to new heights.
KATY B stops off at Reading & Leeds Festival having captured the sound, spirit and energy of British youth culture with 2011’s Mercury nominated debut album ‘On A Mission’. Having just won ‘Best Dancefloor Anthem’ for ‘Broken Record’ at the recent NME Awards, Katy has captured the hearts of many, setting her apart from her peers and firmly gaining her status as one of the UK’s biggest breakthrough acts of recent years.
Having recently completed a stint on the sold out NME Awards tour, 2012 is shaping up to be a huge year for AZEALIA BANKS. The controversial ‘212’ is fast approaching four million views on YouTube, whilst Azealia recently topped NME’s cool list for 2012 and featured in the Top Three in the BBC Sound Of 2012 poll. With her recently announced debut album ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ due out in September, Reading & Leeds audiences will be treated to a very special preview come August.
Known for his lightening DJ mash ups, JAGUAR SKILLS is one of the most in demand names on the circuit. Praise has been forthcoming from Trevor Nelson who declared he is “the greatest mash-up DJ right now, no one does it better” while Mark Ronson stated “Jaguar Skills, like myself, is a proper ninja! He’s dope!!!” Expect an aural assault of every tempo, from dubstep to drum ‘n’ bass, and everything in-between.
Weekend tickets £197.50 plus applicable booking fees ● Day tickets Fri, Sat, Sun £85.00 plus applicable booking fees ● Early entry permits £15.00 ● Campervan permits £60.00 ● Lockers £15.00 ● Reading car parking £5.00 ● Weekend ticket prices include camping
Online/Telephone from Monday 12th March 7.15pm:
Tickets are strictly limited to a maximum of four per person/address/payment card for those booking by telephone or online and two per person/address/payment card for personal callers to walk in stores.
With past performances from artists as diverse as Rage Against the Machine, Blur, The Prodigy, Daft Punk, Placebo, James Brown, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Eminem and New Order, T in the Park 2011 was bound to be one of the best festivals in the UK this year, taking place in beautiful Kinross-shire, Scotland, with a capacity of 85,000 per day including 70,000 happy campers. As I arrive on Friday morning with a sea of euphoric festival goers of all ages and styles, the atmosphere is brilliant, the sun is shining, we’re all showered and clean and most importantly we have an amazing line up to look forward to. I say all ages because I managed to hitch a lift up to Scotland with my lovely mum and her friends.
It’s early in the evening and I head over to the main stage to watch Tom Jones. He tells the crowd about when he used to sing gospel songs with Elvis in Las Vegas. Tom comes on and belts out a gospel inspired repertoire of his greatest hits, no one can quite believe he can still sing like that. Then I head over to the Radio 1/NME stage to get a good spot for White Lies and Pendulum, where to my delight I discover Twin Atlantic, a Glaswegian alt rock band that I’m sure will be headlining T in the Park in the near future, ‘Crash Land’ –an absolutely brilliant song. Now time for White Lies and I’ve secured a comfortable place near the stage, the London three-piece play with precision and force, influenced by the likes of Talking Heads and Joy Division their music has a melancholic feel and dark undertone but is nevertheless very danceable, putting synthesizers to good use. They even get a bit of a mosh pit going from the third song ‘To Lose My Life’ whose lyrics: ‘that our dead love is buried beneath the mud’ are quite fitting for the occasion. Now its time for tonight’s Radio 1/NME stage headliners: Pendulum. I get as up front as possible, the mighty Aussies start off with ‘Salt In Wounds’ making the crowd go into a dancing frenzy but I end up paying the price for being in the front row when half an hour into Pendulum I feel a warm trickle down my leg, I turn around and see a lovely young man whose aim was terrible, peeing right behind me. Oh well, that wasn’t going to dampen my spirits or make me stop dancing. Pendulum kept the crowd dancing and moshing through the whole set. They were unquestionably one of the highlights at T in the Park, well-known for their electric live performances. The crowd was blown away with the sheer power of their flavourful fusion of heavy rock, drum and bass and electronica. One on the most unique, inventive and interesting bands to surface in recent years. If you were there and didn’t see them, you missed out big time.
The Scottish weather is holding up and people are beginning to swap their wellies for sunglasses. The first bands are just coming on around 12 and I wonder around the festival grounds to see what I find, surprisingly I come across fish pedicures and the Road Ink bus. A mobile top class tattoo studio. I had a chat with owner and tattoo artist Gary, who gives me the low-down on tattooing at festivals. The Road Ink bus was spotless and jam-packed with festival goers wanting to get something to remember this special occasion. Soon it was time to go over to the main stage to catch guitar-god Slash at work. He plays a few Guns n Roses classics with some Velvet Revolver songs thrown in but only the die-hard fans know the guy that’s singing, all in all not exactly what the festival goers were expecting from such a rock n roll legend. With the sun still shining I head to go and see The Strokes, one of the most influential indie-rock bands of the decade, the New Yorkers effortlessly play to musical perfection, the crowd is full of energy, mosh pits are going strong and we all thoroughly enjoy every single song they play. Over to the Slam tent for some good old electronica, two of my favourite DJs/producers the Parisian Vitalic and Canadian Tiga keep the people sweaty and dancing. Afterwards I manage to catch a bit of Primal Scream, who had some awesome visuals with ‘Screamadelica’ and manage to completely pack the King Tut tent, they even had my mum dancing. Coldplay bring Saturday night to an epic close, making even those that weren’t fans sing along to their catalogue of hits.
Mud bath Sunday started with a pretty special performance from legendary Blondie at the main stage, festival goers were well and truly preparing themselves for the last night, smiles and cider all around. Another one of the highlights at this year’s T in the Park were Weezer, who completely rocked the main stage right after Blondie, despite the rain. Their happy alt rock tunes got everyone singing and swaying, there was definitely an agreement between the festival goers that their performance was one of the best at this year’s T. Pure class. I had my doubts about the next band, the infamous My Chemical Romance, but they proved all the critics wrong and were completely awesome, frontman Gerard Way sung like there was no tomorrow, I can now say I’m a fan. Sunday made our lives quite complicated, it was too muddy and the line-up was just too good. I headed to the Slam tent for a bit of dancing, where American DJ and producer, Diplo had everyone partying hard. Then suddenly it was time for the Foo Fighters, fronted by the notoriously talented multi-instrumentalist musician Dave Grohl, former drummer of Nirvana. This was a performance that none of us will forget. ‘We’ve got a lot of fucking songs, we’re going to play as many as we can until they make us stop!’ exclaimed Grohl early on, and they did exactly that, ploughing through a total of twenty-three songs, including some new instant crowd pleasers from their brand new album, ‘Wasting Light’. Known for being one of the best live bands around, the Foo Fighters sure as hell lived up to their reputation as alt rock royalty. For the last part of the show, bassist Nate Mendel wore a kilt to the crowd’s delight and they brought the festival to an explosive end, covering the skies with fireworks and an epic performance of ‘Everlong’. No other band could have closed T in the Park 2011 better.