Reading and Leeds 2009… Sing me something new!

3 Aug

Blimey! I’ve not blogged in over a week. That’s quite strange for me! Been a bit of a hectic week – job interviews to be done, applications to fill in, eating, breathing, winks to be winked… you know how it is.

As a Reading Festival veteran (this year will be my tenth or eleventh!) it is always something that I keep clear on my calender and it’s always one of the highlights of my year. 

I am never too fussed about the headliners because festivals for me are all about discovering new music. The way bands work these days – the festival line ups are generally the same year in year out give or take a few that aren’t touring that summer. I’ve probably seen all the headliners before at the exact same festival so I don’t really care about the headliners. That’s not why I go.

The reason I go (especially now that I am a new music obsessive) is for the new bands. The bands that play early on the second stages. The bands that play on the new bands stage. The bands that I won’t know all of their songs. The bands that offer me something first hand.

Whilst I agree the internet is a great tool for discovering music, I find it a bit frustrating that all the bands on the main stages play at all the festivals and are covered by all the same media companies and even the bands I really can’t stand have a set list worth of songs that I know. Gone are the days where you can go and see a band on a main stage and be surprised. Which is why the new stages and tents are what keeps me going back to festivals. That and the beer and the girls and the happiness one gets from receiving a free hug from a drunken Scottish man wearing a wedding dress and a silly hat…

Don’t get me wrong, I have seen great main stage headliners at Reading over the years – Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam, Muse, Foos, etc but those performances kind of blend into one. The new bands that I see at festivals are always the performances that I remember. Doves at Glastonbury 1999 was one of the best things I’ve ever seen and I’d not heard a single song at the time. Ignorance is bliss to coin a phrase.

So whilst everyone else is getting excited about seeing Radiohead and Kings of Leon this year – I am looking for to seeing the likes of Marmaduke Duke, Detroit Social Club, the poptastic Leeds quartet Middleman (bloody brilliant), shoegazers The Big Pink, Titus Andronicus, the breathtaking  Joy Formidable (pictured left), the face melting Middle Class Rut and the like on the Festival Republic Stage. In fact, the whole line up in that tent over the weekend loads mega and I will spend a lot of my time there fo’ sho.

As well as this stage, the BBC brought their Introducing stage to the festival for the first time last year and this year, the line up looks very very impressive and right up my street once again. It will satisfy my ear for new music – which as I say is the reason I love going to music festivals so much.

So who’s playing on the BBC Introducing stage this year? Not the Foo Fighters. I remember the chaos that occured last year when FFers turned up to play only to get bottles of second hand beer (if you know what I mean) thrown at them. It wasn’t that they were bad but they just weren’t the Foo Fighters – who had recently headlined Wembley Stadium with members of Led Zeppelin joining them… no band can compete with that!

I am a massive fan of the BBC Introducing radio shows – it was a huge inspiration for my radio show at university which has now evolved into this blog. It’s great to have my passion for new music shared by the producers and presenters of the shows across the nation. Huw Stephens’ compilation ‘Music Sounds Better With Huw’ is a fantastic record from start to finish – with most of the bands on the album having played either on a BBC Introducing stage at a festival or at one of Huw’s monthly club nights at the Social in London.

So for a lot of you, I’m sure looking at the line up for the Introducing stage involves a lot of head scratching. But let me tell you that a lot of the bands playing on the stage are AMAZING and they will go on to bigger and better things. After all, the Ting Tings played on the Introducing stage at Glastonbury in 2007 to no more than 70 people and look where they are now.

Here’s the full line up. Do you homework and check some of them out. You will not be disappointed!

I have written about some of the bands before (links are highlighted below) and I will be whacking some interviews and reviews up after the festival weekend – subject to me getting a press pass from the lovely people at Hall or Nothing of course! 😉

I encourage any of you going to Reading or Leeds to go and check out as many of these bands as you can:

A Plastic Rose

Bear Driver

Boney Black

British Intelligence


Come On Gang

Ellen and the Escapades

Everything Everything


Horse Guards Parade




Milk Milk White Teeth


Punch & The Apostles

Screaming Lights

Sixty Watt Bayonets

Soft Toy Emergency


The Living Daylights


The Old Romantic Killer Band

The Teeth

To The Bones

What Makes You Beautiful



3 Responses to “Reading and Leeds 2009… Sing me something new!”

  1. The Teeth August 21, 2009 at . #

    please love us
    please love us

  2. youhearditherefirst August 27, 2009 at . #

    I do!

  3. vance September 2, 2009 at . #

    The Joy Formidable-a highlight for me.

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