Reading & Leeds Festivals: Preview

Our Editor Dan Stoten set himself the nigh-on impossible task of picking some ‘must-see’ bands from massive line-up at the forthcoming Reading and Leeds Festivals…

1. Deaf Havana
Although it’s likely you’ll have seen Deaf Havana if you’re reading this site, with them being one of the hardest-working bands on the rock circuit at the moment, this set is going to be special. Playing the Main Stage after being buoyed by the success of last year’s stunningly beautiful Old Souls, they now have the perfect back catalogue to deliver a truly outstanding set. Not to be missed.

2. Queens of the Stone Age
…Obviously. Legendary band. Need I say more?

3. Hacktivist
2014 has certainly been Hacktivist’s year. From touring in Australia right through to live dates with Slipknot, as well as working on new material, the metal-hip-hop wrecking crew have been taking their stonking live show across the globe, and have the honour of opening 2014’s Reading. Where can it go from here?

4. Lonely The Brave
Yes, we keep going on about Lonely The Brave, but that’s with good reason. This is your new favourite band. With début album The Day’s War being released on 1st September don’t miss the chance to hear live the record. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

5. Gnarwolves
Another band hugely on the rise is Brighton-based trio Gnarwolves. Also with their début album out 15th September, their brand of edgy skate-punk has been well received across the UK. Brilliant melodies and energy combined with a deliciously rough edge: all the ingredients for a mosh and crowdsurf-friendly set.

6. The Story So Far
Favourites of The Punk Archive, The Story So Far consistently deliver live. They’re due to perform on the Main Stage, something they’ll revel in after playing massive stages with A Day To Remember last year. With their massive hooks, huge sing-along choruses and legions of dedicated fans, this will be a packed set.

7. A Day To Remember
Still riding high on the success of 2013’s Common Courtesy, ADTR are a band that if you have the opportunity to go and see live, you need to take it. Not just musicians, they always put on a real show, as well as delivering track after track of their solid gold pop-punk/hardcore genius. Love a beatdown? Love ADTR.

8. blink-182
Please see 2. Queens of the Stone Age.

9. Gogol Bordello
These gypsy-punks have remained very high on my ‘Best Live Bands’ list for some time now. Even if you’re not a fan of the recorded material, go and see them play live. The party is massive, friendly and all-consuming. The energy they create is colossal. The Lock Up will be absolutely bouncing.

10. letlive.
With many musical publications proclaiming The Blackest Beautiful  as one of the albums of 2013, here’s your chance to go and see it live. Hugely aggressive, brooding and violent, this’ll be a set to remember.

11. The Wonder Years
Although personally consistently going up and down in my estimations, there’s no doubt that this band know how to write a pop-punk anthem. There’s also no doubt that they know how to put on a live show. Go see them, and compare the young pretenders with the old timers headlining the Main Stage on Sunday (Reading)…

12. The Flatliners
With 2013’s Dead Language signalling a real change of direction for these Ontario punks, I’m not going to miss the opportunity to check out their macabre, aggressive and dark take on 21st Century pop-punk. Let’s hope for a set perfectly balanced between old and new.

13. Neck Deep
Almost having become the face of UK pop-punk, and their breakthrough album Wishful Thinking winning them fans from all across the globe: 2014 has been a good year for Neck Deep. They always play sets filled with boundless energy, from both themselves and their crowd, so it’s one to head over to if you’re feeling energetic!

14. Baby Godzilla
Fast gaining a reputation as being one of the best live bands the UK has to offer, make sure you take the opportunity to go and see Baby Godzilla smash the Lock Up Stage.

15. Marmozets
Another band having a bit of a breakthrough year, Marmozets are getting airplay from all over the place at the moment and are part of some pretty special tours. They’re a massively hardworking band and are putting out their début album in September. Go and see what the fuss is all about!

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