Preview: Reading and Leeds 2014

By on Tuesday, 18th February 2014 at 9:00 am

Nigh on 100,000 beer-swilling under aged lads and louts in a field – coupled with loud music and flashing lights – sounds like a less than ideal scenario looking at it from that perspective. Flipside: some of the best bands in the world at the moment, playing their hearts out at the festival they all seem to have gone to as a kid.

Every band wants to pull a set that people will look back to and say one of two things: “Fuck, I was there”, or “fuck, I wish I was there”. Reading and Leeds Festivals (this year on the 22nd to the 24h of August) have produced some of the most memorable festival sets of the last decade – Them Crooked Vultures in 2009, Foo Fighters in 2012 and Biffy Clyro’s triumphant headline debut last year, just to name but a few. This festival delivers memories that last a lifetime – whether it’s hailing and raining sideways, or the kind of glorious sunshine which has you reaching for gallons of After Sun – Reading and Leeds are a staple of the British festival calendar.

This year is no different. Whilst Blink-182’s headline set in 2010 was hardly the kind of note perfect spectacle which you expect of acts like Arcade Fire, their set was an emotive, nostalgia-driven, fart joke-driven manifestation. The kind of blast through the hits you want at festivals like Reading and Leeds and with a new album on the horizon this year, we’re sure to be treated a Rock Show Like No Other.

Joining them at the top of the bill are Arctic Monkeys, fresh from a domination of the popular music charts in 2013 with their fifth album ‘AM’. Their Glastonbury set last year was a triumph from the 21st century’s finest likely lads: the set was dripping with hit after hit, hook after hook and the swagger of Turner just shows the frontman he has become. Another behemoth of a headliner.

Lower down on the bill there’s a veritable plethora of new and emerging talent, coupled with some more established stars. Picks of the bunch have to be new boys on the block, Royal Blood, who will also be appearing at SXSW 2014. Their material aired of late has hints of the bass groove you’d expect from a Queens of the Stone Age album, whilst some of the drum beats feel like pre-‘Origin of Symmetry’ Muse.

Whilst The Lock Up Stage is no more, Of Mice & Men will bring some metal to the proceedings. For the masses, there’s Radio 1 darlings and TGTF favourites The 1975 and 2013 Mercury Prize-nominated stars Disclosure. Throw into the mix Metronomy and take into account we still have another headliner to announce, alongside umpteen more acts lower down the bill, I know where I’ll be spending my August Bank Holiday. Simple.

Visit the official Reading and Leeds festival Web site here for more information on tickets and such.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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