MY THOUGHTS ON READING & LEEDS’ LINE-UP SO FAR

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READING AND LEEDS 2016 – unfairly criticised?

Another year. Another ‘disappointed’ reaction. Another Reading and Leeds Festival announcement that has been unfairly slagged off.

Too many people are complaining and using past festivals as comparisons. Why did the organisers book five headliners rather than picking three unbelievable acts? Simple answer – there are not enough world class bands that would fit.

Since seeing Foals as the Leeds secret set last year I, and many others, tipped them to headline the festival. Then they got confirmed alongside co-headliners Disclosure and people are saying they are not ‘big enough’ to be headliners. Why not? Four albums of the highest quality and one of the best live shows in the world. I am assuming that Foals will play the sunset slot. Imagine Spanish Sahara gliding through the Yorkshire/Berkshire parks. Dreamy. Disclosure’s live performance in the pitch black night will be a memory that will never be forgotten.

One main concern that I have with the festival is why do Biffy Clyro need to be co-headliners with Fall Out Boy? No disrespect to Fall Out Boy, but Biffy Clyro headlined the festival in 2013 and looked incredible. Why should they take a step-back and have to share the headline slot? Hopefully Biffy Clyro will ‘top’ of the bill and Fall Out Boy play the sub-headline slot (time wise).

The only headliners at Reading and Leeds that have a solo slot are Red Hot Chili Peppers. I missed them at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light a few years ago and have regretted it since. Also announced for T in the Park, RHCP will close Leeds Festival brilliantly.

Alongside these headliners are some of my favourite bands. For them all to play at the same place on the same weekend is so ideal. Bands that I would not get a chance to see otherwise. The stand-out addition to the line-up is Modern Baseball. A band that over the past two years I have fallen in love with, they pulled out of the festival at the same time as Tyler, the Creator last year and I was gutted. I am hoping that they actually get to the festival this year.

Other notable acts that I am excited for are The 1975, Courteeners and Haim. The 1975 released I Like It When You Sleep… and it has already become one of the favourites for album of the year. Courteeners are my favourite band so seeing them again after their performance as NME/Radio 1 Stage headliners in 2014 will be amazing. Like Modern Baseball and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Haim are a band that I have wanted to see for ages but have not had the chance to do so.

Away from the ‘band’ side of the festivals I will be going to see Boy Better Know and Giggs at Leeds 2016. When BBK played last year their slot clashed with Frank Turner and The Libertines. I opted for The Libertines. Hopefully I am not tasked with such a difficult choice of who to see. Giggs and BBK leading the grime acts of 2016 are artists that are not to be missed. I am hoping that more acts of this genre are added later.

Seeing A$AP Rocky is something I would probably only do if he was at a festival I was at – luckily that festival is Leeds. However, I said the same about Kendrick Lamar last year and managed to miss him. ‘Once in a lifetime’ is one way I would describe it, very excited nonetheless.

The return of Two Door Cinema Club is one of the biggest scoops for Reading and Leeds. I wish they would just play Tourist History in full, but it is more likely that they will mix up their set with material away from that. Cage the Elephant are easily the most energetic band I have ever had the pleasure of seeing – whichever stage they grace will be lit up by the Kentucky band.

There are the usual ‘smaller’ bands that will fill up the smaller stages. Over the past two years I have seen The Orwells, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Hippo Campus and Drowners away from the main stage. Catfish and the Bottlemen will certainly be playing the main stage before long so one of the following may follow in their footsteps after this year:¬†Sundara Karma, Basement, Citizen, Hinds and Blossoms.

Obviously we are still in the ‘early’ stages of Reading and Leeds Festival’s line-up. A ridiculous amount of bands will still be added and there are so many that I think will be announced. Hopefully emo-rockers Brand New will play there – once again, a band that I have not yet seen. Catfish and the Bottlemen are a band that I would love to see again. However, apparently you cannot play the festival more than three years in a row and they have step-stoned from BBC Introducing to Festival Republic to NME/Radio 1 stage. Maybe 2017 will see them closer to the top of the bill.

The likes of Real Friends, Blaenavon, The Front Bottoms, Diiv and Swim Deep added to Reading and Leeds would make the festival perfect for me.

A full BBC Introducing Stage is still to be decided upon – the likes of Rae Morris and Man Made (Nile Marr, son of Johnny) and Happyness have been catapulted into stardom from the stage.

I hope you think about all of the above bands and the rest to be announced before slagging off Reading and Leeds Festival 2016. Five great headliners and great value for money.

Keep your eyes on their official Twitter page for further announcements.

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