Reading And Leeds consistently throws up special guests and secret slots, and last year’s surprise Jamie T appearance sparked pandemonium. With that in mind, a week away from the festivals, we ponder who could be doing the hush-hush performances fans could be flocking to this year.
What better way for Foals to celebrate the release of fourth album ‘What Went Down’ – which comes out the day Reading And Leeds kick off – than with Yannis smearing his sweaty torso across the front rows at a secret set? Their name is conspicuously absent from the line-up, and the low-key show they play in London a few days before would be the perfect warm up.
Can there really be any chance of Moz squeezing into his wellies and braving the inevitable mud for his first Reading And Leeds performance since 2004? Well, the 56-year-old will be fresh from a headline appearance at LA festival FYF and, with a UK tour approaching in September, it would make sense. We can but dream.
Performing alongside Nirvana, Public Enemy and, er, The Wonder Stuff, Public Image Ltd ripped Reading apart in 1992. Online videos of the set show John Lydon prancing around manically and spitting water everywhere. The release of new album ‘What The World Needs Now…’ coincides with Reading And Leeds, so we could see a reprisal of those antics this year.
Frank Ocean was due to make his first live appearance in what feels like aeons in Los Angeles this month, only to pull out at the last minute. As rumours of a new album continue to swirl, could the R&B smoothie make the comeback the world can’t stop talking about at Reading And Leeds?
As confusion over Muse’s possible appearance at Bestival continues – Matt Bellamy seemed to confirm they would in an interview in May, but their name still isn’t on the line-up – could they surprise us all and rekindle their relationship with Reading And Leeds? If they do, they’ll have to go some way to top the bombast of 2006, but wouldn’t it be fun to watch them try?
Method Man releases his fifth solo album this month and has shows coming up in France in September. The Grammy-winning Wu-Tang rapper missed out on the Clan’s UK shows earlier this year, where better to get reacquanited with British crowds than Reading And Leeds?
Chvrches are gearing up for upcoming second album ‘Every Open Eye’ with festival dates at Belgium’s Pukkelpop, V Festival and Electric Picnic in Ireland. There’s a gaping hole in their schedule over August Bank Holiday weekend. Will they fill it with the words ‘Reading’ and ‘Leeds’? There’d be worse places to test out their new electro grooves.
Another dance act dropping a much-anticipated second album at the end of September, Disclosure are ripe for a hush-hush Reading And Leeds slot. Guy and Howard Lawrence sparked sweaty mania in the NME/Radio 1 Stage with their 2014 headline appearance, and a set in a smaller tent this year would be a hell of way to introduce their new record.
For anyone hoping for Foo Fighters to make up for Glastonbury with a secret slot at Reading And Leeds, the chances are slim. The band have gigs in America on Thursday and Saturday, but Friday and Sunday are free. And if there’s anyone who’d fly halfway across the world to please a few thousand moshing nutters, it’s Dave Grohl.
Fat White Family have appearances at Bestival and End Of The Road booked in, but you can’t help but think their bodily fluids and debauchery are better suited to Reading And Leeds. They’ve got the weekend free, and there’s some making up to do too: last year, they were hauled off stage early and departed flicking V signs at the stage manager.