Seven bands you weren’t planning on seeing at Reading & Leeds, but should

From sweaty punk grots to boggle-eyed rappers, here are the off-radar acts you need to add to your R&L schedules

We know you. You’ve already downloaded the clashfinder and coloured in your full weekend schedule covering every band you want to see, the running time between stages, toilet breaks and the odd ten minutes to go back to your tent and try to squeegee the piss out of your hair. Well tear that baby up right now and start again from scratch, because here are five bands you’ve probably missed off that you should definitely try to catch.


Festival Republic Stage

The spiritual offspring of Fat White Family, South London gross punk rabble Shame are every bit as unpredictable, confrontational and often shirtless and covered in a thick layer of unidentified slime.




Festival Republic Stage

Probably the cheeriest party band on the bill, New York’s Grouplove are a tambourine-smashing gang-pop sensation and a fantastic foil to all of the glowering post-indie poseurs padding out the rest of the line-up.




The Pit/Lock Up

Norway’s answer to Wolf Alice, punk pop wonders Sløtface are picking up heat like a knackered microwave. In thrall to old record shops and woke as fuck in terms of politics and feminism, they’re like watching a riot break out at an Indie Pride parade.



The Manor

BBC Radio One Xtra Stage

“We’re about with 24 cans and an ounce,” The Manor promised on ‘Lads On Tour’, so expect dribbling, bleary-eyed hi-jinx alongside their darkly witty, soul-smothered hip-hop portraits of boozy South London nights on the pull.




BBC Radio One Xtra Stage

Innovator-in-chief of the new wave of grime bigshots, Dave – aka David Santan – is currently flailing around in an Olympic sized ballpit of solid gold ideas. Flamenco, elastic raptronica, orchestral gothic atmos-hop confessionals, skronky 8-bit tunes about footballers – everything’s game in a Dave show, the home of gritty banter.




Festival Republic Stage

Brighton’s Yonaka incorporate nil-fucks-given power punk, metal, pop and hip-hop into an intense live assault akin to The Yeah Yeah Yeahs overdosing on A-grade military attack drugs. Hunt them out, before they start hunting you.



King Nun

Festival Republic Stage

Grunge isn’t dead, it’s just been hiding in King Nun having a meltdown. This gang of boisterous 18-year-old Kurtophiles have ben blowing the roof off every London pub they dare to play, so expect them to level Leeds and reduce Reading to rubble so fast you’ll believe they’re in the employ of Kim Jong Un.