The Vaccines On Reading And Leeds (And Losing Their Festival Virginity)

Freddie Cowan of The Vaccines is stoked about their first summer of festivals but can’t make his bloomin’ mind up about his dream festival line-up. NME spoke to him about the summer’s events and Reading And Leeds Festivals.

The Vaccines

Are you excited about your first summer of festivals?
“I am! We’re doing about 40 of them. We haven’t played any festivals as The Vaccines yet, apart from SXSW.”

What was your first festival as a punter?
“It was Reading 2002 – funnily enough the line-up’s pretty similar to this year! I was 14 back then and a massive Strokes fan, but now I’m a massive Pulp fan. I didn’t really know much about them then, so after about three hours and three encores, I remember thinking, ‘Get off the fucking stage!’ Now I’d probably prefer to see Pulp.”


What’s your perception of the Reading And Leeds Festivals?
“Reading was always considered by my friends and I to be the more abrasive festival. Not in a bad way, though. Reading & Leeds definitely has a strong personality. It’s more guitar-based, but then Odd Future are playing. Have I seen them? Yeah, they’re brilliant. They dominated SXSW. People weren’t talking about anything else. They’re first on and I won’t miss it.”

Watch an interview with organiser Melvin Benn below:

Planning on watching your brother?
“Absolutely. I’m excited about seeing The Horrors play their third album. They’ve been working on it for a while and it’s going to be brilliant. It will be out by Reading, so they’ll be playing a lot of that.”

Is there anyone you don’t want to bump into backstage?
“No, bollocks to all that. I think Liam Gallagher has said stuff about us but he’s a comedian. He’s genuinely really funny. It’s almost the kiss of death for a band if he says anything positive about them. He’s got a terrible track record and I’m honoured to be on his radar but don’t want to be under his wing.”

The Vaccines

If you were in charge who’d be your dream headliners?
“The Smiths on Friday. My Bloody Valentine on Sunday. No, My Bloody Valentine on Friday. Primal Scream doing ‘Screamadelica’ on Saturday. No, The Smiths on Friday, My Bloody Valentine on Saturday and Primal Scream on Sunday. No, sorry, start again: The Smiths on Friday, Primal Scream and then My Bloody Valentine on Sunday.”

Reading and Leeds 2011 headliners Muse spoke to us at the NME Awards:

In the event of a clash, why should people see The Vaccines over The Offspring?
“The Offspring are awful. There you go.”

Not got your tickets yet? Buy them here.

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