Reading And Leeds Preview – The Best Punk Bands

It’s the closest thing we over in the UK have to the Warped Tour, and this year’s Bank Holiday bash is startlingly well represented by punk and hardcore. This is the list of the 10 best NFTU bands playing over the weekend (and, er, a couple more I wanted to tag on at the end).

First up are the staggeringly brilliant Sonic Boom Six, who are opening the Main Stage. This is a huge deal for them – this is the band who’ve dragged themselves up from the purely DIY toilet circuit of the UK to being an international touring band, all by themselves – and they deserve your love and adulation. So give it to them!

And then there’s A Wilhelm Scream, aka the greatest live band on the planet right now. Check out ‘Jaws 3, People 0’ and try your hardest not to entirely lose your shit. TOO LATE.

Snuff, on the other hand, plainly don’t give a shit whether you like them or not. In a crowded punk rock field they’re bona-fide legends, as in actually. As in, they’re brilliant.

I remember hearing Streetlight Manifesto ages ago, back when ska ws going through some truly terrible times. Then they came along, with all their horny brilliance, and made everything ace again. Yup, NME says ska is superb. Deal with it, homes.

(It’s worth saying that Mad Caddies are also bringing the brass. And they’re well fun. For serious)

And Anti-Flag: I was privileged enough to spend a few days with them on Warped over summer and they’re a genuinely inspiring band. They might seem like picture-postcard punks but they mean what they say. And they say it well.

YEAH! Bouncing Souls! Get drunk and sing and shout and try not to get punched in the face? God I love punk rock.

I love the fact that Frank Turner‘s playing the big tent at Reading and Leeds. Dude’s been killing it for years, and there genuinely aren’t many people around who deserve to own your heart as much as he does, so let him into your world. He’ll make you feel like you live in a fucking castle, that’s how good he is.

AFI are a funny one. They’ve genuinely never ever fitted in (check out the below vid of them playing in 2001, hardly yer big-necked punkers) and their recent material has never captured the imagination like the old stuff… but they remain bloody amazing live.

Another band keeping the UK flag flying is Exeter’s The Computers. They’re on early, so get up earlier. They’re worth it. Fuck sleep.

And then there’s Alexisonfire, who are playing two sets: one on the Main stage and one on the Lock Up. One’ll be funnier than the other, and one’ll be better than the other, but I’m not telling you which one.

So who did we leave out? The motherfucking Bronx, of course. But everyone knows about them and their mariachi alter-egos by now so I kinda left them out. Then, because I’m a cretin, I remembered how good the video for ‘History’s Stranglers’ is, so check it below, yo.

And who are you most looking forward to at the fest? Eh?