We asked Bastille if they could step up to headline Reading & Leeds

'It's headline or job centre'

After playing just one spot from the top of the Reading & Leeds 2017 bill, we asked Bastille if they can see themselves stepping up to headline in future. Watch our video interview with the band above.

Speaking to NME after they stormed Reading with an energetic and politicised set, and before they did the same at Leeds before a headline set from Kasabian, the band said their slot had been “potentially one of the funnest gigs of our lives”.

“We were just so lucky to get to play on the main stage – and quite a lot of people came, which was very surreal,” said frontman Dan Smith.


Asked if they could see themselves topping the bill in the years ahead, drummer Chris ‘Woody’ Wood joked that it was either that or ‘the job centre’.

Dan Smith continued: “I loved our slot. There’s always been element of sort of ‘underdog-ness’ to us. That sounds ridiculous and is probably the worst sentence that anyone has ever said, but we’ve always been a band that people seem to like but there’s never been super-hyped or anything. It’s always a pleasure to play a show and have more people come than we expect. I’m not really fussed. I guess it would be very surreal to headline, but I guess there’s lots of pressure that would come with that.

“It was just so great last night, everyone had a good time, everyone was up for it – I loved it.”

Bastille had their biggest Reading appearance to date, taking second billing on the main stage behind Kasabian

Asked ‘what it takes’ for a band to be able to headline a festival, Smith replied: “To be really good, probably? I mean, that’s not always true. It’s interesting looking at the headliners, particularly with Reading & Leeds who have got a bit of a rock heritage obviously, but the days are so different. To have Eminem, Major Lazer, and KoRn as a triple bill – wow.”

“I remember the most exciting show, the most energetic and the biggest crowd I’ve seen was Kendrick [Lamar] two years ago at Reading. It was unbelievable, and so exciting to see a Reading crowd going absolutely nuts for Kendrick. Particularly after his second record, which was so important and politicised. To see that in a live context and to see people just losing their shit, it was amazing.”


He added: “To headline Reading, you just need good tunes.”

Watch our video above, where the band discuss covering Green Day, their new album, and how they’d ‘never play the Conservative Glastonbury’.

Check back at NME for the latest news, interviews and more from Reading & Leeds 2017.