Following the Reading and Leeds festivals online has become my new internet obsession. Waiting to see who’s been announced, disappointed when people who were strong rumours aren’t going to be there, shaking my fist at the computer because somebody shitty is playing instead… it’s all part of the fun of the build up to the actual thing itself. It’s just like when I was obsessively following the Watchmen movie before it got released – the hype, the excitement, in order to be eventually both wowed and disappointed at the same time (we’ll talk about that when the DVD comes out). I am pretty sure the same will apply to Reading, but with more music and less punching people in the face. I think.
The stage that I’ve been most interested in, the Lock Up stage, has been announced in its entirety, as far as I know. And like I said, there’s some disappointment, but there’s also some serious excitement. And I mean the kind where you punch the air like you’re straight out of an 80’s teen movie. There’s also bands I’ve not really listened to. I probably won’t care about them either. So, here’s my rundown on the ones to watch this year.
Just for reference, the band’s name will link you to their Myspace or related website so you can check them out for yourself. Also, these bands are in order of headlining, meaning that the lower down the band is, the earlier they will be playing.
Billy Talent are headlining the Friday this year. I saw them live a couple of years ago at Leeds and really enjoyed them. They’re over excited Canadians with good music, how can you say no?! Well, my boyfriend dislikes them with a passion so he could probably tell you, but I don’t know anyone else who doesn’t like them. Even my mum rates these ones and she’s a difficult lady to please.
If I’m being honest, I’ve never been that hot on Anti-Flag. I’m not sure why, I just never got into them. I like political punk a lot, and I probably filled my quota by the time Anti-Flag rolled around. However, live videos I’ve watched seemed pretty awesome. Lots of energy, which is just what you need on a punk stage. Who knows, this might be the year I get converted to the Anti-Flag camp.
Alexisonfire are great. I really like them. I tend to just like bands from Canada (excluding Nickelback and Simple Plan). Although I haven’t heard the new album or the first album, I really liked Watch Out! and Crisis. According to Bailey, they’re awesome live, and I tend to trust most things Bailey says. Therefore, I’m looking forwards to these.
I know someone who is very excited for these guys, namely our own ninthandash. Truth is, so am I. These are one of those bands that take me back to my P-Rock TV days. If there’s any band that makes me miss being 13, it’s Millencolin. And it’s these guys too. Great summer punk rock songs which are just perfect for the festival season. You’ll be disappointed if you miss them.
Leftover Crack are legends in the punk scene and I’m not entirely sure why. Probably due to their controversial lyrics, but apart from that, I don’t think that there’s that much that’s special about them. I’m not bothered about seeing them. They have a couple of alright songs though. They’re very politically based and are pretty much anti-everything, so be prepared for some heavy stuff.
The Aggrolites are pretty fun, but pretty bland at times too. They’re an odd mix of reggae, ska and punk rock, and can be found on Tim Armstrong’s Hellcat label. I don’t know what they’d be like live, but Dirty Reggae is a tune and a half.
Streetlight Manifesto are one of my favourite ska bands. I’ve never had the opportunity to see them live (my boyfriend hates ska, my sister’s not really into it and I haven’t been to a gig with my parents since My Chemical Romance) so I am actually really excited to see them. I am definitely forcing some people to stick around. If you like catchy ska tunes that are a little bit different to the majority, check out these guys. You won’t be disappointed.
I love this band. Their songs have a habit of getting stuck in my head for days. Seriously great stuff. I’m very much looking forwards to seeing them and you should be too! Not to mention, this band has had some killer facial hair (see my last article for more details!).
The Riverboat Gamblers
These are one of those bands that fightclubsandwich always tells me to listen to but I never get round to it because I’m too busy swirling around in a world of J-pop to care about anything else. But after looking at the Myspace just now, I’m actually loving this. Excellent summery punk rock tunes. I shall be watching these.
I’ve never listened to The Flatliners before. It’s one of those names that comes up on punk news sites that I read on occasion, but I’ve never thought to look into. I go on their Myspace and see that they’re from Canada. This is a good sign. I listen to the first song, ‘The World Files For Chapter 11’. If I had balls, this song would have grabbed me by them. This is actually the kind of band I’ve been looking for! I will be watching.
The Ghost Of A Thousand
This is a band I’ve heard good things about, but have never heard anything from. They’re from England, and apparently are a hardcore band. I’m apprehensive. The British scene hasn’t put out anything good in a LONG time (apart from Cutting Class, who you should listen to, by the way). Upon a listen, the first song sound pretty good. According to the Reading Last.FM page, they’re shit live, but I’ll reserve judgement until I see them for myself. I just wonder if they can get a pit going that early in the morning.
The Plight are also a British hardcore band. Again, I’m slightly apprehensive. But, from the Myspace, I see they’re touring with Cancer Bats, which is quite a good sign. Listening to the first song, I’m not really feeling it. The second song sounds a lot like Fight Paris, until the vocals kick in. I’m used to the gruffest of hardcore vocals, but I don’t know, I just don’t like this man’s. Perhaps they’ll prove me wrong when I’m there.
So that’s Friday out of the way. So far, we’re on a potential 8/12 for awesomeness. This makes for a good day, considering the main stage line up is fairly shit. Now, I’ll have a look at Saturday. The good news about this is that all the bands I want to see on other stages are playing on the Sunday, so I won’t have to miss them. Believe me, I’m not missing AFI for anything.
Do I really need to say anything? Rise Against = one of my favourite bands. Rise Against = one of my favourite live bands. If I have to skip on these to watch Arctic Monkeys, I might actually cry.
I’ve seen Thursday twice before, and I know I’m in for a good time. Thursday are a great live band. Geoff Rickly totally sexy dances at various points. I don’t think he can help himself. Either way, I know this is in support of the new album which I really want to hear, so I’m looking forwards to seeing them again.
The Bronx are straight up punk rock. Apparently, their live shows are explosive, so I would very much like to be a part of that. Plus I’ll have to watch them anyway for a good place for Thursday, so if they’re good, that’s just even better.
Another one of my P-Rock bands from yesteryear, I always remember Mad Caddies making me feel really happy. I think this is because they’re a ska band and my natural reaction to ska is this emoticon: ^________^. I’ll be watching them if I can convince my boyfriend and my sister to stick around.
Again, a P-Rock band I adored. At the time, I didn’t know they had members from Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits, CIV and Youth Of Today, bands that now mean a lot to me. I also didn’t know that they had one album. I just remember that one song, Used For Glue, and how awesome it was. The fact that they’ve got back together to do some shows is amazing and I will not be missing this for the world.
Set Your Goals
I like Set Your Goals. I like the EP better than the album, but nevertheless, I like them. I’d like to see them live. They’re a lot of fun and have a song named after The Goonies, which gives them extra points.
Snuff are yet another P-Rock band from my childhood. If you never watched P-Rock TV, you missed out. I always liked Snuff, even if I didn’t listen to them as much as some of the other bands on the channel. Good punk rock with a touch of ska. I wouldn’t mind watching them.
Municipal Waste are straight up hardcore with some of the most badass album artwork I’ve ever seen. I’m usually not a fan of most stuff on Earache, but I do quite like Municipal Waste. They seem like they’d be very good live too, so I’ll probably be watching.
A Wilhelm Scream
I always think that I’ll check these guys out and always forget. Again, it’s that J-pop thing. It can drive you mad, you know. Listening to the Myspace, I can hear that the singer has a really gruff voice, which I like. It’s melodic punk, which is probably my favourite kind of punk, and it’s managed to knock my Comedian poster off the wall with its awesomeness, so I assume I’ll be watching.
WHY IS HE NOT FURTHER UP ON THE LIST?! I know it’s Chuck on his own, not Hot Water Music (which I’ll admit, I’ve been hoping for since I booked the tickets) BUT STILL! I am watching this no matter what. I suggest you do too! Wonderful folk punk anthems for the weekend.
Polar Bear Club
I really like Polar Bear Club. I saw them with Frank Turner (who I am seeing again this summer) and The Gaslight Anthem a couple of months ago and they were great! Really full of energy and they’ve got an awesome sound. Very enjoyable. I wouldn’t mind seeing them again.
The Computers are WEIRD. It’s like a really weird mix of hardcore and blues, but I’m actually really enjoying it. And holy shit, there’s a harmonica in this breakdown. I am not missing this shit. Look them up, because this’ll blow your mind.
As for the Saturday, I am quite comfortable watching every single one of those bands, giving it a 12/12 for awesomeness. After seeing the main line up announced, I was very disappointed, and only really wanted to go because it’s the first year I can camp. However, this has given me hope for the weekend. I will go, I will see good bands, I will throw down! Thank goodness for punk rock.