The August Bank Holiday will once again see the return of the mighty Reading & Leeds Festival's, and today (quick drum roll) the line-up has just got bigger and better with the announcement of the first acts confirmed to play the Lock Up and Dance Stages.
The headliners on the Lock Up Stage are bouncing in from the East and West coast of the US – both legendary acts with hugely impressive catalogues and fearsome live reputations. California’s Social Distortion bring their hard rockabilly/punk to the festival on Friday at Reading and Saturday at Leeds, and Florida’s Less Than Jake, one of the pioneers of the ska punk scene headline Sunday at Reading and Friday at Leeds. Joining them are acts from all over the world including Anti-Flag, Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, Gallows, Turbonegro, Bouncing Souls, A Wilhelm Scream and many others.
“Having an incredible Punk Rock line-up every summer has become a standard for the Lock Up Stage... and this year is no different. Old favourites, new heroes and even surprise guests... we have it all and it will be one hell of a festival.”
BBC Radio 1’s Mike Davies (stage host)
On the Dance Stage and bringing their bass-heavy sounds to the festival, Modestep make their debut appearance; hotly tipped Grimes and supremo DJ Zinc will also appear alongside more amazing names. Finally Los Campesinos! are the last band to be added to the Main Stage.
Social Distortion have officially done one of the most un-punk things possible: they’ve failed to burn-out. Having survived various line-up changes, the odd hiatus and the demise of the Los Angeles hardcore scene that saw their arrival, Mike Ness and the band are now in their fourth decade of existence. With their trademark sound, an all but-perfected mix of punk, bluesy rock ‘n’ roll and outlaw country, they subsequently paved the way for plenty of like-minded individuals and artists whilst becoming one of the most influential bands of their generation(s). This summer’s headline appearance on the Lock Up Stage will provide one of the highlights of the entire festival.
Formed way back in 1988 Pittsburgh’s Anti-Flag have forged a reputation for activism and are no strangers to throwing their name behind various causes over the years, be it the recent Occupy Wall Street Movement, Greenpeace, Anti-War campaigns or human rights. Their recent ‘General Strike’ album is equal parts reggae and hardcore, modern folk punk and traditional Clash influenced dance punk. It sees a band content in their musical environment with arguably their most aggressive album to date. Renowned for their ferocious live shows, they bring the punk rock ethos to the festival.
Arriving this summer with a reputation for their intense live shows Every Time I Die have never been an easy act to categorise. Emerging from the late ‘90’s hardcore scene, over the past decade they’ve continued to evolve and push the boundaries of heavy music. Their sixth and most recent album ‘Ex Lives’ is testament to that trajectory with the most forward–thinking album of their career, this is an act that promises much.
New Jersey’s Bouncing Souls’ origins lay in the D.I.Y ethos with their self-financed early releases before making a name for themselves opening for the likes of NOFX and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The band release their ninth full-length album ‘Comet’ this summer.
Forerunners of the US indie rock scene since their inception, New Jersey’s Saves The Day have influenced a new school of emo/punk bands along the way with their own post–punk energetic live shows. The band have recently released the long anticipated third album in a trilogy with ‘Daybreak’.
With a seemingly relentless touring schedule post-hardcore outfit Touche Amore have built up a reputation for their fiercely passionate live performances. One of the best live acts around today, be prepared to be part of a sweaty, heaving mass of limbs.
Taking their name from a famous stock sound effect used in films A Wilhelm Scream bring their own brand of melodic post-hardcore to this year’s weekend. No bandwagon jumpers, the five-piece have in lieu of their cause earned the invitation to support like-minded artists such as Pennywise, Rise Against and Less Than Jake and continued to headline in the US and further afield in Europe and Australasia.
Having just released their fourth album ‘Zoo’ five-piece hardcore outfit Ceremony continue their ascendancy having confirmed their reputation as one of the most compelling, unusual and progressive hardcore bands of recent years. Hailing from San Francisco’s Bay Area, the band have consistently explored, delved and forged their own way.
2011 saw the release of Random Hand’s third LP ‘Seething Is Believing’ and their 1000th show. Regarded by many as their finest album to date, they have spent the last few years tearing full throttle through the UK scene with their ferocious in your face ska-punk-metal mash up and continue to fly the flag.
From the squats of New York City comes Star Fucking Hipsters, armed with their latest album ‘From the Dumpster to the Grave’. The record explores several genres including punk, ska, hip-hop, metal and folk, all wrapped in a hardcore shell. Including some of the crunchiest guitars ever recorded, expect an explosion of sound at both sites.
Following the release of last year’s ‘Moscow Penny Ante’ album, Dead To Me are heading to Reading & Leeds Festival ready to thrill. A band so immersed in style and culture that they’ve always seemed almost as much like an art collective as a rock and roll outfit. The most recent record revisits and updates their classic sound that first caught everyone’s attention on 2006’s ‘Cuban Ballerina’.
Pettybone, the international four-piece from London, will be bringing an aural attack to this year’s festival courtesy of four girls whose message is as important as the music. Despite only releasing their debut album last year, they have already recorded a live session at Maida Vale for the BBC Radio 1 Punk Show with Mike Davies and undertaken their first international tour. Having this under their belt in such a short time, it seems like it’s time to sit up and pay attention to the noise that Pettybone are creating.
Starting out as a power pop outfit with heavy punk leanings, Less Than Jake seamlessly transformed into a ska-inspired punk band complete with horn section and have extensively travelled the world’s stages. Influenced by the East Bay pop/punk scene that spawned the likes of Green Day and Screeching Weasel, the band have successfully traversed hurdles along the way, still progressing musically and will be a fitting finale to the day. Engaging, progressive and socially relevant, unfiltered and over-amplified they bring the curtain down on what is a stellar Lock Up line-up.
Me First And The Gimme Gimmes are an all-star-punk-rock supergroup-cover-band fronted by NOFX’s Fat Mike that exploded on the scene in the 90’s. They have recorded albums of show tunes, R&B jams, classics from the 50’s and 60’s, pop hits, cheesy mum-favorites, country songs and in 2011 a slew of songs by Australians for their 2011 EP entitled ‘Go Down Under’ and their last release ‘Sing In Japanese’ saw them, er, sing in Japanese! Go party …
When Gallows returned with new vocalist Wade MacNeil fans breathed a sigh of relief that the extraordinary band they adored were as good as ever and had retained the intense energy the group had become infamous for. The band, originally from Watford, had gone through an amicable split with original vocalist Frank Carter in the summer of 2011 after a whirlwind few years of magazine covers and record company battles but emerged triumphant with expectations high. The Lock Up Stage is their natural home, watch them own it.
The legendary Turbonegro bring their unique Death Punk to the festival with no doubt all guns blazing. With new vocalist The Duke of Nothing, the band have been praised for playing the most up-to-date form of punk, and refusing to be categorised. Their music is an anarchic blend of humour, shock and sexuality. The ultimate party experience and most fun you can have at a festival with your clothes on – do not miss the mighty Turbonegro.
With influences ranging from American punk bands Bad Brains and Black Flag to legendary jazz musicians John Coltrane and Miles Davis, Trash Talk carry the DIY spirit of punk and mesh it with hardcore to create a powerful unique sound. Based in Sacramento, California – any trip to these shores are greeted with excitement by their dedicated fans. These shows will be no exception.
When Good Riddance announced their reformation after five years away, countless fans jumped for joy having thought they’d never see these hardcore punks again. The band grew out of California’s vibrant surfing and skateboarding culture and were influenced by such bands as Black Flag, The Adolescents, TSOL and Bad Religion as well as East Coast bands like Sick Of It All and the Cro Mags. They released seven albums and an EP before splitting, but are back to play the classics just for the joy of it – catch them whilst you can.
London-based reggae & dub upstarts The Skints mix Jamaican styles with pop hooks, grimey raps, filthy bass-lines and a punk rock work ethic to create a sound familiar to newcomers, yet unique below the surface. Their new album ‘Part & Parcel’ was produced by Prince Fatty and is a sun-drenched carnival of a record, guaranteed to start the dancing.
Jimmy Stadt, who fronts Polar Bear Club alongside guitarists Chris Browne and Nate Morris, bassist Erik Henning, and drummer Tyler Mahurin arrive at Reading & Leeds Festival on the back of the release of their third album ‘Clash Battle Guilt Pride’. Their post hardcore/punk anthems have built them a dedicated following, as have tours with The Gaslight Anthem, A Wilhelm Scream and Cancer Bats.
Long Island’s hardcore metal group, This Is Hell described their latest album ‘Black Mass’ as the “heaviest and thrashiest songs we've written and recorded” and who are we to argue. The band have built a formidable reputation as a fearsome live act since the release of their debut ‘Sundowning’, picking up fans on both sides of the Atlantic and this will be a sensational show not to be missed.
The Flatliners come from Canada to Reading & Leeds Festival having spent the last seven years honing their epic sonic sound. Their 2010 album ‘Cavalcade’ was hailed as a breakthrough mixing the fury of ‘90’s skate punk with the nuanced, intelligent songwriting of classic post-punk. The album featured fellow festival performers including Big Mike (NOFX), Cancer Bats and A Wilhelm Scream amongst others and their presence will only up the energy for this set.
Melodic-punks Apologies, I Have None have recently received rave reviews for their debut album ‘London’. Having started as a two-piece drum and guitar band, Dan Bond and Josh Mckenzie were then joined by PJ Shepherd on bass and Joe Watson and have been playing passionate, energetic punk rock ever since. A perfect way to kick things off on the Lock Up Stage this year.
Modestep combine elements of dubstep with the power of hardcore rock acts which the band grew up on. Brothers Tony and Josh, with Matt and Nick, are renowned for their explosive live show which combines drums, guitars, synths, pianos, vocals, percussion, DJing and visuals.
Debuting in 2008 as the first external artist to feature on deadmau5’s internationally revered mau5trap label, Feed Me didn’t so much step on to the scene as stomp, and his unique brand of hard-hitting, bass heavy electronica with a grin quickly caught the imagination of listeners worldwide. Since then, his rise has continued apace. He continues to tour far and wide, from Alexandra Palace to I Love Techno, and with plenty still up his sleeve there is no sign of him slowing down any time soon. 2012 looks set to be the biggest year yet for Feed Me.
For those unaware, Grimes is the inventive work of Claire Boucher, a project that has gained notoriety since its inception back in early 2010. With the release of her new album ‘Visions’, via 4AD, earlier this year she has quickly become one of the most talked about artists around. The album incorporates influences as wide as Enya, TLC and Aphex Twin, whilst drawing from genre’s like New Jack Swing, industrial and glitch resulting in a record that is both otherworldly and futuristic. 2012 is the year of Grimes.
The Japanese Popstars are purveyors of raucous, foot-stomping, energetic electronic dance music. Having racked up the air miles in 2011, the Northern Irish duo have blown away crowds at major festivals with their coruscating live show.
Backed by supporters including Ed Sheeran, Zane Lowe, Mistajam and Huw Stephens, Clement Marfo & The Frontline’s scintillating crossover sound is poised to soundtrack the summer. Named as one of MTV’s Brand New for 2012 tips and one of T4’s Rising Stars of 2012, they’re the sound of the city streets, the sound of aspirational youth rising above societal problems, the sound of a multi-cultural community uniting rather than dividing.
East Londoner Jagga is a singer, songwriter and producer whose previous collaborations have included working with Magnetic Man. Expect catchy choruses, infectious beats, heavy bass and enough bleeps to take over the dance floor at this very special DJ set. The energy, vibrancy and feel good factor of Jagga can’t be denied, be sure to get down the front early for this set.
Once known as one of jungle’s biggest stars as part of the True Playaz crew, Zinc will be behind the decks for a set like no other at this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival. After more than a decade of dominating the D&B scene, he set up his own label Bingo Beats and began to diversify into UK garage, realising and producing including the seminal ‘138 Trek’. Expect house, electro, funky and more from this true legend of the dance scene.
Cardiff-based Los Campesinos! make their Main Stage debut when they open proceedings in Leeds on Sunday and Reading on Saturday. The band have added a further album ‘Hello Sadness’ to their catalogue and cemented their position as one of the UK’s best-loved indie bands. Get there early and be party to a thrilling live act.
Weekend tickets cost £197.50, Day tickets Fri, Sat, Sun £85.00, Early entry permits £15.00, Campervan permits £60.00, Lockers £15.00, Reading car parking £5.00. Sunday Day Tickets at Reading Festival are now sold out.
As always do be careful where you buy your tickets and stick to legitimate sites only - if in doubt check our ticket directory.
Where else would you want to be this August??
Los Campesinos!Less Than Jake Social Distortion Anti-flag Every Time I Die Bouncing Souls Saves the Day Touche Amore A Wilhelm Scream Ceremony Random Hand Star Fucking Hipsters Dead To Me Pettybone Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Gallows Turbonegro Trash Talk Good Riddance The Skints Polar Bear Club This Is Hell The Flatliners Apologies I Have None Modestep Feed Me Grimes The Japanese Popstars Clement Marfo & the Frontline Jagga Zinc DJ Set (Leeds only)