Top 4 Acts Not to Miss at Reading & Leeds Festival 2018
Junction11’s Head of Music, George Bunn, writes on his top 4 acts you can’t miss when you visit Reading Festival in August and the tracks to try them out.
SLAVES: Sunday – Radio 1 Stage
Top Track: “Sockets”
It is rare to see the rise of bands consisting of only two people. With only two people on stage it requires an immense amount of talent to produce such a massive sound; bands like Twenty-One Pilots and Royal Blood are bringing this movement to the forefront of popular rock. Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent, performing under the stage name ‘Slaves’ provide one of the most interesting and exciting group dynamics on stage that I have ever seen. The group from the ‘hardcore punk town’ of Royal Tunbridge Wells have released two albums so far, both to widespread commercial acclaim. Their live shows have gained a reputation for an uncompromising, unrelenting atmosphere; a shirtless Holman aggressively hammering on the unique stand up drum kit, shouting adamant political statements, and Vincent blasting out the blues and punk rock melodies. If you like your mosh pits aggressive, and your rock music loud and political, check these guys out.
KENDRICK LAMAR and TRAVIS SCOTT: Friday & Saturday – Main Stage
Top Track: “King Kunta” (Kendrick Lamar) and “Goosebumps” (Travis Scott)
Rap is the new Rock.Such a statement causes shudder through the rock community. “It’s not real music” some say. “They don’t even use real instruments and just talk over a lazy beat” others say. As a teenager, this was an opinion I once held; but I’ve decided to talk about these two huge rappers together to make a point. Rap crowds can easily be as good, if not better than band atmospheres. Acts like Boy Better Know, Stormzy & Run The Jewels have performed exceptional gigs with a fantastic crowd vibe. I have every confidence that these two acts on the main stage will be some of the best crowds at the festival this year. Let’s not forget the crowds that flooded towards the Main Stage in 2017 for Giggs and guest star Drake.
But for 2018, Texas based Trap rapper, Travis Scott. This acclaimed rapper came up through Kanye West’s GOOD Music label and has achieved critical acclaim for his albums Rodeoand Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. In a recent interview the director of Festival Republic, Melvin Benn, outed Travis Scott as his favourite act this year, likening Scott’s crowd at Wireless last year to a Rage Against the Machine crowd. His fanbase is undoubtably going to be one of the most explosive crowds of the main stage this year. If he’s top bill for Melvin Benn, he’s top bill for Junction11.
But arguably the biggest act on the line-up, Compton based Rapper, Kendrick Lamar tops the bill as Saturday’s Main Stage headliner. For me, Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly(2015) is one of the best rap albums of all time; each listening only brings more brilliance. The production, the lyricism, the delivery is all ten out of ten for me. If you need more convincing, Lamar’s latest offering Damn.is acclaimed as one of the most successful rap albums of all time. Rock fans who dismiss Rap crowds will be left with their jaws dropped at the musical talents and atmosphere attracted by these two legends. Take 5 minutes and try the tracks: don’t miss the sets from two true music superstars.
BAD SOUNDS: Friday – Festival Republic stage
Top Track: “Wages”
Releasing their debut in May last year, the brothers Ewan and Callum Merrett are going from strength to strength as one of the hottest new indie bands to check out at this year’s festival. Finding a fan in Annie Mac and off the back of playing support for Rat Boy on their most recent tour, these guys have the backing of the alternative scene, and seem set to do great things in the future. A unique blend of 70’s dance music, hip hop, great hooks and catchy choruses these guys are ones to watch in the future of indie rock. If you’re fan of Beck, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest or LCD Soundsystem, definitely give these guys a listen: you won’t regret it.
BY GEORGE BUNN