Reading & Leeds 2013: Friday Guide

With less than a month to go until Reading & Leeds, you’re probably starting to think about what you’re going to see. There are so many great acts on show that it’s hard to narrow them down. But we’ve chosen a few from each stage that we reckon are worth checking out. Follow our lead and you’re in for a treat.

We’re using the Reading timetable for our picks, but we’re sure they’ll be just as great in Leeds!

Here’s who we think you should see on Friday (Saturday @ Leeds):

Headline Act:

Green Day – The enduring Californian punk rockers made a surprise(ish) appearance last year and wowed those who were lucky enough to get wind of their arrival. Sure, they may not have the pure punk credentials of Sex Pistols, but they rock hard and entertain like few can. They’re sure to play some stuff from their latest ‘¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!’ project, but secretly we’re hoping they dust off ‘American Idiot’ and play until our throats bleed.

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong - Credit @ Lloyd Morgan
Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong – Credit @ Lloyd Morgan

Main Stage:

System of a Down – Brilliantly adventurous and mind-bogglingly successful, these alt-rockers can boast 3 Billboard No.1 albums, a Grammy and sales of over 25 million. But this success is born out of a brilliant live show. They can switch effortlessly between intensely political, satisfyingly heavily and spine-chillingly beautiful. We don’t quite know which you’ll get this time; we just know you’ll love it.

Deftones – The very first announcement of this year’s line up was a beauty. The Sacramento metal men are celebrating their 25th Birthday and you’re invited to a party that’s guaranteed to kick even the rowdiest student house party into next week. They’ve been cited as an influence on just about everybody who’s ever played this stage; but this time, you get the real deal.

Skrillex - Credit @ Kim Erland
Skrillex – Credit @ Kim Erland

NME/Radio 1 Stage:

Skrillex – This is the only opportunity you’ll get to see Skrillex at a UK festival this year. Don’t miss it. His mainstream success may have disillusioned some of his early fans, but his heart-pounding blend of dubstep and house is big for a reason.

FIDLAR (Fuck it Dog, Life’s a Risk) – We miss skate punk. This Californian specialty was once feared lost in the UK, but FIDLAR are on their way over from the West Coast of the USA to remind you what made us pick up our boards and tell our parents to do one. Check out our interview with them.


Radio 1 Dance Stage:
OK so we don’t really need to tell you that Sub Focus and Fenech-Soler will be great. And if Iggy Azalea is your thing (or just your guilty pleasure), you’ll be going to see her working on her shit anyway. So, we’ve got 2 other names that are definitely worth checking out.

Robert Delong – You will never have seen anything like this before. He sings, plays a full drum set and controls his dance party loops with video game controllers. We thought nothing good could come from the Wii; we stand corrected. But beyond the weirdness is a cerebral blend of awesome beats, worked into some fantastic songs.

Alvin Risk He’s already a big hit in the world of dance music, winning praise from the likes of Nero, Pendulum and Steve Aoki. He’s in constant demand for remixes too. Now it’s time for him to show everybody else what he can do. Go and get in the know.

Lock Up Stage:

The Living End – With 6 studio albums in their repertoire, Australia’s biggest punk rockers are sure to deliver a set of accomplished hits. We haven’t picked them because we think they’ll show you anything ground-breaking, but because it would be a shame to miss an accomplished set from some of the best in the business.

RX Bandits – In 2011, a generation of fans wept as RX Bandits announced they were to stop touring. Fortunately, they lied. Although they did some shows in Brazil last year, we have no idea whether they’ll ever tour in the UK again. This might be the last opportunity you get to watch one of the more unforgettable live acts on the planet. You’d be a fool to miss it.

Quicksand – Just like the aforementioned RX Bandits, you’re unlikely to ever see them again. A live performance is to Quicksand as a good hair day is to Donald Trump: exceedingly rare. After the band split up in 1999 to pursue other projects, many thought the full line-up would never be heard again. They were wrong.

Festival Republic Stage:

Crystal Fighters – Skilfully combining Basque instruments (look out for a txalaparta, danbola and txistu) with high energy synth dance beats. Their performance is electrifying, frenetic and ludicrously high-energy. You have no choice; they will make you dance.

Crystal Fighters - Credit @ Zeljkoo
Crystal Fighters – Credit @ Zeljkoo

MS MR – You may think you’ve never heard them. But if you’ve ever seen the Game of Thrones trailer (of course you have, unless you live in a cave), it features their track, ‘Bones.’ We saw them earlier this year and they create a unique atmosphere. Think remarkably chilled but with a constant expectation of drama leaving  you on a teetering knife-edge. Enjoy.

Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs – Bringing back the purist’s interpretation of rock ‘n’ roll. Arty, glamorous and outrageously cool, they’ve been winning rave reviews from everyone who matters. These boys bring back the very best of the 70s with something special we can’t quite put our finger on.

The Strypes – Hailing from the Republic of Ireland, these precociously talented teenagers offer something for everyone. For those who remember what Blues Rock is capable of, these guys will fill your soul to the brim. For screaming teenage girls, these 16 year olds with dulcet Irish tones are a dream come true. For anyone who just appreciates seriously good music, don’t be put off by their youth. This is a magnificently mature demonstration of Blues.

BBC 1XTRA Stage:

Wiley – Controversy breeds brilliance (probably). Despite recently branding the good people of Cumbria as ‘inbred pagans’, we reckon he’s a nice guy really. Having been booed off the stage prior to his little outburst, he’ll surely be out to make amends and deliver his biggest and best set to date.

Nathan Flutebox Lee – Fluteboxing is exactly what it says on the tin: playing the flute and beat-boxing at the same time. Nathan’s sound is a fusion of just about every musical genre that avoids electric guitars. It’s sub-zero cool and totally unique. You have to see it to believe it.

Murkage – Anyone who’s ever been to a Murkage club night in Manchester will tell you mysterious tales grimy drunken nights, played out to a soundtrack of deafening dubstep. They bring their party to Reading in what promises to be a thrilling highlight.

The Strypes - Credit @ Aurelien Guichard
The Strypes – Credit @ Aurelien Guichard

BBC Introducing Stage:

Well, we don’t really know what to expect, this is the first time most people will have heard any of the acts on this stage. But if you’re not sure what to listen to, head down to this stage to hear what might just be the next big thing

At night, head to the Alternative stage for PROPAGANDA! They’ve been putting on unbelievable parties for massive crowds for years now. They’re sure to keep the atmosphere lively until well into the early hours.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at Reading/Leeds 2013? Tell us below!



Author: Tim Higgins

CFO/Music Correspondent Tim spends every moment he possibly can going to gigs and loves finding small venues with a great atmosphere.