As we near the end of August once again, it’s time for students and music fans everywhere to dust off their wellies for one of the final times in 2013. This weekend is very much the home of the ‘last summer hurrah’ festivals, known as Reading & Leeds.

Reading & Leeds is often acknowledged as one of the most drunken and raucous festivals there is, with its multitude of stages offering music from all of the alternative genres. This is all alongside a whole host of comedians, sideshows and after-dark entertainment. As such, it is a great festival to discover new music so we’ve put together our top picks into this handy guide to help get you started!


Where: Festival Republic Stage
When: Friday 23rd Reading // Saturday 24th Leeds

Bradley Duggan (@bradley_duggan) says: “If you haven’t heard of The Strypes before then where have you been for the past couple of months? The band originate from Cavan, Ireland and range from 15-17 years old. At such a young age they have already hit great heights including signing for Mercury Records and playing another “little” festival known as Glastonbury.

They recently announced that they will be supporting the Arctic Monkeys on their UK and Germany tour and release their debut album Snapshot on September 9. Make sure that you stay tuned for that review, coming soon.

Their sets are fast-paced, gritty, punkish “speed blues” and are, put simply, amazing. Just imagine what these guys can do in a couple of years time. Make sure you check them out.”


Left: Youngsters The Strypes; Right: San Cisco from Down Under


Where: Festival Republic Stage
When:  Friday 23rd Leeds // Sunday 25th Reading

Bradley says: “There are so many acts that I could pick as “must see” at this year’s Reading & Leeds and a little bit of me died inside when I realised that I couldn’t afford to go, but I have to pick San Cisco. Now most of you will be thinking “Who the hell?” but I assure you that you will want to take a peek into the Festival Republic tent for these.

The 4-piece band come from Fremantle, Australia and have been together since high school, recently signing a record deal with Fat Possum label, who also have the likes of the Black Keys and Dinosaur Jr on their books. In late 2012 they released their debut album titled San Cisco which was voted number 10 in Triple J’s “Listener’s Top 10 Albums Poll.” They also covered Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” on Triple J as well, which is one of the most-watched videos on the radio station’s website.

The band have already been attracting comparisons to Vampire Weekend and Flaming Lips, and have been praised by the Guardian for their “bright and bubbly indie, full of jangly guitars and dolorous lyrics.” Expect them to bring a smile to your face in August, even if it’s raining.”


Where: NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage
When: Friday 23rd Reading // Saturday 24th  Leeds

Natalie Whitehouse (@_natbcfc) says: “Without a doubt one of music’s hottest bands at the moment, Bastille have gone from strength to strength this year and, it appears, festival to festival. The Reading and Leeds Festivals are one of the last – but by no means least – on the list of a hectic summer schedule for the South London-based band.

Two years ago they were appearing at the smaller festival tents, but their rise to fame in 2013 off the back of single ‘Pompeii’ – which reached number two in the charts – has propelled them further up the bill; allowing them to become a real household name in a very short space of time.

Bastille not only have brilliant music at their disposal from their debut album ‘Bad Blood’ but they have an infectious energy on stage that suits a festival to a tee. One of the highlights when I saw them at the Isle of Wight Festival in June, Bastille are a must-see and will not disappoint.”


Left: UK music scene favourites Bastille; Right: Kid British spin-off Bipolar Sunshine


Where: BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage
When: Friday 23rd Leeds // Sunday 25th Reading

Natalie says: “Fresh from the split of indie-ska band Kid British in 2012, Adio Marchant hasn’t taken long to come back onto the music scene with his new solo project Bipolar Sunshine.The Mancunian singer-songwriter has taken a different route this time around, with an entirely different sound to that of his former band days, fluctuating from mellow sounds, to heavy bass, through to upbeat drumming – staying true to the name Bipolar Sunshine. But this change is definitely one that has been welcomed, with his debut EP Aesthetics deservedly receiving excellent reviews, and his single ‘Rivers’ recently being chosen for single of the week on iTunes.To add to this, Bipolar Sunshine has just been announced as one of the supporting acts for Bastille’s tour later this year, showing that Adio’s new project has hit the ground running – and at some speed.The songs released so far have completely different elements and alter through different moods, yet they are equally as powerful and completely ooze summer and festival vibes; perfect for a field full of mud, alcohol and your best friends.”


Where: Main Stage
When: Friday 23rd Leeds // Sunday 25th Reading

Ethan Williamson (@E523W) says “These guys have been going from strength to strength since the release of Puzzle in 2007. Their most recent album, Opposites, is currently on track to be my album of the year as they have have somehow released a double album with less filler tracks than most single albums.
The band really are at the very top of their game, and they bring it ALL to their live shows. I have a feeling their set this year is going to be very, very special – something about which you could say, later, “I was there. I saw it.”


Left: Scottish headliners Biffy Clyro; Right: Still performing despite a glass back, Frank Turner


Where: Main Stage
When: Friday 23rd Reading // Saturday 24th Leeds

Ethan says: “The man is an absolute powerhouse live, and his fans love him. Combined, these create an atmosphere that just cannot be found with any other artist. If you know the songs, be prepared for a mass sing along – be prepared to feel part of something. If you don’t? Be prepared to be a part of one of the strongest atmospheres of the entire festival.

Either way, be prepared, possibly, to laugh: Turner has recently had to cancel a few gigs due to a rather severe back issue. He has, however, promised to make Reading and Leeds – even if he has “to do them in a goddamn wheelchair.” To be honest, that alone would be worth a recommendation – even if the man wasn’t one of my favourite artists.”


Where: Main Stage
When: Friday 23rd Leeds // Sunday 25th Reading

Harry Dean (@harrydeansays) says: “After recently having the opportunity to watch them DJ at a club in Essex, I was quickly alerted to the fantastic group known as Don Broco. This all male alternative rock band have supported the likes of Enter Shikari, You Me At Six and We Are The Ocean and are my top pick to see at the festival this year.They reached number 1 in the rock charts last August with their debut album, Priorities, after being snapped up by Search and Destroy Records. They’re quickly becoming one of my favourite all time bands, and without fan-girling too much: I wish I had tickets to see them at Reading.If it’s not their boyish charm you’re captured by, then it’s certainly their super-catchy tunes. They’re just emerging on to the music scene and are a definite catch to keep your eye on.”


Left: Alt-rock quartet Don Broco; Right: Rising star Lauren Aquilina


Where: BBC Introducing Stage 
When: Friday 23rd Reading // Saturday 24th Leeds

Harry says: “Currently unsigned, the 18-year-old British singer built her own fan base through Facebook and YouTube, enough so that her debut EP Fools peaked in the top 10 UK iTunes Chart!As well as running a sold-out UK tour, Lauren continued to study her A-Levels and released her second EP Sinners which peaked in the top 5. This is where I first heard of Lauren and instantaneously fell in love with her music. With her powerful vocals you really can’t afford to miss out on seeing her!”


Where: NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage
When: Friday 23rd Reading // Saturday 24th Leeds

Nicola Allen (@NicoClaireAllen) says: “It’s about time we had some more girls in rock music! This kick-ass duo consisting of Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards initially met at a not-so-rock-and-roll crochet class in Los Angeles, California, and have since become one of the hottest duos since The White Stripes.

Their scuzzy, shouty, riotgrrrl tunes haver recently been showcased on their debut LP Sistrionix, released following their autumn 2012 support slot with UK speed-indie heroes The Vaccines. Their music is sexy, as is their attire half the time, but it is this combination of sex appeal and musicality that makes them true rock goddesses.

Watch out for Julie’s awesome drumming face, and keep an eye on Lindsey’s passionate guitar pout – they’ll definitely get you a little hot under the collar if you aren’t already in the NME/Radio 1 tent.”


Where: Festival Republic Stage
When: Friday 23rd Leeds // Sunday 25th Reading

Nicola says: “Synthpop quintet Chapel Club are famed for their airy, trippy licks and have recently released their second LP Good Together.

If you’ve had a hard day rocking out at the Main Stage or the Lock-Up Stage, Chapel Club are the ideal band to chill out with for three quarters of an hour. The music is slow, sultry, and epic;  great for having a little drunken sway as the night starts to draw in, beer in hand.

Keep an ear out for the title track from Good Together, which really emphasises the band’s love and use of synthesisers alongside vocalist Lewis Bowman’s spoken lyrics. It’s a bubbly and unique little number guaranteed to get you bouncing if you’ve resisted to that point.”

If you’re already on your way to Richfield Avenue or Bramham Park, we’d like to wish you a wonderful weekend. We hope that you have a truly awesome time and discover some brilliant artists from around the globe. Have a mosh for us!

If you have a couple more minutes to spare, why not check out the past week’s other content?