Reading and Leeds 2015

Festival guide

Reading has come a long way since its inception as a blues, prog and hard-rock festival back in 1971. Now staged across three days – with bands on rotation between Reading’s Richfield Avenue site and Leeds’ Bramham Park – their line-ups range from grime and dance to metal and indie. Here’s a taster of what we’re looking forward to watching this August Bank Holiday weekend.

Top picks

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    Kendrick Lamar

    Yeezy’s braggadocio and Drake’s high profile diss tracks might have dominated the headlines, but only Kendrick Lamar can truly claim to have owned hip hop in 2015 so far. Offering a seamless blend of P-Funk and free jazz – and showcasing Lamar’s truly acrobatic lyrical flow – latest LP To Pimp A Butterfly is nothing short of a modern day masterpiece. We can only imagine how fantastic tracks like ‘King Kunta’ and ‘The Blacker The Berry’ sound live; if you’re at Reading on Sunday or Leeds on Friday, you won’t need to – he’s playing the Main Stage, just ahead of The Libertines.

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    The Big Moon

    We won’t go on about the scores of think-pieces that have surrounded the 2015 edition of Reading and Leeds, but let’s just say their line-up is – yet again – somewhat short on females. Bucking the trend are hotly-tipped Londoners The Big Moon, who are second on the bill on the BBC Introducing Stage on Friday at Leeds and Sunday at Reading, and who you should definitely go see because they’re great. Head to the front, and ready your ears for a barrage of grungey guitar-pop that’s as thrillingly heavy on the fuzz-pedals as it is easy on the ears.

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    Refused

    What with the recent re-emergence of groups like The Stone Roses, The Libertines and Ride, we’ve practically become conditioned to expect our favourite bands to kiss and make up. Nevertheless, April’s announcement that Refused had reformed and readied their first studio album since 1998’s seminal The Shape of Punk to Come came as a total shock. Don’t miss your chance to see Umeå’s finest revisiting hardcore classics like ‘New Noise’, and tearing through the highlights of latest LP Freedom. They headline The Pit on Friday at Leeds, and on Sunday at Reading.

    Refused - Freedom
    • 16-bit FLAC

Big names

Don't miss

More from the line-up

  • The Maccabees

    Interview

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    I think our confidence was just a bit shot. When it’s just the five of you, you lose perspective.

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  • Royal Blood

    Interview

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    We hung out with Jimmy Page in our dressing room, and grilled him about Led Zeppelin.

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  • Django Django

    Interview

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    When you’re trying to concentrate and all you can hear is Buddhist chanting above you, it’s pretty consuming.

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