Essential listening: Reading and Leeds

As it’s finally Bank Holiday weekend, that means one thing – it’s time for Reading and Leeds! Not too sure who’s on the bill? Here are some of the best acts gracing the stages this weekend.

Fall Out Boy

Headlining Reading on Friday and Leeds on Saturday is pop punk powerhouses Fall Out Boy. Their debut album Take This to Your Grave was released in 2003 but their follow up From Under the Cork Tree helped make them the household name they are today. Single Sugar We’re Goin’ Down peaked at number eight in the UK singles chart and stayed in the top 75 for 21 weeks. The band were nominated for Best New Artist at the 2006 Grammys but lost out to John Legend.

Travis Scott

Jacques Bermon Webster II is much more than Mr Kylie Jenner. His debut album Rodeo was well received upon release in 2015, with single Antidote gaining a lot of attention. The single has been certified silver in the UK. His latest release is the eagerly anticipated album Astroworld which dropped at the beginning of the month, debuting at number 3 on the UK Top 40. La Flame is on stage on Friday at Reading and Saturday at Leeds.

The Kooks

Luke Pritchard and co. made their name back in 2006. Their debut studio album Inside In/Inside Out was released on January 23 that year – the same day as Arctic Monkeys’ debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. Most other bands would be gutted by this as Arctic Monkeys’ success skyrocketed, but Pritchard was glad to have been shielded from the media fanfare. Fourth single Naïve charted at number five in the UK and went on to be the 19th best selling single of the year.

Post Malone

Austin Post’s single White Iverson changed everything for him. It was openly praised by Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa, gaining a million views within a month from release. Debut album Stoney broke into the Top 10 in the UK but Post’s real success in the UK came with his second album. Beerbongs & Bentleys was slated for release at the end of 2017 but it wouldn’t be available until April 2018. The album debuted at number one, with 35,000 units coming from streaming which gave Post Malone the third biggest opening week of streams for an album in the UK of all time.

Kendrick Lamar

American rapper Kendrick Lamar is one of the most important to emerge on the scene in the last decade. His independently released album Section.80 gained huge interest before he signed a deal with Interscope Records and Aftermath Entertainment in 2012. His major-label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city dropped in October that year and was met with mass critical acclaim. This would become the norm for Lamar, as his following releases To Pimp a Butterfly and DAMN would also be held in the highest regard. His hotly anticipated set is on Sunday at Leeds and Saturday at Reading.

Panic! at the Disco

Las Vegas natives Panic! at the Disco announced their up-beat rock sound to the world back in 2005. Their debut album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out was recorded just one month after the members had graduated high school and it went on to be a commercial success, reaching number 17 in the UK album charts. Their second single from the album, I Write Sins Not Tragedies was a huge hit and pushed them into the mainstream, breaking into the top 10 in the US. Their latest studio album, Pray for the Wicked, was released in June 2018 and peaked at number 2 in the UK album charts. Catch them on Saturday at Reading and Sunday at Leeds.


Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo originally formed as the duo named The Neptunes before they began working with Shay Haley as N.E.R.D. Their debut album In Search of… was certified gold in the US and reached number 28 in the UK album charts. Lead single Lapdance reached number 20 in the UK singles charts and was even named in VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. After second album Fly or Die, the group disbanded only to reunite three years later. Their most recent offering, No One Ever Really Dies dropped in December 2017 as their first full-length album since 2010. They’re on stage on Saturday at Reading and Sunday at Leeds.

Dua Lipa

English singer and songwriter Dua Lipa is one of the hottest artists in the world right now. Her rise to stardom began with humble beginnings of posting cover versions on YouTube. Her debut studio album was released in June 2017 with her massive number one single New Rules coming out a month later. She was the first female solo artist to top the charts in the UK since Adele’s Hello. In January 2018, Dua Lipa won the BRIT Awards for British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. You can catch her on Saturday at Reading or on Sunday at Leeds.

Sum 41

In the early 2000s, Sum 41 became pop punk royalty. Debut single Fat Lip threw the group into mainstream success, as did debut album All Killer No Filler. The album reached number seven in the UK album charts – their highest position worldwide. Sum 41’s second studio album came out just a year later, named Does This Look Infected?. Since then, the group have gone through a number of changes and released another four albums – most recently in 2016 with 13 Voices. Catch them Saturday at Reading / Sunday at Leeds.

Kings of Leon

The Kings of Leon have evolved from a hairy band oozing Southern Charm in the early 2000s to fully fledged rock legends today. Debut album Youth and Young Manhood hit the shelves 15 years ago this summer, boasting massive singles like Molly’s Chambers and California Waiting. The album was huge in the UK and Ireland whereas their home country America was less interested. Their star continued to grow with follow up album Aha Shake Heartbreak a year later and to date they’ve released seven studio albums. They’re headlining Friday at Leeds and Sunday at Reading.


The Courteeners were formed in Manchester in 2006, achieving success with their debut album two years later. St Jude was released 10 years ago, reaching number four in the album chart and winning the inaugural Guardian’s Best British Album Award – beating out albums by Glasvegas, Adele and Noah & The Whale with 53% of the vote. Since then, the band have released another four studio albums – most recently, 2016’s Mapping the Rendezvous. Catch them Sunday at Reading / Friday at Leeds.

The Vaccines

When Zane Lowe calls your song his Hottest Record in the World, you’re destined for big things. The Vaccines’ track If You Wanna was dubbed as such by Lowe before the band were placed third in BBC’s Sound of 2011 poll, behind James Blake and Jessie J. Their debut album What Did You Expect from The Vaccines? reached number four in the UK album charts and was supported by singles like Wrecking Bar (Ra Ra Ra), Post Break-Up Sex and Norgaard.  Since then, they’ve released three more studio albums – Come of Age in 2012, English Graffiti in 2015 and Combat Sports this year. Their set is Sunday at Reading & Friday at Leeds.

J Hus

Taking the stage on Friday in Leeds and Sunday in Reading is 23 year old hip hop artist J Hus. His track Dem Boy Paigon  from this mixtape, The 15th Day gained him a lot of attention in 2015. Last year, J Hus released his first studio album Common Sense that reached number 6 in the UK charts. His strongest single performance to date is lead single Did You See that rose to number nine. Complex UK named Common Sense the best album of 2017 whereas NME placed it as sixth. See J Hus in Leeds on Friday or Sunday at Reading.

Krept X Konan

London rap duo Krept and Konan first signed a record deal five years ago and have gone on to work with some huge names in the industry like Giggs, Tinie Tempah and Rick Ross. They found fame with 2014 single Don’t Waste My Time which has gone on to be remixed by the likes of Chip, Wretch 32 and French Montana. The following year, Krept & Konan dropped their first studio album, The Long Way Home, peaking at number two in the album charts. Lead single Freak of the Week enjoyed success in the singles charts, peaking at number nine. They’re on stage Friday at Leeds or Sunday at Reading.

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