For all the indie-music lovers out there, there is no better festival than Reading and Leeds. Split between two sites, which alternate days and artists, R&L has a reputation for being a haven for bands such as The Maccabees, Peace and the recently reformed Libertines. Taking place 28-30th August, make this one of your last festival stops before summer is over.

A – ALVVAYS
Bringing back the 90s sound we all miss are Canadian five-piece Alvvays. Their sunshine-y melancholic dream pop, inspired by Belle and Sebastian, earned them a top-50 spot for the best albums of 2014 by both NME and Rolling Stone. Don’t miss their R&L debut.

Catch them at the Festival Republic Stage:
Reading – Friday 28th August
Leeds – Saturday 29th August

 

alvvays

 

 

B – BLACK HONEY

Shrouded in tropical mystery, this guitar band (fronted by possible the coolest girl to ever walk the earth) is destined for great things. They’re set to storm 2015 with their stirring tracks ‘Madonna’ and ‘Spinning Wheel’. Make sure you catch their set before they reach the heights of rock’n’roll superstardom.

Catch them at the Festival Republic Stage:
Reading – Sunday 30th August
Leeds – Friday 28th August

B – THE BULLETPROOF BOMB
These five boys perfectly intertwine garage rock and indie pop to create a sound quite unlike any other new band out there today. Debut single ‘Suitcase’ will have you humming the infectious melody for weeks.

Catch them at the Festival Republic Stage:
Reading – Friday 28th August
Leeds – Saturday 29th August

 

THE BULLETPROOF BOMB,

C – THE CRIBS

This sibling trio is already one of Britain’s biggest guitar bands, and they just keep getting better. Their newest album For All My Sisters (released in March 2015) has set them on track to catapult to international acclaim.

Catch them on the Main Stage:
Reading – Sunday 30th August
Leeds – Friday 28th August

D – DRENGE
Brothers Rory and Eoin Loveless are no strangers to R&L festival. After taking the stage last year in dresses and performing one of the best sets of the whole festival, their new member, bass player Ross Graham, is set to take things up a notch. Expect nothing but pure revelry and punky fun from the trio.

Catch them on the Main Stage:
Reading – Friday 28th August
Leeds – Saturday 29th August

D – DARLIA
Evoking memories of classic 90s grunge with a front man whose appearance is not too dissimilar to Kurt Cobain’s, Darlia have been on a whirlwind of tours and live performances over the past year. Fresh off the back of their mini-album release, Petals, this trio is bringing back real emphatic rock music.
Catch them at the Festival Republic stage:
Reading – Saturday 29th August
Leeds – Sunday 30th August

daria

 

E – ELIZA AND THE BEAR

Counting radio presenters Huw Stephens and Zane Lowe among their fans, Eliza and The Bear have had great success over the past year. Their boisterous indie music brings a revelling freshness back into an industry that takes itself far too seriously.

Catch them at the Festival Republic Stage:
Reading – Friday 28th August
Leeds – Saturday 29th August

F – FRANK TURNER (SOLO)
Following the demise of hardcore quartet Million Dead, Frank Turner has shown no signs of giving up his unrelenting quest for indie rock perfection. His album Tape Deck Heart reached an impressive number 2 and has led him to perform in Vietnam and South Africa. Don’t miss his headline set (his first at the festival for ten years).

Catch him at the Festival Republic Stage:
Reading – Sunday 30th August
Leeds – Friday 28th August

G – GORGON CITY

Having barely left the top 20 throughout 2014, this duo can seemingly do no wrong. Heavy, infectious rhythms and a party-starting bass line infused with tinges of jungle and grime make Gorgon City’s sound truly unique.

Catch them at the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage:
Reading – Friday 28th August
Leeds – Saturday 29th August

H – HANNAH WANTS
Self-taught DJ Hannah Wants is famous for her incredible live sets. Influenced by garage, soul, indie, 80s and 90s, amongst a whole host of other genres, has led to her creating electric, unique mixes with an unmistakable sound.

Catch her at the BBC Radio I Dance Stage:
Reading – Friday 28th August
Leeds – Saturday 29th August

I – ISAIAH DREADS
This teenage rap talent is set to become the voice of a generation. Already a favourite of Rob Da Bank and Zane Lowe, he spent his spare time while studying for his GCSEs recording his debut album under Grime producer Preditah. Expect big things for Isaiah Dreads.

Catch him at the BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage:
Reading – Sunday 30th August
Leeds – Friday 28th August

 

ISAIAH DREADS

 

J – JAMIE T
The indie scene was star-struck last year when Jamie T released his first album for five years. Carry On The Grudge was so different to his previous albums, but embodied Jamie’s DIY, no nonsense, always have fun attitude. For his main stage set, expect a perfect blur of old and new, with Zombie and Sticks N Stones as firm crowd favourites.

Catch him on the Main Stage:
Reading – Sunday 30th August
Leeds – Friday 28th August

K – KENDRICK LAMAR
With two Grammy awards under his belt and a history as a US West Coast underground cult rap hero, Kendrick Lamar has been making waves as an international rap superstar. Humorous word play and delectable storytelling over infectious beats makes the precision of his rapping even more superb. Don’t miss his first visit to R&L festival.

Catch him on the Main Stage:
Reading – Sunday 20th August
Leeds – Friday 28th August

L – THE LIBERTINES
What became of the Likely Lads? In the lead up to the release of their first album in 11 years, Pete Doherty and the boys will be taking to the main stage. For a band that has changed lives, their story is a rock’n’roll tale for a generation. With an anything-goes attitude, twangy guitars and incredible drumbeats, The Libertines’ return to R&L might possibly be the best night of your life.

Catch them at the Main Stage:
Reading – Sunday 30th August
Leeds – Friday 28th August

 

THE LIBERTINES

 

M – THE MACCABEES

Having taken over three years to release their fourth studio album, expectations are high for South London band The Maccabees. Soulful guitars, hints of psychedelica and Indie pop makes The Maccabees sound totally unique – and that’s not even getting started on front man Orlando Weeks’ exceptionally unique and soulful voice.

Catch them at the Main Stage:
Reading – Sunday 30th August
Leeds – Friday 28th August

N – NEON WALTZ
Hailing from the wilderness of Scotland, this six-piece psychedelic Indie rock band has been dubbed the ones to watch by NME for 2015. Their sun-drenched sounds and whirling guitars make their memorable melodies stand out from the droves of new bands storming the scene.

Catch them at the Festival Republic Stage:
Reading – Saturday 29th August
Leeds – Sunday 30th August

P – PEACE
Fresh from their top 15 album ‘Happy People’ released in February, Peace has shown they are destined to become indie pop royalty. Joyously escapist tracks like ‘Follow Baby’ and ‘World Pleasure’ shows they wear their hearts on their sleeves, which has earned them a totally obsessed army of fans that grows by the day.

Catch them at the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage:
Reading – Friday 28th August
Leeds – Saturday 29th August

Q – QUEUEING
Expect queues, and lots of them. Get to the gates early to ensure you don’t miss out on a prime tent-pitching spot to keep you close to the action.

R – ROYAL BLOOD
Brighton duo Royal Blood and their minimal, riff-heavy power rock are expected to be one of the highlights of R&L festival. Using bass, drums and vocals, Royal Blood have been championed by the likes of Radio 1 and took the charts by storm with their debut album released last year. Royal Blood is bringing true rock back.

Catch them at the Main Stage:
Reading – Saturday 29th August
Leeds – Sunday 30th August

 

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

S – SWIM DEEP

Making a 180 from their debut album’s sound, Swim Deep have infused their heady sunshine pop with acid house influences and progressive synths to create a sound which suggests their second album ‘Mother’ (released later this year) may be deserving of the label psychedelic. Expect big things from this Birmingham band.

Catch them at the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage:
Reading – Friday 28th August
Leeds – Saturday 29th August

 

 

holding-swim-deep-premiere

 

S – SLAVES
Earning the title of NME’s Best New Band 2015 at this year’s awards, Slaves have skyrocketed to national acclaim. Their rockabilly sound and political punk have made them firm favourites on this year’s line-up. Aside from their seriously hardcore tunes, which blaze with an anarchic spirit, the singer also drums standing up – what could be more fun?

Catch them at the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage:
Reading – Saturday 29th August
Leeds – Sunday 30th August

T – TWIN PEAKS
After receiving rave reviews for their debut album in 2013 (quickly produced, just so they could go on tour), the Chicago band Twin Peaks manage to mash together influences such as the Pixies and Tame Impala and the Rolling Stones to create guitar-guided pop music which is equal parts 60s-sounding and modern.

Catch them at the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage:
Reading – Saturday 29th August
Leeds – Sunday 30th August

V – VAULTS
Fronted by a girl with a voice like a siren, with twinkling glockenspiels in the background and a haunting sound, Vaults are more mysterious than your usual pop band. Think London Grammar meets Jam and Lewis.

Catch them at the Festival Republic Stage:
Reading – Friday 28th August
Leeds – Saturday 29th August

 

VAULTS

 

W – WOLF ALICE
Wolf Alice’s ferocious grungy-pop sound has propelled them to Indie-pop stardom. Their newly released debut album, My Love Is Cool, reached number 2 in the charts and has earned them in an ever-increasing army of devoted fans. Wolf Alice are not to be missed for energetic live performances and one of the best front woman known to Indie music.

Catch them at the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage:
Reading – Saturday 29th August
Leeds – Sunday 30th August

Y – YEARS & YEARS
Mixing cutting-edge electronic sounds with R&B music and timeless song writing has pushed Years & Years from small-time band to future festival headliners. Front man Olly Alexander’s soulful vocals provide a contrast to their striking synths and 90s House elements.

Catch them at the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage:
Reading – Sunday 30th August
Leeds – Friday 28th August

YEARS & YEARS

 

Z – ZZZ
Don’t expect to get a lot of sleep at this year’s festival, so make sure you get plenty before you arrive so you don’t miss the party.

Words by Annie Lunnon

Tags

Annie Lunnon, black honey, Darlia, Drenge, Eliza and the Bear, Frank Turner, Gorgon City, Hannah Wants, Isaiah Dreads, Jamie T, Kendrick Lamar, Neon Waltz, Peace, Queueing, Royal Blood, Slaves, Swim Deep, The bulletproof bomb, The cribs, The Libertines, Twin Peaks, Vaults, Wolf Alice, Years & Years,