BLOG: bands that could help sell out Reading & Leeds

Mumford and Sons at Bestival 2010 by Sara Bowrey
Mumford and Sons at Bestival 2010 by Sara Bowrey

'In life there are only three certainties - death, taxes, and The Offspring playing Reading and Leeds in the middle of the afternoon.'

Er what? You mean it hasn’t sold out yet? That’s right, for the first time in quite a while there are still Weekend tickets available for Reading and Leeds the morning after they went on sale. Click here to buy Reading tickets, click here to buy Leeds tickets.

It may have more to do with the £200 ticket price than the line-up, despite the naysayers (there’s been far worse, remember when The Darkness headlined, on one album?), but with further announcements to come, here’s a few bands that could push the festival over the line once again.

In life there are only three certainties – death, taxes, and The Offspring playing Reading and Leeds in the middle of the afternoon. Whilst some may moan that there’s too many “tried and tested” acts on the bill so far this year, there is something to be said for this – can you name any quintessential V bands for example? For Reading and Leeds, a lot of people see bands as being on a “journey”, that it’s nice to see a band go from first on in the Festival Republic tent to eventually getting onto the Main Stage. In that spirit, how about a return for these three from last year:

Mumford & Sons
Despite huge sales for debut album ‘Sigh No More’, the Mumfords have sensibly balanced their radio ubiquity by not milking it on the UK live stage, meaning when they do play, they tend to become packed, celebratory affairs, like year’s NME tent appearance. Again remaining largely elusive, other than a turn as main support to other R&L 2010 heroes Arcade Fire in Hyde Park and a likely Glastonbury slot, there’s not much else on the table for them UK–wise. Big and popular enough to sub-headline, and would easily top the NME stage bill.

Another band who went down brilliantly in the NME tent last year, and if, as with The National, some of Festival Republic’s Latitude bookings are going to grace R&L too, then it’s time for Yannis and co to step up to the main stage. They’d look pretty good on that Saturday line-up, no?

Magnetic Man
Last year’s Dance Tent show stopper, there’s a space in that NME/Radio 1 Stage on Sunday with their name on it surely? If anyone emerges from seeing them and DFA 1979’s full-on bass assault back-to-back with hearing and insides still intact, they’d deserve a medal of some sort.

If repetition isn’t what you were after, sit tight, there are still a lot of stages and artists to be announced, and organisers surely have some other aces up their sleeves. How about:

The Lock-Up Stage
The line-up announcement for the most punk rock festival stage in the country is probably still a couple of months away, but if times are really that tight, it might be time to get a move on – some people literally buy tickets just for this stage, plus the odd disgruntled punter is usually perked up when the bands for this stage are confirmed. Rumours are thin on the ground, with Lock-Up friendly bands like Rise Against, New Found Glory and Jimmy Eat World already confirmed for the Main Stage instead. Less Than Jake, Dropkick Murphys and Social Distortion have been mooted to headline though.

Since their reformation, all the talk has been of a big UK festival outing for Chris Cornell’s grunge titans. People had them down for last year’s R&L, for Sonisphere, many swore they were Download’s secret weapon…nothing. It’s not clear if or when they’re coming over here, but as long as that mysterious “Special Guests” tag appears on Saturday’s bill, as long as there’s still bands to be announced, even way after people have realised the annual Foo Fighters secret gig rumour isn’t happening once again, they are going to top the rumour mill. On Reading’s 50th Anniversary, it’d be a nice nod to its early 90’s period if Jane’s Addiction and Soundgarden were both playing. A Them Crooked Vultures-esque mid-afternoon surprise perhaps?

Daft Punk/Justice
The rumours of Daft Punk UK summer shows have long since faded, so this one might be a bit of a long shot, plus they’re far too big for a Dance Tent or maybe even NME stage. Their compatriots Justice would make superb Dance Tent headliners, or Sunday night NME stage players.

Green Day
I’ll say it here straight and plain – I like My Chemical Romance. I plan to go and see them as things stand in fact. They’ll be a lot of fun, especially if there aren’t loads of bottles like last time. For those that still can’t accept them as headliners, or if the organisers need a “if all else fails, break glass” sure-fire winner, they should send for Billie Joe’s mob. There’d be crazy sing-alongs, stadium punk theatrics (much like there will be with MCR in fact!), and besides, bringing out a new live album, yet not actually coming over to play some more shows is just cruel, right?

In the end though, the festival has picked solid headliners who will all do the job well. It’ll probably still sell out before any of these bands are thrown into in the mix, although some could well be. There’ll no doubt be a few more eye-catching curveballs like OFWGKTA too – booking them is one indication that those involved with Reading And Leeds are still on the ball. Are you really going to risk missing it?

Who do you want to see added to the Reading and Leeds Festival line-ups? Leave your comments below.