Different Strokes: a Reading and Leeds 2011 preview

We square up to the rock weekender, Spotify playlist included

Photographer:Peter Corkhill

Daniel Fahey - 18 August 2011

Download our Reading and Leeds Spotify Playlist.

Now I’ve heard of these two.
Of course you have, they’re the notorious cheap-booze-snuck-in-down-my-pants-induced coming of age rampage with musical accompaniment from some rasping rock renegades. Expect a rump of ‘Class Of 2011’ hoodies, permanent marker cocks scrawled on faces and legs, shoeless crowd-surfers and enough rock n roll to make pebble butties for the nation.

Hoody and pens at the ready, where am I heading then? Reading or Leeds?
Well, and for the first time in an age, you can still buy weekend tickets for both so it’s up to you. I’m not getting into the argument fully – we all know Leeds is better. But you can buy Reading 2011 tickets and nab Leeds 2011 tickets; both start on Friday 26 August and run until Sunday 28.

If it doesn’t matter, hit me up with some music then.
These are your five to see:

Woo! Hip hop has gone punk. This LA collective are barely out of their nappies but are already making critics brown their undies with their un-PC lyrics, raucous live shows and we don’t give a shit attitude. Hey, they’ve even sacked off Leeds for a video awards ceremony. No messin’.

Why only a DJ set, only the organisers can say, but this masked producer has already released a post-dubstep, garage-laden beaut of an album that should smooth in proceedings on the Dance Stage rather agreeably.

The Streets
Mike Skinner may be hanging up his headphones and – hopefully – shredding his three-quarter lengths, but the every-geezer musical legacy he’s left can only be bettered by an interactive farewell bow-out, so make sure you’re part of it.

60s-infused bubblegum indie pop may sound like some swell blue-sky thinking from a Coca Cola executive, but it’s a speciality of New York duo Cults. Expect waltzing guitar-lines, hip-thrusting bass bumps and even xylophone solos in the Festival Republic Stage.

These New York hardcore pioneers have always been twenty steps ahead of the game and with their latest self-released EP ‘coloring book’ they prove again that they’re on a different page to their contemporaries. A rare pair of festival shows will bring out their legion of devotees for a versatile mix of metal and alternative rock flavours from their first two full lengths and beyond. Expect the unexpected.

Is that it?
Of course not, Muse are going to play ‘Origin Of Symmetry’ on some sort of home stage, The Strokes and Pulp will play their last festival shows over here for a while and My Chemical Romance are, erm, booked to play too. Other treats include Death From Above 1979, Fucked Up, Bombay Bicycle Club, Jane’s Addiction, The Bronx (and Mariachi el Bronx), Mount Kimbie, Little Roy, The Horrors and Tom Vek. They’re really spoiling us lower down the bill.

And what if I’m sick of the music?
Then head to the Alternative Stage where you can see performances from Saul Williams and Henry Rollins as well as rib-ticklers Tim Minchin, Tom Wrigglesworth, Mark Thomas and loads more besides. You can also chuck a few quid at the fun fair, or for free, join in with the notorious campsite shenanigans, which should suffice for a smile or six.


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