11 Under-The-Radar Recommendations @ Reading & Leeds 2019 | SMALL FEATURES

So for anyone who has been paying even the slightest attention, the prestigious Reading & Leeds 2019 is next weekend, playing host to a multitude of awesome bands and musicians.

But with all the big names plastered across the board, there lies underneath a vast array of smaller but just as equally capable acts spanning the line-up who deserve more attention.

So if you’re willing to take a chance and have that itch to discover something new, then here’s our top choices…


 

 

 

 

 

 

MILK TEETH

(The Main Stage: Reading Sunday/Leeds Friday)

Admittedly, it’s a little weird kicking off this list with a band who are gracing the main stage, but this is a line-up of acts we feel deserve more attention, and Milk Teeth definitely fall under that category.

The Stroud punk rock trio have such a diverse arsenal, with material ranging from the lighter and melodic Owning Your Okayness, to the heavy-hitting and poignant Fight Skirt, or falling somewhere inbetween with the likes of Stain.

Whatever the style, you’re treated to some banging tracks that are characterised by banging riffs, gritty bass tones, stinging drum currents, and a supreme vocal combo.

If you fancy yourself a dedicated Roadrunner connoisseur, why not put Slipknot, Korn and those other big names aside for a moment and treat yourself to a humbler act who are just as worthy of being on the star-studded roster.

And if you’re dead set on making your way to Reading & Leeds, it’ll be worth being down the front bright and early.


 

 

 

THE FAIM

(Radio 1 Stage: Reading Sunday/Leeds Friday)

The Australian quartet have been making major waves over the last year or so, namely with the release of their Summer Is A Curse EP, and they are riding on a hot momentum in the run-up to their forthcoming debut album.

The aforementioned EP is the perfect showcase of what they have to offer – high-octane alternative pop bangers that are catchy, rich in their sound and oozing with an unrivaled passion from each of the members, particularly frontman Josh, who gives it bare minimum 110% in whatever he does.

It’s surely only a matter of time before these four start to become regular faces in the charts, so best get down to see what all the hype is about.


 

 

 

 

 

THE LAFONTAINES

(BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage: Reading Friday/Leeds Saturday)

The greatest gift that Motherwell has ever delivered to the world?

Maybe, but what is certain is that rap-rockers The Lafontaines are a hot commodity that truly stand on their own, head and shoulders above the rest, firmly established as one of Scotland’s quintessential acts, and yet we are amazed that they’ve still to truly make that breakthrough, even if they did climb into the Top 40 earlier this year.

They’ve got a trio of staggering albums to their name, donning an extensive collection of content that is utterly wild and thrilling, guaranteed to get the blood pumping with massive thumping rhythms, from there continually holding your attention with a mixture of Kerr’s phenomenal work on the mic and fiercely sharp-witted writing that connects on another level.


 

DREAM STATE

(The Pit: Reading Friday/Leeds Saturday)

The Welsh music scene is undeniably abundant with cracking musical talent, including the likes of Junior, Holding Absence and the act in question here – Dream State.

Back when they were just getting started, we already saw a tonne of potential lying underneath, and they’ve only went above and beyond what we expected from them, rightfully developing a reputation as a major force to be reckoned with at the top of the nation’s underground metal picture.

Be it in their music or on stage, they never fail to bring forth this unbridled raw passion that results in these exceptional blinders that are not only damn heavy and exhilarating, but defined by these emotionally ripe, heart-tugging lyrics that effectively leave a lasting impact.

They have earned their spot, and if they continue going strength to strength the way they have been doing so, then the heights that these talented folk are going to reach will be ridiculously insane.


 

 

 

 

HOT MILK

(The Pit: Reading Sunday/Leeds Friday)

We can’t remember the last time an underground band emphatically burst onto the rock scene and rose up the ranks as swiftly as Hot Milk, but it’s well earned.

The self-proclaimed “emo powerpop” outfit are a tour de force, so far delivering a flawless streak of superb numbers, and given the talent on hand, that should come as little surprise.

Jim and Hann are not only fine guitarists but an astounding vocal pairing who match up as perfectly as you could get, and the team of Tom and Harry on the bass and kit respectively are a sturdy team that add an extra kick to already packed tunes.

They are going to be huge, they just are, it’s practically inevitable.


 

 

THE SNUTS

(Festival Republic Stage: Reading Sunday/Leeds Friday)

Back in 2017, we had the privilege of getting to review the Whitburn boys’ debut EP – The Matador – and being happy with the results, while also stating them to be “an act brimming with a lot of potential and are sure destined for greater things sooner than later”.

Well, it’s nice to see that the talented bunch have actually been given their due, garnering more attention as the months roll on.

It’s safe to say that they have developed into one of Scotland’s chief indie rock acts, and if you’ve been unfortunate to have not been exposed to their range of infectiously engaging numbers, then get yourself acquainted ASAP.


VISTAS

(Festival Republic Stage: Reading Sunday/Leeds Friday)

And yet another top-notch young act flying the Saltire at the festival.

Similarly to The Snuts, the Edinburgh natives have been turning heads over the last year and quickly forming a wide fanbase, and also like The Snuts, their music has been good from day one and only gotten sweeter.

The trio consistently spoil us with brilliant, bouncing tunes loaded to the lid with stimulating choruses, zealous vocal performances and dazzling guitars. What’s not to like?


KID KAPICHI

(BBC Introducing Stage: Reading Sunday/Leeds Friday)

Perhaps our favourite discovery to ever emerge from Hastings, the lads reeled us in early last year and impressed us and many others with a superb EP, being quick to top themselves with an even better sequel just recently.

Their backlog is choc-a-bloc with hard-edged rock tracks that are blunt and rugged, dripping in these stern punk overtones, and that subtle harshness has them standing out from the rest of the pack in our estimations.


MANTRA

(Radio 1 Stage: Reading Sunday/Leeds Friday)

We’ve been closely following the London three-piece as far back as the Lyger days. We’ve known from the start that they were talented, and we are so happy that more and more are also beginning to realise that fact.

Nothing but tasty rock belters with great writing and addictively gritty rhythms from these guys, and they are only improving with each passing year. Hopefully they’ll be at a status beyond “under the radar” sooner than later.


LION

(BBC Introducing Stage: Reading Saturday/Leeds Sunday)

Beth Lowen waltzed into the picture last year and had a throng of ears pointed in her direction when she made a sheer mark with her smashing self-titled debut EP, which she has followed up on nicely with a pair of even better singles.

Personifying her is a palpable charisma and a marvelously gruff, magnetic voice which she uses as an effective tool to draw listeners into her compelling, impeccably written songs.

She may be small now, but she definitely holds all the essential qualities to rise above and carve bigger successes in the near future. Only time will tell.


ISHANI

(BBC Introducing Stage: Reading Saturday/Leeds Sunday)

There are few artists in the country, big or small, who have made a connection with us in the way Ishani has since she came to our attention in 2018.

She stands apart from others with her dazzling class of electropop which is attractive, yet haunting. Elevating this aspect is her magically enchanting vocal ability and seriously mature writing skills that just captivates like nothing else.

You couldn’t have asked for a better choice to represent not only women at a major festival, but also the Asian music community, which we wouldn’t mind seeing given more exposure if it means being more talent like Ishani being exhibited to us, and the general public as a whole, for that matter.

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