Reading and Leeds is one of the many UK festivals that love to celebrate and give young and upcoming artists a chance to play at one of the biggest and best festivals on the planet, and we’re all here for it. We’ve hand picked a few of them that you just can’t afford to miss before they become huge.
Blondes – Festival Republic Stage | Friday | 12pm
Drawing upon their experiences as five young adults coming of age in unusual times, Blondes capture both the euphoria of adolescence and the nostalgia of growing up in their unique brand of guitar and synth driven indie pop.
Since forming at the University of Nottingham at the end of 2017, the quintet started out by playing covers in bars and building a growing following in their ‘home’ city of Nottingham, that’s since expanded across the world. The five boys met as freshers, when childhood friends Stroudy (guitar & drums) and Mark (guitar & keys), both from Chester, recruited Will Potter (vocals & keys), Alex Davison (guitar & drums), and Tom Herbert (bass) to join the band.
Fur – BBC Music Introducing Stage | Friday | 1:30pm
FUR met in Brighton. With the time it takes to get a degree (or not) they made a name for themselves as one of the UK’s most promising bands. Through live shows and releases soaked in 60s reminiscence.
Nova Twins – The Lock up | Saturday | 6:15pm
Trailblazers in their own right, Nova Twins use their platform to champion diversity and inclusivity with a high-octane, genre-warping approach; one that is present in every song they write and every performance they deliver. Turning heads in all of their endeavours, the duo creates a remarkable depth of sound via a myriad of bass and guitar pedals – a secret recipe they have tweaked and refined over the years, whilst dogmatically avoiding synthesizers in the process. Clearly the girls are onto something, having won Best UK Breakthrough Band at the Heavy Music Awards 2020.
STONE – BBC Music Introducing Stage | Friday | 3:15pm
STONE are Fin Power (vocals/guitar), Sarah Surrage (bass), Elliot Gill (lead guitar) and Alex Smith (drums).
In true Gen Z fashion, STONE are a diffusion of the limitless cultures and subcultures they’ve had access to growing up in the digital age. In keeping with the idea of ‘punk’ being more an ethos than any one genre or scene – the band cite inspiration everywhere from IDLES and Sonic Youth to The Streets and AJ Tracey, with Mike Skinner’s spoken-word style being Fin’s primary lyrical inspiration.Through their music, the band hope to capture the dizzying experience of youth culture in Liverpool and the paradox of their own young adulthood as they navigate the limbo between youth and maturity.
Finn Askew – BBC Music Introducing Stage | Sunday | 5:35pm
For proof that remarkable talent can flourish in the most unexpected places, look no further than Finn Askew. Hailing from a sleepy market town in Somerset, the 19-year-old singer-songwriter could scarcely be further removed from any sort of music scene, and yet he’s raising the bar for the rest of the industry with his soulful yet streetwise sound. As engaging and passionate in person as he is on record, today Finn recalls a near-idyllic childhood in the countryside, shielded from the harsher realities of city living. He describes his home life as happy, his family as creative, and credits his father for his early appreciation of music.