Reading and Leeds festival 2018
As the gates swing open...

Off to Leeds or Reading this weekend? So are we!

Stuck for who to watch? Never fear, here’s Clash’s top picks for your weekend.

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Dream Wife

Bad bitches to the front. Not only are Icelandic-Brighton trio Dream Wife effortlessly cool, they’re one of indie’s noisiest #metoo warriors. Creating a safe space for anyone who identifies as female is the focus of their gigs and screaming amongst their playful choruses and sharp guitars is a kick-ass message of female solidarity.

Listen to: 'FUU'

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Kendrick Lamar

After watching Kendrick Lamar’s late afternoon slot at Leeds Fest 2015, Clash predicted he would be a future headliner. Fast forward three years; and here we are.

Since then of course he’s packed out his set list with juggernaut bangers from modern rap classic ‘Damn’, the jazzy meandering ‘untitled unmastered’ and the ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack which he produced and curated. Expect a monster beast of a set from the biggest rapper in the world right now.

Listen to: 'Swimming Pools (Drank)'

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Bring Me The Horizon

Ok, they're not officially on the line-up but frontman Oli Sykes dropped a serious hint on Radio One earlier this week that BMTH would be making a secret set appearance at this year's RANDL. It's been three year's since the Sheffield bruisers released their electronic-led album 'That's The Spirit', but now the hype machine has started up again.

Sixth album ‘Amo’ is due in Jan and the band dropped first single ‘Mantra’ this week showing a groovy, more elastic sound. This could well be the last time they play this fest below the headline spot.

Listen to: 'Shadow Moses'

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D Block Europe

D Block Europe, or duo Young Adz and Dirtbike LB, are riding a dizzying rise through the ranks of London rap at the moment. ‘Any Minute Now’, their recent collab with fellow up-and-comer Yxng Bane, has completely blown up with millions of views on YouTube. Their sound, which sees them hop between rap, R&B, afro-swing and drill, pits them as one of the newest and most exciting acts on this year's bill.

Listen to: ‘Gucci Mane’.

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Derry's Touts wear their influences as subtly as a man honking snot into a handkerchief. This is angry, middle-finger-to-the-establishment punk that nods openly to The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers. They're on early so get down there for a wake-up slice of visceral rebellion.

Listen to: 'Sold Out'

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Sunflower Bean

Brooklyn's Sunflower Bean released one of the best indie albums of recent years in their second album 'Twentytwo In Blue'. That record saw their dreamy amalgamation of shoegaze and psych rock take on a poppier sheen reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac and promises to provide anthemia galore.

Listen to: ‘I Was A Fool’

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Ocean Wisdom

Ocean Wisdom’s tongue-twisting displays of lyrical skill need to be seen to be believed. His title has now been snatched but until recently the Brighton rapper was revealed to be the "world's fastest rapper". Tracks like ‘Splittin' The Racket’ and ‘Eye Contact’ are breath-taking displays of wordplay in thrall to 90’s hip hop and jungle.

Listen to: ‘Splittin’ The Racket’

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Lime green-haired Finn Alma has supported MØ, is BFF’s with Charlie XCX and has racked up over 56 million streams of her single ‘Chasing Highs’ since its release last year. She has a penchant for writing Dua Lipa meets Sia gems and with her husky voice, developed after years of listening to punk, she’s on course to be crowned pop royalty.

Listen to: ‘Chasing Highs’

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Black Peaks

Not only are Black Peaks about to release one of the rock albums of the year, they absolute slay live. Tracks like ‘Say You Will’ and recent single ‘Electric Fires’ are thundering slabs of Tool and Oceanside meets Mastodon riffery and dexterity, while frontman Will Gardner's vocals will literally peel the skin from your skull. You've been warned.

Listen to: ‘Say You Will’

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Reading and Leeds festival runs between August 24th - 26th.

Words: Danni Leivers

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