One of the UK’s most renowned festivals Leeds and Reading returns this August with an eclectic and anticipated line up. Set across two sites over the course of the weekend, the festival is famed for its musical variety which caters for fans of rock, indie, dance, rap, pop and more. Last year they introduced a second main stage to treat revellers to even more headline quality acts, following the barrenness of the pandemic on the live music industry. The good news is that they are sticking with the two main stages for 2022 as they play host to some of the world’s biggest artists over three nights.
Rage Against The Machine
Politico rap/rock pioneers Rage Against The Machine will make a long awaited comeback to the festival after a lengthy hiatus. While enigmatic frontman Zack De La Rocha and guitar wizard Tom Morello have pursued their own different projects in this time, they will never galvanise a bigger reaction than when performing together under the Rage Against The Machine name. Expect a setlist full of heavy hits including ‘Testify’, ‘Bombtrack’ and ‘Killing In The Name Of’.
Run The Jewels
Hip Hop duo Run The Jewels consist of rappers EI-P and Killer Mike. They have thrived off of collaboration in the past, with notable musical partnerships including ground breaking producer Danger Mouse, Portisheads Geoff Barrow and also Rage’s Zack De La Rocha. RATM and Run The Jewels were due to tour together prior to the pandemic, so this could call for on stage collaboration with them sharing the main bill on the Friday.
Manchester’s Pale Waves will make a huge statement by playing on the Main Stage East off the back of their debut album ‘Who Am I?’ which was released last year. They haven’t rested on their laurels with the album though, as a new single ‘Lies’ has already been released, with another single ‘Unwanted’ due in August.
Denzel Curry will continue the rap/rock theme on Friday night at Leeds. The Miami rapper has also paid homage to headliners RATM with an incredible live lounge cover of their track ‘Bulls On Parade’. This is not to draw attention away from his original work though, as his recent album has seen him tipped as one of America’s most exciting talents at just 26 years of age.
Australia’s DMA’s have the pleasure of performing on Mainstage East to the UK fans who have adopted them as one of the country’s favourite indie acts over recent years. With so much success in the UK, they have been asked why don’t they just move here? Their response was that they couldn’t bear to swap Christmas in the sun for the UK’s less favourable Winter temperatures… Which is fair enough.
Local MC’s Bad Boy Chiller Crew have built a name for themselves through their party anthems and social media antics which sees them billed to perform on the Leeds mainstage, just down the road from their hometown of Bradford.
Since expanding into a five-piece from their formative power trio, The Blinders have worked on evolving their psych-punk brute origins into a more layered sound on their most recent EP ‘Electric Kool Aid’. Catch them on The Festival Republic Stage on Friday to see how the shift in style translates to a live setting.
Singer/Songwriter Brooke Combe plays Leeds Festival with just six singles released so far. Growing up on Motown influences, Combe plays a multitude of instruments and hits the Festival Republic stage amidst a very busy touring period.
Liverpool’s Crawlers are unavoidable at the moment as they contribute to an exciting up and coming Merseyside music scene. The alt-rock band have built a dedicated community of fans that recently saw them play two sold out nights at Liverpool Arts Club followed by a support slot for My Chemical Romance in Warrington. Having signed to Polydor Records in late 2021, they’re set to go from strength to strength ahead of a busy Summer of festivals.
Dave is well known for his festival performances, notably when he invited ‘Alex from Glasto’ on stage to perform with him, sparking a viral sensation. The Brit Award Album Of The Year 2019 winner has encapsulated a vast audience through his socially conscious lyricism as well as his ear for writing a chart hit.
Since releasing one of the most widely acclaimed albums of 2021, Little Simz takes the Friday Night slot on Main Stage East at Leeds Festival. Expect favourites from ‘Sometimes I Might Be An Introvert…’ as well as tracks from the previously acclaimed album ‘Grey Area’.
Catchy indie outfit Circa Waves can guarantee a festival friendly set with a daytime Main Stage slot, featuring hits including ‘T Shirt Weather’, and ‘Movies’.
Brighton’s Black Honey’s second album ‘Written & Directed By’ landed a number 1 spot in the alternative charts last year with a self described “head-rush of grit and glitter”. No strangers to the festival circuit, they take to the Mainstage East on Saturday.
Oxford indie band Glass Animals boast 38 million monthly Spotify listeners, with lead single ‘Heatwaves’ having generated an unbelievable 1.6 billion streams in 2 years. Even if you haven’t directly listened to Glass Animals, chances are that you’ll have heard their songs in passing.
Everyone You Know
Electronic dance duo Everyone You Know bridge a gap between poignant storytelling and skilled musical production to create a generation-defining catalogue which was best described by Steve Lamacq (BBC Radio 6) as ‘sounding like nine at night and seven in the morning.’ Catch them on the Radio 1 Dance Stage on Saturday.
Bone crushing riffs and disgruntled social commentary is the trademark of Hastings’ Kid Kapichi who have released more than an albums worth of the like. Their on stage persona encapsulates the anger and energy in their recorded sound, making for entertaining viewing at The Lockup Stage on the Saturday.
Witch Fever’s confrontational, riff heavy “sonic assault” has seen them grow in acclaim throughout the UK. Without even releasing an album yet, they have built a vast following which was aided by a recent tour supporting Idles. They are set to play The Lockup on Saturday in what could be a milestone performance for Witch Fever.
We’ve reached that time again, where speculation becomes rife as to what Alex Turner and co will bring to the table with their new album, as they gradually drip feed subtle indications to their new musical direction – such as when Twitter went into meltdown over Alex Turner’s goatee ahead of the very goatee justifying ‘Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino’ last time around. Either way, we’ll be sure to see what Arctic Monkeys have conjured up on the closing night of Leeds, as the Yorkshire giants headline the festival for the first time since 2008.
One of 2021’s most celebrated albums was Wolf Alice’s ‘Blue Weekend’. It was shortlisted for a Mercury Prize and was the first number one album for the London outfit. Having first gained attention with a grungier style, Wolf Alice have evolved over time into a more aware and somewhat sentimental sound, while still keeping the grit of their earlier output. They’ll be sure to treat the Leeds audience to tracks from ‘Blue Weekend’ while also revisiting past favourites.
‘Skinty Fia’ is the third album of Fontaines D.C’s career which saw their debut released in just 2019. The prolific nature of their output has seen them rapidly evolve as artists and musicians as they continue on a path of self expression, leaving no stone unturned as they depict topics necessary to them, ranging from their historic Irish roots to the fragility of the human condition.
Kentucky Rapper Jack Harlow heads to Leeds off the back of a stratospheric rise to fame with two platinum albums and a grammy nomination. Having been rapping since he was 11, he cites Eminem, Kanye West and OutKast as big influences.
Wigan’s The Lathum’s upward curve hasn’t really seemed to stop since they were discovered a few years ago. Having recently toured America with their debut album – Leeds’ Main Stage East will be a triumphant port of call on the Sunday afternoon of the festival.
Bring Me The Horizon
Sheffield alternative metal outfit Bring Me The Horizon are something of a staple on the Leeds and Reading bill, with 2022 being their 7th appearance in total.
Leeds and Reading are known to keep punters on their toes with various secret sets throughout the weekend. Keep your eyes on the App (due to launch at a time closer to the festival) for last minute announcements of these secret sets, which in the past have included Jake Bugg, Foals and Green Day.
Only Friday and Saturday day tickets remain for Leeds Festival which can be purchased here.