ARTICLES BY: Lauren Briner

Lauren Briner

The 1975

Sunday 11:55 PM

Reading Festival 2022 comes to a close, with a stellar set from The 1975

The 1975 have now headlined Reading & Leeds Festival twice in the space of three years – that’s no mean feat.

Suited and booted, the Brit-award winning band closed out this year’s festival with a bang. The setlist was an eclectic mix from their four number one albums, with too many highlights to count. Including tracks spanning pop-rock, shoegaze and post-punk, the band showcased their impressive and diverse range when it comes to musical styles.

If we had to pick, our favourites would include ‘Love Me’, ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’, stripped-down ‘A Change Of Heart’ and finale anthem ‘Give Yourself A Try.’ With each hit, the Manchester-based band fronted by Matty Healy (often with cigarette in hand) mesmerise us with their captivating live performance.

Newly released track ‘Happiness’ was a special moment too, with the saxophone stealing the show, remnant of a ready-made The 1975 hit. Plus, it teased the upcoming release of their new album ‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language’ this October, and we can’t wait.  Taking it back a few years, when they last headlined the festival, they had debuted in-your-face punk anthem ‘People’, and tonight three years on, it still emanates with the same magic live as it did then.

The fans non-stop adoration and constant energy for the pop-rock band throughout their career, means that this is a highlight for The 1975, with Matty declaring the headline show means a lot to them, and we can certainly see why.

Charli XCX

Sunday 9:11 PM

Queen of pop Charli XCX heats up Sunday’s Main Stage

Tonight we were blessed with the presence of pop royalty in the form of singer-songwriter Charli XCX. As soon as the heavy bass boomed out from the speakers, hoards of screaming fans ran to the stage to set their eyes on the iconic hitmaker.

Starting off with ‘Lightning’, a track on her latest studio album ‘CRASH’ released earlier this year, Charli lit up the stage instantly with a high-energy, non-stop dance party. Accompanied by two dancers, tune after tune her electropop fusion got the crowd warmed up and ready for the night ahead.

Next up was Icona Pop’s viral hit ‘I Love It’ (which she infamously wrote), which had the crowd raring to go and screaming for more. Other highlights included classic ‘Boom Clap’, nostalgic anthem ‘1999’ and explosive ‘Vroom Vroom.’

She’s the perfect festival booking – she never disappoints. Drawing larger and larger crowds each time, Charli XCX keeps cementing her status as THE Queen of British pop.

Run The Jewels

Sunday 7:09 PM

Worldwide legends Run The Jewels shine bright on the Main Stage

Hip-hop duo and international superstars Run The Jewels gifted us with a high-energy set

for the history books this evening.

You can feel the anticipation in the crowd for the duo to arrive, made up of Brooklyn-based rapper and producer EI-P and Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike, and they didn’t disappoint.

Entering the stage in a cloud of smoke, the pair were met with a pit jam-packed of loyal fans ready to let loose. As they played legendary tracks such as ‘Legend Has It’, ‘ooh la la’ and ‘walking in the snow’, the crowd lost their minds as the mosh pits opened up.

With an impressive light show, immaculate vibes and endless energy, the pair showcased hit upon hit, spanning across 8 years of banger-packed albums. This was definitely not one to miss.


Sunday 6:52 PM

Aussie favourites DMAs bring their Britpop inspired indie-rock to the Main Stage

Hailing from Sydney, everyone’s favourite Australian three-piece DMA’s rocked the Reading Main Stage today.

Formed of frontman and lead vocalist Tommy O’Dell, Matt Mason and Johnny Took, the trio have exploded onto the scene and taken the UK (and the world) by storm. With their acoustic guitars and infamous pop-choruses, the band have been influenced by Britpop, Bob Dylan and New Order. Their debut album ‘Hills End’, released in 2016 was met with critical acclaim and spawned a solid army of fans, culminating in a sold-out show at Ally Pally and bagged support slots for icon Liam Gallagher.

Fans were treated to indie classics ‘Delete’, ‘Lay Down’ and ‘Silver’, where Tommy’s dulcet tones and catchy singalong choruses had everyone up on their friend’s shoulders, soaking it all in. They also spoilt us with dance-tinged new song ‘I Don’t Need To Hide It’ (which has only been played live twice before) had the crowd grooving away in unison.

A huge moment was their Triple J cover of Cher’s pop ballad ‘Believe’, a slowed-down dreamy track that was the perfect soundtrack to the Sunday setting sun.

Pale Waves

Sunday 5:14 PM

Indie-pop sensations Pale Waves take the Main Stage by storm

Manchester’s finest, four-piece Pale Waves took to the Main Stage to gift us a set filled to the brim with pop-punk anthems.

Since they released their debut album ‘My Mind Makes Noises’ back in 2018, the band have had quite the ride. From making the BBC Sound of 2018 shortlist to touring with tonight’s headliners, and fellow Dirty Hit label mates The 1975, they’ve done it all.

The band have just released a new album this month, ‘Unwanted’, with their opening track featuring thundering beats ‘Lies’ and finale hit ‘Jealousy’ taken from it. Though the songs are currently less well known than their older classics, they were still met with the same raucous energy from the crowd. Other crowd favourites included smash hits ‘Television Romance’ and ‘There’s A Honey’, which were the perfect way to warm us up for a final evening of unmissable music.

The band have evolved into a harder, heavier sound with their new music, but with the same same irresistible guitar riffs and thumping beats, they’re sure to win over fans, old and new.


Sunday 5:00 PM

Liverpool newcomers Courting take to the Festival Republic Stage

Liverpudlian indie four-piece Courting caused a riot on a rammed Festival Republic Stage this afternoon, with the pumped-up crowd jumping in unison as frontman Sean Murphy O’Neill calls on us for more energy. You wouldn’t have guessed it’s the final day of the festival, that’s for sure.

Although still in college, the band have already released EP ‘Grand National’, supported the likes of Sports Team, FEET and Heavy Lungs, and are now signed to Nice Swan Records. With their debut album ‘Guitar Music’ on the way this September, they’re already making moves.

They’ve got a range of influences, from Britpop, to post-punk, generating their grittiness and catchy melodies, especially crowd-pleasers ‘Tennis’, which was accompanied by flying tennis balls (of course), thrashing single ‘Grand National’ and rage-fuelled ‘Football.’ They even had an interlude of Icona Pop’s ‘I Love It’ which certainly got the crowd moving and warmed up ready for Charli XCX’s set later tonight.

The raucous lot have just released a new song this month, ‘Jumper’, and when played it was met with head nodding and mosh pits all over. We love that they don’t take themselves too seriously, which makes them an incredibly fun act to watch.

Arctic Monkeys

Saturday 11:55 PM

Arctic Monkeys return in a UK Reading & Leeds exclusive

The moment we’ve ALL been waiting for. Arctic Monkeys are back, after not playing on home soil since 2018, they treated Reading fans to an exclusive night to remember.

Fronted by Alex Turner, and made up of Jamie Cook, Nick O’Malley and Matt Helders, the band have been around since 2002, with their iconic indie-rock, made distinct by Alex Turner’s smooth, buttery vocals. Across the twenty years, the band have released six studio albums, making for an impressive back catalogue to devise their setlist from. There was an air of anticipation and mystery in the audience as we all speculated what they’d play tonight.

Starting off with a bang, the indie-rock band played ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, which was met by the fans shouting back every single word.  Whilst some of their older, classic hits such as ‘Brianstorm’,  ‘Crying Lightning’, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ and head-bopper ‘Teddy Picker’ set the stage alight and kept the OG fans happy – delighted to have seen such infamous indie anthems in the flesh. An unexpected performance of ‘That’s Where You’re Wrong’, from ‘Suck It And See’ remind us of the greatness of some of their less frequently played tracks.

The band also previewed some new music, which is set to pick up where ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’ left off. Recently announced, we’ll be able to get our hands on new album ‘The Car’ in October this year, and we can’t wait. Funky new track ‘I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am’ won over an eager crowd who’ve been waiting to hear new music for a very long time.

Despite a change in direction musically with their last album, the band’s vigour, high-energy performances have remained a constant through the years. With a huge disco ball donning the word ‘Monkeys’ glittering across the field, encore tracks ‘Arabella’ and ‘R U Mine?’ sealed the deal, ending the set in spectacular style, the only way we expected Arctic Monkeys to.

Wolf Alice

Saturday 9:10 PM

Wolf Alice are the perfect festival band – they never disappoint. The four-piece alternative-rock band formed more than a decade ago, but tonight’s performance showed that just when you think it’s not possible, they keep getting better and better.

The band, made up of frontwoman Ellie Roswell, bassist Theo Ellis, drummer Joel Amey and guitarist Joff Oddie, now have three massive studio albums under their belt, each of which have resulted in worldwide praise and have solidified an ever-growing fanbase. The setlist tonight was the perfect pic’n’mix of all three.

Grunge-tinged songs like ‘You’re A Germ’ and gritty ‘Giant Peach’ spurred on the mosh pits, whilst downtempo, mesmerising ‘Bros’ and the dreamy harmonies from Ellie and drummer Joel of ‘Safe From Heartbreak (If You Ever Fall In Love)’ were the perfect backdrop to the stunning sunset. Their unique blend of indie-rock, grunge and dream-pop, meant there was something for everyone.

From starting track, head-banger ‘Smile’, to finale ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’, Wolf Alice showcased the diverse range of styles in their music. Other favourites included ‘Formidable Cool’ from their Mercury Prize winning album ‘Visions Of A Life’ and new tracks from their latest album ‘Blue Weekend’, especially banger ‘How Can I Make It OK?’ and ‘Play The Greatest Hits’, a rage-fuelled

Having frequented Reading Festival many, many times, the band are so comfortable up on the Main Stage, you wonder when their chance will come to headline altogether.

Fontaines D.C.

Saturday 7:25 PM

Irish stars Fontaines D.C. make their roaring Reading debut on the Main Stage

Formed in 2017, the post-punk band Fontaines D.C. have experienced an impressive trajectory in the last few years. With a shared love for poetry, the quintet fronted by Grian Chatten always stun with a high-energy, passionate set.

They’ve had quite the rapid rise to stardom. Their debut album ‘Dogrel’ was listed as Rough Trade’s Album of the Year in 2019, as well as being nominated for the Mercury Prize. Since then, they’ve released two more much-loved albums, most recently ‘Skinty Fia’ in 2022, toured internationally and sold out Alexandra Palace. How have they managed to pack it all in? The band never shy away from experimenting, proving they’re able to evolve with every new album.

They’re about to take America by storm with a headline tour in September, but for now they have drawn a crowd as far as the eye can see, ready to see them make their Reading Festival debut. Highlights included classics ‘Sha Sha Sha’, ‘Too Real’ and ‘Televised Mind.’ Mosh pits propped up all over as soon as the first chords were struck, with Irish flags on the shoulders of proud revellers in the crowd.

They even brought up a fan (Dexter) to play guitar for one of their oldest singles ‘Boys in the Better Land’, which went down an absolute storm with the packed-out, rowdy crowd, whilst newer songs such as ‘Jackie Down The Line’ and closing track ‘I Love You’ were met with the same adoration.

The band combined Irish angst with their beautiful, poetic lyricism which is delivered so effortlessly by Grian, making for a truly captivating show.

Enter Shikari

Saturday 6:41 PM

Reading residents Enter Shikari rock out on the Main Stage

They’re back! Judging by the masses of fans eagerly awaiting the band’s performance, Reading Festival couldn’t wait to see Enter Shikari play today.

Formed way back when in 2003 in St Albans, the band have played something like 2000 live shows – impressive right? They’ve released 6 studio rock albums to date since, each fusing their unique blend of electronic rock, punk rock, electronica, dubstep and drum and bass.

Highlights today included classics ‘Juggernauts’, ‘Arguing With Thermometers’ and the up-tempo (174bpm to be precise) ‘Anaesthetist.’ Each had lead vocalist Rou Reynolds mixing it up between rapping, singing and screaming, which combined with heavy baselines, which was met with mosh pits galore.

Their often politically-charged lyrics have covered topics such as climate change, a message which mirrors the ‘No Music On A Dead Planet’ mantra of Reading & Leeds Festival 2022.

With all the classics, plus a special rendition of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’, Enter Shikari surely gave us one of the weekend’s top highlights.


Saturday 2:56 PM

Dreams come true for Dayglow, as they bring their infectious sunshine indie-pop to the Main Stage

Starting out the blocks with their rendition of disco anthem ‘Funkytown’, Texan group Dayglow brought their groovy, sun-soaked indie-pop to the Main Stage this lunchtime.

From the days of their debut album ‘Fuzzybrain’, released in 2018, Dayglow have already attracted a loyal following and today won the hearts and minds of the Reading crowd.

Funk-alternative hits filled with jangly guitars and 80s-style synths such as ‘Hot Rod’, and RIAA platinum track ‘Can I Call You Tonight?’ were met with claps in unison and revellers on shoulders in the afternoon sun.  Frontman Sloan Struble’s effortlessly cool dancing matched with the catchy melodies of new track ‘Then It All Goes Away’ and finale hit ‘Close To You’, both got the crowd grooving away.

Unbelievably, this was the band’s first appearance at a British festival – they said it was a dream come true, but the pleasure was all ours. With a new album on the way (due for release this October), we hope they’ll be back soon.


Friday 11:55 PM

Dave makes his unforgettable debut headline performance on the Reading 2022 Main Stage

As the first headline act of this year’s festival, Streatham’s finest Dave kicked off Reading Festival 2022 with an explosive set this Friday night.

At just 24, the talented star raps, sings, plays guitar and piano – he sure is an incredibly talented artist. You can see his diverse range of influences in the music he produces, spanning from Afrobeats to gospel, to R&B. Back in 2019, he was a second-stage headliner, whereas tonight he had the captive attention of a massive, hyped-up audience as this year’s first headliner, and rightly so.

It’s been quite the journey for Dave so far, with his debut body of work ‘Psychodrama’ winning the Mercury Prize back in 2019, and ‘We’re All In This Alone Together’ becoming the biggest rap album in all of a decade. He mentions that he almost failed music in college, something no one could believe now judging by his awe-inspiring success. Some of his tracks also have a more political meaning, sending powerful messages about knife crime in the UK and its impact on a younger generation.

Dave spoiled us tonight with smash hits such as ‘Funky Friday’, ‘No Words’ and ‘Twenty to One’, which all went off with a bang. And that’s not all – not one, but two special guests joined Dave up on stage. First, AJ Tracey joined him for their anthem ‘Thiago Silva’ and later on in the set, Stormzy burst onto the stage, donned with love heart sunglasses to help perform their lockdown-lifted summer hit ‘Clash.’

Megan Thee Stallion

Friday 11:26 PM

Matriarch of the rap world – Megan Thee Stallion

Hailing from Houston, Texas, critically-acclaimed artist and THREE-time Grammy winner, Megan Thee Stallion blessed us with a colossal performance on the Main Stage.

Her setlist featured certified banger after banger, with rap hits such as ‘Freak Nasty’, ‘Simon Says’ and ‘WAP’ drawing a pumped-up crowd as far as you could see. She also treated us to songs from her recently released album ‘Traumazine’, which, judging by the reaction of her adoring fans, is set to gain the same widespread affection as the albums that have come before it.

With her infectious energy, incredible dancing (the girl can move), and the production to match, Megan stole the show. Spotlight moments were hit rap track ‘Body’ and when she invited up some of her army of fans, affectionately known as ‘Thee Hotties’, to the stage. They mirrored her energy from start to finish, with dance battles galore.

All in all, this was a set jam-packed with infectious hip-hop beats that were just too good not to dance to, Megan surely proved her rightful place as a future headliner.

Little Simz

Friday 8:14 PM

The incredibly talented Little Simz bosses the Main Stage

Mercury Prize and MOBO nominated international superstar Little Simz graced us with her powerful live performance on the Main Stage this evening.

The multi-talented London based rapper, singer and actress has shot to fame and for good reason too. Influenced by hip hop, soul, funk, jazz and grime, the Brit-award winning artist stunned a wide-eyed crowd with the likes of ‘Woman’, ‘Boss’ and closer ‘Venom.’

As soon as the first notes of ‘Introvert’ rang out across the field, the crowd erupted. The hitmaker’s funky melodies and thumping beats surely put us in the party mood. Matched with her impressively pitch-perfect non-stop vocals, this was an unmissable set full of energy.

With an extensive backlog to now choose from, the rapper’s setlist covered a range of hits from both her latest album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, Mercury Prize nominated album ‘GREY Area’ and beyond.  The catchy keyboard melody of ‘Speed’ had the crowd jumping, whilst the heavy guitar riff in ‘Offence’ mirrored the impressive energy emanating from the stage. Other favourites included funky soul-fuelled ‘Selfish’ and ‘101 FM’ to which she dedicated to her hometown London.

Little Simz certainly gave us a performance we won’t forget, proving her rightful place on the Reading Main Stage.


Friday 5:37 PM

Newcomers DEADLETTER grace the BBC Music Introducing Stage with unbeatable energy

Hailing from Yorkshire, but now based in South London, six-piece post-punk collective DEADLETTER brought their rowdy energy to the BBC Music Introducing stage today.

Already signed to Nice Swan Records, they surely are set for big things. With a mix of post-punk and garage, combined with the coolness of the saxophone, they have a unique sound, which pricked the ears of passers-by who stumbled upon them.

Favourites included their second single ‘Fit For Work’ which had everyone’s heads bopping. Their often political lyrics seem to resonate with the energetic crowd, making them relatable and fun to watch. These are a band worth keeping an eye on.


Friday 5:36 PM

TikTok royalty PinkPantheress has Reading Festival swept off their feet

It’s only been a minute since PinkPantheress first uploaded her first TikTok with song ‘Just a Waste.’ Since then, the breakout 21-year-old star from Bath has sold out shows in London, attracted almost 9 million monthly Spotify listeners and won BBC’s Sound of 2022. Today she packs out the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage and we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

She’s one of the most exciting acts to see at this year’s festival. Starting off with crowd-pleaser bop ‘Break it off’ she gives us her infectious energy straight from the off. Tracks fused with bedroom pop, drum and bass, and 2 step garage, matched with her soothing and sometimes melodramatic lyrics, get the adoring crowd grooving away.

Her sound has a nostalgic feel to it, mostly contributed by the range of samples used from the 1990s and early 2000s, but she puts her own, unique spin on things. Highlights included lo-fi hip-hop-esque ‘Pain’, TikTok viral hit ‘Break It Off’ and ‘Attracted To You’, a shorter track which leaves us wanting more. She even treated us to recently released disco-house single ‘Picture in my mind’ which went down a storm.

With a performance filled with effortless coolness and boundless energy and an album on the way early next year, PinkPantheress is here to stay.

Piri & Tommy

Friday 2:33 PM

We’ve got a ‘soft spot’ for Piri & Tommy

Bouncing onto a packed-out BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage, Piri & Tommy gave us an energy-fuelled dance party to remember.

The Manchester duo burst onto the scene when their iconic drum and bass track ‘soft spot’ went viral on TikTok. Since then, they’ve skyrocketed into stardom, with the song amassing over 12 million streams.

Sophie McBurnie (aka Piri) is the brains behind the lyrics, and producer Tommy Villiers is in charge of the beats and rhythm. They’re the perfect match, with each track on their setlist today combining old school dance sounds and garage beats, with feel-good singalong choruses. With beach balls flying and the crowd jumping, their music is the perfect backdrop to an exciting first day at the festival.

The pair draw their influences from an eclectic range of genres. The jangly guitar intro on ‘Beachin’’, shows they can do it all. Other highlights included latest single ‘On&On’ (released July), iconic banger ‘words’ and infamous track ‘soft spot.’ Each song had the crowd shouting back the lyrics at the pair, to their amazement.

With lots of unreleased music on its way, we’re excited to see where these two end up.


Friday 2:31 PM

Kicking off the festival with Honeyglaze on the BBC Music Introducing Stage

South London-based trio Honeyglaze rose to the occasion this afternoon as they opened the BBC Music Introducing Stage.  With their hazy, infectious indie-rock, this set was a dreamy way to start today’s music. Formed just before the first lockdown, they’ve already attracted a solid fan base and have impressed the likes of Dan Carey and his team at Speedy Wunderground and often frequent The Windmill in London.

The band love to put their live performance first – ensuring the rawness of their music comes across in both the recording studio and on stage. With many influences spanning from 60s soul to 90s dream pop, they’ve already released their self-titled debut album in April this year, which features belters ‘Burglar’, ‘Creative Jealousy’ and latest single ‘Female Lead.’ Today’s highlights included ‘Shadows’ and closing song ‘Childish Things’ which both showed off the band’s dreamy riffs and Anouska Sokolow’s soft, soulful but powerful vocals.

If you didn’t catch them, you definitely missed out. The band showed us they’re an act you definitely want to get to know.