Reading and Leeds 2014: Best bands to see aside from Arctic Monkeys and Blink 182

Enjoy the main acts but remember to catch some of the best rising stars too

Thousands of festival-goers are preparing to converge upon Reading and Leeds this weekend, but with such an extensive line-up spanning nine stages, it’s impossible to catch every band.

There will be the inevitable set clashes and ‘never heard of them’ moments, coupled with the temptation to rush into the nearest tent should the predicted rain start to pour.

Headliners Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and Blink 182 will prove popular as always, as will other main stage acts from Paramore and Jake Bugg to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

But many of the best acts will be performing elsewhere. The BBC Introducing stage plays host to up‘n’coming talent, so, if you want to be the first to hear the next big thing live, you know where to go.

Be sure to pay attention to some of the great female musicians on the bill, as 56 per cent of this year’s bookings are all-male bands.

Here's our pick of the best acts to check out:

Augustines (Festival Republic Stage)

Formerly known as We Are Augustines, these US indie rockers make a point of interacting with the crowd, making the experience much more personal than just plugging in your headphones. Expect lead man Billy McCarthy to leave the stage and come and sing with the fans at least once.

Red Fang (NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage)

Those wanting a proper mosh should head to see bearded metal band Red Fang, who guarantee an extremely loud, high-energy sweatfest with three albums worth of material.

Milky Chance (BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage)

This German electro duo are fast on the rise after their reggae-influenced single “Stolen Dance” hit number one on Hype Machine last year and topped iTunes charts worldwide.

Rae Morris (BBC Introducing Stage)

You might have heard Rae’s stunning vocals on two of Bombay Bicycle Club’s albums. But she’s more than accomplished in her own right and her mature soulfulness belies her 21 years.

Danny Brown (BBC Radio 1 Xtra Stage)

King of the catchy, Brown’s unique voice and incredible range has seen him win widespread critical acclaim. Prepare for a party.

Warpaint (NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage)

This female foursome make for perfect summer evening listening with their atmospheric post-punk sound and rhythmic jazzy beats.

Wolf Alice (Festival Republic Stage)

Quartet Wolf Alice began life as an acoustic duo, but now the NME favourites produce fierce grungy songs complete with raucous live performances.

King Charles (Festival Republic Stage)

There’s a touch of the Jack Sparrow about this eccentric singer and his songs are just as wild. He’s toured with Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling, but simply cannot be compared to anyone. A bit of a novelty act, but fun.

Gerard Way (NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage)

Now-defunct Reading and Leeds favourites My Chemical Romance might not be rocking this year’s festival, but frontman Gerard will be, in his global live solo debut. Intriguing, if nothing else.

Dry the River (Main Stage)

This East London five-piece shun minimalist chord patterns and generic pop hooks in favour of complex harmonies and anthemic choruses. Hankies at the ready for “No Rest”.

 
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