Saturday at Reading was set to be a busy day. Reading and Leeds Festival is a festival I’ve followed and watched on TV for years, and the reality of being there to cover it had finally sunk in. Filling me with adrenaline I was beyond ready to see some of my favourite bands and discover new favourites.

Gender Roles are a band I’m relatively new to after discovering them on a Spotify made for me playlist. One of the most fun things at a festival can be going in to see a band relatively blind and discovering a new favourite. Although I knew a few songs, I had no idea what to expect. Coming away from the performance, Gender Roles are a band I’d love to see again live. Everything about their performance made me excited about them as a band. Even with a few technical hiccups nothing seemed to phase the trio. Embracing not being perfect and slick just added to an all around good vibe. Their songs had the perfect atmosphere for a festival and You Look Like Death, really got the crowd going even harder than they already were. Throughout the entire performance, you couldn’t help but think more people should know about this band. With the performance they gave at Reading, there’s not a single doubt they’ll be blowing up within the next year.

Another new discovery was Dead Poet Society. With it being their first time in the UK they blew the crowd away. With non stop energy from the get go, barely stopping to catch a breath, it was so much fun diving straight into this band for the first time. At the end of the performance I was left wanting to go back and listen to everything and anything they had released. Beaming with excitement, it was an infectious atmosphere, and another band it’s easy to imagine playing larger stages in the near future.

Stepping in at the last minute, You Me At Six gave fans a blast of nostalgia with tracks such as Reckless, Underdog, and Bite my Tongue, as well as throwing in newer bops. You Me At Six were one of three bands I’ve followed for around a decade that were playing Saturday, adding to the already surreal reality of being at Reading and with a short set, we’re ready for the bands next live show.

© Linda Borscika

A band I was hugely excited to see, I Don’t Know How They Found Me But They Did, filled the main stage arena with a beyond funky sound. IDKH never fail to release tracks that get caught in an endless loop in your head, and hearing their music live with an equally excited audience felt perfect. Experiencing Choke live was definitely a highlight and made me rediscover a new favourite. It’s safe to say the count down is on to being able to watch them perform again.

Seeing The Wombats was a truly special moment for me. Listening to them for the best part of the decade and constantly falling in love with their music, it truly was a dream come true. After a wonderful chat with Tord Øverland Knudsen, (interview coming soon), the performance felt even more special. Tord’s passion for music was bursting at the seems throughout our chat and he was someone I could’ve easily spoken to all day. Going from that to seeing him perform on stage with the band blew me away. The insane level of joy and enthusiasm was beyond measure from the trio. With no live performances in two years the thrill of playing to a huge audience was obvious and it was hard to not smile, grinning from ear to ear. Through every song I found myself jumping with excitement and sang my lungs out. Seeing fellow audience members scream with excitement realising they’d been caught on the screen also never failed to make me smile.

Two Door Cinema Club put on a great performance for crowds that had gathered hours beforehand. Something that was particularly exciting for me was to hear tracks I’d regularly played on my University radio show in all their live glory. The set felt like a strange combination of winding down for the evening, while also getting us prepped and excited for headliner, Post Malone. With gorgeous on stage visuals, the Northern Irish legends put on an an epic show. Bad Decisions really got the crowd going with its funky beat and undeniable summer vibes. Following on from a personal favourite, Talk, Two Door Brought out Changing of The Seasons, the song that everyone will always remember the lyrics to, no matter how long it’s been! The eruption of excitement felt like another huge boost of us being one step closer to normal.

© James Bridle

Ending Saturday, festival regular, Post Malone closed Main Stage East with an explosive set. Dancing away as he sung, you could tell live music was something he had really missed. In true British culture Post was encouraged to down a pint on stage, and courageously followed through. Met with huge cheers, he set himself up for a good evening. Wow and Better Now felt like perfect opening songs. After the end of each track, Post thanked the crowd with genuine feeling and a true sense of how grateful he was to be there. The beats for Circles geared up the crowd even more than they already were. Thumping throughout the arena it was a performance hard to ignore.

© James Bridle

Experiencing live music again truly felt like a reset, giving you that push to get through the rest of the year. Although it’s hard to ignore and escape Covid, throughout the festival and seeing your favourite bands live managed to give you those moments of respite. The organisers of Reading and Leeds pulled off a truly unforgettable experience.

Check out our highlights from Friday at Reading Festival here.

Tickets for Reading and Leeds Festival 2022 are on sale now!


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