As Reading and Leeds is now just under a week away for the majority of those with tickets, Chris Fishlock highlights which bands and artists you should check out over the bank holiday weekend.

Friday Reading/Saturday Leeds

Does It Offend You, Yeah? – Dance Stage

Reading locals return to the festival after a three year absence, having unleashed their fantastic second album this year they are sure to get the crowd going at a fairly early time, especially in Reading where their local crowd will give them the homecoming the dance punks deserve.

Saul Williams – Alternative Stage

Making a fairly rare UK appearance the genius US poet and alternative hip-hop artist will be making his Reading and Leeds debut in what will sure be a interesting and engaging set having released some great material in recent years (such as the Trent Reznor produced ‘The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust’) and having released his more commercial ‘Volcanic Sunlight’ earlier this year puts him in the ranks of all the US hip-hop greats.7

The Naked and Famous – NME/Radio One Stage

After making their way around the UK festival circuit this year playing at Glastonbury, Wireless and T in the Park the New Zealand band finally end up at Reading and Leeds. Having risen in popularity in the UK over the last year after being selected for the BBC Sound of 2011 poll this is sure to be a set not to miss.

Henry Rollins – Alternative Stage

After a successful show on the alternative stage in 2008, Henry Rollins returns to Reading and Leeds for what will be a great show, and a change of pace from seeing bands all day. Having been successful in his various bands such as the legendary Black Flag as well as Rollins Band, Henry spends most his time now doing spoken word shows and they really are a treat, you’ll be so entertained by his show that it will end before you barely realised it had started.

Deftones – Main Stage

Having been one of the highlight acts of Reading and Leeds 2009, Deftones return to the main stage for what will defiantly be another fantastic performance from the band who have been on top form since the release of their most recent album ‘Diamond Eyes’.

The Offspring – Main Stage

With the main stage being fairly weak this day (My Chemical Romance headlining? Err…) it’s great that the organisers have booked pop punk heroes The Offspring for one of their first shows in the UK for years, and their first appearance at the festivals for seven years, they will be bound to be bringing out the hits as well as possibly previewing some new material from their currently in the works ninth studio album.

The Horrors – Festival Republic Stage

The big names for this day at the festival are fairly lacking, to end the day there is a choice between what is possibly the weakest headliner the festival have ever decided to book, My Chemical Romance or the blandness of post-Oasis band Beady Eye. However, if you look at the smaller Festival Republic stage you have The Horrors who after releasing their fantastic second album ‘Primary Colours’ they followed it up this year with the equally brilliant ‘Skying’, there really is no other option as to who to see this night, cram into the tent and enjoy some incredible music.

Saturday Reading/Sunday Leeds

Madness – Main Stage

Middle of the day, hopefully with the sun out, happy ska tunes on stage, the atmosphere for Madness should be incredible. The booking of Madness in between Two Door Cinema Club and Jimmy Eat World may seem like a random booking but will likely be highlights of the day as the classic ska act bring out their jumping classics for what will be one of the most fun sets of the weekend.

Jimmy Eat World – Main Stage

After doing the rounds this year playing T in the Park and Glastonbury, Jimmy Eat World end up at Reading and Leeds with their seven album strong back catalogue. They are sure to bring out all the fan favourites to keep everyone singing along.

Leftover Crack – Lock Up Stage

Skacore legends Leftover Crack will be one of the highlights of the Lock Up stage over the weekend with their hardcore punk tinged ska and a dedicated fan base, they will be one of the bands tearing down the Lock Up.

Capdown – Lock Up Stage

Having played one of their most memorable shows on the lock up stage in 2007 before they split up, UK ska punk heroes Capdown now return to Reading and Leeds after successful sets at last year Slam Dunk Festival as well as this year’s Rebellion festival. Get your dancing shoes on and get ready to have fun.

Pulp – Main Stage

The recently reformed Britpop legends bring their successful comeback show to Reading and Leeds after wowing crowds headlining Wireless festival in London and performing a great unannounced set on The Park stage at this year’s Glastonbury festival. They will get the older crowd more nostalgic while also giving their newer younger fans a chance to see them live. ‘Common People’ will be the best sing along of the weekend.

Jane’s Addiction – NME/Radio One Stage

A bit of an alternative choice from the masses that will see Pulp and The Strokes co-headline the main stage, 90’s alt rockers Jane’s Addiction will be a treat for rock fans attending the festivals this year with Perry Farrell’s brilliant stage presence, this are a band despite their ups and downs are really tight and entertaining live. Likely to play to a relatively small crowd due to the popularity of the main stage headliners this day, Jane’s Addiction will still have a great atmosphere, and will likely preview new songs from their long awaited forthcoming album ‘The Great Escape Artist’ as well as all the old favourites.

Sunday Reading/Friday Leeds

Frank Turner – Main Stage

No stranger to the joint festivals is Frank Turner who first played in 2007 on the Carling Stage (as it was then called) and has since played every year including sets on the Lock Up and NME/Radio one Stage, now Frank finally makes his much deserved main stage debut. A man who owes a lot to this festival it is sure to be a highlight of the year for Frank who released his forth studio album this year.

OFF! – Lock Up Stage

Having made their UK debut this month with successful festival shows at Rebellion and Hevy Festivals, Keith Morris’ OFF! Make it to the Lock Up stage for what will be a set of short hardcore punk songs making you think you’re back in the 1980’s despite this band only forming in late 2009 by the early Black Flag singer.

Death From Above 1979 – NME/Radio One Stage

Here’s the one were really looking forward to this weekend, returning to the UK after successful shows at The HMV Forum in London, DFA1979 are sure to draw a decent sized crowd, and knock that crowd into a dance frenzy. If you are seeing this band and not dancing you are doing something wrong. The atmosphere will be immense and this will not be a set to miss.

Flogging Molly – Lock Up Stage

Flogging Molly are the perfect festival band. Having seen Flogging Molly twice at Reading before, and again this year at their Glastonbury debut I can say with confidence that they will be one of the best sets of the weekend. When playing the Lock Up stage in 2008 they sent the whole tent dancing and moshing, the band always bring with them an insane energy that bounces into the crowd making an incredible atmosphere. Have a cider and get yourself into this tent to have the most fun you’ll have all weekend.

Muse – Main stage

Closing the weekend in Reading are Muse, no strangers to Reading and Leeds they last headlined in 2006. After an extended tour of their last album, The Resistance, Muse have decided to make their headline slot at Reading and Leeds rather special by playing their classic Origin of Symmetry from start to finish, as well as bringing all their other greatest hits. Love them or hate them, Muse are one of the greatest live bands on earth and are a great way to finish the weekend.

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