It's that time of year again, the August Bank Holiday weekend means one thing to us here at contactmusic, it's time to pack up the tent and head to the grounds of Braham Park. We've always found the Leeds part of Leeds & Reading Festival has always been one of the best places for catching plenty of new and established bands. As ever, we'll be on site interviewing and reviewing some of the hottest bands playing.
This year, we thought we'd write a little something about each of the bands we'll be heading to the front of the stage for, so if you're a little lost in the myriad of bands playing, here are our suggestions.
Arcade Fire - It's an obvious one but we know it's going to be good. Their 2004 album 'Funeral' was an instant classic and a worthy addition to any CD collection - as are all their albums including the latest record 'The Suburbs' which reached number one in the album chart. Expect to hear songs from all three albums, If you're heart doesn't skip a little beat when they break into Neighbourhood #3 (power out) or Wake Up we'll be very surprised!
Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo first became known to us after playing an impressive set at South By South West in Austin, the indie-pop group are based in Long Beach, California and are signed to SUb Pop Records in both the US and UK. Their self-titled album is set to come out in the UK shortly. Check out: 'What's In It For'.
Caribou - aka Manitoba is actually Canadian Daniel Victor Snaith, an extremely clever Maths geek from a family of Maths geeks. Not the most likely candidate for the purveyor of these euphoric, sun drenched and haunting songs. However as we know, unusual genius springs up in unusual places, and this year's precise yet fluid album 'Swim' met with almost universal high praise. We predict seeing the likes of 'Sun' and 'Leave House' translated live are going to be worth the visit.
Chief - Leeds & Reading Festival sees the start of Chief's short UK tour, the west coast four-piece have played a number of UK festivals this year including: Hard Rock Calling, Glastonbury, Lounge on the Farm and Latitude. If you like Neil Young, The Band and Crosby, Stills & Nash, then Chief's style of classic songwriting delivered in a modern manor might just be one for you. Check out: Night & Day.
Club Smith - From Pulled Apart By Horses we move onto Club Smith another Leeds band set to play the BBC Introducing stage, they are one of the winning bands of this year's Futuresound competition. Having supported Kaiser Chiefs in 2009 they released 'The Loss' EP earlier this year. If you want to hear some new indie pop, their single Lament is one of the catchiest songs we've heard in 2010.
The Crookes - The generic "kitchen-sink" indie that polluted British music over the last couple of years has thankfully dissolved itself, but The Crookes are an example of the occasional instance it works well. Single 'Bloodshot Days' showed promise and even Richard Hawley himself is fighting their corner, collaborating with them on several songs. He may or may not make a guest appearance with them on Friday, but this set will no doubt confirm or deny their credentials.
Darwin Deez - sounds like the daytime identity for a super hero, but it is actually his real (first) name, and his bewildering haircut does little to convince of any special powers. He moved to New York for college and began making insanely infectious indie-pop, which plays out like The Strokes at their most whimsical. His endearing stage presence will charm the hardest of hearts.
Egyptian Hip-Hop - Now it's always advisable to approach 'buzz-bands' with caution. They're unreliable creatures. However Manchester's Egyptian Hip-Hop seem to have something more going on than just haircuts. Their single 'Rad Pitt' was good, and they cite Late of the Pier as influences. If they can match their source of inspiration for inventiveness and catchy hooks, then you might just be able to believe the hype. And they're only 17, bless.
Funeral Party - This East LA trio found their feet by playing free gigs warehouses and house parties gigs at their home town, before long their weekly gigs were drawing in over 800 music lovers. Funeral Party have released two singles in the UK 'Just Because' and 'NYC Moves To The Sound Of LA', if you've heard either, I'm sure you'll agree that they're extremely catchy. If you're looking for a dance and a new band to sing along to, make sure you go see Funeral Party. Check out current single 'Just Because'.
Klaxons - Return with a new album 'Surfing the Void', having become firm favourites with the Leeds & Reading crowd, it'll be good to see Klaxons return once again, expect to hear songs from their new album as well the ones that'll go down as firm crowd favourites. Check out: Echoes.
Minus The Bear - If you like your music on the loud and mathy then Minus The Bear might just be the band you've been searching for. Renowned for putting on exhilarating gigs we're sure the band will deliver a tight set at Leeds Festival 2010. Their 2005 second album Menos El Oso is regarded by many as their strongest album and a must own for any fan of the genre. Check out: The Fix.
Nerves - Appearing on a live slot with BBC Radio Sheffield this week, Nerves are the darker element of The Steel City's current musical crop. With obvious influences such as My Bloody Valentine, and their love of squalling reverb, they should offer a chill up the spine even this early in the day.
Pulled Apart By Horses - Will be playing to a home crowd at Leeds Festival. If you've picked up a copy of the NME in the past year, you're sure to be familiar with the antics of this raucous band, what you might not be aware of is they actually got one of their first breaks at Leeds Festival when they won a spot on the BBC Introducing Stage after entering the Futuresound competition. Check out: High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive.
Roots Manuva - London based Rodney Hylton Smith AKA Roots Manuva has been redefining cutting edge UK trip-hop/hip hop since the mid Nineties. His avant-garde rap style married with Jamaican and Pentecostal influences, plus his four album catalogue make him a must see artist this year. His new album 'Meets Wrongtom' is a rework of tracks spanning all four of Roots Manuva's albums. Check out: Witness (1 Hope).
Runaround Kids - are the new kids on the Wakefield block, and live up to their name being barely out of Sixth Form. Since The Cribs onwards this small city has been brimming with musical confidence, although these boys clearly owe more to early Pavement than the Brothers Jarman. They won the Futuresound competition for a place on this bill and so have earned their spot rightfully with a bit of hard graft.
Surfer Blood - make squeaky clean and clever guitar music, a la Weezer. Nothing groundbreaking about this, but these young Floridians know the value of a pop hook, and their debut album 'Astrocoast' is a scorcher.
Tame Impala - hail from Perth, the city in the middle of nowhere. It makes a little musical sense then, that their washed out, spacey sound could hail from a desert. Daring to borrow from Sgt. Peppers-era Beatles could have been career suicide but Tame Impala actually manage to pull it off well. If their album 'Innerspeak' is anything to go by, their set should be an epic, sprawling jam.
Trash Talk - People throw around words like 'hardcore' like sweets these days, but no one catching them live should doubt Trash Talk's credentials. Currently touring with Cancer Bats and supposedly the most "extreme band in existence" (however that was judged) they do breed a fiery and distinctive kind of cathartic rage. Those who prefer pretty harmonies will probably do best to keep away, whilst anyone who mourns Black Flag had better get down to this quick sharp.
Villagers - We love Villagers, perhaps the 'quietist' artist on our list of music see bands but Conor J. O' Brien and Co are sure to bring a lot of atmosphere to the crowd during their set. Nominated this year for a Mercury Music Prize, his debut album 'Becoming A Jackal' might be an outsider in the scheme of things but worthy of the nomination. Check out: Pieces.
Yuck - were born from the ashes from North London's Cajun Dance Party, although listening to them there's no way you'd know it. Coming together over a mutual love of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., the four-piece are bang smack in the middle of the shoegazing revival which at present, refuses to die. Good job that Yuck are actually the opposite of their moniker and really quite lovely.