Preview of Leeds & Reading Festival 2011

Once again it's time to visit the fields at Bramham Park, Leeds and head to the site of Leeds Festival. With such an array of musical talent, this year's festival is one that should not be missed. Muse are set to play their only UK performance at the festival and they will be headlining alongside Pulp and My Chemical Romance.

Leeds & Reading Festival

Perhaps with the exception of Glastonbury given its vast capacity, you will struggle to find a festival in the UK with a more varied line-up; something for everyone as they say.

Here at CM, we've made a list of some of our 'not to be missed' bands of the weekend.

Death From Above 1979 - NME/Radio 1 Stage, Friday 26th
If there is one half an hour that you don't want to miss this bank holiday weekend, it's this one. Sworn enemies Jesse F. Keeler and Sebastian Grainger take to the stage once again to rattle through the blistering dance punk of their first and only proper studio album, 'You're A Woman, I'm a Machine.'
Originally called Death From Above (adding the '1979' in order to avoid a lawsuit from LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy), this bass and drums duo burst forth from Toronto with this landmark album back in 2004. An unbelievable bass that sounded like a skyscraper splitting open, ferocious drumming and sleazy metal tunes made their sound inimitable and awesome. So many a sad face was made after they announced in 2006 that they were splitting for good, disbanding due to the small matter of them hating each other's guts. Resurrected for spurious reasons (cough! Paycheck!) this may be the last chance you get to see these guys rock out as a duo.

SBTRKT - Dance Stage, Saturday 27th
Musician/producer SBTRKT made his name at East London club Plastic People and his career received a significant boost following some heavyweight remixes for the likes of Radiohead and Modeselektor. His eponymous debut album synthesises elements of dub-step, French house and 2-step which makes for an infectious, unique admixture, and his single Wildfire featuring Little Dragon was a recent club favourite. He's the best beat-maker to break through over the last year and is DJing in the dance stage on Saturday.

Patrick Wolf - Saturday 27th, NME/Radio 1 Stage
In recent years, cult singer/songwriter Patrick Wolf has flirted with being a major label superstar which rather predictably didn't make him a household name. However, he has kept hold of some of the pop sensibilities of 2007's The Magic Position in his new album Lupercalia, which melds lovelorn folktronica with a brash pop aesthetic which reminds me of Erasure and the Pet Shop Boys (in a good way). Mr Wolf has magnetic charisma, a booming voice, wonderful songs and a brilliant band. If you need your spirits uplifting make sure you check him out on Saturday's otherwise-uninspiring NME stage line-up.

Cerebral Ballzy - Festival Republic Stage - Saturday 27th
West Coast 80s punk has a considerable legacy anyway, but it is currently enjoying a huge wave of revival arriving with the likes of Trash Talk, Off! and these boys, Brooklyn's Cerebral Ballzy.
Taking their influences from the likes of Bad Brains, Black Flag and Converge, their hard-edge, boots on punk is a breath of fresh air in a decade that has been severely lacking in punk heroes. Their vigorous, unpredictable shows have earned them a mean live reputation, and as their self titled just came out at the end of July, we should expect a flogging of their recent anthems, and a circle pit to reckon with.

Deftones - Main Stage, Saturday 27th
This is their only UK festival date this year, as 2011 sees them wind up the mammoth European tour for their sixth album, Diamond Eyes.
Of course Deftones have been around since the year dot, but to have dismissed this band so late in their career would have been a huge mistake as critically and commercially, Diamond Eyes turned out to be one of the most successful yet. Honing the brutality of their earlier work with the finesse and polish of White Pony, it saw them scoop ITunes 'Rock Album of the Year' of 2010.
Always a cut above their nu-metal counterparts, Deftones are a band who prove that quality is built to last.

Tom Vek - Saturday 27th , Festival Republic Stage
Another one who disappeared for a long time after a relatively successful start, Tom Vek was tipped for big things following 2005's We Have Sound. Vek is a self-taught multi instrumentalist who was a key player in the emerging London indie scene circa 2003-2004, and occupied a space leftfield of Bloc Party and Razorlight - he made indie music for people who actually like other forms of music, with a geeky understanding of electronica and beats setting him apart from the indie scenesters. Coming across like a modern-day, one-man XTC or TALK TALK, Vek has a new album out called 'Leisure Seizure'. He wowed festival crowds in 2005, and it will be interesting if he can make the same connection 5 years on.

The Horrors - Saturday 27th Festival Republic Stage
The Horrors are set to headline the Festival Republic stage all the folk at contactmusic are sure they're up to the job. Since the release of their debut album 'Strange House', The Horrors have continuously transformed to create interesting and genuine albums in whatever genre they turn their style towards; as our very own Dom Gourlay said in our review of The Horror's new album 'Skyling' 'As musical transformations from archetypical sinners to all-encompassing saints go, the inexplicable rise of The Horrors reads like an excerpt from a Hans Christian Anderson fairytale.'

Tribes - Sunday 28th Festival Republic Stage
Tribes formed in 2009 in Camden by Johnny Lloyd, along with Jim Cratchley (bass), Miguel Demelo (drums) and Dan White (guitar). They have built a following by shunning the internet and social networking sites such as Facebook, instead preferring to build their fame by word of mouth. Their EP 'We Were Children' was recently chosen as DJ Zane Lowe's 'Hottest Record in the World' and they also have gained support from fellow DJ Huw Stephens, after recording a Maida Vale session at the start of 2011.
Their fantastic debut single 'Sappho' - released this week - happily harks back to some of the better memories from the 90's; and the video is something Freddie Mercury in his 'I Want To Break Free' days would be proud of. Tribes next single will be 'When My Day Comes' and is released on October 24th 2011.

Rival Schools - Festival Republic Stage, Sunday 28th
Since CDs don't make money anymore, it seems that anyone with a back catalogue over ten years old is reforming for a quick buck. And with post-hardcore heroes Rival Schools going head to head on the bill with the crowd-drawing might of The Strokes, one may assume that this particular incarnation is going to be a played out to an empty tent.
But allow me to argue a case for stopping by. Firstly yes, admittedly I champion the criminally overlooked 'United by Fate' with the rosiest of tinted spectacles. Released in 2001, reviews of which saw it hastily likened to Nevermind (surely the kiss of death for most artists) it was a fantastically catchy, clever pop-rock album. Their success was cut short by the departure of Ian Love and the subsequent unravelling of the band in 2002.
But rather than this reformation being a rinsing out the nostalgia of a decade old album, last year Walter Schreifels and co released 'Pedals,' which was surprisingly worth the wait. 10 years have done little to dampen the Schools vibrancy and penchant for sing-a-long choruses. So come along and you may just find yourself pogoing about like it's 2002.

Glassjaw - Sunday 28th ,NME/Radio 1 Stage
In 2002, Glassjaw were ready to take over the world. They had a signed a big deal with Warners, had achieved global notoriety with single Cosmopolitan Blood Loss, and were riding on the crest of the emo/nu-metal wave as the 'experimental' heavier alternative to their lesser pop-emo counterparts. Then singer Daryl Palumbo's ongoing problems with Crohn's Disease got progressively worse, forcing the band into a long hiatus. They are back now though, with their long-awaited third album out later this year. Expect At The Drive-In-style commitment to the cause, and histrionics that Mike Patton would be proud of. Aside from Deftones, you won't see a better rock band than Glassjaw all weekend.

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