The sun is shining, and thousands of festival goers are kitted out in shorts, t-shirts, and the ever-present pair of wellies. This can only mean one thing—it’s time for Reading and Leeds 2017 to finally kick off.
This year, we headed down to Leeds Festival to catch all the best names in rock, pop, and alternative music.
Here are our top five acts from the festival’s first day:
Against The Current
Against The Current have been leading a new wave of young pop-rock bands sweeping the industry since their inception in 2011. Now playing the Main Stage at Reading and Leeds, the band has come far from the early days of releasing countless EPs and non-album singles.
Now, they have a debut album In Our Bones, and enough well-produced anthems to fill a field of 50,000. They kicked things off with ‘Running With the Wild Things’, vocalist Crissy Constanza full of fire from the first note.
The band continue through ‘Runaway’, ‘Gravity’, and ‘Forget Me Now’, showcasing a calculated journey through their discography before finishing things up with In Our Bones single ‘Wasteland.’
With a crew of touring musicians to back them up, Against The Current’s set was bold, loud, and a perfect embodiment of their recorded sound.
Stockport’s Blossoms graced the main stage later in the day, a mass of long hair and smooth, synth-fuelled indie rock. They opened their set with Blossoms track ‘At Most a Kiss’, working flawlessly through ‘Texia’, ‘Blow’, ‘Getaway’ and ‘Honey Sweet’, before wrapping up the show with fan-favourite ‘Charlemagne.’
Their set was straight to the point, the band barely talking between songs in favour of a music-heavy show which only really works best at a festival.
Fast forward to the evening, and Oasis alumni Liam Gallagher is pulling on an oversized army green parka and taking to the stage. His set is as understated as can be, a simple kick-drum decal and a few scattered musicians the only secondary features.
The show is a finely-tuned mix of solo material, Beady Eye tracks, and Oasis classics. He finishes his set with internet meme-fodder ‘Wonderwall’, leaving thousands of festival-goers in complete awe.
The internet has a love hate relationship with Halsey. Fierce-faced and constantly moving, the Halsey on-stage at Reading and Leeds couldn’t be more separate from her online drama.
She kicks things off with Badlands favourite ‘Gasoline’, the rest of the set a fairly predictable run-down of her two albums’ singles. The strange omission is ‘New Americana’, the track that – let’s face it – put her on our radar in the first place.
She interludes her show with a short speech about gay rights, earning cheers from her brightly-coloured audience.
Then she’s off the NME / Radio One stage, and it’s onto the headliner…
Friday’s NME / Radio 1 stage headliner was HAIM, a trio of sisters from Los Angeles. It was clear from the get-go that these are talented girls. In fact, Danielle, Este, and Alana are all fluent in at least two instruments.
Throughout their nine song set, this much is apparent. Each member takes to multiple mediums during the show, climaxing with a three-way drum solo in their ultimate track ‘Right Now.’
Haim’s show is a spectacle, merging classic tracks with those of their recent album Something to Tell You. It’s brave, and it’s a triumph.
Stay tuned for reviews of Saturday and Sunday’s acts and interviews with You Me At Six, Counterfeit, and Mallory Knox.
Did you go to Reading or Leeds? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix