Hmmm, not really sure where to begin with this one. After heaping some praise on the festival just the other day for some fairly inspired choices on the undercard and giving 3 artists the step up to headline status. Whilst, criticising its lack of female artists toward the top of the poster. This announcement was disappointing to say the least (for me personally, anyway). I’ll go over the good additions first, but, these are few and far between.
To begin one of the stronger editions made today was FIDLAR, the surf/rock/punk group Los Angeles. I’ve been wanting to see these for a while now and whilst I haven’t really taken the time to listen to their newest album yet, I like their old stuff a lot. With bangers like “Cheap Beer”, “40 oz on repeat” and “No Waves”. These will definitely be a good watch in The Pit in the summer. Other fairly good additions include Pip Blom an indie pop group from Amsterdam and Mini Mansions who did a nice collaborative track “Vertigo” with Alex Turner back in 2015.
Thats it really though for me. Apparently this was a decent announcement for fans into heavier music, but thats not my scene, good for fans of the genre though. Again, not really into dance music so cannot comment on the Dance additions. The real disappointment comes in with the absolutely laughable rap additions. I know a lot of people would say that its “Reading rock festival” not “Reading rap festival”, which is complete bollocks. The lineup is still heavily geared towards rock music and i don’t expect loads, but, the 1xtra stage bookings are appalling. Last year we saw the likes of Brockhampton and N.E.R.D come in the later announcements. Thats not saying there aren’t good rap acts on the lineup already i.e. Anderson .Paak and Lil Uzi Vert. But considering the amount of great rap albums that came out last year from artists like Denzel Curry, JPEGMAFIA and Pusha T it would have been nice to see these more inspired choices added to the lineup instead of completely bewildering bookings like Dappy? Whilst there have been a few more female artists added too the bill (good), I was hoping for a few more inspired female artists to fill out the undercard, but hey, there’s always next year. There are of course some great bookings from the previous announcements, standouts being Charli XCX, Billie Eilish, Japanese House and Hayley Kiyoko.
There are some other noticeably absent picks as well such as IDLES, who seem to be everywhere but Reading. If Reading don’t get them on the lineup it will be a real shame. Obviously there is still some time left for a few more inspired rap/female acts to be added. With a few gaps left on the bill to fill in, in which, hopefully there will be. Luckily, the rest of the lineup is good enough from the first announcements which I covered in my first article.