Reading & Leeds 2018: Must See New Bands

Reading & Leeds Festival is often a hotbed of new bands, this year is no different. Here’s our list of ‘must see’ new bands at this year’s edition of the famous festival.

The Blinders

From festival goers to stage headliners, it must be a dream for The Blinders to top the BBC Introducing stage in such rapid fashion. Their sound is like a ferocious wave which refuses to stop for any obstacle – they’re set to go far. They may be headlining a historically important stage for upcoming artists, though one can only assume that The Blinders will not be content until they storm the main-stage and perhaps even headline in years to come.

Listen: ‘Brave New World,’ ‘Swine,’ ‘Gotta Get Through’

Reading: Friday 19.30, BBC Music Introducing Stage

Leeds: Saturday 19.10, BBC Music Introducing Stage



Their self titled debut is one of the greatest first releases of the decade, now the LA outfit head to Reading & Leeds with a reputation and sound which can only be described as ferocious. Far away from dingy suburban backrooms, it is obvious the Starcrawler have a sound which can be amplified to suit smaller venues and festival stages alike.

Listen: ‘I Love LA,’ ‘Pussy Tower,’ ‘Ants’

Reading: Saturday 18.45, Festival Republic Stage

Leeds: Sunday 18.40, Festival Republic Stage



Reinvigorating and musically expressive, Himalayas have already enjoyed an impressive 2018. With the Isle of Wight and Great Escape Festival under their belts, it is clear that they are festival ready. The Welsh band are redefining indie-rock in their own manner, gaining a tonne of fans in the process.

Listen: ‘Thank God I’m Not You,’ ‘Sigh on a Hurricane,’ ‘If I Tell You’

Reading: Friday 13.30, BBC Music Introducing Stage

Leeds: Saturday 13.20, BBC Music Introducing Stage


Brand New Friend

We first caught Brand New Friend supporting Starcrawler at London’s Garage, their sound was both infectious and immersive from first listen. The Northern Irish four-piece are onto something special. Debut album Seatbelts For Aeroplanes is both revitalising, nostalgic and upbeat, the perfect collection of festival anthems.

Listen: ‘Girl,’ ‘Seatbelts For Aeroplanes,’ ‘I Was an Astronaut’

Reading: Saturday 12.30, BBC Music Introducing Stage

Leeds: Sunday 13.20, BBC Music Introducing Stage


Lady Bird

Penned as Slaves’ favourite new band, Lady Bird are far more than lucky label mates. Hailing from Kent with an intense and impressive new sound, Girl Fight Records’ new signing are set to take the indie world by storm in the coming years. Lady Bird’s sound is best described as playful punk, both upbeat and ferocious at the same time.

Listen: ‘Boot Fillers,’ ‘Spoons,’ ‘Social Potions’

Reading: Sunday 17.55, BBC Music Introducing Stage

Leeds: Friday 17.40, BBC Music Introducing Stage



Yonaka are both unique and dense in genre. Their sound is wide ranging and carries much inspiration. They mix the DIY nature of indie rocks greatest exports with bass heavy beats and impressive guitar riffs. However, it is vocally where they grow into something quite special, at times their all round stage presence is faultless too. Yonaka are nothing short of impressive and are set to take this year’s Reading & Leeds by storm. 

Listen: ‘Bubblegum,’ ‘F.W.T.B.’ ‘ Fired Up’

Reading: Friday 15.50, Festival Republic Stage

Leeds: Saturday 15.20, Festival Republic Stage


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