Everyone who knows anything about something about music waits in anxious expectation for the August Bank Holiday weekend. That is when The Carling Weekend descends upon two places in England with loads of bands that are okay and some bands that are bloody wicked and others that are fucking shit. Apparently we’re not allowed to call it Reading Rock anymore 'cause that went out in the 1980s. Whatever. Here are the ten bands that we reckon you should see.
1 Mastodon - Main Stage
- READING Sunday 12pm, LEEDS Friday 12pm
This American quartet may be Georgian (they’re from Atlanta) but their metal is in no way old-fashioned. With a new album ready to drop next month and explode “supernova style” or something, expect them to open up the Rock Day with massive riffs and stupidly wicked drumming.
2 Youthmovies – Cabaret Stage
- READING Saturday 10pm, LEEDS Friday 8.30pm
We’ve always loved them and always will. Youthmovies played THE standout set last year when they improvised for half an hour with Saul Williams rapping over the top of them. They surely can't top that performance, but will definitely still shit on most other bands at the festival.
3 Twilight Singers – Carling Stage
- READING Friday 9.30pm, LEEDS Saturday 9.05pm
This lot will have both Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan onstage. That means there’s going to be a smack dealer around. While you’re dodging needles you should try and appreciate former Afghan Whig Dulli’s mournful, swaggering grooves while Lanegan’s droll tones will surely make this collaboration one of the must-see moments this year.
4 Long Blondes – Radio 1 Stage
- READING Friday 1.30pm, LEEDS Saturday 1.30pm
These are mainly girls and won the NME Radar award this year. These Sheffield natives’ massive Blondie-esque pop songs are coated in wobbly voices and will be available, recorded, on a Rough Trade-branded disc later this year. It’ll be good, if you like that sort of thing.
5 Serena Maneesh – Carling Stage
- READING Saturday 1.30pm, LEEDS Sunday 1.25pm
They’re Norwegian. I went to Norway. It wasn’t raining but it usually does. Their epic Sonic Youth-y paranoia-filled psychedelia is perfect when it is raining, though. Lucky they’re playing in a tent. A big tent where lots of you can go see them.
6 Sky Larkin – Topman Unsigned Stage
- LEEDS Saturday 2.30pm
This hot-off-the-block trio from the dusty plains of Yorkshire are playing only the Leeds leg of the weekend. They will blast out joyous bursts of complicated-but-joyous pop, reminiscent of Rilo Kiley and The Breeders, all over your face.
7 TV On The Radio – Carling Stage
- READING Saturday 8.25pm, LEEDS Sunday 8pm
Playing this festival as part of their European tour, these Americans are going to be in the little tent with their thrilling electrindie. If it’s anything like their album, it should be great. Not as great as four sausages though!
8 Semifinalists – Carling Stage
- READING Sunday 3.45pm, LEEDS Friday 3.40pm
There is a girl in this art-conscious London version of The Flaming Lips. We like girls and so do you even if your mum beat you and your wife took your car. DiS editor Colin Roberts likes to wiggle and sing to their song ‘Show The Way’. Maybe you could?
9 Lady Sovereign – Dance Stage
- READING Sunday 3.45pm, LEEDS Friday 3.30pm
Ultra-mingin’ chav queen Sov will be ripping up the dance stage with her bitches and crew. It will be phat and hopefully she’ll approve of Michael Diver’s crotch as much as Michael Diver’s crotch approves of her.
10 Send More Paramedics – Lock Up Stage
- READING Friday 12.50pm, LEEDS Saturday 12.50pm
They’ve got a new record out on the ultra-wicked In At The Deep End label and it comes as a double-disc with a soundtrack to a fictional AND made-up film. Even before you see the zombie-core mentalists on stage you already know they’re pretty mental. Mental!
And here are some more bands that we also think you should see. They were either not quite good enough to bother writing about, or we couldn’t think of anything new to write about them:
¡Forward Russia!, Be Your own Pet, Body Count, Dead Disco, Enter Shikari (Leeds only), Fields, Slayer, GoodBooks, Guillemots, Animal Collective, Howling Bells, Panic! At The Disco, Killswitch Engage, Klaxons, Lethal Bizzle, The Maccabees, SiKth (Leeds only), Tilly & The Wall, Vitalic
Official DiS Reader Meet-Up
Each year since DiS started readers have arranged to meet-up at the festival. This year we thought we'd have a semi-official meet-up just after Metric play. Meet just outside the Radio 1 tent (to the left of the stage) at both sites at 1:15. At Reading there's a big Metric poster to act as what we're calling 'a marker'. And also an advert: let its message creep into your mind and buy the record (cackles like a wicked industry witch). Click here for more info.