H&H // READING & LEEDS: A GUIDE TO THE BBC INTRODUCING STAGE

Originally published on Hooting & Howling

BBCIntroducing
With the Reading and Leeds lineup already proving itself to be quite a showcase of every brilliant band you’ve heard of around currently, it seems a tough act to better it, but with the recent announcement of their BBC Introducing line-up, the festival have just about done that. Here’s our guide to the just as brilliant ones you’re less likely to have heard of just yet taking to the stage across the weekend.. . .
FRIDAY READING/SATURDAY LEEDS
Since rising to fame via intense vocals on Chase & Status’ tracks, Moko has showcased impressive soul infused house of her own gaining comparisons to the likes of Massive Attack and already championed by BBC Radio 1 and 1Extra. With her second EP set for release in September and Chase & Status produced debut single ‘Your Love’ released this month, the New Cross singer is set to slide comfortably into the headline slot on the Friday/Saturday night, bringing some spellbinding music along with her.
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Bringing some punk fused energy to the stage are The Bulletproof Bomb, showcasing indie rock bursting at the seams with energy. On their debut release – produced by Rory Atwell (The Vaccines/Palma Violets/Yuck) – the Sutton 5 piece boast flying guitars channelling the sounds of Two Door Cinema Club and a sound that strikes past their years that’s sure to get feet moving in no time.
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Hailing from Kent,  Broken Hands have already established their monstrous sound leaving a trail of experimental rock destruction wherever they go. With the raw power of those such as Slaves and DZ Deathrays in their music, alongside the aggressively assured vocals of Dale Norton, the outfit have previously stormed tours with the likes of Band Of Skulls and will put on a show likely to be unmissable.
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Lyves meanwhile provides a soulful slice of respite, with a sweetly ambient sound focused on airy synths – taking influence from Phillip Glass and Erykah Badu – and an unworldly sense drifting through the soft vocals, her music is the ultimate calm in an unignorable style and not one likely to stay on the ‘Introducing’ stage for long.
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19-year-old Rebecca Clements is of more frantic nature, filled with acoustic guitars rhythms driving forward against the dulcet vocal melodies intertwined on tracks such as ‘Coma Boy’, her tracks fall into the unique menacing undertones of folk with admirable talent.
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Drawing from the heavier realms of blues rock and an unignorable Tom Waits influence, London based John J Presley provides a scuzz-filled power with Jack White-esque guitars and husky vocals on his latest offering ‘Left’, and having already shared the stage The Amazing Snakeheads and those alike, his live act is certain to be as impressive as his sound.
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With an elusive prescence in the world, Judge and The Jury are a recently well kept secret hailing from South East London, but having revealed themselves to the outer world via the emotively catchy ‘She Said He Said’, the outfit boast a track fuelled by fiercely executed rap and infectious melodies with an admirable sense of wit throughout and one not likely to leave your head anytime soon.
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Leeds’ Dancing Years bring a sharper sense of melancholy to the lineup, channelling a stirring indie sound. Combining that from the likes of Dog Is Dead and Bombay Bicycle Club with their own soft piano melodies and sense of calm, the outfit have already enchanted the masses with their recent single ‘Places We’ve Roamed/Borderline’ and look set to do the very same on this bank holiday weekend.
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Buckinghamshire singer/songwriter Natasha North brings an intense vocally driven sound to the stage, with a choir of layered harmonies over pounding drums and folk infused acoustic guitars, her tracks are evocative snippets of emotion more than likely to put on a show of rivetingly uplifting sounds.

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Scottish Shambles In A Husk bring a fiercer sound to the day with their mix of post hardcore rock and metal. Described as an aural assault their sound, driven by relentless guitars and desperate screams, the quartet are likely to hit the stage with an unforgettable force of ‘in your face’ stylings, and one well worth being part of.
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Winners of this year’s Futuresound competition and self-proclaimed ‘Black Keys meets Nancy Sinatra’ trio Crybabycry open the stage at both sites with their Wakefield born indie rock and roll sounds, completed by the empowering shared vocals of Jonny Firth and Rosie Doonan. The outfit beat off the competition for a reason, and are set to bring the musical power from the start.
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SATURDAY READING/SUNDAY LEEDS

Blackpool based singer Rae Morris is set to show off her delicate vocal talents headlining the Saturday at Reading and Sunday at Leeds. Having spent the past year collaborating and touring with the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, releasing two EPs and steadily gaining a reputation with her combination of haunting electronics and soaring melodies, Morris is set to comfortably command the headline slot with her swirling unadulterated pop tracks.

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Having released their debut self produced LP ‘Weird Little Birthday’ in June, following an ear-stealing EP release back in January, London trio Happyness bring their infectious ‘slacker rock’ chimes to the evening of the Introducing stage. With the angst fueled harmonies of Benji Compston and Johnny Allen against a driving guitar sound that’s already earned them comparisons to the likes of Pavement and Sparklehorse, as well as several collaborations with Ed Harcourt, the outfit are set to put on an unmissable show.
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Despite their York routes, Hello Operator aptly describe themselves as “Desert Rock” rolling out walls of guitar fuzz and blues-y riffs drawing influence from those like Die Antwoord and Deap Vally to Muddy Waters and Stevie Wonder that make for an unsurprisingly monstrous sound. When adding the gritty vocals melodies contributed by the entire quartet the sound only intensifies and with a single storming EP to their name, the unsigned outfit are set to only get better from here on in.
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With a somewhat intriguing name and a sound even more so, duo Oh Volcano are swiftly spiking interest from outside of their Irish roots and when you learn the outfit are comprised of ex-General Fiasco brothers Owen and Enda Strathern, they already seem to be onto a winner. Defining an intense sound of infectious electronic music drawn from their previous efforts in the vein of those such as Hot Chip and Cymbals, with only 2 tracks to their name currently the outfit are impressing the minority with the intricate ‘Oceans’, and they’re set to do just the same on the Bank Holiday weekend to the masses.
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Leicester trio Juniors meanwhile are set to offer a more thunderous approach to things with their alternative rock attacks. Comprising of stadium worthy riffs and anger ridden vocals alongside storming beats showcased on their debut EP released last year, the outfit have adopted an admirably raucous approach that should come off even more so live and produce a fine show on the day.

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Upcoming singer-songwriter Lippi emerging from Nottingham is a voice carrying the passion, with his soulful tones taking influence from a collection of similarly impressive types including Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Frank Sinatra and already earning him collaborations with Enigma Dubzdespite only having a handful of tracks to his name. With musical backdrops ranging from jazz to dance all infected with his honest emotive vocals, Lippi is likely to become the soul of the stage.
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Liverpool trio All We Are meanwhile bring some alternate soul of their own within the melodious psych pop they describe as “Bee Gees on diazepam”. Having been championed by The Guardian, been on tour with Warpaint and their latest single ‘Feel Safe’ showcasing their 70’s infused shimmers of atmospheric grooves and sweetly subdued harmonies, the outfit are already turning heads with their unique sound and are likely to prove themselves a festival delight.
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For a band with a complex background – an Aussie/Brit four piece formed in Hossegor, France – Sunset Sons make straight forwardly brilliant music. Classifying as “indie rock” and turning it slightly on it’s head with chiming pianos, soft harmonies intertwined within the impressively strident voice of frontman Rory Williams and a suggestively summer sound – somewhat expected from a band hailing from the ‘Surf Capital of Europe’ and that have already toured the ‘surf’ towns of the UK and beyond – Sunset Sons are assuring to bring the sun even if it does rain all weekend.
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Cambridge quartet Bloody Knees present a contrastingly sport toned style with their horror influenced skate-punk. Conjuring up walls of fuzz sitting somewhere between the likes of Nirvana’s pure grunge and the lo-fi energy of FIDLAR alongside the scuzzily despondent melodies of vocalist Bradley Griffiths, the outfit prove themselves to be, in simplistic terms, an intense rock band with a thunderous approach and effortlessly soaring solos – all of which is likely to see them sat in the realms of the best shows of the weekend, if not one of the best new bands you’ve seen yet.
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Tabloids are the next contribution to the lineup via the Futuresound competition winners, a Leicester quartet formed to channel the mood of post-punk and classic indie-‘pop sensibilites’ of those like The Cure and The Smiths, an aim that proves wholly accurate within their tracks. With relentless basslines driving, guitars a left to reign free with sparkling riffs while the smoothly gloom tinged melodies escalate the music into the perfect balance of alternative rock sounds – and one to look out for early on in the day.
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Opening the stage also via the Futuresound competition comes the slow burning grunge of Forever Cult, a trio from Huddersfield. Mixing the 90’s sense of alternative rock with modern indie influence, the band result in loud reflective noise on their debut EP ‘Fuxx’ full of youthful punk attitudes and uproarious combinations of jolting guitars and crashing drums – set to kick start the day in the best way possible.
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SUNDAY READING/FRIDAY LEEDS

The third headliner of the stage is Prides, a  Scottish trio already gaining a weighty reputation with all they can through their unadultered synth pop stylings. Emerging fresh to the festival from playing with Blink 182 at Brixton Academy and recently signing to Island Records, the band are set to be more than ready to fill the headline slot with their intricate combinations of pounding synthlines and euphoric harmonies underneath the passion of frontman Stewart Brock’s atmospheric melodies. Adopting a seemingly joyful approach already earning them comparisons to those like Chvrches, Bastille and Saint Raymond channelled on their scattering of singles and EPs, the outfit seem more than likely to follow in the footsteps of the aforementioned, after putting on an impressive late night slot at the festival.
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With a name that seems already impressive, unsigned quartet Crystal Seagulls bring storming indie rock even more so. Making waves with their first EP and performances across the country in the past year, the outfit are gaining a reputation for their riotous live show and equally roaring sound, taking influence from those like Queens Of The Stone Age to create their brilliantly heavy rock twist and make an unmissable amount of noise doing so.
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Adam French meanwhile, brings a juxtaposing nature of calm to the stage. The North West based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist already known best for his intense acoustic sounds and effort-fueled hard work in producing them, has a unique take on solo pop with his endlessly layered tracks comprising of chiming percussion, infectious guitar lines and soft harmonies and is set to bring much more to the stage than just a man with his guitar.
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With a name as powerful as their music, Swansea punk-rockers Heavy Petting Zoo, are already renoun for being nothing less than a live spectacle. Blending frenzied surf rock with the melodic punk nature of The Cramps and those alike commanded by the sharp vocals of frontwoman Amy Zachariah, the Welsh quartet – with the Bez-esque addition of their own live dancer, Jon – are already turning heads with their music, and having previously supported equally ear splitting types such as Eagulls and Menace Beach, their set at the festival is likely to be nothing short of a bewildering storm.
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Providing another alternative take on the singer-songwriter label comes the fierce talent of Jack Garratt. Having released his debut EP last month, taking influence from blues, R&B and hip hop Garratt creates maze-like electronic soundscapes to accompany his stark self assured vocal style, in the vein of James Blake and Dan Croll, that make for inescapable listening, and no doubt an impressive live experience.
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Man Made
 is a name scattered about a fair amount in the ‘indie’ world, largely due to being the musical project of Nile Marr – the son of an acceptably unignorable guitarist – but, at a crying shame, the sheer talent of Man Made is largely overshadowed for this matter and their set on the Introducing stage is set to rectify this with an equally unignorable musical power. With melancholic sparse guitars and layers of percussive effect, Marr’s music is impressive, and when combined with his unique subdued vocal lines, it’s unavoidable and set to put on quite a show.
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Hull-based Mother, meanwhile, keep the beat up with their take on garage-punk. Combining electric pianos alongside shimmering indie guitar lines and walking basslines, the band appear to comprise more than a few contrasting influences in their music, but when placed with the ferocious raw delivery of vocalist David Sinclair the punk nature becomes clear, and though seemingly odd at first, the crowd are more than likely to be in the palm of their hands by the time the keyboard solo kicks in.
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Esco Williams 
is another unsigned singer-songwriter on the lineup offering a soulful gleam within his emotive sound. Having already been playlisted on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Williams’ latest work incorporates dark atmospherics of piano with his hauntingly passionate vocals floating over the top that makes for unavoidably incredible pieces of music likely to provide the perfect soundtrack if the black clouds do make an appearance.
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Young singer-songwriter Billie Marten too offers intense emotion within her beautifully raw acoustic tracks, with frantic country infused guitar lines contrasting the innoncence of her soft melodies and forming a spellbinding musical talent in the early lineup of the stage.
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Futuresound’s penultimate offering comes in the form of West Yorkshire alternative five piece Allusondrugs kickstart the day with a hypnotically eerie tinged rock sound infused within soaring riffs and blissed out vocals, creating a furious blend of light psychedelia and heavy rock set to start the first moshpits of the day.
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The final addition to the lineup from the Futuresound competition will be the mod sounds of Leeds’ Vendettas opening the stage, taking vast influence from 60’s rock n roll and britpop within their crashing guitars and pounding basslines to create an infectious mix of head bob-inducing music, easing you out of the morning and into the festival spirit in style.
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