We've never been to Reading's Are You Listening? Festival but we've heard good things from our contemporaries, and as a bargain-tastic £12 for a day of live music, we've taken the plunge in 2015. Not to mention that proceeds go to Reading Mencap and the festival has a grassroots policy of supporting local music. Take a look at some of our recommended acts to see:
The Amazons (14.00, Bowery District)
We're not quite sure if there's such thing as a "prestigious opening slot" for Are You Listening? but with this Reading quartet kicking off proceedings in 2015, perhaps there should be. Sharing a similar rock-tinged aesthetic as the likes of Wolf Alice and JAWS, they're likely to be much higher on the bill next time around.
Tiny Giant (16.00, Bowery District)
A bit of a wildcard choice this one, with such little music from the duo available online currently. (Listen to 'Heavy Love' on Sky Arts.) But with Chloe Alper having cut her teeth in Period Pains and Pure Reason Revolution, and Mat Collis having worked with everyone from Charli XCX to Jay-Z, we're quietly optimistic.
Moonbow (17.00, Milk)
Arguably the most experimental band on the entire line-up, let alone of our recommendations. The duo of Eleanor Hardwick and Beau Hulse create hypnotic soundscapes, especially well suited if you're looking for a period of contemplation mid-festival.
CAVES. (18.45, Pavlov's Dog)
Dark. Intense. Passionate. CAVES./Obsession, Calvin Klein. The baritone vocals and guitar-led nature of CAVES. leads to obvious comparisons to bands such as The National and Editors. However, we fully expect that their festival performance will prove that they are far from a mere facsimile.
Hannah Lou Clark (19.15, Oakford Social Club)
We've really enjoyed Hannah Lou Clark's work from her days in the poppy Arthur through to her more fiery FOE outfit. Clark's latest music is in line with the latter, albeit with a greater fragility to contrast the grunge, and we're intrigued to find out how this translates live.
GOLDN (20.15, Oakford Social Club)
Upon hearing GOLDN, we immediately thought of the enigmatic producer Brolin - except with a stronger RnB presence. But there's also everything from How To Dress Well to Frank Ocean in the soulful music. Our "find" of the festival, and we hope that they can live up to our high expectations.
Sophie Jamieson (21.00, South Street - Main Room)
A blogosphere favourite (much like Robyn Sherwell, who is also on the bill), Sophie Jamieson is on an upward rise. She found a place on diverse tastemaking label Luv Luv Luv Records (Laura Welsh, Spector etc) and we look forward to hearing how her folk sounds translate in the live environment.
HART (21.30, South Street - MacDevitts Room)
Daniel Pattison's HART project has only recently emerged, and yet his pedigree is such, that he receives significantly high billing. Working with the likes of esteemed composer Nico Muhly makes HART a particularly exciting prospect.
Pulled Apart By Horses (22.15, Sub89)
Perhaps somewhat terrifyingly, it's been almost six years since we caught Leeds noiseniks completely blow the crowd away at a little festival called Offset. They've now progressed to the stage where they are festival headliners, and their heavy riffs should dominate Reading. (Earlier in the day, Bad Grammar may deliver in similar fashion.)
Dan le Sac (23.00, Milk)
One half of Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, a duo who unfortunately called to end a rich collaboration last year, le Sac released his electronic-led debut solo record back in 2012. A good way to cap things off at Are You Listening? 2015. (Although DJs John Kennedy and Pete Wheeler are on hand well past midnight at the Oakford Social Club.)
Find more info and buy tickets through areyourlistening.org.uk.