Festival Preview: Six Top Acts To See At Are You Listening? Festival 2018

on Thursday, April 26, 2018
Are You Listening? Festival 2018 (various venues across Reading, 28 April '18) // Words: Saam Das

Music festivals and Reading - name a more iconic duo. Okay, you probably can name several but that shouldn't take away from the popularity of Reading music festivals of which Are You Listening? is now firmly established. This April's edition is the festival's sixth, and increasingly, an important stop in the UK festival calendar.

We're firm fans of Are You Listening? and its support of local charity Reading Mencap, and this year's collection of bands is as strong as we've seen at the festival. We've put together a smattering of our favourite acts from this year's typically great value Are You Listening? festival line up below.

Tiny Giant (14.45, Oakford Social Club)

This isn't the first rodeo for Chloe Alper and Mat Collis in many respects, having worked on several music projects (separately) prior to Tiny Giant and having appeared at the festival multiple times already. Their self-proclaimed future rock mixes powerful vocals, synth and tasty guitar riffs - Tiny Giant, huge sounds.

Saltwater Sun (16.15, Sub89)

Are You Listening? not only has an impressive ethos regarding supporting a local charity, but they also place significant importance on supporting local music. Reading five piece Saltwater Sun are one of the finest of the local offerings, with shades of old FG faves Let's Buy Happiness but with a rockier edge.

Febueder (18.30, St Laurence Church)

Back in 2014, we were asked to help judge the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition and Febueder just missed out on our top three choices to put forward. The trio have not suffered too badly since then however, and their Wild Beasts-esque efforts will prosper in the beautiful setting of St Laurence Church.

The Longcut (20.30, Purple Turtle)

It was quite the shock/pleasant surprise to discover that The Longcut have returned, in something of a similar fashion to the unexpected re-emergence of Tom Vek a few years back. The band's new material doesn't appear to be far removed from their existing catalogue that (very simplistically speaking) plucked the best bits of indie and dance music.

Deerful (21.15, South Street Arts Centre Studio)

Is 'bedroom pop' a pejorative term these days? Probably. But we'd still fit Emma Winston in that broad bracket, even though we successfully avoided doing so back in 2016 when we first wrote about Deerful. Maybe more synthy singer-songwriter. Regardless, a delight.

Field Music (23.00, St Laurence Church)

Experimental, off-kilter, brilliant. All things that could be used to describe David and Peter Brewis, the brotherly duo that make up Field Music. Traversing influences from Thelonious Monk to Talking Heads, expect the unexpected with Field Music's headline set at Are You Listening? 2018.

Schedule subject to change. Find more info and purchase tickets at areyoulistening.org.uk.

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