Huw sits down with The Amazons* to discuss their origins, the grassroots music scene, the importance of platforms such as BBC Introducing and their future plans. 

*Please note, The Amazons will not be performing at the festival.

14:00 - BIG ZERO

Taking influence from the best of British and American New Wave, Big Zero is here to shake things up and give popular music a much needed shot of adrenaline.

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14:30 - HUW STEPHENS (Radio 1)

Huw Stephens is a presenter, dj and host.

Huw joined BBC Radio 1 at 17, becoming the youngest ever Radio 1 dj. He currently broadcasts to millions from 10pm-1am Monday to Wednesday. He has broadcast live from Glastonbury, Reading Festival, Sonar, South by South West, Eurosonic on BBC Radio 1, as well as live from Radio 1’s own Teen Awards and Big Weekend. His passion for new music has meant he has been the first to champion countless new artists early on. He has contributed to BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, 6Music and presented on BBC Radio Wales, and presents regularly on the BBC World Service.

Huw is the founder of the Swn Festival in Cardiff, Wales’ premier new music festival which he founded in 2007, and won Best Small Festival at the NME Awards in 2014. He curates the Lake Stage at Latitude Festival, which saw early appearances by the xx, Alt J, The 1975, Catfish and the Bottlemen and many more. He also comperes the main stage at Reading Festival. Huw has dj’d and curated at Green Man Festival, Festival no 6, Bestival, T in the Park and Glastonbury.

A regular at the 'other' Reading Festival, we are very happy to welcome Huw to our own Reading Festival.


15:15 - ECHOIC

ECHOIC are a young and exciting Alt-Rock quartet from Reading, Berkshire UK. The band was formed in 2013 and blended their love for Indie alt Rock music with soulful pop to create a truly unique and powerful sound.

With their work hard ethic, the band has been gaining fans across the world via social media & their exciting live show leading them to secure highly rated support slots with bands such as Arcane Roots, The Coronas, Sundara Karma and Pulled Apart by Horses to name but a few.

The band continued in their hard work vein, playing up and down the country, including a sell-out home town show and multiple festival appearances. September saw Echoic head out to play their first European tour as well as a trip to NYC to play the prestigious Mondo NYC Industry Showcase where they impressed some of the biggest names in the industry with some flawless performances.

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The Darklands club night began in 2010 and include genres such as Electronica, Shoegaze, noise, Indie pop, Fuzz and Post Punk.

Also DJ-ing: 4:45 - 5:15 pm.

16:15 - GIRL RAY
The winsome melancholic embers of Girl Ray begin amongst the scattered brown brick rows ofNorth London. They have been writing demos since their mid-teens about wanting to skateboard, how much they hate Mick Jagger and the school dinner ladies. Living only one street away from each other, best friends Poppy Hankin and Iris McConnell have been nurturing each other’s songwriting and musicianship for a number of years. However, it wasn’t until Harkin and McConnell were taking their A-levels, that they went in search for a bass player, and chose to invite Sophie Moss – on their Mum’s advice – to come and practice with them. Early shows at the Cavendish Arms and bedroom demos recorded by Hankin’s brother, were the first glimmers of light in the Girl Ray story.

At the end of 2015 it all changed when their cult bedroom demo ‘Ghosty’ arrived in the hands of Marc Riley. Girl Ray’s due diligence soared during a busy year in which touring was a staple and indie stalwarts Moshi Moshi, after seeing their heavy-hearted harmonies support Meilyr Jones at the MOTH Club, decided to sign them to the label. Dashing up and down the country, Girl Ray went on to support Slow Club, Haley Bonar and finally Ezra Furman. These tours gave them their first taste of long spirited road trips, traffic jams and nerves in front of large crowds they had to win over.
The trio recently performed at the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival and in June Girl Ray will release their debut album ‘Earl Grey’ via Moshi Moshi Records (Anna Meredith, Slow Club, Teleman). The 12-track record provides a unique snapshot of the trio’s humble beginnings while simultaneously displaying their lofty ambitions for the future. 
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With their imminent new EP "Knives and Flowers" VALERAS (formerly Area 52) are poised to become one of the UK best new live acts. The EP has been produced to magnificent affect by ex- Hundred Reasons guitarist Larry Hibbbitt (Sundara Karma, Marmozets, Black Honey, Dinosaur Pile Up, Pretty Vicious et al). 
Having gained early support from BBC Introducing VALERAS have already piled up an impressive lists of achievements which includes recording at Abbey Road and Maida Vale (for Radio 1) as well as appearing across the UK in a host of venues and festivals culminating in a second performance last year at the Reading and Leeds Festival on the Festival Republic Stage. This year promises to be a big year for the band with Spotify already naming them one of their Hot New Bands for 2017. 
17:45 - CHARLIE ASHCROFT (Amazing Radio)

Charlie's been a champion of new music for as long as we can remember. Having started out presenting on student radio and specialist music podcasts, he joined Amazing Radio in 2009, shortly after the station's launch. Since the first 'Audition' show, he's supported thousands of bands on air, including airplay for the likes of Alt-J, Shura, Bastille, Daughter, CHVRCHES and London Grammar right at the start of their careers. As well as being a regular live DJ and an occasional music writer, Charlie is also Head of Music at BT, overseeing the editorial and scheduling of thousands of music videos, playlists and albums for BT TV subscribers to access on demand.

Also DJ-ing: 8:30 - 9 pm.

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18:15 - THE BIG MOON

London's The Big Moon return to Reading following their Mystery Jets support slot and the band recently played a momentous sold out show at London’s Scala. It's been a big year for the band which has seen their star continue to rise through talent, hard work, touring, festivals and being championed by the music media. The Big Moon will release Love In The 4 th Dimension on the 7 th April 2017 through Fiction Records (The Maccabees, Palace, The Amazons. It was recorded in London throughout the Summer, and co-produced by Catherine Marks (Wolf Alice) and Juliette Jackson. 

The group's latest single Formidable was premiered as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in The World, and follows the ongoing support for the band at Radio 1. A must watch!

19:00 - PHIL TAGGART (Radio 1)

Having cut his teeth DJ’ing in his teenage years Phil is bolting all around the UK and Europe bringing his insanely high energy performances and ear melting mix of lefty dance floor fillers. Just cause he’s skinny fringe boy worry not, there will be no indie or rock. How dare you for profiling. This is a rave not a riff factory.

Whether it be dropping club sets at Koko, XOYO, Kamio in London, Ibiza Rocks support Skrillex or Dizzee Rascal or slaying sets at Wireless, Field Day, Kendal Calling, Reading and Leeds etc... His versatile sets are packed full of energy and have made him a repeat booking wherever he goes to play.

Phil Taggart is one of the youngest faces tearing up the night time on BBC Radio 1. His Sunday 10pm show has cult status amongst night time radio listeners taking in some incredible Bedtime Mixes from the likes of Radiohead, Tame Impala, The 1975 etc. Phil has also been given the keys to the underground of Radio 1 as each week he fronts the Specialist Chart (Mon 9pm) which is a 60 minute digest of the best of all Radio 1 after hours has to offer.

Phil also fronts up all the new music on Vevo from DSCVR to 'Lift' to 'Ones to Watch' to writing and producing his own content for the company in his own show DSCVR New Videos. Along with this Phil has his own show on Channel 4, 'Best Before' which is on it's way back for another series later on in the year.

Phil also runs a Record Label - Hometown Records as well as a hugely successful and usually sold out monthly club night is London called Slacker.

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19:45 - DREAM WIFE

This ain’t your average house party. Dream Wife dubbed 'the most exciting new band in the UK' invite you to jump into the mosh pit. London based musicians Alice, Bella and Icelandic singer Rakel formed at art school in Brighton where the project began as a performance art piece. Dream Wife make music embracing their love for edgy pop. Oozing girl power the music juxtaposes simple pop hooks, cutting riffs and screamy dreamy vocals.

The world of Dream Wife is brought to life with; roaring live shows, an empowering attitude embracing the strength of femininity, and collaborations with vibrant creatives of the London scene.

Lucky Number (Sleigh Bells/ Hinds) signed Dream Wife are being widely tipped across the music industry to breakthrough this year and with festival appearances on both sides of the pond confirmed; it's shaping up to be their year.


Spring King are one of the UK’s most exciting new bands, no question. But it’s not in their nature to take the easy route. From a bathroom-based de facto studio to their superb debut album ‘Tell Me If You Like To’, their story is a victory for any band plugging away endlessly in the hope of one day achieving their dreams.

Spring King have racked up close to two hundred shows, some game-changing moments. Their first stateside trips to CMJ in 2014 and SXSW in 2015 playing the BBC Introducing showcase – marking the band out as British talent capable of taking the transatlantic jump. The summer prior, BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens picked them to play a slot on his Lake Stage at Latitude Festival. Plus tours with some of the country’s biggest names - from Wolf Alice to Slaves.

While on the road, DJs like Zane Lowe, BBC Radio 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Triple J’s Zan Rowe have fallen for the group’s in-your-face, enlivened force. They’ve been press darlings from the start, too. NME and DIY have been loyal fans, while The Guardian, Stereogum and The Line of Best Fit have also tracked their journey.

In terms of live shows, they cite last year’s tour with Courtney Barnett as a defining moment. For one, it was the first time they’d played to so many people. And it’s where Spring King began to develop their insane, eye-catching live presence. All of a sudden, they had room on stage. Tarek found himself at the back of giant rooms, which led to the maniacal, in-your-face showmanship Pete, James and Andy collectively sport. “They knew that at the front, they had to take over,” says Tarek.

Then, in June 2015, the band’s fortunes were given a huge boost.

Zane Lowe opened his first ever Beats 1 show on Apple Music with ‘City’, a raucous call to arms fully capable of starting a new era. Zane’s love of ‘City’ was already proudly declared in his BBC Radio 1 days. The song followed him from London to LA, without pause. But this time, millions were listening in. Tech-heads, Apple enthusiasts and the entire music industry were waiting for this first play, and to Spring King’s shock, it was their latest single that opened the station’s doors. In four bizarre and unexpected minutes, the band’s status was transformed. Publications like Wired, Billboard and USA Today suddenly wanted their say. A&Rs flocked in their droves. Fence-sitters who didn’t stake their claim or even have a concrete opinion - began to turn their heads, too. Years of hard work paid off in a crazy moment that barely any other new band will ever experience. Spring King were suddenly everyone’s business.  

Zane’s game-changing Beats 1 play was coupled with shows at Reading & Leeds - two experiences Tarek describes as a “headfuck.” Label offers flocked and eventually, in late 2015, they settled on Island Records, a major who wanted the band to retain their creative control. “Spring King started as a self-sufficient thing and we always want it to be like that. It came down to the label that’d give us more control over the album.”

‘Tell Me If You Like To’ captures the chaos and rollercoaster turns of Spring King’s previous few years. It possesses the same 100mph, blink-and-you-missed-it spirit as debut track ‘Let’s Ride’, coupled with moments of stark clarity. ‘The Summer’ is a homage to heroes The Beach Boys and a dead cert go-to anthem for 2016. ‘Rectifier’ and ‘Demons’ wrestle with fear and paranoia. ‘Who Are You?’ is the blistering garage rock sister track to ‘City.’

But throughout, these emotionally twisted songs are ready to be embraced by thousands. These are party songs with a melancholic edge, Tarek citing an amped-up Arcade Fire or Lykke Li’s ‘I Follow Rivers’ as influence. “It’s so dark. But everyone’s partying to it,” is the motto. He vividly remembers summertime as a teen, guitar songs blaring out of car stereos and soundtracking the reckless parties he’d host in his empty house. “We want this record to be that moment in other people’s lives.”

Spring King have never been a band with a grand multi-year plan. And this only goes to further emphasise the crazy journey that’s just taken place. The story is reflected in the video for recent single ‘Rectifier’, which lifts a lid on the last few years. Tarek starts drumming in an empty, deep-black room, before being joined by Pete. Those are the early days. This room then transforms into a studio, James and Andy getting involved - the formation of a proper band. The studio then morphs into a full capacity venue, all flailing arms and crazed fans - a fixture of Spring King’s current rise. It’s a neat, timely summary of everything that’s happened up to now.

The only time these four have ever been properly settled - and not on the road whisked elsewhere - was when they stepped into The Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire, to record the debut. Like being given keys to the city, a new wave of inspiration allowed them to complete this remarkable record within weeks. “There wasn’t any harm in just going for it.” And in this statement, they sum up the mantra that’s already taken them this far. No reservations, they’ve taken every opportunity that’s come their way. The odds are on their side. The next step is anyone’s guess.


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