Reading’s Are You Listening? is a music festival that encapsulates everything that a fan could want.
It comes at a value price, with advance tickets retailing at £20 for the day. It has a great line up of national touring and local bands, which this year sees the likes of Anna Meredith, The Big Moon, Clock Opera and Spring King taking to its stages. By nature of its city centre location it’s convenient, easy to access and the weather isn’t a major player. Add in the fact that it’s a festival with a heart, donating every year to Reading Mencap (AYL has now raised over £34,000 for the charity since its birth in 2013) and you’ll probably understand why AYL is pretty much faultless in every respect.
Having supported the festival since its inception, this year Breaking More Waves will also be involved in the event as more than just a punter, as I DJ some of my favourite songs in between bands at Milk Bar, one of the festivals venues. The word DJ is used very loosely here – essentially it will involve cross-fading a few tunes off an iPad Spotify playlist or CDs with no mixing, no beat matching and no skill whatsoever.
Like any festival that focuses on relatively new and emerging music, with 9 venues putting on shows and over 70 artists performing during the day, it can be a little bewildering to choose who to see, so below you’ll find 3 of Breaking More Waves recommendations to cut through the overload. None of these are headline acts.
Are You Listening takes place on April 22nd in Reading City Centre. It’s also Record Store Day, so get there early, hit up The Sound Machine record shop, grab some lunch, then go and watch Radio 1's Huw Stephens in conversation with local heroes The Amazons at Sub 89 before the live music kicks off at 2pm into the night. Tickets are available by clicking here.
Temples Of Youth (16:00 – Public)
Winchester gloom-pop duo Temples of Youth are no strangers to the pages of Breaking More Waves. Having supported the likes of Sundara Karma, Declan McKenna and Laurel they also were also picked as part of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent 2017 competition long list. Expect cinematic electronics, mournful guitars and Joy Divison drum sounds.
Saltwater Sun (17.45 – Purple Turtle)
I first came across Saltwater Sun at Are You Listening Festival in 2014 and since that time their music has gained plenty of exposure on line through websites and blogs with songs like Habit On My Mind and Now Or Never. With some potent indie rock sounds and the unique vocal talent of Jenn Stearne they’re worth your time.
Dream Wife (19.45 – Sub 89)
For anyone still pushing the ‘indie rock music is dead’ argument, I’d strongly go advise them to go and see Dream Wife, who show there’s a huge amount of energy left in the old dog yet. Vital, empowering and full of snarling two fingers up against the world attitude, they’re a beast of a band.