Arts & Culture

Reading’s premier independent music festival Are You Listening? Festival returns with the second wave of acts joining the already impressive line-up for this April.

Leading the announcement are the fast rising stars of indie rock Gengahr. Known for their haunting vocals and electrifying live shows, the left-field indie band have toured with Jungle, The Strokes and Wolf Alice, and recently supported previous AYL? Festival headliner Ezra Furmanat Brixton Academy. The enthralling London-based four piece played show-stopping sets at Boardmasters, Truck and Reading Festival last summer, and they’re sure to impress again April 27.

[caption id=“attachment_44747” align=“aligncenter” width=“699”] Krafty Kuts[/caption]

Legendary Brighton turntablist Krafty Kuts joins the fold too. Real name Martin Reeves, Krafty Kuts has been winning awards for his turntable gymnastics since first entering a DJ competition aged 12 in the late 80s. Described by Resident Advisor as ‘the undisputed King of breaks’, Krafty has produced legendary Fabriclive mixes, soundtracked everything from Masterchef adverts to Guy Richie films, and played out to crowds of 40,000 people alongside superstars like The Rolling Stones and The Prodigy. Krafty Kuts’ full-throttle genre-bending DJ skills are sure to leave jaws on the floor this April.

[caption id=“attachment_44741” align=“aligncenter” width=“704”] Bad Sound - photo credit: Mat Stan Lee[/caption]

The ever raucous Bad Sounds return to the Festival as one of their Headliners, having previously left the Purple Turtle drenched in sweat in 2017. The frenetic party starters have been the Hottest Record In The World on BBC Radio 1 four times, and their raw, unadulterated energy and addictive pop hooks has seen them tour with Rat Boy,Wolf Alice and Pale Waves. The five-piece released their acclaimed debut album last year; sold out a massive show at London’s Heaven; played Reading, Truck and pretty much every other UK festival last summer, and are sure to inject energy to the festival.

[caption id=“attachment_44751” align=“aligncenter” width=“920”] Willie J Healey[/caption]

The scarily talented alternative folkie Willie J. Healey joins the Festival in April too. The purveyor of low-fi pop hails from nearby Oxford and following the success of his 2017 debut album, Willie has supported the likes of Gaz Coombes, Mark Lanegan, Reading indie icons Sundara Karma and Slaves at their enormous Alexandra Palace show. Willie’s latest EP was released on Yala! Records (run by Felix White of The Maccabees) and this year look’s to be his for the taking.

[caption id=“attachment_44745” align=“aligncenter” width=“941”] Honey Moon[/caption]

Also announced is new music guru John Kennedy (Radio X), who plays the festival for the fifth consecutive year, and BBC Radio 1riot starter Phil Taggart, who is curating Sub 89 under his SLACKER club night banner. They’re joined by local choir Arborfield Military Wives Choir; Oxford soulful jazz quartet Wandering Wires; buzzy London indie popsters Honey Moon; and post-punk noise brigade Death of a Maiden. The Amazing Tiger Band; Borjad Luis; Catgod; Eat Daddy Eat; Kill Committee; Longdaylatenight; Peerless Pirates;Typical Hunks and Zoofan have all been announced too.

[caption id=“attachment_44759” align=“aligncenter” width=“715”] Rozi Plain[/caption]

Already announced to be playing this April are psychedelic world music behemoths Flamingods; alternative folk songstress Rozi Plain; juddering synth-rock powerhouse TVAM; heartbreaking indie trio Our Girl; beatboxing superstar SK Shlomo; eight-limbed noise machine BIG LAD; award winning Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra; DIY noise-punks Workin’ Man Noise Unitalong with many more acts.

Of the announcement festival organiser, Dave Maul, said: “We’re really proud of how far Are You Listening? Festival has developed as we approach it’s seventh year. The festival continues to grow in interesting new ways and we’re pleased that the line-up continues to be brimming with diverse talent from the local area and further afield.

“From world famous DJs to orchestras and choirs, and everything in between, we’re really excited about how this year is shaping up and looking forward to hopefully breaking the £70,000 total mark for our charity partner Reading Mencap”.

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