Chay Woodman

Date published: 1st May 2007

With EXCLUSIVE FESTIVAL PERFORMANCES FROM RAZORLIGHT AND THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS,  THE SMASHING PUMPKINS ONLY UK DATES, and a host of the biggest new names including THE VIEW, THE TWANG and KLAXONS already announced, THE CARLING WEEKEND: READING AND LEEDS FESTIVALS is already assured of it’s place at the heart of the summer music calendar. But we’re not content to rest on our laurels and, with over 150 acts over the three days to entertain the largest festival crowd in the UK over the two sites, organisers Mean Fiddler are set to add yet more exciting names to the bill.

Voted the Live Event of the Year for 2006 by NME readers, the International Live Event of the Year by the prestigious CIC Music Industry Awards in Los Angeles and Best Festival at the Nokia Music Awards, the festivals are without a doubt the greatest rock ‘n’ roll weekend of the year and the best live music weekend in Britain.

The Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds Festivals is a byword for the true power of rock music. Since 1989 when Mean Fiddler took over the running of the then Reading Festival through to 1999 when Europe’s first twin site festival, The Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds Festivals were brought to life, the event has seen some of the greatest and most memorable performances ever. NME readers voted Nirvana’s 1992 performance at Reading as the greatest Nirvana moment ever, whilst their mid afternoon performance the year before also made the chart. From L7’s mudfight through Guns ‘n’ Roses late night return in Leeds, from Pearl Jam’s debut UK festival performance last year to the Foo Fighters amazing debut UK festival performance on the second stage, the festivals are the stuff of rock ‘n’ roll history in the making.

So, with that in mind, here are the latest additions to our world famous Main Stage, site of some of those incredible performances from year’s gone by and also to the Radio One / NME Stage, where the headliners of the future make their own bid for global stardom.

Friday 24th August at The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival
Saturday 25th August at The Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival

Playing four sets over the weekend, JIMMY EAT WORLD will take to the Main Stage at both sites in addition to then playing a more intimate (and undoubtedly hotter) headline set at each site on The Lock-Up Stage. A special treat for their legion of fans, this is a very special extra for the crowd at both Reading and Leeds this year. One of the biggest bands in the world, since their formation in 1993, Jimmy Eat World have been through various labels in their long career, producing a total of 5 studio albums alongside various EP’s and singles. Now happily signed to Interscope Records, the band are currently in the studio recording the follow up to 2004’s ‘Futures’.

Winners of 2006’s Philip Hall Radar Award at the NME Awards, Sheffield’s THE LONG BLONDES, have seen their star rise since that point with a clutch of Top 30 singles, a rapturously received debut album in the form of ‘Someone To Drive You Home’ and a well deserved reputation for being the sharpest dressed gang in town.

In just eighteen hugely eventful months since signing a record deal, Yorkshire quartet LITTLE MAN TATE made a name for themselves as one of the most exciting live acts in the country. Racking up five top 40 singles along the way, they also released their Elliot James produced debut album 'About What You Know' to widespread critical acclaim while performing a string of riotous sold out tours, including their biggest sold out headline show to date, at London's 2000 capacity Astoria. "Bouncy, brassy and destines for greatness" - NME.

Currently gearing up for a US release for their debut album, ‘We Are The Pipettes’ following a fantastic response to their shows at this year’s South By South West, THE PIPETTES are one of the most entertaining bands you are likely to see this at this year’s festival. With a trio of frontwomen, the band draw on the Motown girl groups for a show that is fun all the way.

Saturday 25th August at The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival
Sunday 27th August at The Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival

With their inclusion on the soundtrack to 2004’s ‘Garden State’, THE SHINS went from best kept indie secret to Bilboard slaughtering huge band status. Over one million worldwide sales later, the New Mexico four piece’s latest album, ‘Wincing The Night Away’ scored a Number 2 placing in the US and Canada and a Number 16 placing here in the UK.

The rawest, sleaziest boys in town are back with EAGLES OF DEATH METAL added to the bill. Josh Homme’s other band aside from Queens Of The Stone Age, the band are also known for receiving full payment for their US tour supporting Guns ‘n’ Roses despite only playing the first show. Currently in the studio recording the follow up to 2006’s ‘Death By Sexy’, this is a band that never disappoint live.

Liverpool’s DEAD 60’s made many waves with their reinvention of the ska sound on 2005’s debut eponymous album in 2005. Having made their mark with that debut, the band are currently in the studio recording the follow up which makes these shows an early chance to hear that new material.

Sunday 26th August at The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival
Friday 24th August at The Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival

With 2004’s Bilboard Top 10 album, ‘In Love and Death’ THE USED went from underground heroes to one of the most high profile US hardcore bands. Third studio album, ‘Lies For The Lairs’ repeated the trick in May this year making these shows the ideal moment for the UK to catch up.

Having sold out their debut UK tour before even releasing a record in the UK, HELLOGOODBYE are a good bet for one of the bands to emerge from this year’s bill to far greater things. With debut album, ‘Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!’ just on street, get in early and make sure you catch their UK festival debut.

Another US sensation sure to catch fire over here, GYM CLASS HEROES are rightly recognized as true pioneers of live hip-hop and seamlessly meld rap, rock, pop funk, R&B, and anything else that happens to strike the musically voracious outfit’s fancy to create a thrilling live show. With a track in the Bilboard Hot 100 for over 8 consecutive weeks, this is another US band that looks set to take the UK by storm.

Friday 24th August at The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival
Saturday 25th August at The Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival

With a top 30 placing for his debut album, ‘Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager’, Sam Duckworth aka GET CAPE WEAR CAPE FLY has steadily become one of the most influential of the new crop of UK singer / songwriters with UNCUT classifying the album as "spirited, impassioned and, crucially, modern."

Currently celebrating a Top 10 placing for their ‘Away From Here’ single, THE ENEMY are seen as one of the brightest UK hopes for 2007. Having toured relentlessly for over a year, the three piece from Coventry have built up a fanatical live reputation that is well deserved and success (and bigger stages in the years to come) seem guaranteed.

One of the most talked about bands of the year, THE HORRORS unique take on the garage sound of the late 60’s has seen them garner huge amounts of column inches and an NME cover prior to the recent release of debut album ‘Strange House’. One of the most thrilling live bands around, catch these shows to see what all the (deserved) fuss is about.

SPARTA formed in 2001 when the much loved At The Drive In split at the height of their fame. Taking the power of their former band but with an eye on melody, latest album, ‘Threes’ has been praised by Alternative Press in the USA as the sound of a group "intent on realizing their destiny as an arena-filling, life-changing band."

Saturday 25th August at The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival
Sunday 26th August at The Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival

Since their tentative reunion in 2005 after an acrimonious split over 10 years previously, DINOSAUR JR’s new live shows have received reverential and ecstatic reviews. Their appearance at this year’s festivals will be eagerly anticipated by old and new fans alike. The original line up of J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph have just recorded ‘Beyond’ their first studio album in 18 years and will no doubt be showing this off as well as performing tracks from their classic late 80’s and early 90’s releases ‘Dinosaur’, ‘Bug’ and ‘You’re Living All Over Me’.

For the Leeds leg this year, there is no doubt that one of the biggest cheers of the weekend will be reserved for the PIGEON DETECTIVES, local lads made good. With recent single ‘Romantic Type’ achieving a debut Top 20 single placing for the band and debut album, ‘Wait For Me’, due for release at the end of May, it’s pretty sure that the Reading reaction will be similar for a band looking set to make 2007 their own.

With a clutch of Top 40 singles and a debut album that struck the UK charts at the more than respectable placing of 21, THE YOUNG KNIVES have been one of the more unexpected success stories of the last 12 months. Only unexpected in that the trio do not play the usual rock games of hanging out in London bars and wearing the right clothes, preferring the Oxfordshire countryside and sensible jackets. All this matters for naught when you have songs as catchy as ‘Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer)’ in your arsenal and a pile of fantastic press in your pocket.

With a clutch of Top 40 singles from their debut album, ‘Everything Is’ (2005), NINE BLACK ALPS made good on the promise identified by many record labels following only a few shows in their native Manchester in 2004. Currently in the studio finishing the follow up to that debut, these shows may be an early opportunity to hear new material and marvel at their blistering live performance.

With a well deserved reputation for frenetic live shows, GOOD SHOES are a young UK band on the up. Debut album, ‘Think Before You Speak’, is a perfect encapsulation of their pop perfection, permeated throughout by the wit and wisdom of lead singer and lyricist Rhys Jones. No surprise then that the band’s fanbase is fanatical in the extreme and these shows are sure to see them out in full force.

Styled by the NME as a "sexy soulful racket that’s a whole lot of fun" NOISETTES come to the twin sites with critical acclaim for their debut album ‘What’s The Time Mr. Wolf’ and a brand spaking new single in ‘Scratch Your Name’ out this week. With US support tours with TV On The Radio and Bloc Party and a deal with Motown in the States alongside their own huge UK tour through May, the London trio are amongst the ‘most likely to’s of the class of 2007.

Sunday 26th August at The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival
Friday 24th August at The Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival

A number 4 debut album in the shape of ‘Panic Prevention’, an NME Award for best Solo Artist in the face of competition from the likes of Jarvis Cocker, 2007 has been good to JAMIE T. Emerging from the London scene in 2006, Jamie has become to many the spokesperson for his generation with songs such as new single, ‘Sheila’, documenting the experiences of his peer group to great effect. A must see and a sure fire bet for further success as the year wears on.

One of the US’s most talked about bands of the year, COLD WAR KIDS debut album, ‘Robbers and Cowards’ demonstrated a band in love with skewed imagery, esoteric musicianship but, crucially, also aware of how to write a great tune. Their debut UK tour was a sell out and the forthcoming release of ‘Hospital Beds’, one of the standout tracks from that amazing debut is all the evidence you need to understand why Q styled them as "Utterly unique" in their 4 star album review.

Having broken into the Top 40 with their ‘About Your Dress’ single in February of this year, THE MACCABEES are set to release debut album, ‘Colour It In’ in May to an ever more interested public. The Brighton five piece have toured incessantly through the year and their literate pop songs look a safe bet to make a great impression on the rest of the year.

A self described party band, THE SUNSHINE UNDERGROUND are essentially huge choruses, boisterous bass lines and repetitive beats which makes their live shows some of the best around. Being local Leeds lads, you would expect a huge home coming for them at Bramham but the way their name is growing don’t count against a similar response in Reading. Drawing on Public Image Limited as much as Happy Mondays, this is a band in love with the future of music in addition to understanding it’s past.

With a stated aim to shake up a music scene dominated by white boys with guitars, NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB are well underway. A slot on the NME New Rave Tour at the start of 2007 saw their electro inspired pop find legions of new fans whilst frontwoman Tahita Bulmer’s no nonsense feminism has made her a heroine to a generation of teenagers of both sexes without losing that all important sense of fun that lies at the heart of their music.

Currently at the centre of a raging debate in the pages of NME, HADOUKEN have already achieved the first goal of any new band, dividing opinion with their grime inspired fluorescent dance music. Renowned for exuberant live performances, check them out yourself and then join the debate.

LATE OF THE PIER have only been in existence for just over a year but in that time, their presence at the seminal Way Out West all ages shows in London and consistent touring has seen them push their way to the front of the ‘new bands most likely to’ list.


Day Tickets which do not allow camping are priced at £62.50 plus booking fee.
Day Tickets are currently available for the Friday at Reading and all days at Leeds but availability is limited.

National Credit Card Hotline:
SEE Tickets, Wayahead : 0870 060 3775

Online – tickets available from: 

Bars, Cash Points, First Aid & Paramedics, Food & Non Food Stalls, Information Tent, Left Luggage, Meeting Point, Market Stalls, Merchandise, Showers, Welfare Tent.

Tangerine Fields brings a new camping service to both sites this year. Leave your tent at home and book into a ready pitched, fully equipped tent set in chilled out surroundings on the festival site. There’s the added luxury of extra loos and hot showers. Is there any other way to camp? Available to anyone with a weekend camping ticket, for prices and booking visit

Mean Fiddler produces a guide to Disabled Access and Facilities for all its festivals, which includes details of the 2-for-1 ticket scheme. Applications for the Reading 2-for-1 scheme must be received by Friday 29th July.

Please request a booklet and application form on 020 8961 5490.
Mean Fiddler Information Hotline (Mon-Fri 10am - 6pm) 020 8963 0940
Little John’s Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading
Bramham Park, Leeds

This years sponsors -

The NME signing tent will once again be the most rock 'n' roll place to hang out at this year’s Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds Festival. Giving music fans the chance to meet the hottest acts from this years line-up, bands will be signing autographs throughout the weekend at both the Reading and Leeds site. NME is the official music magazine of the festival and together with, will be first for music news including all the official line-ups, and the latest festival gossip all summer.

Jason Carter, Editor of Live Events, Radio 1 said "Radio 1 are really looking forward to returning to The Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds festival this year. It's one of the premier live music events on the UK calendar and a must for Radio 1 listeners. Once again, the festival has delivered a stunning line-up and the station will be broadcasting all the best live performances and atmosphere of the festival."

Carling is back for the 9th year running as headline sponsor of the Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds Festivals. Once again, Carling will be ensuring ice cold beer for festival-goers with the return of Carling’s Cold Beer Amnesty – simply swap any unopened can of warm beer for a free Carling.
The Carling Stage will be featuring some of the hottest new talent around again this year; Ice cold Carling, live music and a group of mates – the perfect line up for the best festival weekend.