Brighton Bands Rock Reading

Reading Festival 2017 was awash with Brighton bands, and SOURCE was there to see how our Brighton boys and gals got on.

With Black Honey and Yonaka playing the Festival Republic stage, we focused on the Jacks Rocks stage, with White Room, Of Empires and SONS all gracing the stage.

The Jack Rocks stage is partnered with This Feeling, whose mission is to be ‘The UK’s most rock’n’roll night out, where to see the next big things first.’ The brainchild of Mikey Jonns, we took a look first hand to see how This Feeling are helping to shape the future of the UK music scene.

Of Empires - Reading Festival 2017 - Brighton Source - Ashley Laurence - Time for Heroes Photography

On the road with Of Empires

Almost a year on from playing the Source stage at Party at the Races (you can catch up on our hilarious interview with the lads here), we experienced first hand the anticipation, highs and serious partying that unfolded as Of Empires played their first Reading Festival…

Setting off from Brighton the evening before, the atmosphere in the car was of nervous excitement, fuelled by gin, craft beer and prosecco (and some killer soundtracks on the stereo).

The boys were spared the traditional Reading Festival delights of the campsite from hell, ruled by those celebrating their GCSE results and lobbing cups of shit around (this genuinely happened to someone we spoke to).

Of Empires - Reading Festival 2017 - Brighton Source - Ashley Laurence - Time for Heroes Photography

Arriving backstage early Friday afternoon, the realisation hit that a stage time of 8:20 would allow plenty of time to prepare / get those butterflies going. It also offered the option of getting ridiculously drunk on free Jack Daniels, although the sense of occasion over-ruled normal party instinct here.

We caught up with OE’s frontman Jack after their set…

You played 2 new tunes – ‘Gunslingers’ and ‘Waist up in gold’, in favour of some of your well known tracks ‘Baby darling sugar’ and ‘See you with the angels kid’ – a bold move?

“We’ve spent the summer writing new tunes, and have been testing them out (here and Isle of White Festival). The new tunes are more representative of the direction we are heading. The writing process was different for these, we wrote these more organically, all together in the studio, rather than just hitting the studio to lay down pre-written tunes. We wanted to capture our ‘live’ sound on record as much as we can.”

Of Empires - Reading Festival 2017 - Brighton Source - Ashley Laurence - Time for Heroes Photography

We’ve talked about This Feeling and how they are championing British bands like no-one else. How do you kick on after Reading?

“New material, and touring parts of the UK not played before – we’ve not really ventured up north – Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds etc.

It was really important to hear Tom (from headliners Kasabian) bigging up This Feeling – it’ll encourage their fans to branch out and listen to more acts. Fill the void that NME left.

This Feeling acted as a springboard to get on these festivals, and of course we want to use that momentum to get to the next level. We’ve just got a support slot confirmed with Anteros.”

The rise of This Feeling

The backstage area of the Jack Rocks stage was an A-Z of This Feeling endorsed bands, a real sense of community on display – many of the bands have toured and played with each other.

Backstage Jack Rocks This Feeling - Reading Festival 2017 - Brighton Source - Ashley Laurence - Time for Heroes Photography

White Room also played the SOURCE stage at last year’s Party at the Races, and were one of our standout bands from The Great Escape 2017. We caught up with Jacob and the guys shortly after their set.

How was that for you?

Playing Reading is such a buzz. Most of us have been going since we were old enough to go to festivals, and we’ve seen some of our idols throughout the years, so to play is something special.

You’re well established amongst This Feeling circles – how has that impacted the band over the last year?

‘This Feeling” have provided us with a TON of support, as they do with all their bands; Mikey believes in music and is giving young guitar bands a much needed platform. Being part of the Jack Rocks 7 this year has been a real special one for us as we’ve had the chance to go to play some of the best festivals across the country, with some great bands and friends.

White Room - Reading Festival 2017 - Will Ireland

Reading festival 2017, Jack Daniels; Jackrocks; This Feeling

It feels like there is a family atmosphere between the bands…

There’s a lot of love going around for sure, not only from our fellow band comrades, but also from the “This Feeling” family backstage. It’s been lovely to have a travelling circus of mates who we reunite with every few weeks or so to continue the ruckus.

Jacob mentioned that you guys have worked / toured / partied closely with the Blinders. They’ve announced a tour for next year – any such plans for White Room?

We love those boys, a talented and charming bunch, even though they kidnapped T and took him to Manchester against his will…..

We have loads planned for autumn starting with some shows supporting our mates Vryll society in October; keep your eyes peeled for more announcements.

This Feeling hits Brighton

Of Empires - Reading Festival 2017 - Brighton Source - Ashley Laurence - Time for Heroes Photography

SONS, who bought a raucous set of grunge-tinted garage rock to the stage on Sunday, have recently been announced for the This Feeling’s Alive Tour at Concorde 2 on 15 October. They’ve recently stepped in due to The Blinders pulling out, and will be playing alongside The Shimmer Band, Bang Bang Romeo and Blackwaters.

Yonaka also played Reading, and have impressively got a support slot with the Libertines (Read our preview here) when they hit the Brighton Centre on 02 October.

And fresh off the back of their Reading debut, Of Empires will be supporting another This Feeling favourite, Anteros (Komedia Studio, 25 Sept).

The future of Brighton bands is certainly looking bright. Expect big things.

Reading Festival, August 2017
Words and photographs* Ashley Luke Laurence
*White Room live photographs credit: Will Ireland

Features 10 months old

Ashley Laurence

Love taking photos that capture energy and passion and rock n roll messiness. Writer of the odd review, lover of music, football. Time for Heroes Photography.

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