Famous bands from Reading

Famous bands from Reading

Reading is world-renowned for its annual music festival that promotes the best of the current music scene. However, Reading itself has produced its fair share of musical prodigy that suitably represents the international music scene from Berkshire city. From rock to folk to electronica, here is Singing Lessons Reading's list of the wide diversity of Reading-born musicians. 

Laura Marling is an acoustic-folk singer-songwriter who attended school in Reading and, not too long after, has released four studio albums. A member of indie band Noah and the Whale originally, Marling left after her relationship with a fellow band member ended. This led to a creative resurgence for Marling, who went on to release her début the album that was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Her most recent release is her third album to be nominated for the same prize, seeing her up against such huge names as David Bowie and James Blake. Marling's music involves subtle lyricism conveyed by a delicate voice that is not afraid to rise to climactic heights. Her guitar-work functions perfectly, providing the ideal counterpart through simple but emotive chords and accomplished fingerpicking. Fans of female vocalists like Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin will warm to Marling, while she has also been heralded as the female version of Damien Rice or Leonard Cohen. Having won a BRIT award and an NME award, Marling has broken into the mainstream music scene, however, she retains the sort of individuality and self-determination that is lost on the countless other acoustic-folk acts who break into the mainstream, definitely, one to check out!

Does It Offend You, Yeah? are an indie-dance band who were formed in Reading in 2006, riding on the back on the new indie sound of the Libertines and Razorlight. Does It Offend You, Yeah? took this sound and were one of the first to modify it with the use of synthesizers enabling their music to combine the catchiness of their influences, yet with an ore graspable electronic sound. The band have been compared to such legends as Daft Punk and Justice, yet they are less definably electronic and still retain the traditional instruments of indie music like the electric guitar. The band have performed on numerous television spots, in the UK as well as the US, and have something of a large following stateside, being named a Rolling Stone breaking Artist in 2008, as well as selling out a headline US tour. This tour ended with lead singer James Rushent breaking his leg, indicative of another renowned facet of the band, their electric live performances. The intensity of these live shows has led to broken instruments and stage dives, leading them to be compared to an early Muse, or Rage Against the Machine. Despite all these comparisons, the band are really like no other, so check them out whatever your music taste, you might like what you hear.

Morning Runner are an alternative rock band who all hail from Reading and met there. The band formed by each mutually discovering one another playing different instruments under different guises, and each deciding that they wanted to play together. As they signed to an independent label, they got gigs supporting bands like Bloc Party and Coldplay, before breaking out with the release of their first album. Their lead single broke the top 20 in the UK, and the album was well received, despite comparisons to contemporary piano-driven bands like Keane and Coldplay. After trouble with their label pressuring them into having a hit-record as a follow-up, the band fell foul of the emphasis on money rather than the art of large modern labels and ended up splitting as a result. The band reassured fans that they would probably continue to perform together, but that the current incarnation was not viable. All members continue to make music, however, and many people still enjoy the heaviness of the rhythm section that complements the softer melodies of the vocals and piano of Morning Runner. 

Stuart Price grew up in Reading but initially became known to the music world under the pseudonym Jacques Lu Cont, as a reaction to the demand for French electronica, even going so far as to conduct interviews with journalists in French! Price has won a Grammy award three times in his career and has worked with numerous big-name acts like New Order, Madonna, Lady Gaga and the Killers. Price records and produces music under many names, enabling him to reinvent his musical style with each moniker. As well as making his own music, Price has produced and co-written songs for artists such as Madonna, with whom he worked for over a decade. Price has remixed innumerable songs such as Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida' and Muse's 'Undisclosed Desires'. Most recently, Price has returned to making his own brand of electronic-infused pop under the alias Les Rhythmes Digitales. Price's Wikipedia page features an enormous list of his songwriting credits, as well as an even longer list of his remixes to date. It would probably be best to check out his own songs first, before moving on to his dabbling in other people's, enabling you to see what his own style is like, before hearing it in how he adapts other songs.

Photography: Christian Bertrand

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