Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes have built up a solid canon of indie anthems over the course of their three records, but their debut’s “I Wish I Was Someone Better,” remains one of their best. A staple of the band’s live shows, the driving drum beat and simple fuzzy guitar line, combined with Steven Ansell’s regret fuelled vocals, push the song forward with urgency before building into a chant of the titular phrase, invariably creating a mass audience shout-along. Hannah Watts
89: The Joy Formidable and their charismatic front woman Ritsy have worked hard to cultivate a fans’ favourite reputation at Reading and Leeds, but no one can truly win over a crowd without a great anthem. The Joy Formidable typically deal in great sets, and “Whirring” is always a guaranteed highlight. Mixing joyous hands in the air ecstasy with a good old fashioned shout along line (“All These Things About Me, You Never Can Tell”), and a frenetic instrumental outro, “Whirring” is custom built for Reading success. David Hayter
88: Roaring with brutal sexual nihilism, “Orchestra Of Wolves” is unpleasant and bleak by design. At its best it values indiscriminate animalistic sex, and a worst it’s predatory. Frank is a vulture praying on the emotionally fragile. The narrator ultimate faces up to his own neurosis at the track’s brilliant conclusion (“The Hardest Thing, That You’ll Ever Learn, Is Just To Love, And Be Loved In Return”). From barbaric lust to emotional resolution in five short minutes – can Wade bring this tale to life like Frank used to? We’re about to find out. David Hayter
86: From the familiar brass intro, which acts as a precursor to what is coming, ‘Gainsville Rock City’ is one of Less Than Jake’s live favourites. Fast, skankable, danceable and chantable ‘Gainsville’ will always kick things up a gear and keep it there in every Less Than Jake set. Adam McCartney
Social D’s Mike Ness is one of punk’s greatest ever songwriters and a genuine poet of the genre but it is an infinitely well known cover that they typically end their live shows with. ‘Ring of Fire’ was one of the key songs of Ness’s hero Johnny Cash, and Ness has taken the song and done his best to make it his own with beefed up punk power chords. A true sing-along it is – guaranteed to get the whole crowd going and finish the band’s sent with some fire. Adam McCartney
The Eagles Of Death Metal and their lead singer Jesse Hughes know how to have a good time. The LA rockers set will draw heavily on hard rock history, foot tapping rhythms, and quirky satires. “I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)” drifts between deep vocals and slight falsettos as it tells the story of a dubious lover at a breezy and incredibly infectious pace – jamming the fuck out of two and half minutes. David Hayter
83: Last year saw Camden Rockers Tribes became one of guitar music’s leading “ones to watch”, more than a year later, Tribes are still in high demand, as they prepare to make their second appearance at Reading & Leeds this year.
All in all, each of Tribes debut album Baby tracks could all easier be described as a anthem, air punching is catered for as are massive sing-alongs.
The one song that really gets the audience revved up is ‘We Were Children,’ not only did ‘We Were Children’ bring Camden to a complete shut down, but live, the emotion runs mournfully through each mouthful – as the adoring crowd sing-along word by word making ‘We Were Children’ a ready made must have anthem. Simone F
82: What with the Gimme Gimmes being a punk cover band tackling well known songs, everything they play will have an anthemic quality, but their cover of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ is in a class of its own.
In the Gimme Gimmes’ hands the song becomes a lilting ska number that stretches the vocals of Spike Slawson as he puts his all into it. Thank God the crowd at Reading’s Lock-Up should help him out, “it’s been seven hours and fifteen days…” Adam McCartney
81: Nothing about 2:54’s set will be boisterous. They won’t have people bouncing and whistling, instead they’ll keep the Festival Republic crowd on edge with their icey mood pieces and piercing vocals. “Scarlet” drifts over the audience, everyone transfixed, before that alluring chorus seductively slides from their lips. Equal parts enticing and forlorn, “Scarlet” will leave Reading awestruck if not out of breath. David Hayter