Abbie McCarthy’s Reading Festival Review

3rd September 2018

Radio 1 and BBC Music Introducing DJ Abbie McCarthy is one of the freshest music connoisseurs on the scene at the moment. Mates with most of the acts on the cusp of greatness, Abbie knows a thing or two about solid tracks. Having just about recovered from her DJ set at Reading Festival, and just before school kicks in, Abbie is giving us her roundup of the acts she saw that simply must get on your Spotify mix at once.


They burst on stage at the Radio 1 tent (5 mins earlier actually!), which was packed full of their fans, to which they delivered an incredible set – a new era boyband, combining youthful exuberance, hip hop vibes and pop bangers.

During their performance they proclaimed “we’re the biggest boyband in the world, shout out to 1D”, super confident but I think they might be right.

N.E.R.D have also fallen under the spell of this awesome collective, with Pharrell dubbing them his ‘little brothers’ and bringing them on stage.

Listen to Brockhampton HERE



The BBC Radio 1 stage on Sunday was brought to a close by the one & only Diplo, with a huge set, massive industrial beats with some familiar crowd pleasers dropped in too. It was the last day of the festival so everyone was a little sleepy and worse for wear, but for Diplo’s performance people couldn’t help but rave!

Listen to Diplo HERE


Lewis Capaldi

A little while ago a beautiful song called ‘Bruises’ emerged online and launched Scottish singer songwriter Lewis Capaldi into the world. On Sunday afternoon at the Festival Republic Stage he delivered a wonderfully honest and heartfelt performance, with the audience singing his songs back at the top of their lungs. His live vocal is faultless, I urge you to go and see him when you can.

Listen to Lewis Capaldi HERE



NoNameDisciple was one of the standout performances on the BBC Music Introducing stage at this year’s festival. Lily Allen is already a big fan of hers (casual) and they are hoping for a potential collaboration.

If you’ve not yet heard of her, NoNameDisciple is an MC from Berkshire and her stage name is very important to her. NoName refers to the fact she doesn’t want performances to be about her, she’s using her music to help evoke change in others and Disciple because she’s training to be a pastor alongside making music. She uses her lyrics to talk about her past struggles and to get her audience discussing mental health more freely.

Listen to NoNameDisciple HERE


Tom Grennan

Definitely one of the most talked about performances of the weekend came from everyone’s favourite geezer, Mr Tom Grennan, who brought the Festival Republic stage to a close on Sunday evening, sporting an excellent all white suit. His anthemic songs were designed for crowds like this and he’s proved once again he is a superstar in the making.

Listen to Tom Grennan HERE


Post Malone

Post Malone had one of the biggest crowds of the whole weekend, testament to what an amazing year he’s had. Tracks from his massive No. 1 debut album ‘Beerbongs & Bentleys’ went down a storm in the glorious sunshine.

Listen to Post Malone HERE


Lady Bird

This Kent trio have been making a name for themselves on the live circuit as one of the most exciting live bands around and they absolutely smashed their Reading Festival debut on the BBC Music Introducing stage. Their signature style of raucous punk poetry wowed the crowd present. Stand out tracks included ‘Social Potions’, ‘Boot Fillers’ & ‘Leave Me Alone’.

Listen to Lady Bird HERE


Dylan Cartlidge

This guy had the best ‘fro I saw all weekend long, and he also owns a great voice and brought a stack load of big songs to the BBC Music Introducing stage. Dylan is a very captivating live performer and someone I don’t doubt for one second has a bright future ahead of them. He recently collaborated with Jamie T on his latest single ‘Up & Upside Down’, which has been going round and round my head for the last few weeks – TUNE!

Listen to Dylan Cartlidge HERE


Panic! At The Disco

This band are Reading & Leeds veterans but this set felt very special. Brendon Urie’s voice always blows my mind, those high notes! He took on covering one of the biggest songs on the planet, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, and totally nailed it. They performed songs from across their back catalogue, with ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ getting the biggest reaction.

Listen to Panic! At The Disco HERE



I couldn’t not include Slaves in my highlights! They’re a band I’ve supported right from the start on my radio show BBC Music Introducing in Kent, so to see them do the pre-headline slot to a rammed BBC Radio 1 stage, was so amazing. I saw some of their earliest gigs to just a few people.

The Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells duo recently released their best record to date with ‘Acts Of Fear and Love’ and the crowd at Reading already seem to love this new set of songs, shouting along with the words as loudly as possible!

Their performance involved some other crowd participation with them calling on stage someone in a homemade mantaray costume to dance around while they performed ‘Feed The Mantaray’ and then 5 or 6 people to do the dance routine from the video from ‘Cut And Run’. This performance is well worth watching back on the iPlayer.

Listen to Slaves HERE


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Abbie wears Superdry Suede Jacket 

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