A few weeks ago, I went to see Amber Run for their second live gig of their headline tour. Supported by Stereo Honey, they put on a show that was to see them strong for the rest of their UK segment and later journey across the pond. On their record the tracks are at their best with beautiful harmonies, reverberated drums and huge choruses. While they maintain this base in their live performances, the band also increases their energy and rocks up their songs with heavier guitar tones, leaving many stumbling out of the gig with their ears still ringing. You feel immersed in the music as it crashes around you and shivers run down your spine, as the band builds up to a cascade of pure energy. Although not selling out the venue, everyone in the crowd was in love with the band. Whether a teenager attending their first gig or the fifty-year-old man to my left, who screamed along to every song. Inspired by this experience, I want to write and enthuse about music I love.

Debate over the popularity of rock is rife on the internet. A quick search will present you with a flurry of articles either triumphantly declaring the genre to be, despite appearances, at the top of the music industry or a nostalgia filled piece harking after the past. Can’t we just enjoy music, rather than focus on what artists are topping the charts or melodramatically declaring rock to be dead? Let’s celebrate the genre.

The past few years has been a release of new and exciting music. Most recently Sam Fender, who produced his debut album to great acclaim, only a few months ago. He releases sentiments of frustration and tackles dark themes, such as suicide, over the top of crackling guitar rhythms and tight drumming. Selling out multiple shows in his headline tour this year and coming to Leicester in support of Kasabian next summer, he’s on to success. I can’t wait to see where he will go next.  

A glance over the Reading and Leeds line up is almost an A-Z of the UK’s best rock artists. Acts like Frank Carter and the Rattle Snakes (just after the release of their latest album) and Royal Blood made it to the main stage, turning the festival field into one massive mosh pit. On smaller stages acts, such as Black Honey and The Amazons, drew crowds that could sing back every lyric and would jump to every song. 

Other rock artists that are not mentioned in this piece but I think are worthy of attention are: Declan McKenna, IDLES, Milk Teeth, Slaves, Vant and Wolf Alice.

There is still so much to enjoy in rock. Concerns over its popularity should be put aside. Instead we need to sit back and allow ourselves to enjoy it. What else is it here for?      

Luke Bailey

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