Readipop: Who’s playing at this weekend’s music festival

All the big names to look forward to

THIS weekend, a popular musical festival on the banks of the River Thames will return to neighbouring Reading with its biggest-ever line-up.

Twelve of the biggest acts on the line-up have featured on 69 UK Top 40 singles (26 UK Top 10) and 31 UK Top 40 Albums.

They include Odyssey, 808 State, Dawn Penn and Goldie Lookin Chain.

Additional acts performing include local legend Reading Elvis playing a DJ set of his favourite Elvis Presley songs on Friday night between headliners Odyssey and Goldie Lookin Chain plus up and coming acts such as Too Many T’s, The Allergies, Lack Of Afro, Ben Marwood, Muntchako (from Brazil) and many more.

Readipop aims to bring a diverse selection of internationally successful artists to Reading and all at an affordable price: Tickets are £30 for a weekend ticket and £15/20 day tickets (in advance, more on the door).

Organisers also pride themselves of being a family-friendly weekend – under 14s get in free.

It’s not just the music, like all good festivals, there will be street food, craft beer and real ales to enjoy and, for those who want to chill out away from the bands, there will be circus performances and workshops in music, arts and dance for all the family.

Reading Elvis
Reading Elvis will be performing a DJ set at ReadiPop

The Readipop Festival is now an annual event in Caversham, growing substantially from the Caversham Festival which Readipop started managing in 2011.

The festival aims to raise funds for Readipop, a music and arts charity based in Reading with a strong reputation for delivering innovative and engaging arts projects and aims to make a positive difference to the lives of people in need and believes creativity is vital for a fulfilled life.

Readipop runs music workshops and instrumental lessons in primary schools; supports community bands including Beatroots, Readiophonics and The Small Strings and runs Moving On – a choir and Tea&Jam – a ukulele group for retired people.

Readipop Festival director Gavin Lombos: “Team Readipop is really excited about this year’s line-up so far. It feels like a real step up from last year and there plenty more great acts still to come!

“With Blue Collar Street Food and Purple Turtle bars involvement, we’re ensuring there’s plenty of tasty food and drink to enjoy alongside brilliant live performances and workshops. Roll on Friday.”


Readipop’s guide to the 15 biggest acts playing Readipop Festival 2018:


On Friday night, Odyssey bring their seven piece band to Readipop, celebrating 40 years of disco, fresh from supporting Chic & Sister Sledge. With six UK Top 10 hits including #1 Use It Up, Wear It Out, Going Back To My Roots, and Native New Yorker we have a real party on our hands for the opening night of this year’s festival!

808 State

808 State – Picture: Erika Mugglin, courtesy of Moogest

Manchester acid house pioneers 808 State will close the Readipop main stage on Saturday night in spectacular style with a full band live set. From Hacienda classic Pacific State to collaborations with Bjork, Bernard Sumner (New Order) & Guy Garvey (Elbow), 808 State are hugely influential and still held in high esteem by the biggest current dance acts like Bicep and Nina Kravitz, who they played live for at Printworks last year.

Dawn Penn

Dawn Penn

No, no, no introduction required for reggae legend Dawn Penn who closes Readipop Festival 2018 on the Sunday evening. Dawn hails from Kingston, Jamaica and has been recording since 1966, initially releasing music on Island Records, Prince Buster and Studio One when she providing backing vocals for Johnny Nash on Cupid, and I Can See Clearly Now.

The dancehall re-recording of her second single You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No) gave her global success in 1994 and lead to her Grammy nomination for the album of the same name. Her recent festival appearances at Glastonbury, Boomtown, Womad and House Of Common (supporting Madness) confirm why she will provide the perfect close to our weekend this July.



Goldie Lookin Chain (Legends Set)

Straight outta Newport armed with all the Goldie Lookin greatest hits (Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do, Your Mother’s Got A Penis, Your Missus Is A Nutter), expect a seriously lively Purple Turtle Tent when the comedy hip hoppers Legends Of GLC take to the stage

Stereo MCs

Stereo MCs

Double Brit award winners (Best Group and Best Album) and Mercury Music Prize nominees, Stereo MCs’ groundbreaking fusion of hip hop and electronic dance music make them the perfect partystarters to appear at the Readipop Festival 2018. Still a formidable live act, expect Christchurch Meadow to be filled with dancing, smiling individuals when they play the likes of Connected and Step It Up.

Huey Lewis

Huey Morgan’s NYC Block Party

Fun Lovin’ Criminals frontman Huey Morgan now brings his huge record collection and equally large personality to weekly radio shows on BBC 6Music and BBC Radio 2. For Readipop Festival, Huey presents his NYC Block Party playing funk, hip hop, soul and disco alongside live sets from bands that he rates

John Power

John Power (Cast/The La’s)

First as bass player with The La’s then frontman and guitarist for Cast, John Power played a massive part in the nineties Britpop scene and has 12 Top 40 singles (including seven Top 10 hits) to show for it. John joins us with fellow LA’s/Cast member Jay Lewis for a special acoustic set

Barry Hyde (The Futureheads)

English post-punk band The Futureheads are one of the best-known and highly-regarded indie groups to have enjoyed mainstream success in the noughties.

With singles such as Decent Days and Nights, Hounds of Love, and The Beginning of the Twist cemented as modern classics, the band have scored seven Top 40 singles, three Top 40 albums, and supported bands such as Oasis, Foo Fighters and Muse.

Frontman and creative force behind the band, Barry Hyde, will be performing a solo acoustic set of the anthems everyone knows and loves.

Rowetta (Happy Mondays)


Rowetta’s unmistakable vocals will be known to anyone with Happy Mondays’ Pills, Thrills & Bellyache album (Who’s gonna step on you again?). She also sings You Got The Love for Hacienda Classical, often joins Peter Hook and The Light on tour and even appeared on X-Factor with Simon Cowell describing her as “Amazing, but barking bloody mad”.

The Don

Don Letts (DJ Set)

From deejaying at the first punk club to filming promos for The Clash and Public Image Limited, Don is credited with bringing punk and reggae together.

Renowned for his reggae dj sets and much loved weekly BBC 6Music Radio show, Don was the founder member of Big Audio Dynamite.

His film direction credits include Clash on Broadway, Punk in London & Westway to the World (The Story of The Clash).


With a backdrop of free festivals, squat parties, acid raves and political upheaval, rock-rap band Senser forged their sound experimenting with beats, rhymes, guitars and a multitude of musical genres.

Their debut album Stacked Up hit number four on the UK album charts and their live sets are just as energetic now as they were on it’s first release.

The Members

Throughout their career The Members have scored hits on three different continents on labels including Beggars Banquet and Stiff, working with some of the greatest British producers they have recorded songs that have become anthems. The current incarnation of the Band has toured all over the world and continues to record and release records.

The Haggis Horns

Described by Mark Ronson as “the best horn section in the world”, The Haggis Horns have been rocking crowds the world over for years with their distinctive northern funk sound combining ass-shaking break-beats, afrobeat, soul and hip hop.

The members of Haggis Horns have performed and recorded with the likes of Jamiroquai, Amy Winehouse, John Legend and Adele among many others.

For Readipop, their full band join us as part of Huey Morgan’s NYC Block Party!

Lack Of Afro

Lack Of Afro (Adam Gibbons) has achieved a startling amount in the few years with four highly acclaimed albums under his belt, collaborating with Joss Stone and producing and remixing everyone from Tom Jones to The Pharcyde.

He brings a full six-piece band to Readipop Festival, performing as part of Huey Morgan’s NYC Block Party.

Muntchako (Brazil)

Much-loved across Brazil and Colômbia, Muntchako will bring raw carnival energy with electronics and funk straight from Brasilia to Caversham!

Fusing elements of Brazilian forro, Argentine tango and Afro-Colombian styles with ska, rock, funk and electronics, the wild three-piece from Brazil’s insane capital city bring a huge energy that sounds like a Brazilian fusion of Buraka Som Sistema, Gotan Project and The Comet is Coming.


For more information about the Festival or to book tickets, visit: www.readipop.co.uk/readipopfestival


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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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