Reading and Leeds Festival acts warm up at The Horn, St Albans

pre-Reading/Leeds acts

pre-Reading/Leeds acts - Credit: Archant

FIVE bands are playing warm-up gigs for the Reading and Leeds Festival at The Horn in St Albans next week.

To celebrate a year since the refurbishment of the pub in Victoria Street, it has managed to book top acts Merchandise, Blitz Kids, Feed The Rhino, Sonic Boom Six and Rat Attack.

Reading and Leeds Festival takes place from next Friday to Sunday, August 23 to 25, and has sold out.

The Horn’s warm-up shows start with Merchandise on Monday, August 19, followed by Blitz Kids on Tuesday, August 20, Feed The Rhino and Sonic Boom Six next Wednesday, August 21, and Rat Attack on Thursday, August 22.

Merchandise is equal parts punk misanthropy, maudlin balladeering, fine art, low humour, classical study, psychedelic spacecasing, mad science and pop genius.

Formed as a trio in Tampa, Florida in 2008, the band has undergone ceaseless revision and reinvention. After putting out numerous records and tapes on independent punk labels and touring the underground, Merchandise hit its stride with the release of second LP Children of Desire in April 2012.

Support comes from Eagulls, a five-piece Leeds-based band.

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Tickets are £8 in advance from or and £10 on the door.

Blitz Kids supported We Are The Ocean on their short stint of UK dates in February and D.R.U.G.S. on their UK tour in March.

In May they backed Mayday Parade on all of their UK dates and were nominated for Best British Newcomer at the Kerrang! Awards.

At The Horn, Blitz Kids will be supported by Fort Hope and Burn So Bright.

Tickets are £5 in advance and £7 on the door.

Since forming from the depths of the River Medway, Feed The Rhino have been touring the UK with a live show that has warranted countless rave reviews from every top dog in the business including a 5K smasher from Kerrang! at last summer’s Sonisphere festival.

Manchester-based five-piece, Sonic Boom Six, are a product of their city centre environment with an authentic but unique sound.

They play firmly for the dance-floor while retaining enough power and aggression to be an active fixture of the UK’s rock and punk scene.

Tickets are £8 in advance, £10 on the door.

Rat Attack describe their sound as “party punk” and released their self-titled debut EP in February featuring the rock’n’roll anthem Bad Catholic, which became a firm favourite with BBC Radio 1’s Mike Davies and XFM’s Ian Camfield.

The EP proved the band have friends in all the right places featuring guest vocals from Liam Cromby from We Are The Ocean and contributions from Crazy Arm and King Blues bassist Kat Marsh.

Tickets are £6 in advance and £8 on the door.