by Jenny Minard
BBC Berkshire Reporter
MidiMidis will perform at Reading and Leeds Festivals
Reading Festival is here! While everyone knows the headliners - let me introduce you to the Berkshire bands who will be playing.
Amy's Ghost, MidiMidis and Peers have all been chosen for slots on the BBC Introducing stage over the weekend.
In March a panel of judges from BBC Introducing picked the line-up from the wealth of talent around the UK.
Reading-based band Dry the River was chosen to play Glastonbury festival in June 2010.
Berkshire artist Mr Fogg will also play the Reading and Leeds stages after being put forward by BBC Oxford.
Amy Barton from Amy's Ghost said: "I'm very, very excited. You always think wouldn't it be cool to play Reading. That would be wicked.
"All our mates will be there - it will be dead exciting. But we're playing Leeds as well as Reading so it's like a double treat"
Amy explained how the band began life: "It all started about two years ago. We started with an album project and we didn't have a band at that point, it was just all my own music.
"I invited all my friends and respected musicians to come along, and the band formed very gradually."
Amy has juggled her occupation as a florist with the ever-rising fame that the band is generating.
"I've had to go part time with the amount of emails and press things we get" she said.
She explained that it would be fabulous to play at Glastonbury if the opportunity arose, and gave details of their performance at Reading and Leeds.
"We're performing on Friday at 1.20pm precisely. They've been really strict actually.
"They said if you're late then it's going to eat into your set and it's your fault, so we're going to be there at precisely 1.20 and at Leeds we're playing on Sunday and we're playing at 1.30 - they've given us an extra 10 minutes to faff."
Amy Barton performs with band Amy's Ghost
Duo MidiMidis will also be playing on the BBC Introducing Stage and have already had some success when they played a Maida Vale Session earlier this year.
"I'm extremely excited," said Marcus Fairley. "I'm over the moon. Half the reason I moved to Reading was the festival. That and Copper Temple Clause. I have pretty much been influenced by those two things, the culture of Reading and it has driven me to get to this point.
"I was almost in tears of joy when I found out. That is true and I'm not ashamed of saying that.
"I think anyone who knows what we are about and what we've done over the past two years will say they are pleased we are giving something back, because of everything BBC Introducing has done for us.
"Everything, Everything are a BBC Introducing band and they are now doing fantastically.
"People like Huw Stephens are picking up on the sounds and the talent, whichever way the tracks are recorded - whether on a shoe strong or not. It's a fantastic opportunity."
Marcus said he is looking forward to seeing The Cribs, The Libertines, Cyprus Hill, Limp Bizkit, Crystal Castle and Hadouken.
"You have the freedom to dip in and out of a band's set - that's the beauty of festivals.
He also had some advice for new bands.
"However weird your ideas may seem and whatever anyone suggests, stick to your guns.
"Don't just flippantly throw it out of hand, listen to what they say, but you really must stick to your guns.
"It's not just about talent, it's about having ideas. Don't lose your core value and don't forget the reason you started.
Teenage band Peers perform at the Newbury Exchange
"We started because everything was being done and there was nothing more that anyone could do differently - so we did something ludicrous and went against what I believe in.
"I thought everyone would hate it, and wanted everyone to hate it. It is a reaction and the ethic of punk. But actually people like it and it makes you feel like a much better person."
MidiMidis play at Leeds on Friday at 5.30pm and Reading on Saturday at 5.30pm.
Indie-band Peers will be playing at Reading at 2pm on Sunday. They spoke of the moment they found out.
"It's pretty exciting. I was speechless. I thought it was a joke," said Matthew.
The four-piece band have only been together for eight months and said they never expected to get so far so soon.
"It was a target but a distant one," said Matthew. "We thought about it but for in a couple of years. We cancelled it out of our minds as we thought it was a bit too late."
The boys didn't expect to get to play the festival so much that two members bought tickets for the event.
And, they are such avid fans of Saturday's headliners Arcade Fire that they plan to perform in Leeds on Saturday and head straight back to Reading to watch Arcade Fire that same night.
"The dads will do the equipment. And we'll just somehow get back down here. Arcade Fire are one of our favourite bands, they have influenced us a lot.
"We're so nervous. We're very, very scared and really unprepared."
Despite that they are certain to get the crowds going. Matthew set up a Facebook event and so far over 200 people have confirmed their attendance, with a further 300 people potentially watching them perform.
"It will be so good to see a big audience," said Matthew. "As we're a Reading Band it's a home show. So come along and see your friends."
Jason Carter, editor of BBC Introducing, says: "Hosting a BBC Introducing Stage at Reading and Leeds is a privilege and one of the pinnacle moments on our live music calendar.
"For a third year, the BBC is able to give some of the most talented up and coming bands access to one of the premier music festivals.
"For some in the past, it has been the major stepping stone to wider success."