Since the closure of The Fez three years ago, the number of medium sized acts coming to our town has definitely decreased, but there have still been many quality new acts that have gone on to much bigger things.
Mumford & Sons, The XX, Everything Everything and The Temper Trap all played early gigs in Reading in those three years and its definitely the smaller names that need to be watched this February as there are plenty of quality gigs from lesser known bands worth hitting the town for.
For the complete 'I was there first' experience, head to Oakford Social Club on Wednesday where new band Victoria will be playing their debut live gig. Formed by Paul Hodgson, a popular Reading solo artist, Victoria follow in the path of acts like Tame Impala who take 60s garage rock and bring it into a new context. Also playing will be local favourites Mad Elizabeth.
On Saturday, February 5, a new band formed from the frontmen of two much loved Scottish and Welsh bands comes to Play in Reading. Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub and Euro Childs of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci have joined forces to form Jonny. Already a favourite with 6music, they play infectious psychedelic pop and are well worth checking out.
Throughout the rest of February, The Oakford returns to its former glory to present new and smaller acts from both the UK and beyond. Norwegian band Harry's Gym bring their mix of electronica and indie pop on Thursday, February 17. With James Rutledge on production duties for their new album, followed from working with Bloc Party, Four Tet and The Kills, they could go onto greater things.
Three Trapped Tigers combine 'glitched-up live electronica with intense math-rock' on Saturday, February 19, a treat for any fans of Battles, 65DaysOfStatic and Animal Collective.
Finally, on Wednesday, February 23, La Shark and A Human bring their joint tour to Oakford Social Club...expect quirky electronic pop thrills from both!