Top things to see at Are You Listening? 2018

Alt Reading
Apr 26, 2018 · 5 min read

The sixth edition of Reading’s premier multi-venue all day music festival happens this weekend, here’s our heads-up of the musical acts to check out, exhibitions to see, food & drink recommendations, and more.

Reading Mencap

Reading Mencap are the real headline act of the Are You Listening? Festival each and every year. They are a small local charity who support children and adults with learning disabilities and autism, and this year they will celebrate their 56th anniversary.

Even though they are affiliated with the national Mencap charity, they do not get any funding from them at all. This is where the money raised from this Saturday’s Are You Listening Festival? will be genuinely appreciated.

Plump DJs

Milk Bar in Merchants Place from 11.30pm

Breakbeat pioneers Plumps DJs will be hosting a late night slot in Merchants Place on Saturday night showcasing their passion and non-conformist attitude to underground dance music.

Their unique sound has won them remixes from the likes of Deadmou5, Mark Ronson, Moby and Orbital, whilst their four deck live show is something which needs to be seen.


Purple Turtle on Gun Street from 2:30pm

After a two year break hometown lads Shoals make a much welcome return to the stage fully recharged and wiser.

We’re sure to be treated to some brand new material, and classic tracks, and who knows maybe a couple of covers from their ideals ranging from 90s guitar bands, along with the grooves of Motown and the harmonious psychedelia of the 60s.

Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?

Oakford Social Club opposite Reading train station from 10.15pm. Entry for 18+ and ID required

You could say that this Finnish three piece band have not only carved out a unique sound, but also a thought-provoking band name as well.

The 80s synth-pop sound which form the background to their musical gimmick is complimented by the vocals of Susse Steema-Sihvola which results in garage rock with a twist.

The Ady Baker Sound

Oakford Social Club from 4.45pm

Hometown lads The Ady Baker Sound are on a mission to hypnotise you with their harmonious sounds, and leave you with everlasting melodies in the outer reaches of your mind.

Are they the saviours of Indie Rock? Are they new Electro pioneers? See for yourself why they are fast becoming one of the new favourite bands on the gig scene in town.

J Dogg

Milk Bar in Merchants Place from 7.15pm

J Dogg is one of the most dedicated and aspiring lyricists in Reading, and has been taking the underground scene in town by storm over the last couple of years.

After serving six years in the British Army and returning home, he reinvented himself as a Grime & Drum n Bass MC, and has constantly evolved himself rhyming over underground dance beats to the cheers of an ever growing fanbase.

Nobodies Birthday

Purple Turtle on Gun Street at 7.30pm. Entry for 18+ only

We first discovered this five piece indie rock band on a very entertaining and live music session on Reading 107’s Reading Unplugged show a few years ago.

Since then they went on to self-fund their debut album, and played alongside the likes of The Pigeon Detectives, and The Sherlocks. They have been rewarded a key primetime audience at this year’s AYL to showcase their music talents.

Here Are The Young Men & Uncle Peanut

Milk Bar at Merchants Place from 8pm.

The phrase ‘we don’t get out that often’ is perfectly suited to this duo, instead they meet up, make music, and turn it into reality — a very simple and straightforward logic to getting things done.

Since the release of their debut album three years ago they have put on the odd show in the back of a van, shared the stage with Sleaford Mods, Electric Six, and Evil Blizzard. And this Saturday night they intend to provide an ‘unsettling sense of fear and intimidation’ in the Milk Bar, in a positive light of course.

Marisa and the Moths

Purple Turtle on Gun Street from 4.30pm.

Marisha and the Moths are a hometown based rock act who bring a modern edge to this year’s AYL line up. We are promised a pretty filthy grunge live experience this Saturday which will be complimented by the soaring vocal tones of the lovely Marisha.

If you would like the filthy grunge experience to be everlasting, then you will be happy to know that the band are planning on releasing their first full album this summer

Are You Listening? Poster Exhibition

Ten local artists have made specially-commissioned posters for some of the acts performing at this year’s AYL which will be auctioned by the festival organisers for Reading Mencap.

If you would like to bid for a poster, you can email to or bid in person this Saturday at St. Laurence’s Church from 5pm.

AYL Festival Burger

Honest Burgers on King Street, available from 11.30am

There’s no doubt that you will build up an appetite on Saturday so why not try the one-off special AYL Festival burger from Honest Burgers.

The AYL Festival burger is made up of beef, bacon, American cheese, an onion, BBQ sauce, and spicy mayo. And £1 from each burger sold goes to Reading Mencap.

AYL Festiv-ale

AYL have teamed up with West Berkshire Brewery to bring punters this Saturday to bring you the ‘Are You Listening Festiv-ale and will be sold at all the bars in the venues holding AYL events.

You can find out more about the full line up for this year’s Are You Listening? Festival and more here

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