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Published on February 9th, 2017 | by Reading Unplugged


Alt Reading Sound of 2017

Each year, we highlight local bands and musicians which predict to have great success in the coming year – artists whose work is being recognised nationally, who are set to collaborate with interesting musicians and those with momentum behind them.

While this is not an exhaustive list, here are six bands in and around Reading to watch out for in 2017…

Sami Switch

Former Highdown School student Sam Chokri has over recent years transformed into a rising star on the music and spoken word scene in Reading and beyond. He has been building a respectable reputation on the music scene, and his songs illustrate personal challenges that he has dealt with such as being homeless, and several other chapters to his genuine rags-to-riches story.

Sami Switch’s growing momentum is set to continue this year, and we wait with anticipation for more new releases, festival performances and intimate hometown showcases such as the timeless and emotional encounter at Sub89 last summer.


Melancholic guitars and mesmerising rhythms are the dynamic forces of Saharas’ unique brand alt rock. What Saharas do brilliantly in the studio, best displayed on recent single ‘Mirrored’, they turn into a fever live. Their live show’s hang in the balance between lush melodies and relaxed moments, that then explode into a furious blend of energy that is sure to send crowds wild in the future.

Saharas are not ones to miss; each release they’ve brought out has excelled to new levels, within the next year we can only expect to see audiences grow and Saharas becoming one of the most talked about bands in the scene.

Ciircus Street

Ciircus Street are the combined musical ambitions of the fresh faced duo of Jim Crowder and Sam Brett, who together write music to showcase their harmonising and unique vocals with foot-tapping melodies and instrumentals.

Since their formation they have gigged across the country at venues such as the infamous Ronnie Scott’s and Barfly in London, as well as hometown performances at the Are You Listening and Here Comes The Sun festivals respectively. We look forward to the anticipated release of their debut EP this year, and many more well deserved opportunities awaiting the humble duo.

Holdin’ Court

The best demonstration of Reading’s hidden underground music gem without a doubt are Holdin’ Court who are a group of collective and creative music fans who host independent hip-hop, funk and soul events.

This year will mark their eighth anniversary, and the hard work vows to continue with featuring at regular events hosted by the prince of Holdin’ Court Ash The Author, and featured performances from fellow musical companions such as the infamous hip-hop trio Three Faces of Death and many more from the world of real authentic hip-hop, and underground music.

Saltwater Sun

Saltwater Sun have gradually been building themselves up into one of the most exciting bands in recent years. Their standout live shows, which continually increase in audience size, are delivered with their massive tunes, inspired by a wealth of genres. These much-loved songs have propelled Saltwater Sun into the hearts of music lovers.

Their latest EP, ‘Flawed’ received an electric response, with the talent of their musicianship and sing-along tunes being it’s driving forces. ‘Urwur’ and ‘Now or Never’ were particular highlights, with older tunes like ‘Making Eyes’ firmly placing themselves in the centre of the Reading scene. 2017 is sure to only see them grow to new heights.


Echoic have been a staple of the Reading music scene for a few years now but 2016 saw them reach a wider audience which we expect to continue into 2017.

With some fantastic songs on their belt such as Testify and Messed up Smiles, and some great collaborations with local and national artists there is nothing to stop Echoic discovering even greater recognition. With airplay on Radio 1 and Kerrang, expect to hear much more of Echoic this year.

About the Author

is a monthly podcast covering the best live entertainment in Reading from music reviews and interviews to comedy.

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