We’re not entirely sure where the past year has gone, but somehow Slam Dunk Festival has crept right up on us this year! Celebrating their tenth anniversary means one hell of a party and this year they’ve pulled out the mother of all line-ups. To try and help you choose between your band clashes, we’ve picked ten acts you 100% have to see over the weekend.
Every Time I Die
New Jersey punk legends Every Time I Die will be bringing their high tempo brand of hardcore over to close the day on the Impericon stage. If you want to end your festival with something heavy this is the band for you. Expect huge anthemic sing-alongs to older songs such as We’rewolf and Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space alongside some brutal riffs from the bands most recent record From Parts Unknown. Every Time I Die have developed a reputation for always delivering at festivals and we don’t expect their Slam Dunk set’s to break this trend.
Over on the Desperados stage at 6 are Skacore legends Capdown. Having not released an album since 2007 and having only played a handful of shows since their reformation in 2010, some younger attendees might not know the Milton Keynes based quartet but they really should as both live and on record they are one of the most energetic and high quality bands to come from 21st century British punk rock. Expect a fusion of some excellent ska, some surprisingly high tempo heavy moments and some of the best lyrics at the festival. Capdown are easily one of the most fun bands you can see at Slam Dunk and Ska Wars is an absolute festival anthem that should not be missed!
You’ve heard of Moose Blood by now, surely? Their debut album put their flag on the emo map and sent ripples through the entire alternative scene. Their ascent to academy level has felt so natural, and now that they’ve recently signed to Hopeless Records things can only go up, especially with the sophomore album Blush being released in August. Never have a room full of people had such an affinity for the band on stage than at a Moose Blood gig, and it’s something you definitely need to experience if you’re heading to Slam Dunk. The thing about Moose Blood is that they’re impossible to be passive about; if you like them, you REALLY like them. Emo is a gang, come and join us.
If you really need a reason to go and watch Cancer Bats, we’ll give you three. First off, frontman Liam Cormier is a human whirlwind that has to be seen to be believed. Secondly, they consistently thrash out their hardcore cover of the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage which is always fun. Last but not least, the Canadian four piece don’t take themselves too seriously, which means they know how to have a laugh with the crowd. If you’re at Slam Dunk North, you might even be treated to Liam’s impersonation of a Yorkshire accent, which trust us, is pure gold.
It seems like we can’t get away from Creeper at the moment, and that’s not a bad thing. Since they burst on to the scene with their upbeat, gothic punk – all catchy choruses and old school melodies – they’ve showed no signs of stopping as they dominate the small venue gig circuit. With more and more festival appearances being named left, right and centre, and a recent support slot at Funeral For A Friend’s last ever show, we want to make sure we catch them before they hit the big time (and they definitely will).
Slam Dunk wouldn’t be the same without a visit from an old, nostalgic favourite, and Yellowcard’s performance of Ocean Avenue in full is gonna tick all our sentimental boxes. The album that made violins cool, with hits like View From Heaven and Only One, they’ll bring a little bit of California to a (probably) rainy UK. We won’t judge you if you shed a little tear or two during the performance, but get ready to bounce up and down to some sunny, pop punk tunes as the genre’s veterans show the new guys how it’s done.
The Starting Line
The Starting Line have only just returned to our shores after a pretty sporadic hiatus, but after they released their EP Anyways in February we couldn’t wait to see them again. Think of early noughties pop punk anthems and you’re bound to think of their eponymous single Best Of Me, and here’s hoping we’re treated to a rendition when they grace the stage this weekend. Sometimes the old songs really are the best and, nestled between other established names they’re sharing a stage with, they’re a must see for anyone who wants to hear something different to the main headliners.
The Rocket Summer
If you’re a fan of mind-blowing acoustic sets then Bryce Avery of The Rocket Summer could be the set for you at Slam Dunk. With his down to earth and emotive personality shining through via his music, we can expect a heartfelt sing-a-long session during his headlining slot. We’re looking forward to our day being brightened especially if the British weather hits us, as Bryce’s optimism is infectious live. Be sure to swot up on lyrics from The Rocket’s Summer‘s latest album Zoetic to be part of the indie alt-rock party during the set.
Set Your Goals
With Set Your Goals making one of their rare UK appearances at Slam Dunk this year it’s no wonder this looks set to be one of the hottest and most anticipated sets of the day. Following on from their hiatus we’re expecting a set of pop-punk goodness and energy in the bucketloads from both onstage and within the crowd. Basically expect sweat, circle pits and a rousing singalong to Mutiny! and Goonies Never Say Die!. If this sounds like your thing get there early since the Key Club stage won’t take long to reach capacity for this set, trust us.
Emo pop-punk quartet Real Friends are definitely ones to watch, not just at Slam Dunk but in 2016. Second album The Home Inside My Head is due for release just before the festival weekend so you can no doubt expect new tracks performed live and a celebratory atmosphere in honour of its release. What isn’t to love from the sound of that? We love that there’s such a sense of community spirit both within Real Friends fanbases but also their lyrics and performance with vocalist Dan Lambton being no stranger to an onstage motivational speech. It’ll make your day a little bit brighter if the British weather lets us down, which is more than likely!
Fancy getting yourselves in the mood for Slam Dunk? Check out the playlist below to listen to every single act playing the weekend:
Written By: Kathryn Black, Nicola Craig, Alice Hudson, Jo Howarth and Cameron Law