Our top ten picks for Slam Dunk 2015

What is Slam Dunk 

Festival season is on the horizon and getting ready to kick start it all is SlamDunk Festival taking place May's Bank Holiday weekend. The ever expanding festival is now set to take place over three central, easy to reach locations across the UK in Leeds, Wolverhampton, Hatfield. 

With previous years showing the likes of All Time Low and The All American Rejects its no wonder why this one day wonder is not to be missed.

Just announcing their final editions to this year’s festival, joining the line-up are;

Architects, Finch, We Are The Ocean, Set It Off, Cartel, As It Is, ROAM, Moose Blood, Stick To Your Guns, Deez Nuts, Dead Harts, Being As An Ocean, Baby Godzilla, SHVPES, Rob Lynch, Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties, This Wild Life, Fort Hope, Only Rivals, Wind In Sails, Survay Says! and Seaway.

And not only that, you can Catch Dani & Davyd from Bury Tomorrow (DJ set), Tek-One, The Algorithm, Teru from Crossfaith (DJ set), Mellisa Clarke and Total Uprawr resident DJ's at this year's Uprawr DJ Stage"

With an incredibly diverse line up this year, tickets are going fast with the southern location almost sold out. It's a bargain, and if you've not got the money for a big festival then this is by far the next best thing!

Check out our top ten list of who to see at Slam Dunk Festival 2015!

1) Neck Deep

Pop punk's finest new addition, this band from Wrexham, Wales formed in 2012 are taking the UK by storm. After the release of their debut album 'Wishful Thinking' the band soared to success, winning Kerrang's 'Best British Newcomer' in 2014. Having just finished touring the UK with the likes of All Time Low, taking on huge arenas, Neck Deep will be sure to have the confidence to smash SlamDunk's more intimate stages. Neck Deep's sing along anthems, and heartfelt acoustic set list guarantee one of the best crowd interactions of the whole festival. With a new album already recorded and produced by A Day To Remember's Jeremy McKinnon and Reading and Leeds main stage on the horizon these boys have earned their way to our Top Ten band to see at SlamDunk 2015.

2) Pvris

With little need for introduction Lynn Gunn's hugely hyped pop rock band PVRIS are ready to take the UK as their own. With VANS Warped Tour just around the corner amongst non stop tour dates it's no wonder that this hardworking three piece have earned our top two.

After nearly a year after signing with Rise/Velocity Records, and the release of their debut album White Noise last November, this monochrome trio from Lowell, Massachusetts have already created a strong fan-base in England. Lynn Gunn's iconic female presence has taken our second place after the nomination for three of the upcoming Alternative Press awards, set for July. Why not come along and see what all the fuss is about, if it takes your fancy then be sure to cast your votes on Alternative Press's website.

3) Architects 

With the single Black Blood and the album Daybreaker , it was clear this band has a message they wanted to express to the world. They have proven to do things their own way and recorded their latest album within the comfort of their own home. The sixth album titled 'Lost Together Lost Forever' was released last March and these boys are still touring strong with that material. 

Not only have they got an extravagant back catalogue filled with extremely diverse tracks, the band have good morals, all of the members are vegan, and are completely against animal cruelty. Not only can this be heard through Sam Carter's bark, the frontman lives up to his bite and is currently the Sea Shepherd UK ambassador. This organisation helps prevent whaling and is something the band is extremely passionate about. If you're interested in being part of this cause then be sure to head over to their merch table as some of the proceeds are forwarded to these charities.
Not only known to be an amazing studio band it's guaranteed you're going to get the same performance and passion in their set. It's precisely this reason why this band deserves to be so high up on our top ten bands to see at SlamDunk 2015.

4) While She Sleeps

After relentless touring, the band announced a set of cancelled shows, with frontman Lawrence announcing he had to undergo throat surgery due to excessive strain from his passionate and heavy vocals.
With concern and controversy over whether or not the band would even return after his operation they came back as promised, dedicated and only with a more aggressive extravagant Sleeps' sound we all know and love, they have truly never sounded better.
After just releasing their latest album 'Brainwashed' this March it's very clear this band have a strong message that's not to be missed.

With comments still being shared of the five piece's performance on Download's main stage last summer being the highlight of the bands career this has catapulted the metal-core band known as 'Sleeps' onto our top ten.  

5) Gallows 

A band still under much controversy after the departure of Frank Carter, Alexisonfire's Wade Mcneal is still persisting with an onslaught of new music. The band are currently touring Europe with material from Desolation Sounds as well as original tracks from the days of Frank.  The stress and pressure the Punk band from Watford have endured hasn't made them buckle it's made them thrive and very angry, be sure to check this hardcore band if you want to see some passion.

6) Being As An Ocean

A highly religious melodic hardcore band from California releasing their debut album 'Dear G-d' with  Invogue Records in 2012. The divergent frontman Joel Quartuccio accompanies his vicious screams with his bands melodic choruses and thrashing breakdowns. With sing-alongs and amazing crowd intimacy, this band will have you hooked from the first verse in their set.

7) Deez Nuts

Known as complete party animals Deez Nuts are a low tuned bass heavy four piece post hardcore band formed in Australia. After front man JJ Peters parted with his old band ' I Killed The Prom Queen' he left us questioning what he would do next. Deez Nuts rolled onto the stages with an aggressive thrashy sound accompanied by rapped lyrics. This band stay true to themselves and are in the business for all the right reasons, fun, fans and nothing more. It's certain this band don't mess around and will demand stage dives and high fives.

8) Zebrahead 

Orange country California seems to just spit out amazing bands. This late 90's act are proving that pop punk's still not dead, with their ever expanding fan base these five punk rock guys are still bashing out albums. This band are renowned for their rap metal style, a modern twist of punk rock with a hint of Rage Against The Machine, it's a fact their shows are supposed to tear the roof off. They were nominated for a Grammy for their cover of Metallicas ' Enter Sandman', who knows you may even be lucky enough to hear it at SlamDunk.

9) Millencolin

Swedish skate-rock sensation have been signed with Epitaph Records since 1996 and have just released their first album in over seven years, titled 'True Brew'. If you don't know what they sound like then maybe this will jog your memory, if you were a skater kid you'll definitely know their track 'NO CIGAR' which featured on 'Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2', yeah that's right that was them! Now you know go check them out, they're definitely experienced enough to rock SlamDunk's intimate stages.

10) Don Broco 

Formed in England in 2008, this band are fairly new onto the scene, however their non stop touring attitude has earned them a fairly stable fan-base. Don Broco can be summed up as punchy intro's followed by aggressive power chords with awesome clean vocals and a disco drum beat overlaid. This combination creates an amazing kick which a crowd can really sink their teeth into. These boys are planning to release a new album in Autumn this year, you'll most likely hear new tracks live.

If you're standing around with no one on your must see list then why not check out some of the bands listed above


Massive Drum & Bass additions for NASS 2014

Sports and music festival spectacular NASS returns in 2014 and adds some of the worlds top Drum & Bass acts to a lineup that already includes Cypress Hill, Netsky and more!
In the world of electronic music there are few bigger names than 'The Executioner' Andy C.  Pioneer in drum and bass and one of the greatest DJs ever to touch a turntable, the Ram Records founder needs little introduction. A true NASS veteran, Andy C has blown the minds of thousands of NASS fans in previous years and 2014 will be no different with the music mogul bringing some serious drum & bass flavour to the party. 
After last years killer performance, seasoned NASS fans will be pumped to also see the return of 1Xtra's resident DnB maestro Crissy Criss. The youngest DJ to date to broadcast nationally on BBC Radio One, Crissy Criss will no doubt deliver an outrageous and energetic drum and bass mix. 
Alternative lovers fear not as there is plenty of rock, punk and indie on the NASS menu with Funeral For A Friend, Decade, Random Hand and Reel Big Fish already announced for the 2014 line up. Joining these deafeningly loud and lively acts with massive riffs, crazy moshing and manic dancing will be: the Gallows, with their punk rock fury and aggressive sound; British rock band Blitz Kids, who promise one hell of a lively gig and hailing from LA and hardcore punk band The Bronx, a group that consistently pushes the boundaries. All playing the festival for the very first time, these acts, PLUS 80's hardcore and punk rock band Cerebral Ballzy, thrashing quartet Trash Talk, American indie rock band Versus and many more will be taking to the Rock Stage, absent for the last year but back with force for this July!
Additionally new to the NASS line up is five-piece Manchester band Sonic Boom Six whose electric mashup of ska, pop, grime, dubstep and metal sound, frantic live shows and love of good times will be right at home at the showground. 
Music aside, NASS will once again present the cream of action sports competitions with a host of international skate and BMX athletes going head to head on the industry's biggest and best pro course park. Look out for Logan Martin (NASS '13 BMX champ), Greg Illingworth, Matt Priest, Tom Justice and more on the BMX circuit and battling it out for the £12.5K skate purse are Danny Leon (NASS '13 skate champ), Dannie Carlsen, Ben Grove, Denis Lynn with more confirmed and more to come! 

Reading and Leeds announce this years Lock Up Stage lineup


Friday 24th August at Reading Festival / Saturday 25th August at Leeds Festival

SOCIAL DISTORTION have officially done one of the most un-punk things possible: they’ve failed to burn-out. Having survived various line-up changes, the odd hiatus and the demise of the Los Angeles hardcore scene that saw their arrival, Mike Ness and the band are now in their fourth decade of existence.  With their trademark sound, an all but-perfected mix of punk, bluesy rock ‘n’ roll and outlaw country, they subsequently paved the way for plenty of like-minded individuals and artists  whilst becoming one of the most influential  bands of their generation(s). This summer’s headline appearance on the Lock Up Stage will provide one of the highlights of the entire festival. www.socialdistortion.com

Formed way back in 1988 Pittsburgh’s ANTI-FLAG have forged a reputation for activism and are no strangers to throwing their name behind various causes over the years, be it the recent Occupy Wall Street Movement, Greenpeace, Anti-War campaigns or human rights. Their recent ‘General Strike’ album is equal parts reggae and hardcore, modern folk punk and traditional Clash influenced dance punk.  It sees a band content in their musical environment with arguably their most aggressive album to date.   Renowned for their ferocious live shows, they bring the punk rock ethos to the festival.


Arriving this summer with a reputation for their intense live shows EVERY TIME I DIE have never been an easy act to categorise.  Emerging from the late ‘90’s hardcore scene, over the past decade they’ve continued to evolve and push the boundaries of heavy music.  Their sixth and most recent album ‘Ex Lives’ is  testament to that trajectory  with the most forward–thinking album of their career, this is an act that promises much.


New Jersey’s BOUNCING SOULS’ origins lay in the D.I.Y ethos with their self-financed early releases before making a name for themselves opening for the likes of NOFX and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  The band release their ninth full-length album ‘Comet’ this summer, of which guitarist Pete Steinkopf commented “I haven’t been this excited about anything since I discovered beer” – we’re excited too!  The album and these performances will be another solid milestone in the band's celebrated career.


Forerunners of the US indie rock scene since their inception, New Jersey’s SAVES THE DAY have influenced a new school of emo/punk bands along the way with their own post–punk energetic live shows. The band have recently released the long anticipated third album in a trilogy with ‘Daybreak’  and as singer/guitarist Chris Conley  said on it’s release last year ; “Daybreak is both an ending and a new beginning, we are here together and we can make it through.”  Hiatus over, the quartet return to these shores having already played the UK with a short burst of shows late last year.


With a seemingly relentless touring schedule post-hardcore outfit TOUCHE AMORE have built up a reputation for their fiercely passionate live performances.  As one reviewer was moved to put in print “…(their set), is an unrelenting barrage of furious, brutal and deeply impassioned intensity… astonishing from beginning to end.”  One of the best live acts around today, be prepared to be part of a sweaty, heaving mass of limbs.


Taking their name from a famous stock sound effect used in films A WILHELM SCREAM bring their own brand of melodic post-hardcore to this year’s weekend.  No bandwagon jumpers, the five-piece have in lieu of their cause earned the invitation to support like-minded artists such as Pennywise, Rise Against and Less Than Jake and continued to headline in the US and further afield in Europe and Australasia.


Having just released their fourth album ‘Zoo’  five-piece hardcore outfit CEREMONY continue their ascendancy having confirmed their reputation as one of the most compelling, unusual and progressive hardcore bands of recent years. Hailing from San Francisco’s Bay Area, the band have consistently explored, delved and forged their own way; as one magazine put it “One of the most exhilarating and uncompromising bands in hardcore punk today.”


2011 saw the release of RANDOM HAND’s third LP ‘Seething Is Believing’ and their 1000th show.  Regarded by many as their finest album to date, they have spent the last few years tearing full throttle through the UK scene with their ferocious in your face ska-punk-metal mash up and continue to fly the flag.  As the band proclaim “do not adjust your seat belt, the ride’s not over yet!”.


From the squats of New York City comes STAR FUCKING HIPSTERS, armed with their latest album ‘From the Dumpster to the Grave’.  The record explores several genres including punk, ska, hip-hop, metal and folk, all wrapped in a hardcore shell.  Including some of the crunchiest guitars ever recorded, expect an explosion of sound at both sites.


Following the release of last year’s ‘Moscow Penny Ante’ album, DEAD TO ME are heading to Reading & Leeds Festival ready to thrill.  A band so immersed in style and culture that they’ve always seemed almost as much like an art collective as a rock and roll outfit.  The most recent record revisits and updates their classic sound that first caught everyone’s attention on 2006’s ‘Cuban Ballerina’, but in their own words “it’s more dynamic, more pummelling and more downright awesome than ever before”.


PETTYBONE, the international four-piece from London, will be bringing an aural attack to this year’s festival courtesy of four girls whose message is as important as the music.  Despite only releasing their debut album last year, they have already recorded a live session at Maida Vale for the BBC Radio 1 Punk Show with Mike Davies and undertaken their first international tour.  Having this under their belt in such a short time, it seems like it’s time to sit up and pay attention to the noise that Pettybone are creating.


Sunday 26th August at Reading Festival / Friday 24th August at Leeds Festival

Starting out as a power pop outfit with heavy punk leanings, LESS THAN JAKE seamlessly transformed into a ska-inspired punk band complete with horn section and have extensively travelled the world’s stages.   Influenced by the East Bay pop/punk scene that spawned the likes of Green Day and Screeching Weasel, the band have successfully traversed hurdles along the way, still progressing musically and will be a fitting finale to the day.  Engaging, progressive and socially relevant, unfiltered and over-amplified they bring the curtain down on what is a stellar Lock Up line-up.


ME FIRST AND THE GIMME GIMMES are an all-star-punk-rock supergroup-cover-band fronted by NOFX’s Fat Mike that exploded on the scene in the 90’s.  They have recorded albums of show tunes, R&B jams, classics from the 50’s and 60’s, pop hits, cheesy mum-favorites, country songs and in 2011 a slew of songs by Australians for their 2011 EP entitled Go Down Under’ and their last release ‘Sing In Japanese’ saw them, er, sing in Japanese!  Go party …


When GALLOWS returned with new vocalist Wade MacNeil fans breathed a sigh of relief that the extraordinary band they adored were as good as ever and had retained the intense energy the group had become infamous for.  The band, originally from Watford, had gone through an amicable split with original vocalist Frank Carter in the summer of 2011 after a whirlwind few years of magazine covers and record company battles but emerged triumphant with expectations high.  The Lock Up Stage is their natural home, watch them own it.


The legendary TURBONEGRO bring their unique Death Punk to the festival with no doubt all guns blazing.  With new vocalist The Duke of Nothing, the band have been praised for playing the most up-to-date form of punk, and refusing to be categorised.  Their music is an anarchic blend of humour, shock and sexuality.  The ultimate party experience and most fun you can have at a festival with your clothes on – do not miss the mighty Turbonegro.


With influences ranging from American punk bands Bad Brains and Black Flag to legendary jazz musicians John Coltrane and Miles Davis, TRASH TALK carry the DIY spirit of punk and mesh it with hardcore to create a powerful unique sound.  Based in Sacramento, California – any trip to these shores are greeted with excitement by their dedicated fans.  These shows will be no exception.


When GOOD RIDDANCE announced their reformation after five years away, countless fans jumped for joy having thought they’d never see these hardcore punks again.  The band grew out of California’s vibrant surfing and skateboarding culture and were influenced by such bands as Black Flag, The Adolescents, TSOL and Bad Religion as well as East Coast bands like Sick Of It All and the Cro Mags.  They released seven albums and an EP before splitting, but are back to play the classics just for the joy of it – catch them whilst you can.


London-based reggae & dub upstarts THE SKINTS mix Jamaican styles with pop hooks, grimey raps, filthy bass-lines and a punk rock work ethic to create a sound familiar to newcomers, yet unique below the surface.  Their new album ‘Part & Parcel’ was produced by Prince Fatty and is a sun-drenched carnival of a record, guaranteed to start the dancing.


Jimmy Stadt, who fronts POLAR BEAR CLUB alongside guitarists Chris Browne and Nate Morris, bassist Erik Henning, and drummer Tyler Mahurin arrive at Reading & Leeds Festival on the back of the release of their third album ‘Clash Battle Guilt Pride’.  Their post hardcore/punk anthems have built them a dedicated following, as have tours with The Gaslight Anthem, A Wilhelm Scream and Cancer Bats.


Long Island’s hardcore metal group, THIS IS HELL described their latest album ‘Black Mass’ as the “heaviest and thrashiest songs we've written and recorded” and who are we to argue.  The band have built a formidable reputation as a fearsome live act since the release of their debut ‘Sundowning’, picking up fans on both sides of the Atlantic and this will be a sensational show not to be missed.


THE FLATLINERS come from Canada to Reading & Leeds Festival having spent the last seven years honing their epic sonic sound.  Their 2010 album ‘Cavalcade’ was hailed as a breakthrough mixing thefury of ‘90’s skate punk with the nuanced, intelligent songwriting of classic post-punk.  The album featured fellow festival performers including Big Mike (NOFX), Cancer Bats and A Wilhelm Scream amongst others and their presence will only up the energy for this set.


Melodic-punks APOLOGIES, I HAVE NONE have recently received rave reviews for their debut album ‘London’.  Having started as a two-piece drum and guitar band, Dan Bond and Josh Mckenzie were then joined by PJ Shepherd on bass and Joe Watson and have been playing passionate, energetic punk rock ever since.  A perfect way to kick things off on the Lock Up Stage this year.



Saturday 25th August at Reading Festival / Sunday 26th August at Leeds Festival

MODESTEP combine elements of dubstep with the power of hardcore rock acts which the band grew up on.  Brothers Tony and Josh, with Matt and Nick, are renowned for their explosive live show which combines drums, guitars, synths, pianos, vocals, percussion, DJing and visuals.  In their own words “we appeal to everyone, and we write what we love. We have never made records for anybody except us. We love what we do and will never change it.”


Debuting in 2008 as the first external artist to feature on deadmau5’s internationally revered mau5trap label, FEED ME didn’t so much step on to the scene as stomp, and his unique brand of hard-hitting, bass heavy electronica with a grin quickly caught the imagination of listeners worldwide.  Since then, his rise has continued apace. He continues to tour far and wide, from Alexandra Palace to I Love Techno, and with plenty still up his sleeve there is no sign of him slowing down any time soon. 2012 looks set to be the biggest year yet for Feed Me.


For those unaware, GRIMES is the inventive work of Claire Boucher, a project that has gained notoriety since its inception back in early 2010.  With the release of her new album ‘Visions’, via 4AD, earlier this year she has quickly become one of the most talked about artists around.  The album incorporates influences as wide as Enya, TLC and Aphex Twin, whilst drawing from genre’s like New Jack Swing, industrial and glitch resulting in a record that is both otherworldly and futuristic.  2012 is the year of Grimes.


THE JAPANESE POPSTARS are purveyors of raucous, foot-stomping, energetic electronic dance music. Having racked up the air miles in 2011, the Northern Irish duo have blown away crowds at major festivals with their coruscating live show.  They also released their critically acclaimed album ‘Controlling Your Allegiance’ featuring a host of legendary guests including Robert Smith (The Cure), Green Velvet, Jon Spencer, Lisa Hannigan, Tom Smith (Editors), Morgan Kibby (M83) and James Vincent McMorrow.


Backed by supporters including Ed Sheeran, Zane Lowe, Mistajam and Huw Stephens, CLEMENT MARFO & THE FRONTLINE’s scintillating crossover sound is poised to soundtrack the summer.  Named as one of MTV’s Brand New for 2012 tips and one of T4’s Rising Stars of 2012, they’re the sound of the city streets, the sound of aspirational youth rising above societal problems, the sound of a multi-cultural community uniting rather than dividing.


East Londoner JAGGA is a singer, songwriter and producer whose previous collaborations have included working with Magnetic Man.  Expect catchy choruses, infectious beats, heavy bass and enough bleeps to take over the dance floor at this very special DJ set.  The energy, vibrancy and feel good factor of Jagga can’t be denied, be sure to get down the front early for this set.


Once known as one of jungle’s biggest stars as part of the True Playaz crew, ZINC will be behind the decks for a set like no other at this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival.  After more than a decade of dominating the D&B scene, he set up his own label Bingo Beats and began to diversify into UK garage, realising and producing including the seminal ‘138 Trek’.  Expect house, electro, funky and more from this true legend of the dance scene.



Saturday 25th August at Reading Festival / Sunday 26th August at Leeds Festival

Cardiff-based LOS CAMPESINOS! make their Main Stage debut when they open proceedings in Leeds on Sunday and  Reading on Saturday.   Since having last played the NME/Radio 1 Stage in 2010 the band have added a further album ‘Hello Sadness’ to their catalogue (“Los Campesinos! could well be a British The National..” hailed the NME) and cemented their position as one of the UK’s best-loved indie bands. Get there early and be party to a thrilling live act.