This years Slam Dunk see’s hordes of new and returning acts, picking out the artists to watch is a task and obviously every band are ones to watch, however, there isn’t enough time in the day and as with all festivals, there are bound to be clashes so we’ve come up with some of our main ones we think you should go and see
Madina Lake’s reformation and first performances in the UK since the reformation, Enter Shikari’s headline set, the pop-punk kings of the old generation Bowling For Soup are definitely acts you should be going over to the stages to see.
WE ARE THE OCEAN
Sadly, this year’s Slam Dunk festival will see We Are The Ocean take to the main stage for their last ever performance before parting ways. Although the band have pulled out of the Hatfield date, those of you attending the North and The Midlands dates are in for a treat; as the band have said ‘this is one last chance to celebrate the past, the present and the future’. So, if you want to scream your lungs out to songs from Cutting Our Teeth, Go Now And Live, Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow, Ark and the Self-Titled EP one last time and celebrate their farewell you know where you need to be.
This year’s line-up is full of pop-rock heavyweights and it’d be easy to forget about the exciting new acts gracing the smaller stages around the venue and one of those being Vukovi. Who have made themselves unavoidable after dropping their riotous debut album earlier this year!. The Glasgow bunch have been making quite a racket on and off the record. Armed with their heavy riffs, super-charged tempo and front woman Janine Shilstone’s sizzling vocals, the four-piece have been tearing up the UK’s live scene, setting a precedent for their first ever Slam Dunk set so make sure you’re there to witness it.
Deaf Havana have had it rough in the last few years. In the wake of their Old Souls record, the band were dropped from their record label, fell into debt, and even fell out of love with their craft.
Miraculously, the band have made their return with an momentous new album, All These Countless Nights, which was unveiled earlier this year. If their recent headline shows across the UK are anything to go by its proved the band have found a new lease of life both in their material, and in their live show.
The final raft of bands has been revealed for the 2000trees Festival, as organisers confirm they expect the event to sell out.
Joining the likes of DEAF HAVANA, ALKALINE TRIO, IDLEWILD, WE ARE THE OCEAN, THE SUBWAYS and YOUNG GUNS are…
Errors / Skinny Lister / Honeyblood / Kiran Leonard / ROAM / Tax the Heat / Boy Jumps Ship & Oh Boy!
The award-winning 2000trees Festival celebrates its ninth year near Cheltenham, on 9-11 July. It features the very best new and underground music on six stages, plus comedy, DJs, a silent disco, quality food and drink and children’s entertainment.
Other acts among the 100-strong bill include And So I Watch You From Afar, Mclusky*, The Skints, Future of the Left, Kerbdog, Pulled Apart By Horses, Arcane Roots, The Xcerts, Bury Tomorrow, The Twilight Sad, Benjamin Booker, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Turbowolf, Feed the Rhino and Defeater.
Unlike a lot of music festivals; such as Reading or Download, NASS festival doesn’t entirely revolve around the bands or artists that are performing. A large base of its popularity comes from its Extreme Sports involvement, with competitions for skateboarders and BMXer’s taking place throughout both Friday and Saturday. Additionally, freestyle motocross demonstrations along with rollerblading were being eagerly watched by many at different venues scattered around the site.
As the first full day of the festival started, the intense heat brought out everyone from their tents and caravans onto the walk paths of the festival, the streets were packed with teenagers dressed in vests and shorts trying to resist the extreme heat of the day.
The first highly popular act for Friday’s line-up where the English four piece rock band from Essex: We Are The Ocean. The band put forward a confident performance involving such popular songs as ‘Bleed’ and ‘Follow What You Need’. Lead singer, Liam Cromby, engaged well with the audience; which despite not being huge in numbers seemed impressed and entertained throughout the set.
Next up, the Youtube originated sensation George Watsky, best known through his video ‘Pale kid raps fast’ took the stage. He displayed confidence and talent through his remarkably fast paced rapping which wowed the audience, arriving in numbers slightly larger than those who attended We Are The Ocean. As Watsky’s performance went on, he later decided to interact with one particular member of the audience by singing Happy Birthday to them, this gesture was received well as the crowd cheered and encouraged him on. George then went on to perform a deeply emotional song of his known as ‘Tiny Growing Screens Part 2’ which seemed to connect with the audience immensely, the use of Watsky’s rapping mixed with the powerful singing of his female partner fused well together to create a highly entertaining performance.
After a short break, the well-received DJ’s MONSTA took the stage, exciting the audience with their blend of dubstep and electronic dance-like music. Their performance was heard throughout NASS with their overwhelming bassy music which succeeded in attracting a relatively large crowd. As their performance went on, hundreds of supporters turned up, highlighting on the popularity of their performance.
After a lengthy performance by MONSTA, perhaps the second most anticipated act of the night were about to perform. Hadouken! With no great surprise, attracted a huge crowd, the largest so far, performing with extreme confidence and class. The lead singer, James Smith alongside his girlfriend and the other three members of the band created an intensely exciting atmosphere through their music, which everyone seemed to enjoy! As the act went on, James ordered the main crowd to form the ‘wall of death’ which the crowd obliged into doing, only adding to the craze of the moment.
As the crowd gathered in anticipation of the Headliner of Fridays events, Katy B took the stage; she undoubtedly brought in the largest crowd out of all of Fridays acts and definitely gave a performance worthy of applause, which the audience did, many times. With the involvement of the backup dancers being introduced by Katy, the crowd felt more connected with her, as well as her shout out to ‘all the ladies in here’ generating a huge bombardment of screams from the crowd. Her performance seemed to not only keep the audience on their toes, but also up in the air as multiple giant inflatable balls where launched across the crowd. She closed her set with her most recognised song, also her first single: ‘Katy On A Mission’ which got the whole crowd singing along. Needless to say, the atmosphere was amazing and every member of the audience involved seemed to have a brilliant time.
Saturday started much the same as Friday did…with an intense amount of Heat. In fact the weather for the entire festival was superb as there wasn’t a drop in the sky, although I’m sure by the end of a rave with Skepta or ZaneLowe some people would have been begging for a cold shower to come down from the sky.
The hugely popular English rapper Skepta kicked off the evening with an intense and powerful performance, dressed in his all white clothing he stood out from the background, creating an illuminating appearance. Skepta’s voice was clear and powerful as he shook the ground of NASS getting everyone up on their feet and involved.
Next up, the British rock band from Cardiff Kids In Glass Houses rocked the stage with such popular tunes as ‘Sunshine’ ‘Undercover Lover’ and ‘Matters At All’. Their supporters came together to create a great atmosphere as Aled and his band rocked on through the evening.
The extremely popular Radio one presenter from New Zealand Zane Lowe came on and immediately summoned everyone to their feet as he shouted ‘If you’re sitting in a tent then what the F#*k are you doing?!’. As his set began, a huge crowd gathered, one of a similar size to Hadouken! His performance included his own DJ set as well as remix’s of club classics, for example he did a cover of one of Pendulums songs, which brought a huge cheer of recognition from the crowd. It seemed that all those involved in this experience had an exciting and unforgettable time.
Finally, as the darkness started to loom around the site, the concluding headlining act was about to hit the stage, who, by extreme measures, attracted the largest crowd as the main stage was packed with people. Before he made is appearance, the DJ paid tribute to such other rappers as 2 Pac and biggie smalls; demanding that everyone put ‘one finger in the air’ and then ‘turn them ones into two’s’ in tribute of 2 Pac. As the night went on and Nas made it to the stage there was a huge eruption from the crowd as he entered. The atmosphere was intense and full of supporters eagerly cheering him on. Once again, as during Katy B, huge inflatable balls bounced across the top of the crowd, just to add to the already intensely exciting atmosphere. The performance could be heard throughout the entire site, it was safe to say that Nas gave the people of NASS what they wanted, an incredible performance.
To sum up, the performances at NASS, whether they be from a skateboarder, BMXer or whether they’re headlining on the main stage; the quality and enjoyment you get from each and every performer creates an environment which you don’t ever want to leave, the effort of these performers this year made NASS 2013 a festival to remember, so don’t miss it next year!
With so many festivals spread over whole weekends, Slamdunk offers something a little different. With seven stages, both indoor and out, and bands playing throughout the day, Slamdunk Wolverhampton offers the younger generation a chance to experience the excitement of a punk rock festival without the hassle of camping.
The crowd immediately gravitated towards the Monster Energy stage at the far end of the arena, as it boasted the first act of the day, Heart in Hand. The British hardcore act kicked off the festival with a bang, exhibiting the spirit that set the precedence for all the bands that followed them.
After exploring outside through all the assorted merchandise tents, the flow of the crowd swept me inside in time to see what the main stage had to offer. With bands such as Tonight Alive and Sleeping with Sirens on throughout the day, there was constantly a lively crowd leading up to the big headliners, the fantastic All Time Low. I don’t think I’ve ever heard screams like those leading up to the entrance of the US four piece. As the lights went out after the final sound checks, the screams were beyond deafening and many of those ladies had their bras at the ready to throw. And throw them they did! Lead guitarist, Jack Barakat, had quite the extensive collection hanging from his mic stand by the time the first song peaked. And with their bright, energetic performance, they didn’t disappoint, with crowds spilling into the hallways straining to get a glimpse of the famous foursome.
If you preferred a closer encounter with your favourite bands and were willing to explore the more hidden stages, you were rewarded with two more stages, each offering their own unique take of the festival experience. The Tiger stage alone offered a more intimate setting, giving bands like Yashin and Cancer Bats, a chance of a far more personal performance. In fact Harry Redford, one of the two lead singers of Yashin, couldn’t keep himself away from the crowd.
It wasn’t exclusively for the younger generation of punk rockers though. Heading back outside to the Vans stage, there was an impressive line-up of 90s punk bands to greet the more old school punk in the crowd. Throughout the day there was a gathering of brightly coloured mohawks to be seen, and as soon as the bands announced their arrival the ‘hawks made their way forward, like shark fins heading towards their next victim.
With the likes of [Spunge] proclaiming “We are not dead!” and MC Lars stating out loud to the crowd that skanking is still cool, with his post-punk laptop rap inviting members of the crowd onto the stage to get down and dance. There were even brass instruments, some more steampunk than others, making an appearance with the likes of Streetlight Manifesto and the recently reformed King Prawn.
All in all, beers, bands, bras and some bloody scary 10ft aliens walking around. This bank holiday Monday, Slamdunk Wolverhampton was the place to be!
Download Festival continues to score out of the park with the announcement that a further 25 acts have been added to this year’s line up, including Thunder, Kvelertak, Devin Townsend and We Are The Ocean.
Headlined by Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein, Download Festival takes place 14-16 June 2013 in Donington Park. Weekend and day tickets are available at www.downloadfestival.co.uk.
Having last played Download as one of festival promoter Andy Copping’s ‘secret acts’ in 2009, classic rock favourites Thunder will be returning to Donington soil on the Saturday – hopefully guitarist/singer Luke Morley will have recovered from riding 161 miles on a pedal bike from London to Donington as part of the “Heavy Metal Truants” charity bike ride organized by Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood! For more information about Heavy Metal Truants go to www.heavymetaltruants.com.
Following their Download debut in 2011, hardcore Norwegian punkers Kvelertak will be back with a vengeance to perform tracks from their new album Meir. The inimitable Devin Townsend will also be back at Download, this time taking it down a notch to perform on the acoustic Jagermeister stage. Also confirmed for this year’s Download with a wealth of new material to please the crowds at the Jagermeister stage will be Essex four-piece We Are The Ocean.
No stranger to Download, London’s Zico Chain are confirmed for the Friday, fresh of the back of their support slot on Steve Harris’ solo tour. Hot new metal act Blood Command – another Norwegian export – will be looking forward to showcasing their live act this year. Blending stoner metal and garage rock, Black Moth are confirmed for the Saturday, as are hard riffers The Wild Lies.
New London punk band The Howling are confirmed, alongside local Birmingham pop-punkers Page 44 and the fierce Wounds.
The acoustic Jagermeister Stage at Download is a great chance to catch up and coming rock acts as well as stripped down performances from acts from the other stages over the weekend. In addition to Devin Townsend and We Are The Ocean, the Jagermeister stage will see the following acts: Hear Kitty Kitty, Toseland, Rob Lynch, Acoustic TV, Straight Lines, Fahran, The Killing Floor, The Afterparty, Pig Iron, Night x Night, Crash Mansion, The Graveltones, Arthemis and Avosetta, alongside acoustic performances from Walking Papers, Buffalo Summer, Crowns, Heaven’s Basement, Skin and Red White & Blues.