Slam Dunk Festival 2017 is just around the corner as it returns to Birmingham, Leeds and Hatfield for the Spring bank holiday weekend. Here are my top picks for the festival across all eight stages.
Don Broco are playing the penultimate set on the main stage each night, and these will be one of very few opportunities to see the cheeky Bedford band this year as they finish off album number 3. For anyone who hasn’t seen the lads before, you can expect a show packed full of bouncy pop-rock and plenty of great humour.
Watching a set from California ska-punk heroes Reel Big Fish is more like attending an mind-blowing party with your friends than anything else; you dance around to excellent music, maybe sink a few pints and generally have fun. If you like energetic shows, loud shirts, jokes or even just getting drunk; then this might be the set for you!
The Maine are an alternative rock band from the US, and are celebrating ten years together in 2017. Last month they released their excellent sixth album Lovely Little Lonely, which is a feel-good offering from the band, packed full of honest songwriting. The Maine’s passionate live shows and fan-friendly ethos have earned them a plethora of admiration over the last decade, and I am personally looking forward to seeing their live set at Slam Dunk.
With Confidence were introduced to Slam Dunk regulars on the Fresh Blood stage in 2016 and certainly didn’t disappoint. The last year has been a great one for the Sydney pop-punkers following the release of their debut album Better Weather and relentless touring worldwide. The band’s music has hints of pop-punk heavyweights such as Blink 182, but with a modern twist, and their lively and fun sets have recently won them a host of fans as they tour the US with State Champs, Against The Current and Don Broco.
US indie rock band Turnover are a mellow offering for Slam Dunk 2017; serving up dreamy, low-fi vibes to ease you into the Summer months. The self proclaimed ‘beach heads’ are particularly good at walking the fine line between joy and sorrow; pairing up dark and candid songwriting subjects such as depression with sun-drenched & melodic indie rock.
Counterfeit’s front man Jamie Campbell Bower is already a familiar face to many as both an actor and model; but recently the band have proved that punk-rock is definitely not dead by becoming one of the most popular up and coming bands on the British underground scene. The talented and exciting band are not afraid to give it their all during live shows, and often get very close for comfort by playing in amongst the audience. Their passionate and gnarly set at Slam Dunk will be one that you shouldn’t miss.
Having already spent the last few years touring with the likes of Deaf Havana, Verses and Trash Boat and releasing a series of singles; the Gospel Youth are already creating quite a stir in the British underground scene. The band are currently working on their debut album release, and have been announced for the Vans Warped Tour in America over the summer; so this might be one of the last chances to see the hotly tipped Brighton pop-rock band on such an intimate stage.
With festivals booked UK-wide including 2000 Trees, Fort Fest and Y Not; this summer looks set to be a busy one for British solo artist Grumble Bee. Visiting a wide spectrum of genres in his original songwriting, the talented multi-instrumentalist reminds me equally in parts of the blues and soul of Jeff Buckley mixed with the angular riffs of Biffy Clyro. If you love heartfelt, impassioned anthems that keep you on the edge of your seat, then Grumble Bee is certainly an artist to check out and this acoustic set at Slam Dunk will be the perfect chance to see stripped back, acoustic versions of his songs.