Festival Preview: Slam Dunk Festival 2015 – 15 Must See Bands

Once again it’s that time of year when fans of pop punk, hardcore, metal and rock throughout the UK come together to celebrate some of the best bands currently around. Without a doubt the annual Slam Dunk Festival is one of our favourite festivals of the year. It never fails to deliver a stellar line-up and to say this years bill is unbelievable is an understatement.

With over 50 acts set to play, we’ve (somehow) compiled a list of 15 bands that you HAVE to see at Slam Dunk Fest.

Preview | Line-Up | Stage Times | Playlist | Info

Pvris
There is literally no hotter new band on the planet right now then Pvris. Lynn Gunn and her band wowed UK fans with their debut UK appearances in recent months and Slam Dunk will be no different. Their stratospherically huge electro meets pop rock sound has to be heard to be believed, and given that Slam Dunk will be the first chance most of us get to hear tracks from the epic ‘White Noise’ album live, Pvris are the single most must see band of Slam Dunk 2015. (DW)

Where & When: 2:30pm (North/Midlands) / 2:15 (South) – Main Stage

Patent Pending
Slam Dunk has always been about fun, energetic performances, and that is something which criminally under-rated Long Islander’s Patent Pending have made their calling card. Plus their take on pop-punk features elements of do-wop and classic pop with plenty of big riffs to complete the package. If that wasn’t enough checking out Patent Pending this weekend will mean you get to hear ‘Hey Mario’ and see frontman Joe bouncing around pretending to be Mario himself. And who wouldn’t want to witness that. (DW)

Where & When: 2:15pm – Desperados Stage

Transit
The Indie-punks from Boston have been regular visitor’s to Slam Dunk over the years and know exactly what it takes to please the Leeds, Hatfield and Wolverhampton crowds. Transit’s peppy, melodic and brilliantly reflective indie-pop hits from newest album ‘Joyride’ and AH favourites ‘Young New England’ and ‘Listen and Forgive’ are sure to go down a storm again this year. (DW)

Where & When: 7:55pm – Macbeth Stage

This Wild Life
The achingly gorgeous harmonies and acoustic guitar wizardry turned out by Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grasso are every bit as awesome live as they were on last year’s brilliant ‘Clouded’. Prepare to bask in the wonderfulness of the pair’s bitter-sweet, life affirming anthems that will still be lodged in your brain long after the festival is over.

Where & When: 6:15pm – ‘Fresh Blood’ Stage

Rob Lynch
Already Heard’s favourite folk-punk troubadour Rob Lynch brings his full band show to Slam Dunk for the first time this year. After establishing himself as a regular favourite on the SD Acoustic Stage, Rob and his band are set to be one of the standout’s of the ‘Fresh Blood’ Stage this time around. From start to finish singalongs and fists and beers waved joyfully in the air will be the order of the day. If you don’t already, by the end of this set you’ll know every word of ‘My Friends and I’ and you’ll love every second.

Where & When: 5:25pm – ‘Fresh Blood’ Stage

Zebrahead
The Zebrahead boys are pretty much unable to play a show without turning it into one hell of a booze soaked party. And given this year’s Slam Dunk is one massive party to celebrate it’s tenth birthday what better band to celebrate with then the mighty MFZB. The beer and jaeger will be flowing and flying in epic proportions when Matty Lewis, Ali Tabatabaee and co bring their pop-punk hip-hop cross over hits and get the appropriately sponsored Desperados stage bouncing. (DW)

Where & When: 6:00pm – Desperados Stage

We Are The Ocean
This Essex four-piece are veterans of the festival having appeared a handful of times previously. However with new album ‘Ark’ receiving mixed feedback, they return to Slam Dunk with a point to prove. Nevertheless with new cuts such as ‘Holy Fire’ bringing a sense of grandeur to their new, approachable rock sound, we expect the vocal talents of Liam Cromby to leave many stunned. Whilst old favourites ‘The Waiting Room’ and ‘Young Heart’ are certain get the crowd moving in the middle afternoon on the main stage.

Where & When: 3:25pm (North/Midlands) / 3:15pm (South) – Main Stage

Architects
At Slam Dunk Brighton’s metalcore giants Architects will be bringing down the curtain of ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’ in fashion as they headline the Monster Energy stage. Having exceeded expectations with their recent UK headline tour, Architects are one of the most consistent UK live bands right now. With an arsenal of powerful and mighty songs, there’s no doubt will leave you feeling not just battered and brusied but also very satisifed. (SR)

Where & When: 9:35pm – Monster Energy Stage

Goldfinger
After pulling out of last year’s festivals, John Feldmann and company return to Slam Dunk to make up for lost time. With songs such as ‘Superman’, ‘Here In Your Bedroom’ and ‘Spokesman’ being So Cal punk classics, Goldfinger know how to put on a memorable show. Sure they’re a bit older than most of the bands on the bill but they’re young at heart and definitely know how to truly party. (SR)

Where & When: 7:05pm – Desperados Stage

The Wonder Years
Having stole the show two years, The Wonder Years come back to Slam Dunk having completed work on a new untitled record and ready to take on the world once more. Whilst we don’t know much about the album, we do know the Philadelphia group will deliver one of the most memorable sets of the weekend. Expect a wave of massive singalongs and crowdsurfing bodies. We wouldn’t want it any other way. (SR)

Where & When: 9:50pm – Macbeth Stage

A Loss For Words
As part of their Massachusetts’ groups last venture to the UK, Slam Dunk is the perfect way to say farewell to A Loss For Words before they call it time later this year. Their brand of upbeat, melodic pop punk is an ideal fit for Slam Dunk and with the always exceptional vocals of Matty Arsenault, you’re bound to be left walking away with happy memories of A Loss For Words. (SR)

Where & When: 5:05pm – Macbeth Stage

As It Is
We’ve been giving As It Is a lot of love here on Already Heard in recent months and it’s all well deserved. Having been labelled as one of our 50 bands to watch back in January, ‘Never Happy, Ever After’ lived up to the hype upon its release last month. With it’s mix of infectious hooks and lyrical sincerity, the album has won many over. They’re certainly a band on the rise, and with a 2 month joint on the Vans Warped Tour imminent, this is the perfect to time to As It Is. So get yourself down to the Macbeth stage early. (SR)

Where & When: 1:30pm – Macbeth Stage

Moose Blood
You’re probably thinking “Oh here we go again! Already Heard are praising Moose Blood”. And you’d be right. The rise of Moose Blood has exceeded in recent months. Following the release of the exception ‘I’ll Keep You Mind, From Time To Time’ last October, there has been no stopping for the Canterbury group. They make their Slam Dunk debut by headlining the ‘Fresh Blood’ stage, which champions the best up-and-coming bands the festival has to offer, and they don’t get much better than Moose Blood. (SR)

Where & When: 8:45pm – ‘Fresh Blood’ Stage

Baby Godzilla
Without question Baby Godzilla are one of the heaviest bands you’ll probably see all weekend. Their live shows are notorious for being beyond chaotic. No matter how big or small stage they’re playing, it’s likely the band will end up somewhere amongst the masses. With songs like ‘Powerboat Disaster’ and ‘The Great Hardcore Swindle’ being suitably trashy, Baby Godzilla will lay waste to Slam Dunk and then some. (SR)

Where & When: 7:50pm – ‘Fresh Blood’ Stage

Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties
You could say Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties is at the opposite of the spectrum compared to aforementioned Baby Godzilla, however with Slam Dunk being so diverse the solo project of The Wonder Years’ Dan “Soupy” Campbell is a welcomed addition. Last years ‘We Don’t Have Each Other’ swept us away with Campbell’s heartfelt and immersive narrative. Campbell’s venture into folk and Americana paid off and now he’s bringing the project to Slam Dunk. Sure he’s tales will leave us feeling a little sad but nevertheless we’ll also be walking away feeling very satisfied. (SR)

Where & When: 2:55pm – ‘Fresh Blood’ Stage

The Essential Slam Dunk Fest 2015 Playlist

STAGE TIMES
North | South | Midlands

LEEDS SATURDAY MAY 23rd

Main Stage – Millennium Square
You Me At Six 9:20 – 10:45
Taking Back Sunday 7:50 – 8:50
Don Broco 6:40 – 7:25
Lower Than Atlantis 5:30 – 6:15
Neck Deep 4:25 – 5:05
We Are The Ocean 3:25 – 4:00
Pvris 2:30 – 3:00
Set It Off 1:40 – 2:10

Monster Energy Stage – Academy
Architects 9:35 – 10:40
While She Sleeps 8:20 – 9:10
Finch 7:10 – 7:55
Crossfaith 6:05 – 6:45
Bury Tomorrow 5:00 – 5:40
Thy Art Is Murder 4:00 – 4:35
Beartooth 3:00 – 3:35
The Color Morale 2:10 – 2:40
Shvpes 1:20 – 1:50

Ska + Punk Stage – Cookridge Street
Reel Big Fish 9:25 – 10:30
Millencolin 8:15 – 9:00
Goldfinger 7:05 – 7:50
Zebrahead 6:00 – 6:40
Mariachi El Bronx 5:00 – 5:35
Lightyear 4:05 – 4:40
Big D & The Kids Table 3:10 – 3:45
Patent Pending 2:15 – 2:50
Survay Says 1:25 – 1:55

Macbeth Stage – Rose Bowl
The Wonder Years 9:50 – 10:50
Fireworks 8:50 – 9:25
Transit 7:55 – 8:30
Such Gold 7:00 – 7:35
Bayside 5:55 – 6:40
A Loss For Words 5:05 – 5:35
Cartel 4:00 – 4:45
Roam 3:10 – 3:40
Knuckle Puck 2:20 – 2:50
As It Is 1:30 – 2:00

Impericon Stage – Beckett SU
The Bronx 9:45 – 10:45
Gallows 8:35 – 9:20
H2O 7:35 -8:15
Comeback Kid 6:35 – 7:15
Bane 5:40 – 6:15
Stick To Your Guns 4:45 – 5:20
Deez Nuts 3:50 – 4:25
Trash Talk 3:00 – 3:30
Being As An Ocean 2:10 – 2:40
Dead Harts 1:20 – 1:50

Fresh Blood Stage – Met Back Room
Moose Blood 8:45 – 9:15
Baby Godzilla 7:50 – 8:25
Seaway 7:05 – 7:35
This Wild Life 6:15 – 6:45
Rob Lynch 5:25 – 5:55
Fort Hope 4:35 – 5:05
Only Rivals 3:45 – 4:15
Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties 2:55 – 3:25
Wind In Sails 2:05 – 2:35
Trash Boat 1:15 – 1:45

The Uprawar DJ Stage – Baa Bar
Mel Clarke 9:30 – 11:00
Tek One 8:00 -9:30
Dani & Davyd Winter-Bates 6:30 – 8:00
The Algorithm 5:00 – 6:30
Terufumi Tomano 4:00 – 5:00
Kyle Clingo 3:00 – 4:00
Uprawr Resident 2:00 – 3:00
Uprawr Resident 12:30 – 2:00

HATFIELD SUNDAY MAY 24th

Main Stage – Hutton Lawn
You Me At Six 9:30 – 10:55
Taking Back Sunday 8:00 – 9:00
Don Broco 6:45 – 7:30
Lower Than Atlantis 5:30 – 6:15
Neck Deep 4:20 – 5:00
We Are The Ocean 3:15 – 3:50
Pvris 2:15 – 2:45
Set It Off 1:20 – 1:50

Monster Energy Stage – Piazza
Architects 9:35 – 10:40
While She Sleeps 8:20 – 9:10
Finch 7:10 – 7:55
Crossfaith 6:05 – 6:45
Bury Tomorrow 5:00 – 5:40
Thy Art Is Murder 4:00 – 4:35
Beartooth 3:00 – 3:35
The Color Morale 2:10 – 2:40
Shvpes 1:20 – 1:50

Ska + Punk Stage – Forum Main Room
Reel Big Fish 9:25 – 10:30
Millencolin 8:15 – 9:00
Goldfinger 7:05 – 7:50
Zebrahead 6:00 – 6:40
Mariachi El Bronx 5:00 – 5:35
Lightyear 4:05 – 4:40
Big D & The Kids Table 3:10 – 3:45
Patent Pending 2:15 – 2:50
Survay Says 1:25 – 1:55

Macbeth Stage
The Wonder Years 9:50 – 10:50
Fireworks 8:50 – 9:25
Transit 7:55 – 8:30
Such Gold 7:00 – 7:35
Bayside 5:55 – 6:40
A Loss For Words 5:05 – 5:35
Cartel 4:00 – 4:45
Roam 3:10 – 3:40
Knuckle Puck 2:20 – 2:50
As It Is 1:30 – 2:00

Impericon Stage – Refectory
The Bronx 9:45 – 10:45
Gallows 8:35 – 9:20
H2O 7:35 -8:15
Comeback Kid 6:35 – 7:15
Bane 5:40 – 6:15
Stick To Your Guns 4:45 – 5:20
Deez Nuts 3:50 – 4:25
Trash Talk 3:00 – 3:30
Being As An Ocean 2:10 – 2:40
Dead Harts 1:20 – 1:50

Fresh Blood Stage – Met Back Room
Moose Blood 8:45 – 9:15
Baby Godzilla 7:50 – 8:25
Seaway 7:05 – 7:35
This Wild Life 6:15 – 6:45
Rob Lynch 5:25 – 5:55
Fort Hope 4:35 – 5:05
Only Rivals 3:45 – 4:15
Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties 2:55 – 3:25
Wind In Sails 2:05 – 2:35
Trash Boat 1:15 – 1:45

The Uprawar DJ Stage – Hutton Lawn
Dani & Davyd Winter-Bates 9.00 – 9.30
Dani & Davyd Winter-Bates 7.30 – 8.00
Tek One 6:15 – 6:45
Tek One 5:00 – 5:30
Terufumi Tomano 3.50 – 4.20
The Algorithm 2.45 – 3.15
The Algorithm 1.50 – 2.15
Mel Clarke 12:30 – 1:20

WOLVERHAMPTON MONDAY MAY 25th

Main Stage – Civic Hall
You Me At Six 9:20 – 10:45
Taking Back Sunday 7:50 – 8:50
Don Broco 6:40 – 7:25
Lower Than Atlantis 5:30 – 6:15
Neck Deep 4:25 – 5:05
We Are The Ocean 3:25 – 4:00
Pvris 2:30 – 3:00
Set It Off 1:40 – 2:10

Monster Energy Stage – Tele Exchange
Architects 9:35 – 10:40
While She Sleeps 8:20 – 9:10
Finch 7:10 – 7:55
Crossfaith 6:05 – 6:45
Bury Tomorrow 5:00 – 5:40
Thy Art Is Murder 4:00 – 4:35
Beartooth 3:00 – 3:35
The Color Morale 2:10 – 2:40
Shvpes 1:20 – 1:50

Ska + Punk Stage – Wulfrun
Reel Big Fish 9:25 – 10:30
Millencolin 8:15 – 9:00
Goldfinger 7:05 – 7:50
Zebrahead 6:00 – 6:40
Mariachi El Bronx 5:00 – 5:35
Lightyear 4:05 – 4:40
Big D & The Kids Table 3:10 – 3:45
Patent Pending 2:15 – 2:50
Survay Says 1:25 – 1:55

Macbeth Stage – Corp St Outdoor Stage
The Wonder Years 9:50 – 10:50
Fireworks 8:50 – 9:25
Transit 7:55 – 8:30
Such Gold 7:00 – 7:35
Bayside 5:55 – 6:40
A Loss For Words 5:05 – 5:35
Cartel 4:00 – 4:45
Roam 3:10 – 3:40
Knuckle Puck 2:20 – 2:50
As It Is 1:30 – 2:00

Impericon Stage – Mitre Fold
The Bronx 9:45 – 10:45
Gallows 8:35 – 9:20
H2O 7:35 -8:15
Comeback Kid 6:35 – 7:15
Bane 5:40 – 6:15
Stick To Your Guns 4:45 – 5:20
Deez Nuts 3:50 – 4:25
Trash Talk 3:00 – 3:30
Being As An Ocean 2:10 – 2:40
Dead Harts 1:20 – 1:50

Fresh Blood Stage – Civic Bar
Moose Blood 8:45 – 9:15
Baby Godzilla 7:50 – 8:25
Seaway 7:05 – 7:35
This Wild Life 6:15 – 6:45
Rob Lynch 5:25 – 5:55
Fort Hope 4:35 – 5:05
Only Rivals 3:45 – 4:15
Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties 2:55 – 3:25
Wind In Sails 2:05 – 2:35
Trash Boat 1:15 – 1:45

The Uprawar DJ Stage – Blossoms Fold
Mel Clarke 9:30 – 11:00
Tek One 8:00 – 9:30
Dani & Davyd Winter-Bates 6:30 – 8:00
The Algorithm 5:00 – 6:30
Terufumi Tomano 4:00 – 5:00
Uprawr Resident 3:00 – 4:00
Uprawr Resident 2:00 – 3:00
Uprawr Resident 12:30 – 2:00

Slam Dunk Festival links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

May
23rd Slam Dunk Festival North, Leeds (Millennium Square, O2 Academy, Leeds Beckett Uni, Ba Bar and 2 other outdoor stages.)
24th Slam Dunk Festival South, Hatfield (The Forum – University of Herts) – SOLD OUT
25th Slam Dunk Festival Midlands, Wolverhampton (Wulfrun Hall, Civic Hall & Bar, Green Room and 3 outdoor stages)

Tickets are £39 (STBF) or £44 (STBF) with infamous Slam Dunk afterparty entrance included.

View Already Heard’s content from past Slam Dunk Festival’s:
2012|2013|2014

Words by Sean Reid (SR) and Dane Wright (DW)

Leave a Reply