As Sirens Fall
As Sirens Fall
As December Falls
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Less than a year has passed since the previous iteration of Slam Dunk Festival and here we are for the third time at the Temple Newsam site since switching from the city centre where just about everything is bigger and better! The stages, the food, the acts, the sound etc. It feels truly amazing to be back without the fear of coughs, covid passes and everything else in-between that would stop us from attending!
Having grown up from my teenage years to university on a steady diet of Pop-Punk, Metalcore and tonnes of more music, it almost feels as if this is a dream today and it feels as if the gap between all the shows in the last few months has passed. Also, this has to be the most diverse lineup I’ve witnessed in a long long time!
Over on their festival debut, the Baltimore based Pinkshift continue to win over some new faces to the band and I’ll say this, their energy levels didn’t drop by one bit at all. They sounded up to that point in the day, the best out of every single band on the day and they continue to win over every person that watched (including myself) especially with their recently released single ‘Nothing (in my head) which has you losing your mind over that soaring guitar.
Kicking off the heavier side of things is the always incredible, Cassyette, an artist who hasn’t gone unnoticed over the last year and has steadily put out a consistent repertoire of banger after banger. Her oozing her anthemic liveability has the early crowd being thoroughly entertained with her glam rock attitude with her added swagger though… she lives up to the hype.. Being a staple as one to watch could lead her to falter a but but with track such as ‘Sad Summer Girl’, it makes her pleasing to watch and hopefully in a few years time, we’ll see this artist head further up the festival bill.
Rising Aussie favourites take to the Temple Newsam stage for the second time in as many days, previously on You Me At Six’s 10 Years Of Sin (Sinners Never Sleep Anniversary Shows) it’s clear that they’re fan favourites in the scene at the moment the way everyone’s bouncing on the stage to show that this is Yours Truly’s world, we’re just living in it and proof that they have only gotten better with time, refining their sound over the pandemic. Sadly though production monsters have struck during their set which do plague the performance on the occasion but that doesn’t make things unenjoyable, it makes us want to watch even more.
Meet Me At The Altar
Today there’s someone we’ve been wanting to watch for a while now but sadly their set is plagued by some technical difficulties, especially on their guitar early into their set. After some momentum from May The Odds Be In Your Favour, the sounds are a little disappointing in the rhythm of their set but around their ending, they do show some motivation at what they really can do to make them a good presence where hen they do make their UK return, these problems won’t bring them down, they’ll bring the carnage to their set.
‘Lets show them how we do it in the north’. says Hannah Mee, leading the charge with Hot Milk as they reach some amazing heights with their Rock Scene stage performance. The band blast through some high octane tracks, the recently released ‘Bad Influence’ as well as their previous title track off EP, ‘I Just Wanna Know What Happens When I’m Dead’with every single piece of energy just dripping from the band, it’s very impressive to say the least. Hot Milk continue to go from strength to strength in the dynamic flow of their back catalogue of tracks and the atmosphere just raises things up ten times of what any band has accomplished so far today.
Another international debut, were the social media sensations, Magnolia Park. ’10 for 10′ became this full circle moment for everyone in the crowd because it was one of those songs that when you hear for the first time which has a poignant meaning and the standout on the day of the festival but made them all the more crushing and pleasing to watch. In all honesty they are ballsy to be covering ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’ (as is anyone who chooses to) and they nail it perfectly because of their modern electro-pop blend which fans have become accustomed to. The more I listen to Magnolia Park, the more interesting they become to me not only because they seem to be the future of what the genre has to offer but because when they inevitably make their Slam Dunk return, a bigger stage will be required.
It’s been a while since the record ‘internet Killed The Rockstar’ dropped and he brought about a new age of Rock to our ears and when the tracks ‘Karma’, ‘Annoying’ and more hit, all you hear is the entire crowd chanting back and screaming the lyrics. What’s more is the amount of time Mod Sun interacts with the crowd, expressing how loved he feels to be there and the entire time, that love is reciprocated. Dedicating the set to his fiancé Avril Lavigne (and even a few rumours of the queen herself being there) the 2021 breakout single ‘Flames’ is one that possibly can be heard across the pond for what is a fantastic set for the first time appearance
Set It Off
It’s been three years since Set IT Off last played in the UK. Postponement after postponement meant that their latest upcoming tour has now been on the back burner for the last few years (thanks to COVID) and this is just the opening salvo of what is to expect when things come about in a few months time. Starting off with ‘Skeleton’ and ‘Projector’ it’s obvious that they’re clear fan favourites already and will continue to stay in their setlist for a good while but that doesn’t mean they won’t bust out their old hits such as ‘Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’ as well as ‘Why Worry’, there’s more than enough charm to go around, especially with the bands colour coded outfits as well as a You’re Next style bunny mask for their touring guitar player.
As December Falls
Making their return to Slam Dunk Festival (with their previous appearance back in 2018) and after an impressive SOLD OUT headlining run of the UK, British Pop-Punk protégées As December Falls continued to impress with their lovely catalogue of tracks, especially their latest release of ‘Go Away’, we just want more and we will on their upcoming Autumn UK Tour later this year. With the entire set of crowd pleasing tunes fizzing with some personality, the sass manages to cook up more to get the crowd really going and hopefully they’re going to be firm favourites sooner rather than later.
Now I Feel for Nova Twins, I really do. They’re at the end of the day just about to go on before main headliners Sum 41 but the more you watch from them, the more you’re just in their trance. With the crowd rather drained, the duo powerhouse get the crowd moving again and again to have them reignited to remind them just who the hell they’re watching. The annihilating Riffs and furious tracks make the most of their message and believe me when I say, nexttime they tour, get your butts to a show.
The final band to take to the stage, the kings of the festival today are sounding the absolute best from left to right all over the place, especially with a massive Red Devil looking ominously out into the crowd.
It feels so weird to be listening to tracks such as ‘The Hell Song’, ‘In Too Deep’ and ‘Fat Lip’ but I suppose that’s always the case of people you’ve been listening to for years. They’re always welcome with the favourites in their setlist where you hear the crowd collectively chanting back and a realisation comes to you, this is the community of the entire festival singing back. The setlist is culled from more nostalgia feels of the last 20+ years but they hold up time and time again.
Picking up in between the set, covers of riffs from The White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army’ and Queens ‘We Will Rock You’ feel effortless from my standpoint. The band have always been capable of more, and the set provides it time and time again to bring Slam Dunk Festival 2022 to a triumphant end but if I may say, this is a crowd that wants more and they oozed up every last ounce of what was put out there today.
Support: Hidden Mothers
With one of the most anticipated releases of 2021, Employed To Serve set off on a very intimate UK tour for the launch of their record, ‘Conquering’ Madness was sure to ensue at this heavy affair.
Now not knowing much about Hidden Mothers beforehand, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought possibly some head banging and heavy riffs but there was something that what followed was just a lot more laid back in places and more emotional connection to the audience, which was quite a drastic change to be honest. What’s more is that there was a lot of circling from the bands vocalist in a way that made the performance all that more kinetic and connected to the audience.
Definitely a performance to remember for a while, it wasn’t until the final track the whole band came together on stage and outrightly brought the house down.
Onto the main event of the night, Employed To Serve have become one of the hardest working bands of the last few years in the UK, delivering some absolutely killer records along the way. Their latest effort just oozes stomping power and head banging in the best ways for days and that translates over to the livr side of things beautifully because anytime you watch them it’s utter chaos. Some tracks just work out so well in these intimate venues similarly as to for Hidden Mothers and now their sound is just so defined, when one track drops the whole venue just erupts with applause. Employed To Serve prove how savage they are time and time again and there’s just no complaints on the night, they’re heavy as you can get and you’re always wanting just that little bit more.
Photos by JackLiddPhotography.
Support:Death Blooms, Bambie Thug
This time last year Wargasm were relatively unknowns in the music world but then came their singles which found their way into the ears of their ever growing legion of fans. With the popularity only growing over the year and slots to play at the Download Pilot and Slam Dunk Festival, they are just gaining so much traction where now at the end of the year they embarked on their debut headlining UK tour.
First we were introduced to the larger than life gothic artist Bambie Thug whom offered up some shock as well as flexibility in her set as she showcased raw and clean vocals making her a standout to watch and keep an eye on over the coming months. With the added messages of self love and sex positivity within her tracks, there was something unique about the performance to ensure that all eyes were on the stage with no exceptions.
Okay I have to be honest, Death Blooms a few months ago were a bit meh. From the moment they set on stage on this evening however, they were utterly relentless. Everything just battered from sheer carnage into mosh pit after pit which seemed to span over half of the room at some point where the aggression and pent up rage seemed to flow out of everyone to give a really poignant and respected set. Part way through you had to ask if you took something because of the alien appearing onstage mid-set whom then joined the earthlings More of this I beg you Death Blooms because that was truly amazing to watch!
Storming onto the stage with the largest applause I’ve heard in a while are the truly amazing Wargasm. With them ripping into their material at serious speeds you feel as if you’re a deer in headlights the way things are moving at the pace where as they performed, they just excelled more and more into the night.
The utterly brilliant catchy chorus of ‘I want to drink, fuck, fight, love’ just moves into your brain, an earthworm of the best kind with the crowd getting louder and rowdier all over the place. Now the chemistry and energy between Way and Matlock is just impressive to see as you feel the connection between them, each one of them doing more to outmonourver the other, it’s what we all need to see.
Eventually closing things with ‘Spit’, possibly their most destructive track so far to date, you had to be ready because this took everything up a notch way above what we were expecting to showcase just how far they can fly.
Wargasm are truly one of the greatest bands to hone their craft coming out of the pandemic and with more to come from them in what will hopefully be released, it’ll only add to the sheer chaos that is their live act.
Photos by JackLiddPhotography.
Featuring: Please Remain Calm, The Rosettas, The Rosemaries
Heading to a showcase evening with some new and upcoming bands on the scene in Yorkshire, this evening was utterly spectacular with some new faces as well as some massive sounds to come from some acts I hope to see in the future.
First to grace the stage were Please Remain Calm, the heaviest of the three bands on the lineup. Coming over from Leeds, the hard hitting quartet had such a disorderly stage presence but so utterly powerful and one you just can’t take your eyes off. From their sound reminiscent of early Marmozets dashed with them being a little more on the melodic side of things, the band are one of the finest fresh faced acts to grace the stage in 2022 with hopefully more material and performances to follow soon.
Next up were The Rosemaries. This is what I love about finding new bands to listen to, there’s a whole bunch of endless possibilities. Looking possibly the youngest of the three bands tonight, The Rosemaries let their talent speak for themselves as they demand the audiences attention with every note played. But more to that, their blend of Pop Rock is quite like most out there at the moment.The audience feels connected to them because of their creativity and the lust for what they have to offer.
Now I do have to say,I think the York crowds loves their Indie bands. Well they do as far as The Rosettas are concerned. Giving off more of an alt looking vibe but sounding more along the lines of Arctic Monkeys, they are just a delight to watch. Every move they make the audience just responded to and there was more life injected to the crowd with every track, bringing us back from the brink with a bang. For such a younger band, everyone’s stage presences were unparalleled where the energy proving that the connection motivated just what was occurring in the room tonight.
Now do I hope that I see every band I saw tonight again soon? Absolutely! What’s more is that I’ll be front and centre to shoot them again and again.
Photos by JackLiddPhotography.
Looking back this was my most anticipated show of 2021 in York mainly because I’ve been waiting to see the headliners As December Falls for ages! On the other hand, I was so hyped for this show as it took place at a favourite venue in my hometown?! I couldn’t think of anything better.
First up were the hometown heroes themselves, Heartsink. Now due to a positive Covid case in the band, they had to go acoustic for the night within a matter of hours and bless them, it worked really well! It’s a tough thing to do in a limited timeframe but it was a really lovely mellow start to the evening, an enjoyable pallet cleanser from the day to get everything and everyone in the mood.
Seconds up were the larger than life Y!ikes. Now truth be told, I had no idea this band were playing until the night but what a surprise! A massive and fresh faced band for me to enjoy who just seemed to soak up every ounce of energy in the place and threw it back to everyone. I hardly see a band that can do this but that made them all the more impressive to watch. Everyone just built on the anticipation from the guitar riffs to the vocals, but the standout? Their very fashionable guitarist mainly because that dude was freaking crazy! if you look at the pics you can certainly feel the energy pulsating right through the pic!
Onto As December Falls, it’s safe to say they didn’t disappoint. The set is filled with loads of their Pop-Punk bangers to prove that yes the UK does have some fantastic talent but more to that, the ferocity the band contain only has them bursting at the seams of the venue especially when they culminate into some of their larger tracks. What’s more is that they’re destined for larger venues soon and with all the festivals they’re going to be a part of in 2022, it’ll only strengthen their fanbase and prepare them to get all their energy out and about! A sonic battle for the ages at this venue, the Sold Out show and tour certainly got the fans their money’s worth and more by the time things got to the end.
With the whole performance, it makes you wonder that where’s the limit for As December Falls? They’re one of the UK’s hot up and coming acts in the entirety of the genre and we can’t wait to see what comes next from the bands.
Photos by JackLiddPhotography.
There was a lot of buzz around this one! You Me At Six’s release shows at the back of last year to celebrate the anniversary of the record that made them, ‘Hold Me Down’. Not only that, the band also had the incredible LONA on their support.
Sixers fans had waited two years to hear what the band had to offer from these shows and fans weren’t disappointed, with everyone in the camp ready to go, it was an experience unlike any other… that is until the anniversary of Sinners Never Sleep comes around later this year.
Having never heard of LONA until this evening, it was quite different to what I was expecting. First off, his lankiness would make one think of Machine Gun Kelly but you couldn’t be more wrong. Instead you get a more soulful and at times energetic artist that deeply connects to the crowd in a way that most don’t. With Tracks such as ‘Darkest Days’ and ‘Boys Get Sad’, one could say that he’s an emo at heart going by the track titles alone.
With quite a strong support act, it’s easy to forget that You Me At Six will take to the stage in a little while and we couldn’t get more excited.
I don’t think the atmosphere couldn’t have been better if people tried. Tracks such as ‘Underdog’, ‘Liquid Confidence’ just made the audiences heart melt and in the encore ‘Bite My Tongue’ just elevated the entire venue to a whole other level. ‘Where My Underdogs At?’ says frontman Franceschi. You know things are about to get real when he says that. The Guitar riffs and pits that erupt from here are second to none. You see why they came to Leeds because of this.
With all of the eruption from this, sonically it’s an absolutely sound show because the amount of love for these tracks that fans have is unquestionable. During ‘Liquid Confidence’, that has to be one the spot in the setlist where audience participation was at an all time high, signing the lyrics right back to them. But if you think that performance was grand, just wait for the Sinners Anniversary shows later this year.
Once again, You Me At Six prove just how much of a force they are and ready to tackle more, especially with their back catalogue of tracks.
Photos by JackLiddPhotography.