The new Emo / Pop Punk four-piece straight out of Manchester are the best thing happening within the UK scene right now. They stormed sets at various festivals in 2019 as well as opening for the almighty Foo Fighters and now in 2020 opening for The Band Camino.
Well, it seems that they’re doing everything right in 2020 as the band have announced two headlining UK shows which will also be their debut headliners!
The shows are billed as Are You Feeling Alive? LIVE where I’m assuming they’ll perform their EP in full as well as more because Candy Coated Lies. One of the best tracks they have by far!
They announced London last night and today they SOLD OUT the Camden Assembly, where they’ll perform on 14th April 2020 within four hours. Massive massive congratulations there for the band. But that’s not all as they announced a second date for Manchester’s Deaf Institute on April 13th 2020 which still has tickets available.
WOW! I cannot believe some of these names on 2000 Trees Announcement. Creeper, Lizzy Farrall, Boston Manor, Dinosaur Pile-up, it seems as if it was created for me!
Let’s get to those bands that are playing the Cheltenham Festival!
Chapter And Verse
The Get Up Kids
Jimmy Eat World
The Joy Formidable
Lucia And The Best Boys
The St. Pierre Snake Invasion
Ten Times A Million
We Never Learned To Live
The Winter Passing
Wow, all I can say is wow!!!!!
This years 2000 Trees Festival will take place July 9th – 11th 2020 at Upcote Farm, Cheltenham.
So here it is. Slam Dunk Festival 2019. In all its glory. A feat of brilliance from the organisers who pulled this off but a day of music? in Leeds? Well, there was Live @ Leeds just the other week but this is one festival very close to my heart because it was actually one of the first I ever went to in my teenage years and I’ve been continuing to go back because of its location in Yorkshire, the people I meet, the acts that they’re able to put on and of course, its one that brings my friends together.
Side note on this as well before the review starts, I know this is coming super late but life, work and everything has just gotten in the way of so much lately to the point I’ve had to re-schedule a lot of things and cancel on going to some gigs but I’ve cleared some time here.
Let’s dive straight into Slam Dunk Festival 2019.
So the first moment I heard my alarm, I raced to get ready because this is always my favourite day of the year! I was up roughly at 6.30AM to get a bus to the train station in York at about 8AM, from where I was heading off to Leeds so I could get the very first shuttle to the festival! Luckily this was a reliable day for the train services so thank you to the great train god, in the sky! So, I hopped off in Leeds and it took a little bit of a finding for the shuttle buses to get to the festival as there’s a lot of maintenance being done to Leeds Train Station. I found my way eventually and was one of the first people to be in the queue. The festival staff had to get on board one first because who’d be serving the drinks and operating otherwise? So that was a good move. The only thing I’d say as a tiny complaint was to tell us to start queuing from the end of the queue because of those of us who got here first was waiting for the second or third bus (If there had been a longer queue and I was waiting for an hour or so, it’d be a bigger complaint on my end). The actual route there, it took roughly twenty minutes with the shuttle. So far, so good.
Now getting dropped off at Temple Newsam, I’d never been there before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but the shuttle to get there was about 20 minutes or so max. When I got past the initial bag drop off, I thought the lines would be 2-3 times longer than what they actually were (Somewhere closer to last years.! To my surprise, I was inside the main festival grounds in two to three minutes max! Now I was thinking holy f***! So much better this year because of that one thing. I had no idea what I was in for yet. Also, getting my DSLR through was no problem at all, Slam Dunk Festival is the only festival in the UK that’s pretty lenient on this sort of thing, provided you only have one lens. When I was through to the main festival area, it just looked gorgeous. This was the first real festival I’d experienced with a tent in the field as well so I was pretty excited! But until 11AM (I was in my about 9.20 by this point) there wasn’t so much to do apart from sitting down and have a drink.
When I was able to meet up with a few friends after the main festival gates opened, we decided to explore a little bit. (TIP: Go to the big merch tent after an hour or so next year because that was rammed and there’ll be more chance to meet bands later in the day as well). There was everything from Impericon to American Socks on the day. I actually got a Dream State shirt because Impericon they were running a surprise shirt giveaway for £5 and my friend got two Dream State shirts which were the same size as well! So after a little exploring the festival grounds which were just beautiful, I headed over to the Marshall stage for William Ryan Key to kick off the festival!
Seeing Ryan play live is always heartbreaking because he’s not with the full Yellowcard band although, although watching him is always heartwarming all the same as he conquered his solo set going through ‘Way Away’, ‘Southern Air’ and more Yellowcard classics. There is a little bit of a problem in itself for those who are fans of his newer solo material where I believe he only played one and the rest were Yellowcard in that he could’ve been a little more original on the day but I think he wanted to give the fans what they wanted and that’s understandable. The only thing was Milk Teeth had to follow ‘Ocean Avenue’.
I’d waited roughly two to three years to see Milk Teeth again! I think the last time I saw them was when they had Employed To Serve supporting them. (Who were performing on The Key Club Stage later on the day as well!) There had been an obvious lineup change but I know they’re all the better for it now with ‘Nearby Catfight’, ‘Brain Food’ and more from their catalogue, the punks are ready to take on the world and more where hopefully ‘Stain’ is just the beginning of a new chapter for the young punks.
From here, I met up with another friend who was at for the festival and this is what I love about Slam Dunk, it gets you to meet new people and reunites old friends who come down for it as well! It’s funny as well from here because I almost always go to gigs alone, chat away to people but I’ve never really met up with people at other gigs.
Moving to the Key Club stage, we decided to see what newcomers Hot Milk were all about. They’re a little bit of an enigma because a lot of hate online comes from the fact they’ve hardly been on the scene yet they’re getting support slots for Foo Fighters. In fact I don’t think they had one track out at the beginning of 2019 when they were supporting You Me At Six in the EU and now they were playing a midday set at Slam Dunk festival having been out in the world for less than a year! Nevertheless, they encapsulated just what the scene needs right now. Young, vibrant and energetic people to show fans how to play a show and seeing these tracks from their debut EP, ‘Are You Feeling Alive’ made people just want more. And hopefully, we’ll see more after the festival circuits are over for 2019 where we’ll see them up and down the country soon.
Now, the secret bank Y3K. It was Busted. It’s a clear Year 3000 reference right there. And I have to say, that was a pretty rowdy crowd. For pretty much every song in their set, they powered through as if it was nothing. I mean, having been on touring circuits for years now, I imagine they’d be used to it but honestly, it was a welcomed addition to the festival. Everyone was rowdy in the pits for them, numerous crowdsurfers, a few moshpits, you had to be there to believe it but I can’t’ believe after all these years how hardcore some of these fans were! That’s what nostalgia does to the young!
Moving across to the Acoustic stage, I couldn’t miss Lizzy Farrall. I’ve seen her tour about four or five times now and every time, she just delivers and constantly improves. Her new surprise EP released recently meant a few tracks did make the cut of the set and her voice is magnificent where backed with her band, there’s nothing this artist won’t accomplish in her lifetime. There’s no part three of A Conversation With…. this time but hopefully, I’ll be able to see her full plugged in sound to see what I make of it when she’s on her tour with Tiny Moving Parts at the end of summer in the UK.
From here, I dotted around a few bands, catching one or two tracks from Seaway, As It Is, Waterparks, Simple Plan etc but ultimately I decided to queue up to meet All Time Low. This was more for my friend because she’d waited 10 years to meet them and the look on her face when she did, priceless. I actually made her go before me when we were at the front because I really wanted to see the look on her face more than anything because I cued up earlier than we originally planned which was a good thing as well because it was getting long! To give a sense of it, we just made the cutoff point, only just! That’s how lucky we were!
From here, it was straight back to the Key Club stage for Employed To Serve, possibly the heaviest band on this stage for the entirety of the festival but wow, they never disappoint. With the release of their latest record, ‘Eternal Forward Motion’, the energy in the room was electrifying as they encapsulated the tent in what was a standout set at the festival! So much to the point that when some of the band finished crowd surfing, they didn’t realise their set had ended! That was brilliant but so humbling to see. They were having so much fun, they forgot they had a time limit!
Darting across to catch the last bit of Neck Deep, I did brave the rain where from what I could see it’s only a matter of time before these lads become festival headliners. I mean, the other year, they headlined their own stage so, with their next record, I’d say it’s pretty close. It’s always huge to see ‘Don’t Wait’ off ‘Peace and The Panic’ which for me is the standout track from the record, either that or December but what I do notice here is that Slam Dunk embraces all these bands as a new generation and that’s what they give the platform to and I suppose that’s what makes the festival so different to others in the world where they give a platform to give lesser known bands the exposure they deserve and Neck Deep are a prime example of a band that rose through the ranks.
Heading back to The Key Club for Lights, this was a strange artist for the festival mainly because she’s more Pop than anything. However, the diversity of genres is something Rock has been kind to so to see Lights perform was a true spectacle with her voice commanding the audience was a sight to behold.
For the headlining band of the key club stage, IDKHOW was the band I was thinking should I stay or not? I’m glad I did in the end because hearing the records on Spotify and seeing them play live is two very different things. For one, the artist’s personality comes out far more where for this band, it does give them something to boast as usually, you just see the songs but not for IDKHOW. They’re someone I’m going to be revisiting because of their standout performance as there wasn’t anything I didn’t enjoy and its performances such as that turn the heads of everyone there.
Now… the headliners. All Time Low! Funny fact, back in 2013 when it was my very first Slam Dunk Festival, All Time Low headlined back then as well! Jumping straight into their sets, Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t) received instant recognition, crowd surfers you name it. They truly showed everyone there why they were the headlining band. To celebrate 10 years of nothing personal as well, Stella and A Party Song were played throughout their set where the addition of a never before heard track Getaway Green had the classic Nothing Personal feel to it. It was unlike anything I’d heard All Time Low play in a while, especially since their last few records were a bit more mature for the band, it was definitely a throwback and what was a standout track where hopefully, there’ll be a studio version of the track where they just “dropped it old school”. I’ll never get bored of watching All Time Low live though, they always manage to keep things fresh and the chemistry the members all have with each other is so rare these days, it keeps everyone wanting so much more than what’s given.
Right, now the festival was over, getting back to Leeds city centre was the main objective. I confess I did race for the shuttle buses as I was worried I’d end up stuck at the festival site (which is what happened to another friend of mine, stuck there for roughly two hours because of the amount of everyone there) but thanks to some quick thinking (and running), I managed to get one of the first shuttles back into Leeds and a subsequent train back to York no problem whatsoever!
Overall, it was such a smart decision to move the festival site to Temple Newsam where it was a lot more thought out than in previous years, the only thing I saw was that more toilets would be needed as well as bars because, from my perspective, they were two big problems there.
It’s 4PM on a Friday! This means it’s time for the music video roundup. If you’re new to either the blog or these music video roundup posts, this is how it works. Every week, I watch some of the best recently released music videos and compile them into a list for everyone’s viewing pleasure. They’re span across all the different genres, so expect something different for most of the tracks.
The first band in this weeks list are the Californian Punks Culture Abuse. They’ve recently released a track titled as ‘Goo’, which is the first piece of new material since their last year’s ‘Bay Dream’.
Keeping things stateside for the next video, the Minnesota Indie Rockers Remo Drive have dropped a video for ‘Around The Sun’. This is a new single to come from their upcoming full-length record, ‘Natural, Everyday Degradation’.
Erik Paulson (Vocals / Guitar) had this to say on the track.
“There’s sadness in routine. Even in the happiest of situations, we’re losing valuable moments or time. All these songs [on the album] are about some sort of warped existence, but through that, I think we ultimately find we can be whatever we want to be.”
Going across to Philadelphia, the Pop-Punkers known as Grayscale are ready to start a new cycle with the release of their single, ‘Painkiller Weather’. This is the first material of new music since the release of their 2017 debut record, ‘Adornment’.
How about we move things across to Canada for this next video? Ahead of their UK tour and set at Download Festival, Sumo Cyco has released a love-driven video, fitting for their new single, ‘Love You Wrong’.
On the track, the band have said:
“‘Love You Wrong’ is a song about the push and pull of a deep epic love. Sometimes love so intense can be unhealthy, other times it can feel like the meaning of life. There’s a tangled web of chemicals dancing between your heart and your brain that can feel like whiplash.”
Shall we move to the British Isles for a few videos? That sounds as if it’s a good idea, keep things fresh. Bring Me The Horizon have a busy summer of festivals ahead of them, playing a set at Radio 1’s Big Weekend and then curating their own day at All Points East in London, it hasn’t stopped the band from releasing a new video. Directed by Chris Muir, the video was shot whilst the band was on tour in Sao Paulo, Brazil earlier this year.
Check out Mother Tongue below.
Moving to some metalcore for the next pick, TheCityIsOurs have a new offering in ‘Bare Bones’. The track features vocals from the Our Hollow, Our Home frontman Connor Hallisey and will act as the lead single from their upcoming debut record, ‘Low’.
Check out ‘Bare Bones’ below.
And for a more lighter feel, the Pop-Rockers on the rise Hot Milk have dropped a brand new video off their debut EP, ‘Are You Feeling Alive’ and this track, it’s ‘Wide Awake’.
Moving across to Ireland for this next band, one that’s been away for a while on the making of their new record, but first the trio Fangclub have a ferocious new track in the form of ‘Hesitations’.
Stephen King (Vocals) has said: “It’s a heavy hitter with a lot of massive riffs. Lyrically, songs are always open to interpretation but we will say this, the verses are an inner voice or a devil on the shoulder and the choruses are the volcanic eruptions from deep within. Heavy shit. We know. Can’t help it.”
Check out ‘Hesitations’ below.
And for the penultimate track, ahead of the Slam Dunk festivities at this weekends festival, Trophy Eyes frontman John Floreani has dropped another track from his upcoming record, ‘Sin’ and this is where things get emotional!
Let’s go loud and energetic for this last track this week. ‘Mushroom Cloud’ is the latest offering from Of Mice & Men, which follows on from the post-apocalyptic narrative they once started with ‘How To Survive’ a few months ago.
On the track frontman Aaron Pauley has shared:
“I was pretty young when I became aware of the danger of spending too much time in my own head… My mind has never been a safe place for me to retreat to, and it’s something I have to consciously deal with on a daily basis. ‘Mushroom Cloud’ is our visceral representation of how it feels to be trapped, how it feels to be cut down by your own inner voice, how it feels to have nowhere to hide, and how it feels to be someone with a mind that’s as dangerous to themselves as the aftermath of an atomic weapon.”
And that’s it for another week of music video roundup. Don’t forget to check back next week at 4PM sharp for another countdown of ten of the best recent music videos to feast your eyes upon. There’s also new posts every day on the Almost anything Media so be sure to check out anything that might catch your eye.
It’s that time of the week again. and the 2019 iteration of the weekly music video posts are back. Apologies this first post of the new year is coming late, but I have been very busy sorting out work arrangements and working on other things behind the scenes to sort new interviews and gallery posts for the blog.
First up are Liverpool alt group SPQR who have just released a video for ‘Slowly’, which was directed by their own drummer, Bex Denton as well as being scripted by frontman Peter Harrison.
Next up, we’re up in London for indie punks Cheerbeederz, who have a brand new animated video for a track off their debut EP, ‘Faceplant’ which is none other than ‘Staying Up Late’.
Next up are Senses Fail. The New Jersey punks have recently released a video for ‘Elevator To The Gallows’, which is the latest track lifted off last years release, ‘If There Is Light, It Will Find You’. This video involves the lengths the band members go to, to win Demi Lovato’s love.
Next, we’re off back to the UK for a band I’m quite conflicted about as of late, which is non-other than Bring Me The Horizon. The main reason is their sound is something which dissasociates past and present fans of the group but I say as long as it makes sense to them, then that’s all that matters. They’re finding themselves again as artists so everything can seem subjective to anyone who listens. With their upcoming record, ‘amo’ not too far from the release date, it only seems fitting that they have a new single and video out. The visual accompaniment is for ‘Medicine’. The visual accompaniment for the track is a spectacle of special effects which were created by animator Extraweg and art director Oliver Latta.
Now, we’re going for a track I haven’t heard before! I’m always on the lookout for new music and I’m always excited when I have friends recommend music to me. This comes in the form of Crystal Lake as they have dropped a fantastic new track, ‘Lost In Forever’ which mixes live and behind the scene footage for all to enjoy.
Another band on this weeks music video’s list with a new record on the horizon is Sheffield’s While She Sleeps. They’ve dropped a new teaser for the record in the form of their new release in ‘Haunt Me’.
The next track is an oldie for this band. In fact, I believe that this is the second ever track this band ever released. It’s been a fan favourite from iDKHOW and this is the video for ‘Choke’
The description of the video reads: “The recent discovery of this long forgotten performance was accompanied only by the following description: ‘Pop Time Live’ was a short-lived music television program that aired briefly in Eastern Europe in the early 1980’s. The show and its producers had hoped to capitalize on the then popular ‘Italo Disco’ movement, but audiences found its lack of authenticity objectionable.
Labeled “NOT FOR BROADCAST,” it’s believed that this particular iDKHOW performance never made it to air due to the band’s refusal to properly pantomime to their own song.”
A cover’s always good. Southampton have a cool new video out but there is a twist, it’s going to be a 360 degree video. It’s a cover taken off their EP, ‘Have Another…’ and it’s originally by Jimmy Eat World. The track? ‘The Middle.
Puppy fans don’t have to wait too long until their debut record, ‘The Goat’ drops in less than two weeks and which track have they selected to get fans even more excited for it? ‘Bathe In Blood’. You have to see it to believe it. Check it out below.
And lastly, we have Pop-rock newcomers Hot Milk as they are ready to make 2019 theirs with the release of their debut single, ‘Awful Ever After’. It had its premiere over on Daniel P. Carter’s The Rock Show on BBC Radio 1 and now, you can view the video of the track below.
And that’s it for the opener for the weekly music video posts for 2019! Check back next Friday at 4PM for another weekly dose of my favourite music videos.