Slam Dunk is now firmly established as one of the leading festivals in the UK. Taking in 3 sites across the country, one of which has moved to the NEC campus, it is easily the most accessible for English festival goers nationwide. The lineups over the years have been abundant in alternative, punk, ska and metal and often have one up on their competitors by booking bands that are on the rise in the British scene as well as nostalgia acts. There are examples of all of these within the lineup for 2016 and for £42 for a full card of music you really can’t go wrong.
Band per stage:
New Found Glory - The main stage is pretty soft this year, though that is to be expected as there hasn't been a metal band grace the main stage since Slam Dunk started. So, the best of what's on on the mainstage has to be NFG. Nearly 20 years in business has seen these guys rack up one hell of a back catalogue and their pop punk will be well received.
Check out: My Friends Over You, Anthem For The Unwanted, Listen To Your Friends
Of Mice & Men – For metal fans at SD the headliner is a toss up between these boys and the guys in Every Time I Die. For me it will always be Of Mice & Men that come out on top in that clash. They’ve spent the last few years building a significant fan base with strong releases and live shows to back it up.
Check out: Bones Exposed, Second & Sebring, Feels Like Forever
Real Friends - If you're looking for a band that are a less chirpy version of Blink 182 then you're on to a winner with Real Friends. A mid-afternoon band that will go down a treat if the sun is out.
Check out: Cover You Up, Loose Ends, Skin Deep
Spunge – If you can resist the urge to skank along to The Skanking Song then you’re at the wrong festival. There is a whole host of ska on show at Slam Dunk, but [Spunge] are the best of the bunch and have some of the catchiest songs to come out of the Midlands.
Check out: Skanking Song, Lyrical Content, Ego
Cancer Bats – The band of the line up. Liam, with freshly shaven head, and the gang will be tearing up Slam Dunk after a few dates around the UK. They stole the show at Hit The Deck 2015 and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them do the same here.
Check out: Satellites, Sabotage, Hail Destroyer
Creeper – THE up and coming band. Playing pretty much everywhere, at every festival this year. You’re best off catching them now as they aren’t going to be playing this this far down the line up for long. Their brand of music fuses pretty much everything, sounding familiar but new all at the same time.
Check out: Black Mass, Vcr, Valentine
The Amity Affliction – With Soundwave failing very publically, the heavier side of Australian music is at a bit of a fork in the road. There are rumours of Live Nation taking the Download brand down under and you’d think bands like The Amity Affliction would be an important part of this. 2014’s excellent Let The Ocean Take Me won these Aussies a lot of fans and this Summer should mark the end of their touring of this album.
Check out: Pittsburg, Shine On, The Weigh Down
Coldrain - Opening the second stage, the Japanese metalcore quintet that have been quietly going about their business over the past few years. They released their fourth album late in 2015 and they should be a great way to start your day.
Check out: Wrong, Runaway, The War Is On
Zebrahead – These genre busting Americans are approaching the end of their 2nd decade as a band and are going from strength to strength. Their live shows are as much fun as anyone’s and their latest album, Walk The Plank, featured some real gems. A must see if you’re not wanting to watch Cancer Bats and will be one of the most fun bands of the day for sure.
Check out: Worse Than This, Playmate Of The Year, Rescue Me
Every Time I Die - The other metal headliner. If you're not a OM&M fan then you should be finding yourself here.
Check out: Decayin' With The Boys, Wanderlust, Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space
Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! – There aren’t that many French bands around, so it’s probably best to make the most of these guys. Their brand of metalcore feels more fun than many of their peers, these guys are a great option early on in the day.
Check out: The Other Line, City Of Light, Haters Gonna Hate
Cane Hill – These guys seemed to come out of nowhere at the end of 2015. They seem to be the band that should have been backed while King810 were getting all of the publicity. They combine nu-metal with metalcore and it works. It's gritty and passionate.
Check out: Time Bomb, Sunday School, Screwtape
Norma Jean - One of the most emotive bands on the lineup. You can feel their passion coming through on record and their live shows promise to bring this to life further.
Check out: Sword In Mouth, Fire Eyes, Surrender Your Sons
So there we have it. Slam Dunk North and South have sold out but there's a few tickets left for Slam Dunk Midlands at the NEC in Birmingham (where Scribes Of Metal will be taking in the weekend's action). Act now to grab the last tickets by visiting www.slamdunkmusic.com/festival.