All The Bands I Saw Over Slam Dunk Festival

All The Bands I Saw Over Slam Dunk Festival
Photo taken by Matthew Higgs

Over the late May Day Bank Holiday I headed to two out of three of the Slam Dunk Festival shows in Leeds city centre on Saturday 26th May and on the new Hatfield site on Sunday 27th May.

Due to how expensive the trains were we made the fatal mistake of coaching it to and from Leeds in pretty much one day. In hindsight I’d have gone up the night before and had a good sleep before the day but instead I got up at 4.15am to get ready and head to Victoria coach station for our 7am coach. We then arrived in the city just before midday so we could spend the whole day at the festival before going back to the coach station ready for a 12.20am. I got some broken sleep on the coach before getting the train back home and getting ready for Hatfield.

But let’s move onto the music that I saw over the weekend as that’s what I was there for so check out every band that I saw over the two days.

knuckle puck

Photo taken by Jemma Dodd


Knuckle Puck – This was the first band I saw of the whole weekend and it was my first experience of seeing a bands at the Leeds First Direct Arena. It was a great pop-punk start to the day although it was strange to see them on such a big stage.

The Audition – As soon as it was announced that The Audition had got back together and were doing Slam Dunk I was so excited as they were a band I used to listen to when I was a teenager. They ended their set with ‘Don’t Be So Hard’ which was a big track for me.

Dream State

Photo taken by Matthew Higgs

Dream State – I had heard quite a lot about Dream State so I decided to check them out and I am so glad that I did as they were my standout band of Saturday. CJ who does the vocals has a voice which reminds me of both Lynn Gunn and Eva Spence and her intensity is incredible. The turnout was amazing in Leeds and they’re well worth checking out.

Sleep On It – I’d heard some tracks from Sleep On It so I thought I’d go and check them out and I was pretty impressed at how good the pop-punk band were so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on them.


Photo taken by Jemma Dodd

Twin Atlantic – On our way over to one of the other stages we caught about twenty minutes of Twin Atlantic and it just reminded me how much I love them and Sam’s Scottish accent. The crowd really got into their set and it was a massive sing-a-long.

Milestones – Sadly the crowd for Milestones wasn’t very big considering how good they were but that’s an issue when you’re on so late and clashing with some big scale bands. They’re another pop-punk band and although there’s nothing too different about them what they do they do well.

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – This was actually the only band I saw on both dates, at Leeds there were some technical difficulties so their set was about 2-3 songs shorter which was a shame. The band are best on smaller stages but they still owned the arena stage with Frank still clambering into the crowd as often as he could.


Photo taken by Matthew Higgs

Pvris – I stayed to see Pvris as the Leeds Arena queues were really long and we didn’t want to risk leaving after Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and being stuck before Good Charlotte. I have to admit that even though I like the band I wasn’t that impressed by them as the vocals were hard to listen to and work out what the individual words were.

Good Charlotte – They were part of the reason I wanted to do two separate dates at Slam Dunk and I might be biased but they were amazing. I took photos of the band for the first few tracks and then enjoyed the set from the crowd and it was so feel good. I loved hearing the newest track live and I am so excited for their Alexandra Palace show next year.


Photo taken by Jemma Dodd


Loathe – Having seen Loathe support Bury Tomorrow last year we had an idea of what to expect but the band were so good especially as it was only about 1pm on a Sunday afternoon. Their intensity was spot on and despite some questionable on stage shoe choices by one of the guitarists they were a great way to begin the day.

Cavetown – We popped along to the acoustic stage next to see the front man of Cavetown play a few tracks alongside a ukele and an acoustic guitar and it was a really feel good half an hour. I’ll definitely be checking them out as a band to see how they compare to the acoustic performance.

Astroid Boys – Next up was something a little bit different and I’m still not 100% how I feel about Astroid Boys. They’re probably classed as rap metal and although they sounded great I think they’re more suited to later night/ indoor venue performances.

The Faim – Ever since seeing The Faim support Lower Than Atlantis last month I have been a little obsessed with this Australian band and they were on top form at Slam Dunk. Their music is so feel good and bouncy and it’s like Fall out Boy meets Panic! At The Disco which to me is perfection. I’m going to see them again next weekend at Camden Rocks and I can’t wait.

Save Ferris – We only caught a little bit of Save Ferris as my feet were hurting so we decided to sit for a bit outside of the tent but what we did hear was really fun and exactly what I expect from ska music.

State Champs

Photo taken by Matthew Higgs

State Champs – This was one of the bands I was most excited for and they were so good. Although I only really know one album from the band everything they played was really catchy and just made me so happy. It did help that they were playing an outdoor stage when the sun was hot and shining!

Chapel – Another band I’d heard good things about and I wanted to check out from a curiosity point of view and they delivered really well. I need to now go and actually listen to some more of their recorded music as I went off things I’d heard from others as opposed to hearing their music myself.

Sleeping with Sirens – I’m going to be honest I’m not a huge SWS fan (don’t hate on me) but we decided to chill in the semi sunshine waiting for Frank Carter. They were good as background music but I just wasn’t excited enough by them to go and watch from up close.

Frank Carter-5067

Photo taken by Matthew Higgs

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – Day 2 of Frank Carter was dare I say it even better than day 1 as there were no technical difficulties so we got a full set and the extra songs just made the set even better. Being a near enough hometown show Frank was extra chaotic asking for circle pits around the sound booth (which he got) and crowd surfing into the crowd a number of times.

Taking back Sunday – I couldn’t miss TBS a second day so I left Luke watching Pvris and went to relive my emo years. I couldn’t see all that well as the crowd was rammed but I could hear every track and heard pretty much all the big ones I remember from my teenage years like ‘A Decade Under Influence’ and ‘Make Damn Sure’.

Jimmy Eat World – We only stayed for a few songs of Jimmy Eat World as by this point we were pretty tired, especially as I hadn’t had much sleep but what we did see was really good.

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All The Bands I Saw Over Slam Dunk Festival. I went to both Leeds and Hatfield dates so check out everyone I saw



  1. May 31, 2018 / 2:40 pm

    It must have been a killer getting up so early for the coach, I think I would have gone up the night before but then hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    I love going to festivals but unless it’s Henley Rewind (80s bands) I have to ask the Grandsons who the bands are! Luckily they all love music so can usually bring me up to speed.

  2. May 31, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    I was so tempted to go to Slam Dunk in Birmingham, but I would have needed wheelchair passes and urgh, so I didn’t silly me hey! It sounds like an amazing line up.

  3. June 1, 2018 / 1:43 am

    Sounds like a great music festival. I wished we had more festivals like that here as most are at least a 12 hour drive!

  4. June 1, 2018 / 7:39 am

    So many bands in one place. The slam dunk fest looks awesome x

  5. June 1, 2018 / 8:15 am

    I’ve only even been to one musical festival in my life, I think. It was when the Radio 1 Big Weekend came to Dundee. I can’t even rememeber who we saw, lol. Would love to see Roxette live on stage though.

  6. Danielle
    June 1, 2018 / 10:19 am

    I haven’t heard of a lot of these bands, but that just means there are lots of new ones for me to check out. I love Jimmy Eat World though!

  7. June 1, 2018 / 10:41 am

    Oh my! Looks like a Festival not to be forgotten, all the bands look like they gave the performance of their life. Yes in hindsight maybe next time its best to head there a day earlier.

  8. June 1, 2018 / 10:55 am

    I bet this was absolutely amazing! I haven’t heard of a lot of these bands but reading through what you thought of them has made me want to look them up. I love finding new bands! My favourite band is Soil, I am obsessed. x

  9. June 1, 2018 / 12:38 pm

    Sounds like some absolutely amazing shows! I’ll be sure to check out some of these bands!

  10. June 1, 2018 / 5:04 pm

    This festival looks really good I’ve not heard of it before. There are loads of people performing which is great.

  11. June 1, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    The slam dunk fest looks amazing and colourful 🙂 I love finding out about new bands.

  12. Scarlett
    June 1, 2018 / 5:46 pm

    I have to say I never been to the festival, but I can imagine you had a lot of fun there.

  13. June 1, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    Looks like a great festive. I have never been to one before but would love too. The photographs are great 🙂

  14. June 2, 2018 / 7:57 am

    What a great festival. I’d love to see Twin Atlantic live! There’s a whole host of bands here I’ve never heard of so I’m gonna check them out.

  15. June 2, 2018 / 3:59 pm

    I’m feeling all proud because I recognise the name of one of the bands you saw! I wish I had known about your travel situation – I could have recommended a good cheap hotel in leeds.

  16. June 2, 2018 / 9:05 pm

    wow! That is rock’ roll! I missed my festival’s days LOL. you saw some good groups

  17. June 2, 2018 / 11:09 pm

    Oh man, fair play for getting up so early. I’m not sure I would. But it sounds like you enjoyed yourself. And seeing a band you’ve listened to since your teens is always good in my eyes!

  18. Bryanna Skye
    June 3, 2018 / 5:40 pm

    Jimmy Eat World is probably the one I would be most keen to see – sounds like a long day though so don’t blame you for leaving early!

  19. June 3, 2018 / 8:26 pm

    Wow, that sounds amazing, definitely something to check to for the future

  20. June 3, 2018 / 8:57 pm

    I feel so out of touch when I read these posts haha, I’ve only heard of 2 of these

  21. June 4, 2018 / 11:05 am

    It looks like you got to see some great line ups! I know what you mean about coach travel – it takes forever compared to a car or train journey but at least it was worth it in the end!

  22. June 4, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    Wow I haven’t been to a music festival in ages! I have to check if they will have any around my area. Looks like you had a really great time.

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