Just two weeks away is the always fun-packed Slam Dunk Festival; one of the shining jewels in the UK festival season. Taking place over three separate dates and locations (Midlands [Birmingham NEC] – Saturday 27th May, North [Leeds City Centre] – Sunday 28th May & South [Hatfield Forum] – Monday 29th May) the festival has an impressively diverse line-up with its 8 stages having something to offer for anyone whose ever worn Converse or sported an emo fringe. In this preview feature PURPLE CAMERA selects some quality bands and tunes you should check out to get your appetites suitably whetted.
ANDREW MCMAHON AND THE WILDERNESS 1:30-2:05 [Jagermeister]
Formerly of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin fame, Andrew Mcmahon has never found the audience in the UK that he demands Stateside, shown here by his early show time (Check that play count of Spotify, ‘Cecila And The Satellites’ has more plays than pretty much any track by any other band playing Slam Dunk) But if you are into piano-led power pop you can’t go much wrong with a bit of Mr McMahon.
THE ATARIS 2:25-3:05 [Fireball Stage]
The Ataris’ Kris Roe may have written the greatest punk rock love song of all time in the form of ‘San Dimas High School Football Rules’, but more likely than not you know these California pop-punks because of their cover of Don Henley’s ‘Boys of Summer’. For some early 00s nostalgia there’s scant better ways than spending some time with The Ataris.
VUVOKI 3:20-3:50 [Rock Sound Breakout Stage]
An up-and-coming band that have those-in-the-know very excited, Scottish pop-rockers VUVOKI have spent the last five years perfecting their live shows and releasing a solid array of EPs and singles. Their debut self-titled album was released earlier this year to critical acclaim so expect storming versions ‘Animal’ and ‘La Di Da’ in their mid-afternoon Rock Sound Breakout set.
CUTE IS WHAT WE AIM FOR 4:35-5:25 [Monster Stage]
Remember 2006? When Fuelled By Ramen was mid-world-takeover having unleashed Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco and Paramore onto an unsuspecting and grateful public. While never reaching the dizzying heights of those bands, Buffalo New York’s Emo Poppers Cute Is What We Aim For still have an infectious volley of tunes like ‘There’s A Class For That’ to make you nostalgic for the Summer of 06.
GOLDFINGER 5:45-6:30 [Fireball Stage]
While not as high profile as fellow ska-punkers Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish whom are playing later on the same stage, Goldfinger have enough hits to keep even the most parp-averse entertained. As well as the Tony Hawk Pro Skater-soundtracking ‘Superman’, and ‘Spokesman’ the band have fucking awesome crowd-pleasing covers of ’99 Red Balloons’ and ‘Just Like Heaven’ under their belt. Goldfinger most definitely bring the party.
FRANK IERO AND THE PATIENCE 7:15-8:00 [Signature Brew Stage]
Playing just before punk rock heavyweights The Bronx and Against Me!, former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero will be fighting an up-hill battle in proving himself worthy for the Signature Brew crowd. Thankfully he now has two albums worth of quality garage rock tunes to rattle through. Expect impassioned takes of ‘I’m a Mess’ and ‘.weighted.’ played with a healthy dose of snot and venom.
THE MOVIELIFE 8:20-9:10 [Monster Stage]
Iconic New York pop punkers The Movielife are playing one of their first UK shows after having reformed last year at Slam Dunk. Formerly contemporaries of Taking Back Sunday and Brand New, The Movielife, with their fizzy heart-on-their-sleeve anthems like ‘Jamestown’ and ‘This Time Next Year’, are not to be missed.
ENTER SHIKARI 9:25-10:45 [Jagermeister Stage]
It has been ten years since Enter Shikari released their stellar debut album Take To The Skies; where does the time go? In the intervening years Shikari have morphed into one of the UK’s most interesting and frequently impressive bands. This headlining performance is no doubt going to be packed to the gills with …Skies staples including their defining anthem ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’. And you just know that they are going to end big… human pyramid and all.
Tickets are available on