This weekend I was lucky enough to get to go to Slam Dunk Festival in Leeds. I haven’t been for a few years, but the line up has always been great, and so, with a trusty Crawford & John photographer at my side, I hit the streets of Leeds! This was the first year that it’s been held outside in the town, as opposed to on Leeds University campus and I think it gave it a much bigger atmosphere.
Patent Pending were my favourite band of the day. I first saw them at the Bowling for Soup farewell tour, and although I don’t usually remember support acts, I loved these guys, partially because they did a song about Super Mario – and boy do I love that plumber! They are the most energetic band I think I’ve ever seen, and really get the crowd going, whether it’s waving our ‘pirate hooks’ in the air, or doing the Super Mario jump for coins, you just feel part of something fun. Their songs are so feel-good, with easy to chant chorus’ and catchy riffs that will keep them in your head for days. They’re coming back to the UK in November and I will certainly be buying tickets!
I actually saw Taking Back Sunday at my first time at Slam Dunk, several years ago, when Adam had a broken leg and was doped up on a lot of painkillers. It was nice to see that he was just as eccentric this time, on the bigger, outdoor Main Stage. They played all the crowd-pleasing favourites and fourteen year
old Codie sang along, full of teenage angst. I honestly think I did prefer seeing them the first time, as the venue was a bit more intimate and the crowd felt like super fans, but it was amazing seeing them again – I don’t think they’ll ever get old!
On the way to the festival, we put on a playlist of the bands playing to see if there was anyone else we should try and see, beyond our ‘must see’ list, and it was here that we discovered This Wild Life. I loved their acoustic sound and they were even better live. It was a nice contrast to the rest of the festival, and as it was in one of the smallest venues, you felt as though you were in a proper underground club.
Whilst waiting for TWL, we happened to catch the set of Rob Lynch and I am so glad we did! It’s a name I’ve heard a few times, but never actually listened to, but his voice, and his songs, were incredible. He explained the stories behind some of the songs and had the whole audience in the palm of his hands. The lyrics were heartfelt and the melodies catchy – absolutely wonderful.
Don Brocco are another band that I haven’t actually heard before, but really enjoyed. Everything was quite generic, background noise to me, as someone who was unfamiliar with them, but I do feel like I will give them a proper listen now. They weren’t a stand-out band for me, but I think I could probably enjoy them.
I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t know a whole lot of You Me At 6 songs, however it turns out I knew more than I thought which was nice. I really enjoyed their set, especially the video and lighting (the design-nerd inside me) however as someone who missed the YM@6 phase that everyone else went through, it was a little long, especially feeling left out from the singing. They are clearly great
entertainers, and really strong live, but it’s a long day, and standing up through so many songs I didn’t know was just exhausting.
I would really recommend grabbing a ticket to Slam Dunk if you can in the future. The value for money is amazing if you want to see a mix of bands you loved as a teenager, (and secretly still now) and unheard soon-to-be favourites, in a chilled out city festival. Bring on next year!
A giant ‘thank you’ to Hayley from MHC Publicity for the passes, and to Steven from Crawford & John for the amazing pictures!