Slam Dunk Midlands – Bands we can’t wait to see

With less than a week to go, ‘Slam Dunkers’ will be prepped to travel to at least one of the three locations around the country; the North, the South and in particular the Midlands where the NEC Genting Arena is providing a potentially exciting line-up.

This venue will be housing Four Year Strong which – after seeing the bearded bunch play at Download Festival last year – are the folks you need to see. They have the tendency to play heavy which is just what this festival needs.

Primed to be the last act to close the night, prepare to be blown away by the fantastic Jimmy Eat World. After seeing them perform at London’s Bush Hall in 2016, I was really impressed by how they sounded and their single Get Right is very powerful.

Nottingham based 4 piece pop punk band As December Falls, are a fairly untold secret but shouldn’t stay that way.  Growing their fan base and going from strength to strength, they have had many accolades including BBC Introducing Airplay and playing Camden Rocks.  They released a live session recorded at Rescue Rooms in December as the band want those who can’t make live shows to still experience it and this seems to have captured some of the bands energy and passion!   I hope to meet the guys to see what makes them tick. Check out their music on all the Music Streaming Services.

The Faim have kind of come out of nowhere and are rapidly gaining popularity and fame. These guys have something special and caught the attention of Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy). They have supported the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Milk Teeth and Boston Manor and now they come to a festival near you SlamDunk.  They have also secured a place at  Download Festival. Speaking with Andy Copping from Download Festival Press Day this was one of the bands he said we should watch out for and listening to their creative music and their energy on stage he isn’t far wrong. They have a blend of music that is mixed with high energy and lyrics you feel compelled to belt out yourself.

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes are probably one of the most captivating shows I have seen at the smaller venues. I saw Frank Carter play at The Asylum venues in Birmingham to a sold out show.  The venue was heaving and he spent most of his time actually on the bar. The music is Hard Rock and a mixture of emotions fuelled into a captivating show.   Do not expect lyrics of the hits to be ones of a calming nature, they are very much heart wrenching, furious and a way of release and Modern Ruin his latest release is exactly this. To look at he might seem ordinary, and he doesn’t mind interaction at all levels with the crowd, something rarely seen to this degree. The Rattlesnakes come with Frank and they have riffs to tear up behind him and fuse to create this atmospheric sound that is pleasing to hear and see and this makes them unique at what they do.  You should definitely check them out.

Other exciting bands to see on the Monday include Twin Atlantic (yet another band who performs well on stage) and Lower than Atlantis which is sure to have a heavier style of music when they showcase songs from their 2017 album Safe In Sound.

PVRIS (pronounced Paris) is a band I’m particularly hopeful about. Lynn Gunn has a sound that reminds me of Paramore’s Hayley Williams but the synth pop style brings out similarities of Purity Ring’s music. Some of the songs in White Noise let the album down, but on the whole PVRIS is guaranteed to impress listeners.

The ‘multi-purpose’ venue will have you rushing from one side of the NEC to the other in the hopes of catching most of the acts throughout the day. It’s a tight schedule so plan your to-see list wisely.


Words: Catherine Verrechia and Chris Bowley

Images: Chris Bowley, Dave Musson, Neale Hayes

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