Festival Season 2015! #1: Slam Dunk Festival

Little overdue perhaps, but I have returned with a big and wordy music post on all the festivals that I have been to and not posted about this summer.

As I write currently today now, I haven’t actually been to Leeds fest yet, but it’s coming up so I’ll be either saving this post until then, updating it after I get back or possibly splitting it into two. The suspense is so thrilling, I know.

There will be a couple of media presentations spread across the post, I’m guessing most of the credit for that will be going to Emerald, my fabulous girlfriend who makes documentaries on the gigs and festivals she/we goes/go to. Her YouTube page is here.

Slam Dunk: 23.05.15

Anyway, first up was Slam Dunk, way back in May. Seems like forever ago. Emerald did not come with me to this, so the videos I have are my own phenomenal camera skills. My good, impossible-to-get-a-hold-of friend Ashley came with me, as did my stockroom buddy JD and her friend also. We saw and used a carpool lane in Leeds and were all very excited by it as I recall.

For around £45 the amount of music we got around to see was insane. Off the top of my head now we saw Lower Than Atlantis, A Loss For Words (amazing on their last ever tour, v. sad), Cartel (nostalgic as hell), Zebrahead, and a few others, who I’m sure will be fuming not to get a mention here. In total I think it was 11 or 12 bands we saw on the day, all super fun.

The absolute runaway highlights of the day, though, had to be the first and last bands we saw; PVRIS and The Wonder Years. TWY have been one of my favourite bands since uni, and my first chance seeing them was so epic. There will be a video of questionable quality below as soon as it uploads of one of my favourite songs by them, definitely will be seeing again with their new album out in the next soontime.

I’d only recently downloaded the debut album from PVRIS to prepare and discover a few new bands before I set off for Slam Dunk, and loved it and them. Live they were amazing, the sun was truly out when they came on and it was just cool to stand and watch them turn Ashley into a fan right in front of me. Also, they favourited my tweet about how awesome they were!

A Loss For Words were another of those bands I’d researched before going and I’m so glad I did. Very unlikely we’ll be seeing the play a show over here again, unless I’ve missed some wonderful U-turn they’ve performed in the past couple months.

Zebrahead were a band I was really excited to see, but I’m afraid their set just didn’t sound good from where we were standing. Presumably nothing to do with them, since JD near the front said they were amazing as always, but the stage was at the top of a street, so the further down you came the worse the sound would be I guess.

Cartel were awesome, hadn’t listened to them for years but they were really good. All the bands on the Macbeth stage were brilliant to be honest.

We had a lovely day, wandered around Leeds city centre while waiting between bands, listened to some great music and came home to wait for next year’s announcement. The new location was cool too for me, all the stages were just kinda thrown around in the centre of the city, one in a car park, one on a street, one in Millenium Square. Best part is they were all five minutes away from each other.

Oh, and Ashley bought himself some sunglasses and a snapback to – and I quote – ‘fit in with the festival bellends here and at Download’.

Oh and also Leeds has a self service McDonalds. So, just let that sink in for a minute. Unless you live in Leeds or one of the, presumably, many other places that has a self service McDonalds, in which case I live in the middle of nowhere, let me get excited about this.

Well this has run rather longer than I thought, so I think what I’ll do is just a series, one post for each festival. Sounds like the perfectly sensible idea I should’ve had half an hour ago.

Slam Dunk: 10/10. Will certainly be going back next year if the lineup is half as good as it was this time.

From the kindness of my phone, here is part of an intro of a song by the headliners. Download next!

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

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About Darren Hyland

If I don't see you, good afternoon good evening and goodnight! Check the About Darren page for a bit more on me.

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