Slam Dunk 2017

Every UK pop-punk kid’s favourite day of the year has come back for another year and now that we’ve all just about recovered…oh who am I kidding, none have us have gotten over it yet. It’s one of the best days of the year, you can’t move on so easily.
So before I start feeling emotional here’s a summary of my day;

After having a bit of nightmare with getting in as for some reason the security at the gate my friends and I went to wouldn’t let us in for a while despite people evidently being let in from other gate, we went to the With Confidence signing. I bought a poster for them to sign as I firstly had no idea whether they would give us something there for them to sign, spoiler alert they do, and I also just thought “why not?” It made their day though. The poster I had bought had been printed in Rock Sound and they had no idea that it had been put in there, so they got really excited and started shouting at their photographer, Brandon, that he was famous. On top of that they also gave me a signed postcard, so thanks lads!

I got back in line straightaway for the Waterparks signing that would start immediately after With Confidence’s. (Are you really that surprised?) I bought their Rock Sound cover for them to sign, which they were really happy about, and I got to have a nice conversation with them about their recent trip to Japan. It was also great to see my sister being reunited with them as she is their “mum away from mum” and getting the group hug which she had been wishing for so badly. Genuinely they are one of the friendliest bands you could ever meet.

After a quick alcohol break at Wetherspoons we went to see Boston Manor. Now I had been wanting to check them out for ages after getting so many recommendations from friends, pop-punk fans and music publications alike, so this is going to be like a first impression type thing. I had a lot of fun at their set which was full of energy and catchy songs, as well as enjoying frontman, Henry Cox’s, charisma and energy, especially when he decided to crowdsurf during different parts of their set. So, a good first impression? Definitely! I’ll be listening to them more in the future and keep an eye out for any future tour dates and festival appearances.

Next up were With Confidence who had made a huge jump from being on the Kerrang! Fresh Bloof stage last year to now being on the Key Club stage. They played a range of songs from their EPs and of course their stunning debut album, Better Weather, ¬†which has to be one of 2016’s best albums and one of the most underrated. (Seriously listen to it, it will change your life.) They opened ¬†with ‘Voldemort‘ where there was not one person who wasn’t screaming the iconic “I remember the first night that she said, oh maybe I can do this on my own“. Their energetic and fun set was similar to that of their UK tour, they followed ‘Voldemort‘ up with ‘Archers‘, ‘Dinner Bell‘ and ‘Higher‘, as well playing fan favourites like ‘Godzilla‘ and ‘We’ll Be Okay‘. They finished their set with their breakout single “Keeper”.

Now it was time Waterparks, (Again, are you really surprised?) They had previously announced that they would be playing a different setlist every day so there was massive excitement and speculation with what they would be playing today. Well…THEY FUCKING PLAYED GLOOM BOYS AND DIZZY LIVE I CAN NOW DIE HAPPY. *breathes* Ok I’m calm. They were just as stunning as usual, as well playing ‘Gloom Boys‘ and ‘Dizzy‘, they also had ‘Crave‘, ‘Hawaii (Stay Awake)‘ and ‘Royal‘ on their setlist. Other things that ensued was the now infamous banter between Awsten and my sister, as well as him signing my friends head. So a typical Waterparks show? We also got to meet Waterparks again after their set where we talked about their upcoming tour and Awsten had me scared for my life when I told him to play ‘Easter Egg‘ as a joke and he gave me a death stare/smirk. Please don’t hate me…I’ll see you at the tour in September!

We pretty much then ran to the Rock Sound Break Out stage after seeing a tweet saying that there was a massive queue to get inside the building, we weren’t going to miss out on The Gospel Youth. Now if you were to listen to one band recommendation from me then I seriously recommended The Gospel Youth, their song discography has such a broad range of lyrical topics and musical styles that can narrate any point of your day. Their front-man, Sam Little, is also one of the best vocalists I have had the pleasure of seeing live and it honestly shocks me that this band is so underrated. I got to meet them shortly after their set and I need to say that they’re all such genuinely lovely people who deserve all of the best success in the world. Their debut album, Always Lose, comes out 14th July and you need to listen to it. Trust me.

The last act of the night was Monster Stage headliners Neck Deep. Now I don’t think I need to say much on how good they are live, but FUCKING HELL THEY WERE BRILLIANT. A few days prior to Slam Dunk they unveiled two new tracks, ‘Happy Judgement Day‘ and ‘Where Do We Go When We Go‘, from their upcoming album The Peace and The Panic so there was massive excitement in hearing them play their new material live. And they certainly delivered. They also delivered in playing a lot of their classic tracks like ‘Gold Steps‘, ‘Loosing Teeth‘ and ‘Can’t Kick Up The Roots‘, as well as playing fan favourites like ‘Kali Mai‘, ‘What Did You Expect‘ and ‘Serpents‘. A fantastic way to end a beautiful day.

See you lot next year!