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Slam Dunk 2024: Reliving The Moment

You Me At Six - Photo By Sam Wall

Slam Dunk that moment in the music calender which countless people look forward to the most, as some of the greatest names in the world of rock, metal, pop punk come together for a fun packed day of live music. As one of our favourite events that we visit year after year, we headed to Temple Newsam in Leeds for Slam Dunk North.

Although the weather was questionable, thanks to mother nature having idea’s own her own, and turning on those sprinklers on in the sky, that did not stop the crowds from flocking to the festival - wellies and ponchos at the ready.

With there being over 45 bands spread across 5 stages, we were spoilt for choice, however the best way to experience any festival is try out a little bit of everything. Our day started by checking out As December Falls who were performing on the Slam Dunk stage. It was not look till they got the crowd moving as they encouraged the need for a circle pit, which this SD North audience were only too happy to join in with.  

As December Falls

An explosive MainStage performance from one of the hottest bands on the scene. Winners of the coveted Heavy Music Awards last year they have gone from strength to strength.

As December Falls - Photo By Sam Wall

Set It Off

Everytime they come to the UK, I always seem to find myself missing them. So I felt so happy I was finally able to see them, and man was I impressed. What I love about the Key Club stage, is that it is like one of the wild cards of Slam Dunk because it is a place to discover something new to add to your music tastes. Slam Dunk is not just for the big names, it's here for the emerging and the upcoming, which in the case of Set It Off took in their stride.

Front man, Cody Carson brought a bit of that Tampa, Florida vibrancy with him, as he had the crowd engaged. Being from the Sunshine state, it felt quite fitting that the it was also one of those milestones in the day when the sun broke through the crowds and shone down on Temple Newsam after raining non stop. 

Pale Waves

Pale Waves - Photo By Sam Wall

Making their debut SD appearance, they did it in style as Heather, Ciara, Charlie and Hugo walked onto the Kerrang Stage, to see a jam packed tent of music fans stood going from corner to corner, with every eager to catch a glimpse of of one of the greatest British bands of this era. It has been quite a bit of time since I have seen the band perform live myself (a good couple of years at least) so it always makes me smile seeing them, the feeling you get when you see a familiar friend.

They started their set with Jealousy, an absolute tune of a song taken from their  2022 Unwanted album. Full of energy, full of life, it felt like such a special atmosphere in the tent, as the crowd welcomed these SD newbies with open arms.

We The Kings

We The Kings - Photo By Sam Wall

Now this is a band I have always longed to see live, ever since I bought their self-titled album back in 2007. That record gave me so many special memories, and led to them being one of my favourite all time bands at that stage of my life. To see them 19 years later, older and wiser, but still with that same raw energy that they had when they stepped onto the music scene, was just a special experience to be part of. Led by frontman Travis Clark, the band gave this audience a mixed collection of songs from their catalogue including Sad Song, Skyway Avenue, and She Takes Me High

Wanting to add a bit of fun to the set, and a bit of crowd participation they even brought out some blow up aliens in honour of their track Alien which was released back in 2023. The audience were dancing, and singing and loving every moment of if. There was even time for a cheeky cover or two including The Killers Mr Brightside, which the band provided a fresh new vibe on a classic and made it their own. Having brought the positivity to the day, it felt like the best 40 minutes ever, but of course Travis and his best friend’s couldn’t leave Leeds without taking us all back to where it all began, Check Yes, Juliet which had fans new and old singing at the top of their lungs.

Beauty School

Now I remember when first started appearing on the Slam Dunk line up back in 2019, with that fresh hunger for music. Seeing them return year after year since, and seeing that steady level of confidence growing is so nice to see, from a caterpillar into a butterfly, the most organic and natural of transformations. With a few tour dates coming up in July including Norwhich, Brighton and Islington, their appearance on the Key Club stage was an ideal way to tease that appetite and give fans the opportunity to hear some unique Beauty Club material including Take It Slow, Gloom, Pawn Shop Jewels and Happiness. 

I Prevail 

I Prevail - Photo By Sam Wall

Headling the Go Pro pro stage I Prevail provided a commanding performance despite being a man down. Bringing  their huge sound and explosive energy to Leeds and opened the biggest pits of the day.

Easily one of our  favourites for the day, we can’t wait to see them again!

You Me At Six

You Me At Six - Photo By Sam Wall

An emotional performance from a band that has helped shape the uk music scene for almost two decades. By this time next year You Me At Six will cease to be, but until that time we’re gonna sing our hearts our and cry tears of joy to all the beautiful music you’ve made over the years. 

A final farewell Slam Dunk performance headlining the festival that helped catapult their careers and made everyone fall in love with their music.

You Me At Six - Photo By Sam Wall

You Me At Six - Photo By Sam Wall

With our journey to Slam Dunk coming to an end for another year, I leave you with the words of our very own live music photographer, Sam Wall:

Slam Dunk you have my heart. It’s hard to put into words what this festival means to me and to everyone there but despite the mud and the rain the beauty that is this festival shone through. We danced and sung our hearts out, played in the mud like we were kids and picked up everyone that fell down making it clear to me why this is one of the best festivals in the world.

Missing Slam Dunk already? Then make sure you grab tickets to Slam Dunk France, new to Summer 2024 - click here for more info.

Commentary By Thushara S Chandrasiri and Sam Wall. Live Music Photography By Sam Wall

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