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Slamdunk Festival 2014- Cheer Up Stage | Live Review

The Cheer Up Stage at this years Slamdunk played host to some of the hottest upcoming bands. Check out what we made of the stage here.

Credit: Charlie Wallis

The Cheer Up Clothing Stage was cast upstairs in the dingy attic of the Forum in Hatfield yet in contrast is in a large brightly lit room in Wolverhampton. The stage played host to a number of up-and-coming bands across the weekend and we were privileged enough to catch a whole load of the bands. Check out what we thought of the stage here!

Aurora- Cheer Up Stage- Wolverhampton
Having only been confirmed to play several hours before their slot, it’s no surprise that Wolverhampton’s civic bar is fairly empty for Aurora’s set. Hailing from Birmingham this 5 piece band are set to take the UK by storm. While the crowd are hesitant in moving forward, lead singer Jessica Calvesbert takes no time in bringing the show right before them.  Jumping off stage and clambering over the barrier Jessica stomps up and down the room while singing, pausing only to allow her to scream as loud as she can. Those brave enough take to forming a mosh pit in the middle of the crowd while the band continue rocking out on stage. Playing songs from their EP and finishing on their first single ‘Easily Broken’ it seems Aurora have won over some new fans as they rush to nab one of several free CD’s being chucked out. While playing to an almost empty room can be quite daunting Aurora made the most of their last minute opportunity and showed Slam Dunk what they’re made of. This band are one to watch 4.5/5 JD

The First- Cheer Up Stage- Wolverhampton
Following the release of their second album ‘Take Courage’, Cambridge rockers The First were eager to warm up the Cheer Up stage. Treating fans to an array of hits, the boys played a mixture of both old and new songs including ‘Take It Back’ and ‘Shark Attack’. As the band filled the room with their buoyant sound and shout out loud lyrics, it was clear that they appealed to a wide range of people – even a man dressed up as a wrestler, who was more than eager to show off his one man ‘moshing’. What can we say? At least he was having fun. 8/10 EM

Verses – Cheer Up Stage- Hatfield
The Brighton pop-rock four piece took to the stage mid-afternoon. Kicking off with ‘Feel It Faster’, the pitch perfect vocals from frontman Jason Danzelman really grab the attention of the audience. By just two songs deep into their set, the room had begun to fill up nicely – clearly their bouncy yet fierce energy drew the crowd in. Sadly, midway through their set a mic-stand fell, disrupted the band and knocked their confidence. Yet they pulled it back and showed us why they deserve the blinding limelight they are receiving right now. 8/10 LH

Natives- Cheer Up Stage- Hatfield
Despite playing one of the smaller rooms at Slam Dunk, Southampton-based Natives captured a hearty crowd during their 30-minutes set on the Cheer Up Clothing stage. The five-piece, who have played the festival in previous years under the name Not Advised, were quick to show off their renovated style, performing songs from their debut album ‘Indoor War’. Attracting boys and girls in equal measures, the intimate set allowed front man Jim Thomas to fuel the adrenalin and encourage the crowd to jump along to punchy singles such as ‘This Island’ and ‘Can’t Say No’. Getting up close and personal with his fans, the singer frequently reached out to them. Before taking a photo of the crowd and giving it away to one keen dancer who quickly impressed with their moves. 8/10 EM

Marmozets- Cheer Up Stage- Hatfield
Marmozets are one of those bands you just have to see live. No amount of recorded music or videos can really do this band justice. Their set exudes youth and enthusiasm and there’s barely a dull moment. They’ve recently been signed to Roadrunner and with the prospect of their debut album on the horizon it’s even more exciting. Becca’s vocals are even stronger than they’ve ever been from her deep singing voice to her even deeper screams, ‘Move Shake Hide’ provides chance to practice those dance moves and ‘Why Do You Hate Me’ gives moshers time to cause chaos. If their energetic set wasn’t enough during the final song as is accustom during a Marmozets set Josh and the entire drum kit make it’s way into the crowd as a mosh pit forms around. We’re bloody excited about the future of this band, make sure you catch them as soon as you can! 10/10 RW

Chiodos- Cheer Up Stage- Hatfield
Michigan post-hardcore based Chiodos are the headline act on the festivals smallest stages, cramped, raucous and sweaty tonight had the makings of an incredible show. Craig Owens and co bound on stage and showcase tracks from latest full-length ‘Devil’ including opening ‘Ole Fishlips Is Dead Now’ and tracks from albums which make us feel incredibly old (‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ is ten years old in 2015!) Everything is going so well until twenty minutes into the set when Craig bellows out to the crowd about someone throwing something at him. We think very little about it until Craig sulks off and sits on top of the speaker and barely screams along to any of tracks the rest of the band make an effort to play. We find out the next day via twitter that someone threw their drink and vodka went into Craig’s eyes but without explanation on the day it just seems that Owens is unprofessionally sulking. Their fifty minute set turns into twenty five minutes and what started as potentially the best set of the entire weekend turns into a mess. What makes the entire event even more disappointing is the fact that we found out one of the unplayed songs was ‘Under Your Halo’ from ‘Devil’ one of our personal favourites. Next time maybe?! 5/10 RW

 Main Stage Review
Monster Stage Review
Atticus Stage Review
Macbeth Stage Review

Reviews by: Jemma Dodd, Lizzi Hart, Rhian Westbury and Emma Matthews

Photos by: Charlie Wallis and Jemma Dodd

Main Stage
Monster Stage
Atticus Stage

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