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Here Are Nine Bands That Rocked Download That You May Not Have Heard Of But You Really Should!

Download Festival played host to a whole host of smaller (slightly more unknown bands). Here is a countdown of some of our favourites.

Blood Youth

As one of the newer bands on the line-up, the vast majority of those in Jake’s Tent for Blood Youth went due to pure curiosity, and what they were presented with was a band that are about to release their first EP, and are already rocking the hell out of it. Tracks like ‘Failure’ and ‘Cold Sweat’ went down a treat, and ended up filling the tent nicely. Mosh pits were forming throughout and everyone just looked like they were having a fantastic time. Save for a couple of sound issues throughout minimal enough to not really make too much of a different, Blood Youth slayed it. If they were to hold a bit more of a back catalogue, and have a bit more experience under their belts, they would have commanded the crowd a lot more, but it seems like they certainly got everyone interested in what they were doing. 3.5/5 CT


Source: Jenna Foxton


Defeater’s set struggled with just one defining problem, and that was lead vocalist Derek Archambault’s voice. It’s unclear whether or not he had a cold, or whether this is a regular occurrence during their shows, but the way he was screaming was clearly destroying his voice. After a while it was clear that he wasn’t able to speak properly after the tracks was over, and soon this bled into this screams as well. Regardless of this, overall the music was brutal, and was creating energy throughout the tent, especially from those already familiar with the band. Tracks like ‘Bastards’ went down fantastically and when Caleb Shomo came on stage for ‘Dear Father’ was a real treat, but it’s unfortunate that Derek’s voice hampered the set in the end.  2.5/5 CT


Quite possibly one of the most promising and incredible sets of the weekend, Allusondrugs just stepped it up a notch during their time at Download Festival. A set full of gloriously unpredictable nature, nihilistic attitude, and even (a lot) of illness / anxiety induced vomit, Allusondrugs fire through their back catalogue thus far with such passion, dedication, and fury that it would be hard not to believe in a band like this right now – particularly with a chaotic ‘Am I Weird?’. These guys have been getting an awful lot of exposure as of recently, but this was a moment to which anyone in attendance for their set should count themselves lucky to bare witness, because this is genuinely the start of something gloriously weird, freakish, anarchic, yet beautiful. If you want a proper all out British rock band to believe in in 2015 – then look no further than Allusondrugs. 4.5/5 JPM


Source: Scott Salt


After being tipped off about these guys from a fellow alternative music fan and good friend, Empire seemed like a good shout. What was not clear was the fact they were not good as such, they were freaking incredible! Sounding like the hideously talented spawn of an encounter between At The Drive-In and Bad Brains, Empire not only prove themselves to be something of a musical revelation, but also have one of the most promising and seriously gifted and entertaining singers in British rock music right now, in the embodiment of Joe Green. A truly wonderful surprise with frenetic stage presence and great crowd connection, but a band to really keep your eye on over the course of this year as you will be hearing a LOT more from these guys real soon. You heard it right here! 4/5 JPM


UK punk rockers Gnarwolves played a killer show at this year’s Download Festival. The Brighton trio gave us an energetic set complete with mosh pits, crowd surfing and a sprinkling of British banter. Formed in 2011, Gnarwolves have been steadily climbing up the UK rock scene as one of the strong contenders in modern punk, and their performance at Download’s Maverick Stage showed that they’re worthy of every ounce of praise they receive.

Gnarwolves just give of a really old school vibe, three guys with instruments playing loud music and having an ace time on stage. The Brighton lads: Thom WeeksCharlie Piper and Max Weeks were amazingly grateful for the turn out from the Download Festival audience and props to them, we were so glad we went to see such an awesome punk rock show. Best of luck to Gnarwolves in the coming years, hopefully we’ll see a lot more from you guys real soon.  4/5 LS


Source: Richard Johnson


Being one of the only pop-punk bands at a metal and rock festival must be a bit of a daunting process, but for Roam it is just merely another challenge. The fun, fast, and furious pop-punk quintet fire through a short yet sweet set which is led by the hyper-mobile stage presence of front man Alex Costello. A set full of singalongs, great crowd energy, well timed onstage moonsaults, and plenty of crowdsurfing, Roam are indeed a welcome breath of fresh air in between everything else. Already ahving supported and been on tour with the likes of Youmeatsix and All Time Low, these guys are not shy of any crowd they play to – but guaranteed that this will be another one of those moments where you wish you were there. Whilst at times a little shakey and sloppy musically, their stage and crowd unification is the embodiment and enhancement of what makes Roam a truly wonderful and fun band, and yet another British band you can believe in. 3.5/5 JPM



Jake’s Stage was a hub for exciting new music all weekend at Download Festival but the band set with the task of opening the stage on Friday afternoon were EofE. If you’ve heard of the band then chances are you’ll know who they’ve previously toured with- yes we are talking McBusted and The Vamps. But don’t let their previous endeavours put you off they’re as much a rock band as the next. Armed with huge voices, meaty riffs and enough sing-a-long chorus’ to put You Me At Six to shame, the band show why you shouldn’t judge a book by their history. The band have a definite air of Don Broco about them with their style, swagger, and frontman Tom Harris has a slight look of Mr Damiani about him. EofE did a great job of warming up Friday’s crowd and edging them into the rock spirit of Download. 3/5 RW

The One Hundred

Source: Richard Johnson

The One Hundred

If you know much about us then you’ll know how much we love this band, but a large scale festival like Download can make amazing bands crumble. Fortunately this doesn’t happen with The One Hundred as frontman Jacob Field bounds around the stage like a child that’s had one too many fizzy sweets. The band are tight and with each pummelling drum kick, and each defying riff they’re here to prove exactly why Download did well booking them in to play. Fortunately the rain which decided to chuck down during their set only helped as the crowd was packed, and the crowd did a great job moving to keep warm. For once the weather worked in a bands favour. 4/5 RW

The Qemists

Source: Derek Bremner

The Qemists

You’d be forgiven for questioning the inclusion of drum and bass act The Qemists to a rock festivals line up. Even frontman Bruno questions us when we ask him about being in a ‘rock band’- well you are at Download lads! Now in previous years rock fans have moshed along to The Prodigy and danced along to Pendulum so we weren’t too worried about the crowds reaction. From the opening beats created by DJ to the ripping screams by Olly the tent is alight. Bodies are strewn around and no one is on their feet, it seems Sunday afternoon is the time to truly let rip- perhaps people remembered it was the last day! The band’s six track long set is over before we can blink as we were pulled through tracks such as ‘Jungle’ and ‘Hijacked’. The Qemists have well and truly blown a hole right through Downloads’ genre listings! 5 /5

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