The British music scene has some real heavy hitters, both those who are coming up and those who have been kicking about for quite some time. Britain itself is a nation with rich musical history, gifting the world with British band legends, such as Queen with their legendary Freddie Mercury and Led Zepplin, to name just a few.
This article will mostly be of those artists that are currently at the start of the ladder for their career. Still, this article will shine a light on a few that are either considerably underrated or don’t get the mainstream attention they deserve. Many of these will be British bands discovered through going to gigs; some are just bands that pop up in weekly Spotify recommendations. You can’t go wrong with any of these bands.
Miss Vincent (FFO; Salem, Creeper and AFI)
I am VERY new to this band. Funnily enough, I discovered them through my band (E.B & The Deadlights), as the guy who does the artwork for Miss Vincent is working with us for our next few releases. These romantic rockers have released a stack of eps and singles along with their debut album, “A Funeral for Youth”, and are a band that’s just so easy to listen to you don’t notice the songs go by. They are a great UK band; get them into your ears.
Wargasm UK (FFO; Don Brocco, The Bronx and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes)
Ok, blame Google, not me. Wargasm is an electronic rock duo from London. Formed by Sam Matolock and Milkie Way (Who I am delighted to report is originally from Northern Ireland), the two are a blend of rock, metal, punk and electronic music all rolled into one, and it is absolutely bananas.
They’ve released 11 singles to date; not a bad song among them, I may add, but these folks have something genuinely unique, and I really can’t think of anyone who sounds like them. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen them live as of writing this, although they are playing Belfast later this year, so hopefully, I can make that; judging from videos, their shows are just absolute joyous mayhem. Having just wrapped a tour with Limp Bizkit in the States and countless other tours with huge names as well as headline shows, it looks like they’re starting to get a bit of recognition further afield, and I genuinely hope they get it because it is extremely well deserved.
Biffy Clyro (FFO; Twin Atlantic, Muse, Nothing but Thieves and Jimmy Eat World)
I know they’ve headlined Reading and Leeds, Download Festival, headline arenas all around the UK and tour worldwide, so why must they be on this list? You’d actually be surprised that when I say they’re one of my favourite bands’ people stare at me like I’m talking about an old fellow called Jim from down the road. The Scottish trio have been at it for 20 years and have released some of the best music the modern age has seen.
They’ve become one of those bands that, if you are the average consumer and haven’t taken a deep dive, you may not know them by name, but you know one or two of their songs. To be quite honest, the only reason Biffy isn’t closer to the top of this list is that they have experienced great success and have an excellent fan base, but yes.
Biffy deserves to be a band that, when you say their name, everyone knows who you are talking about because they deserve it well after giving so much top-tier music to the world. Also, if you have never seen The Biff live, get onto that. Having seen them about 8 times, I can safely say you aren’t disappointed.
Haggard Cat (FFO; Royal Blood, Sex Pistols and The White Stripes)
At the time of writing, this is the most recent band I have seen live, and I am still relatively new to them, so forgive me if this write-up is a bit short. Yet another two-piece act and these guys are just pure raw energy. They are a good sign that the live energy is also captured in the recording.
The Nottingham duo are currently on tour with Elvana (Elvis fronted Nirvana, yes, it is as crazy as it sounds) and have a string of festival appearances lined up. As a local review put it, if The Sex Pistols & The White Stripes had an angry baby, it would be Haggard Cat.
Vukovi (FFO; Wargasm, Twin Atlantic and Fever 333)
You’d be surprised to know, but we have another two pieces! Made up of Jannie Shilstone and Hammish Relly, they have a unique sound that lends itself well to a live setting. I caught them live opening for Creeper earlier this year and, again, didn’t have a clue who they were. A strong point I took from their set was how good Jannie was at controlling the crowd. There was just so much energy and crowd interaction that it was hard to walk away and not be a new fan.
Granted, this show was more or less a hometown gig for them, so the audience was buzzing, and you could tell everyone on and off the stage was enjoying themselves. The band have two albums under their belt, and with an endless number of shows lined up and just released a new EP, it doesn’t look like the pair are slowing down any time soon.
Bad Nerves (FFO; The Ramones, The Strokes and The Stooges)
I caught the Essex punks opening for Salem (more on them later) in Glasgow a few months back. I had never heard of or bothered to look into them beforehand, so when I got slapped up the face by a pure old-school punk rock sound and energy, it was quite a surprise.
These guys go hard life; I lost count of how many times I nearly got wiped out by a bass guitar head due to the bassist leaping from the stage to the barrier. Their debut self-titled album came out back in 2020 (the wonder year), and they seem to be really getting their feet under them, opening with fellow UK punks Salem and having a sold-out UK headline tour earlier this year. All being well, the future is definitely bright for these guys, which is great to see.
Salem (FFO; AFI, Creeper, The Damned and Alkaline Trio)
Will Gould of Creeper (to no surprise, there will be more on them later) and Matt Reynolds create modern punk music like no other? Their track Fall Out Of Love was featured in the newest Scream movie, and it seems that, much like Creeper, they are starting to develop a die-hard cult fan base that is willing to turn up in great numbers. Judging from photos of their most recent show playing tent midday at Download Festival, it was quite the turnout.
Both their EPs are immaculate, and having seen them live, the only complaint I can honestly give is they need to release another EP soon because the show clocked in just under an hour! Thankfully, that is me grasping at straws. You’re not going to be disappointed if you listen to them live, seriously. The music is a balance of that good old raw punk energy yet still managing to pack in a boatload of emotion. If you are a fan of Creeper, it is pretty much a given that you’ll also be a fan of Salem.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes (FFO; Biffy Clyro, Foo Fighters and Sex Pistols)
Frank Carter, who formerly fronted another highly regarded UK band, Gallows, started this project back in 2015 with all-out hard-hitting punk with a hard rock undercurrent. And having toured with the likes of Foo Fighters and played various festivals all over the world, along with countless successful headline tours, I’m sure he is pleased he did. With 4 very successful studio albums under their belt, the only way is up for Frank & his Rattlesnakes.
Having seen them play everything from a 200-cap venue to a 40,000-capacity field opening for Foo Fighters, I can safely say that seeing Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes live is absolutely mental. The band has an unmatched energy that really makes you question what workout routine they all have to have the stamina to be able to pull that off night in and out. The success is there, yes, but they still have a lot of ladders they want to climb, and it seems they are going to climb it.
Therapy? (FFO; Faith No More, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Killing Joke)
The hometown boys Therapy have quite the career both behind them, and they are still going strong to this day. Having reached their peak popularity in the 90s, and after a turbulent few years (Which you can read about in their book So Much For The 30-Year Plan), it is amazing to see that they are still touring and releasing albums of very high quality. In fact, their most recent release, “Cleave”, in my opinion, is about as good as anything that they put out back in the 90s.
For me, Therapy was the first band that really made me feel like I could give music a proper go considering they all grew up only about 15 minutes away from where I live and have been a true inspiration to me. They are also extremely nice guys, which is always a great thing when you love a band. In my opinion, they are hands down the best band to come out of Northern Ireland, and if you want an introduction to them, get onto Spotify (or whatever streaming service you use) and put on the Trouble Gum album; you can thank me later.
Creeper (FFO; AFI, Meat Loaf, David Bowie, The Damned, Gary Numan, My Chemical Romance and Salem)
Southampton punks Creeper have thrown genre out the window and can only these days be considered as an absolute Rock N Roll extravaganza. From the punk of The Damned to the extravagance of David Bowie, this band is what every UK band should aspire to be. They’ve recently wrapped up a European festival run along with a tour opening for Alice Cooper and The Cult, as well as several dates opening for modern icons My Chemical Romance. Their second album, Sex, Death And The Infinite Void, is one of the best albums ever written, in my opinion.
I remember the first time I saw them when Scuzz TV was still a thing and had its fresh blood segment; I’m pretty sure that’s what it was called. The song was Black Mass, and I remember being so intrigued to see another band doing the whole theatrics thing. Having watched them evolve from this cool underground punk band to what I can best describe as an artistic experience has been wonderful. If you haven’t heard of Creeper right now and this article doesn’t make you want to listen to them, I can guarantee you will know them in the near future.