11 Of The Greatest And Most Famous British Rock Bands Of The 2000s

Written by Dan Farrant

Since the British Invasion, British rock music has influenced the music industry around the world, blending, mutating, and creating new rock subgenres for fans to enjoy.

Almost every year, rock bands from the UK emerge. In fact, there has been no shortage of British rock bands, even fast-forward several decades and into the 2000s—some with unforgettable hits, others with not-so-memorable ones, but always there was something new.

But who were those that were most influential and literally rocked the airwaves with their sound? Read on to learn about 11 of the greatest and most famous British Rock Bands of the 2000s.

1. Coldplay

Our first British rock band, Coldplay, emerged on the music scene in 1997. They played mainly small gigs before signing with Parlophone. Soon after, the group released their first album, Parachutes, which won them a Grammy award and an award for Best British Album of the Year 2001.

Their second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, released in 2002, is considered one of the greatest records of all time, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even has it on their 200 Definitive Albums list.

Coldplay has since sold over 100 million albums and is widely known as one of the best and most influential indie rock groups of the 21st century.

2. Arctic Monkeys

Consisting initially of Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Nick O’Malley, and Matt Helders, Arctic Monkeys started in a garage in 2002 and began recording demos shortly after.

For their demo album Beneath the Boardwalk, they recorded 18 songs. These were burned on blank CDs and distributed to fans outside their concerts. This kind of promotion helped gain them a following after fans began file-sharing their songs.

After releasing their first official album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, in 2006, it quickly rose to the top of the UK charts and became one the fastest-selling indie rock albums by a British artist.

3. Muse

Hailing from Devon, Muse began making their mark on the rock music scene in 1998 when they began playing gigs all around London. The following year, they released their debut album and started to gain popularity.

Throughout the 2000s, Muse produced three chart-topping albums—Absolution, Black Holes and Revelations, and The Resistance. These debuted their unique take on alternative rock music.

Lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Bellamy enjoyed experimenting with instruments and sounds, and this experimentation won the band several awards over the decades, including two Grammys, Brit awards, and several MTV music awards.

4. Radiohead

Formed in 1985, Radiohead was already a popular band name in the UK by the time the 2000s rolled in. However, it wasn’t until their third album, OK Computer, in 1997 that the band gained international fame. This would help push them to even greater heights in the next decade.

From 2000 to 2007, Radiohead released four albums—Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief, and In Rainbows. Each ranked #1 in the UK charts, and all won the band Grammy Awards. Some even landed a place in Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

Radiohead has not stopped there, however. They’ve continued to sell charting singles and albums worldwide even until now.

5. Stereophonics

Formed in 1992 in a small village in Wales, Stereophonics rapidly topped the UK charts with the release of their debut album. However, mainstream success did not come until near the end of the ’90s.

From then on, the band constantly hit #1 on the charts with their albums, like 2001’s Just Enough Education to Perform, and 2003’s You Gotta Go There to Come Back. Some of their singles also reached the top five, with “Dakota” ranking at the top in 2005.

Stereophonics also spent most of the 2000s touring Europe with other big names like Blur and Oasis, which helped push them further up the popularity ladder.

6. Kaiser Chiefs

An indie band from Leeds, Kaiser Chiefs, had a rough start to their journey into stardom. The band began creating music under the name Parva. After several failed attempts to sign a record deal and the loss of their label, the band decided to change their name to Kaiser Chiefs.

In 2004, they began performing live across the UK, and Kaiser Chiefs quickly became best known for their live performances and hit songs like “Ruby.” By 2007, the band was playing sold-out shows of 30,000 audiences.

Kaiser Chiefs are still active today and has recently released a single, “How 2 Dance,” in 2022.

7. Kasabian

Another one of Britain’s well-known live performers is the band Kasabian. They were first known as Saracuse, but after signing with BMG, they changed their name to what they’re currently named.

Since Kasabian’s first album release in 2004, the band has been playing shows and putting out continuous hit records. They’ve won several awards, mostly for their live performances.

Kasabian continues to rock stages all across Europe today. They receive many reviews calling them the best live performance in the UK and have made a name for themselves as a must-see act.

8. Blur

Our next British band, Blur, was formed in the late 1980s. During the ’90s, they had chart-topping albums. However, they struggled to keep their fanbase growing. Each album released differed from the last in an attempt to find the right sound for the band.

During the 2000s, Blur released only one album. “Think Tank” was dropped in 2003, and the group’s popularity increased more as they began experimenting with sound again. The album featured Blur’s most unique sound, which was a mix of soft electronica with some classic rock sound.

The band then went on a hiatus as members went on to pursue personal plans. Then in 2009, Blur reunited for a concert and decided to tour again.

9. Keane

From East Sussex, alternative rock band Keane came onto the rock scene already at #1 with their first album, Hopes and Fears, in 2004. This album rapidly topped the charts, receiving the title of one of the best rock albums of all time.

Their second album, Under the Iron Sea, was equally as successful, earning the band a spot in Britain’s best next to bands like the Beatles, Oasis, and Radiohead. 

In 2009, Keane became the first band to ever perform live in 3D on their world tour. In 2013, the band decided to split for some time to work on solo projects and didn’t reunite until 2019.

10. Manic Street Preachers

In 1986, a group of friends started playing music together and named themselves Manic Street Preachers. By the time the 2000s came in, they had already released five studio albums, with one at the top of the UK charts.

They had already attracted a large following throughout the UK for their wild lifestyles and media coverage. In the 2000s, Manic Street Preachers continued to ride their wave of success.

Though the albums dropped during that decade were not chart-toppers, they were all within the top 15, and their singles were in the top 20s, with 2000’s “The Masses Against the Classes” their top hit.

Manic Street Preachers are still touring today, and they have made a name for themselves as one of the best bands to come out of Wales.

11. The Verve

An influencing alternative rock band in the ’90s, The Verve began having internal conflicts and disbanded in 1999. However, the band reunited with its original lineup in 2007 and released the album Forth.

Fans were ecstatic. The reunion brought The Verve almost immediately to the #1 spot on the UK charts, and their 2007 tour announcement sold out within minutes.

The excitement of this get-together was short-lived, though. In 2009, The Verve decided to disband for the third time as many of the members pursued solo careers.

Summing Up Our List Of 2000s British Rock Bands

And there you have it, dear readers, the best rock bands from the UK during the 2000s. If you’ve listened to any of their music, you would know why they have been considered influential.

Each of their music styles and techniques are unique, but they all stem from one genre loved by many: rock music.

We hope you enjoyed our list. As mentioned, there were so many popular British rock bands during the 2000s, so we might have missed a few. Let us know who, and we’ll add them!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.