13 Greatest And Most Famous British Rock Bands Of The 2010s

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

The 2010s were a vibrant and exciting time for rock music, and many talented bands from the United Kingdom rose to prominence during this decade.

From the raucous sounds of Arctic Monkeys and The 1975 to the more subdued melodies of Radiohead and Coldplay, British rock bands have continued to innovate and push the boundaries of the genre.

In this post, we’ll take a look at 13 of the most famous British rock bands of the 2010s, highlighting their unique styles and achievements.

Whether you’re a seasoned fan or just getting into rock music, these bands are sure to impress and inspire. So without further ado, let’s dive into our list.

1. Coldplay

Formed in 1997, Coldplay is not just one of the biggest bands of the 2010s, they’re also one of the biggest bands of the last three decades. The band started when they met in college in London and burst onto the music scene with their hit “Yellow” in 1998. 

By the 2010s, Coldplay had cemented itself as one of the most famous rock bands of all time. They released songs like “Paradise,” “Princess of China” (featuring Rihanna), and “Something Just Like This” (with the Chainsmokers).

They received and were nominated for numerous awards during the 2010s, including Brit Awards, BBC Music Awards, MTV Music Awards, and Grammys. 

Coldplay is one of those rare bands that can unite the masses. Their fans are young and old from all over the world.

2. Florence + The Machine

Made up of Florence Welch and Isabella Summers, we have Florence + the Machine. The two met when Isabella babysat for Florence’s little sister and released their first album in 2008.

The song “Dog Days Are Over,” released in late 2008, propelled the band into the 2010s spotlight, where it was used in several TV series and films, including Eat, Pray, and Love.

Over the decade, the band released three albums and re-released their first album with additional songs. They have been nominated for many awards, including Grammys and Critics Choice.

Florence is known for her haunting vocals, dark lyrics, and catchy pop-rock melodies. In 2015, the band made history as the first female-fronted group to headline Glastonbury Festival.

3. The 1975

Based in Manchester, The 1975 is a group of four guys who met in high school in 2002 and formed the band for a school production. After performing covers for a while, they started writing their own songs and were signed by a label.

They released their first full-length album in 2013. After receiving positive reviews from critics, they built up a large fanbase. Early hit songs include “Love Me” and “Chocolate.”

The 1975 is praised for its eclectic style with influences from rock, pop, R&B, ’80s pop, funk, and more. They’ve had several nominations and wins, including the Radio 1 Live Lounge Performance of the Year for their cover of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.”

4. Mumford And Sons

Formed in 2007 in London, we have Mumford and Sons. This group is an unlikely rock band considering their affinity for the banjo and upright bass. Some may try to classify them as bluegrass, but with their many influences, they defy classification.

After meeting in college, they started playing locally and befriended folk singer-songwriter Laura Marling, whose manager helped them on their musical career, which peaked during the 2010s with chart-topping album releases.

All the members of Mumford and Sons play multiple instruments and have influences from folk and bluegrass to R&B and rock. They created a unique sound that crossed genres.

They’ve won multiple awards, including a Grammy for Album of the Year for Babel. Songs “The Cave” and “Little Lion Man” are among their most popular.

5. Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys was formed by four guys in high school. While playing in local clubs, they grew a fanbase. Their music was passed around on the internet, making them one of the first bands to grow through social media.

Their first album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, broke the record for the fastest-selling band album in British music history. They went on to drop more #1 albums in the late 2000s and into the 2010s.

During that decade, the Arctic Monkeys continued to grow and release hit singles. They played in the Olympic opening ceremony and won a Mercury prize. Their song “Do I Wanna Know?” got them another Mercury Prize nomination.

6. Bastille

Our next band, Bastille, got its start with musician Dan Smith in 2010. He later added members to the group and named the band after Bastille Day, which is also his birthday.

The group quickly gained traction, releasing the singles “Icarus” and “Flaws” and recording a song for The Sims 3 in 2011.

In 2013, they dropped their double Platinum hit, “Pompeii.” Smith said he got the idea for the song when imagining what two corpses at the sight of the eruption might say to each other.

Later in the decade, they collaborated with Marshmello to create “Happier,” which was nominated for a number of awards. The song won 6 ASCAP Awards and 2 BMI Awards, among others.

7. Chvrches

The three-person band from Glasgow Chvrches (pronounced “Churches”) formed in 2003 when Iain Cook and Martin Doherty met in college and started making songs. After several failed attempts and working with other bands, they invited singer Lauren Mayberry to join them.

Chvrches developed their signature sound by drawing on pop and rock influences like Kate Bush and Prince. They released their first single, “The Mother We Share,” in 2012 to positive reviews and was even used as the soundtrack for the video game Forza Horizon 2.

Since their start, Chvrches has released four studio albums, all of which ranked within the top 10 of the UK charts. They’ve been nominated and won several awards, including an award at SXSW.

8. Muse

When listening to a Muse record, you probably feel like you’re listening to a band with ten members. Their music has a big sound with lots of instruments.

However, Muse is just three guys from Devon who started playing together when they were just 13. The band grew in the 2000s and, by the 2010s, had cemented themselves as music legends.

They wrote the theme for the 2012 Olympics, “Survival.” While starting as an alternative rock band, Muse evolved into drawing inspiration from all types of music and artists. Songs like “Madness” demonstrate their elasticity.

Muse’s fifth album, The Resistance, and seventh album, Drones, both won Best Rock Album Grammy Awards. They have also received Brit Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, and NME Awards for their musical contributions.

9. Snow Patrol

Similar to other bands on this list, Northern Ireland band Snow Patrol got its start in 1994 when the members met at university and got together.

After some unsuccessful indie albums, the band released Final Straw, which propelled them to fame in the UK. The song “Chasing Cars” became an international phenomenon.

By the 2010s, Snow Patrol was a well-established band. In 2011, they released the album Up to Now, a greatest hits record, and Fallen Empires, both #3 on the UK charts.

Snow Patrol went on hiatus for a few years while their lead singer struggled with personal issues but came back in 2018 with a new album, Wildness.

10. Bloc Party

Our tenth band, Bloc Party, was born at the 1999 Reading Music Festival when singer Kele Okereke and guitarist Russell Lissack connected. Their early sound was heavily influenced by punk and rock bands from the ’80s, like The Pixies.

During the 2000s, Bloc Party would influence many other bands on the indie rock scene. They took a brief hiatus in the early 2010s and returned in 2012 with the album Four, which peaked at #3 on the UK charts. At this time, Block Party’s new music was reminiscent of their earlier works before they were influenced by pop.

While the band received several nominations for earlier work, their releases in the 2010s haven’t received any. However, they continue to have a loyal and dedicated fanbase.

11. Franz Ferdinand

The members of this Scottish rock band had all played in other bands but joined in 2001 to form Franz Ferdinand. They named themselves after the Archduke, whose assassination was one of the catalysts for WWI.

They experienced great success in the 2000s that continued into the next decade. They were one of the leaders of the post-punk revival and helped to shape the genre.

They released their fourth and fifth studio albums during the 2010s, including the hit song “Always Ascending.” Franz Ferdinand has received many awards spanning their career, including a Best Alternative Band nomination in 2013.

12. Two Door Cinema Club

The three-piece group Two Door Cinema Club from Northern Ireland was formed in 2007. They rose to prominence with the release of their first album, Tourist History, in 2010. Two major hits came off the record: “Something Good Can Work” and “What You Know.”

The band went on to release four more records during the 2010s, one of which topped the charts in Ireland. Throughout the decade, their music has been featured in many films and TV shows, including The Edge of Seventeen.

In 2012, Two Door Cinema Club’s lead singer, Alex Trimble, was invited to sing at the Olympics. They’ve also received several awards, including Irish Album of the Year.

13. The Vaccines

Just as 2010 rolled in, The Vaccines formed, and the following year, they released their first single, “Post Break-Up Sex.” The band quickly became known for its driving rock melodies that called to mind 1970s punk and early Strokes.

As the decade progressed, they worked to expand their sound, drawing on influences from progressive rock and R&B. They also released four studio albums that ranked within the top five of the UK charts.

The Vaccines has been nominated for and won several awards, including an NME Award for Best New Band. They continue to inspire and entertain rock fans as they tour the UK, their latest schedule being back in April 2022.

Summing Up Out List Of 2010s British Rock Bands

As you can see from the caliber of bands above, the 2010s saw a resurgence of British rock music, with many iconic bands rising to fame and solidifying their place in music history.

From the folky sounds of Mumford and Songs to the stadium-filling anthems of Coldplay, these bands have left a lasting impact on the rock scene and continue to inspire new generations of musicians.

Whether you’re a lifelong fan of rock or just starting to explore the genre, these bands are a great place to start.

We hope you enjoyed reading about these legendary bands, and let us know if we missed any of your favorites!

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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.