Top 10 Best British Bands of the 21st Century

The Top Ten
1 Muse Muse are an English alternative rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The members are Matt Bellamy (lead vocal, lead guitar, piano, keyboard), Dom Howard (drums, percussion) and Chris Wolstenholme (bass, backing vocals). They've won several awards including 5 MTV Awards, 8 NME Awards, 2 Brit Awards, and 2 Grammy Awards.

This band is the definition of progress. Since 1999, starting with their first album Showbiz, the variations in musical styles have been unbelievable. Songs like Sunburn and Unintended started them off strong. Then, they came out with Origin of Symmetry, which is still in my top 6 favourite albums ever (the other 5 being Showbiz, Absolution, Black Holes and Revelations, The Resistance, and Second Law).

But now, with the change from somewhat classical rock to electro rock with their latest album, I'm just blown away by the sheer amount of awesome this band can compose. Thank you, Matt, Chris, and Dom, for your perfection in this industry!

I like many of the bands in the top 10 - Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, or even Franz Ferdinand. However, nothing can compare to the range and variety of music Muse has composed, or play with as much enthusiasm and emotion live. Their songs range from classic to heavy metal and are filled with memorable guitar riffs such as Plug in Baby (Voted best riff), Hysteria, and Knights of Cydonia. They can be ambitious and experimental, but the result is always interesting and original. When it comes to performing live, nothing compares to their gigs, which are filled with colorful LEDs and dynamic light displays, massive props, stunning pyrotechnics, and of course, their epic music.

2 Arctic Monkeys The Arctic Monkeys, otherwise known as the Death Ramps, are a British indie rock band formed in 2002 in Sheffield, England. The band consists of Alex Turner (lead vocalist, songwriter, electric and rhythm guitarist), Jamie Cook (electric and rhythm guitarist, songwriter), Matt Helders (percussionist, backing vocalist) and Nick O'Malley (bassist, backing vocalist). A former member, Andy Nicholson (also... read more

Who let Muse get to 1? I like Coldplay and Oasis, despite only two of their albums in the 00s being any good. Franz Ferdinand is rightly in the top ten, too, as with Radiohead. But Mumford and Sons? Why?

Arctic Monkeys are the most consistently good band - only Humbug was a slight letdown. They've reinvented themselves a few times, and the results have always been good. Alex Turner is a great lyricist, and the songs are brilliant too. No band this century has been as good as the Arctic Monkeys.

Arctic Monkeys are talented, interesting, and consistent. They've yet to put out a bad record. Alex Turner's lyrics and vocals are unparalleled, and the musicianship from Cook, Helders, and O'Malley is always innovative and strong. They're great live - brilliant performers, as well as technically perfect. Have you ever heard them miss a note?

Not to mention, they've been going strong for about 10 years and have only gotten better. Nobody can compete with their talent and consistency.

3 Coldplay Coldplay are a British pop rock band formed in 1996. The band consists of Chris Martin (lead vocalist and pianist), Jonny Buckland (lead guitarist), Guy Berryman (bassist) and Will Champion (drummer and backing vocalist). Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed themselves "Coldplay" in 1998. Before making their debut album, they recorded and released three... read more

I love 60s and 70s music. There was so much progression and creativity in music during those decades, and, in my opinion, no modern band will ever be able to replicate the masterpieces and geniuses of the 60s and 70s. But Coldplay comes damn close.

I have not taken the time to explore modern music very much due to it being bogged down in mainstream pop and worse that fails to contain a note of creative thought. However, since becoming familiar with Coldplay, it has become clear that there are a few bands out there today that still value innovation, creativity, good melodies, actual orchestration, and poetic lyrics.

I'm not saying Coldplay is the best band of the 21st century, as I have not listened to enough modern artists to have a real opinion. But Coldplay is the first modern band of this caliber I have found, and so they will always be the most important to me for introducing me to the creative influences extant today. I now look forward to discovering other great bands that still produce albums today. Thank you, Coldplay, for reviving my faith in the modern music industry.

4 Oasis Oasis were an English britpop band formed in Manchester in 1991. Developed from an earlier group, the Rain, the band originally consisted of Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan, and Tony McCarroll. Noel Gallagher (Liam's Brother) served as the primary songwriter and guitarist for the band. They released a total of 7 albums. Definitely Maybe (1994),... read more

They were the last rock band to embody sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll and rule the world simultaneously, and to play concerts without a single phone in the audience. They had the best songs of the '90s, and they're basically about nothing. But they're so catchy! No band has had as many brilliant B-sides as them. Also, they looked awesome. From '94-'96, they were unstoppable.

Oasis is one of the best bands here, besides Gorillaz. Plus, they had the best frontman ever and one of the best songwriters of our century. I personally can relate to lots of their songs, and they have that attitude that makes them look kind of cocky, but that's why I love them.

Liam is a great rock vocalist, and it was the best rock band in the first decade of the 21st century. Unfortunately, it was broken up in 2009, and now Liam Gallagher has formed a new band, 'Beady Eye'.

5 Kasabian Kasabian are an English rock band formed in Leicester in 1997. The band's original members consisted of vocalist Tom Meighan, guitarist and vocalist Sergio Pizzorno, guitarist Chris Karloff, and bassist Chris Edwards.

For me personally, they're my second favorite band of all time, only beaten by the Beatles. They draw inspiration from so many great bands, and their music spans many genres. They've made so many great songs over the years that have been used for so many events. Kasabian for number one.

Possibly the best live act I have seen, followed very closely by Biffy Clyro and Red Hot Chili Peppers! No other act has exceeded the standards of their recordings in their live performances to the extent of Kasabian. No doubt about it.

Seriously though, their music is so unique and epic. Not only do their songs have amazing riffs, but they also rock it with the violins and cellos. Who could ever dislike songs such as "Fire", "Underdog", or "Club Foot"?

6 Radiohead Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwoood (bass guitar), Phil Selway (drums), and Ed O'Brien (guitar).

All the bands above Radiohead right now, like Coldplay, Muse, etc., wouldn't exist without Radiohead. Radiohead has invented more music genres than the Beatles did. Though, of course, the Beatles had a much larger influence. Radiohead is still just as good and innovative as the Beatles, if not more. The Beatles should be the No. 1 best British band, followed by Radiohead, Oasis, and so on.

Radiohead is the most unique band of all time and one of my all-time favorites. With the most iconic frontman, Thom Yorke, and the world's gifted producer, Nigel Godrich, they stand out. The best guitarists, Jonny and Ed O'Brien, and bassist Colin Greenwood, experiment with rock music and their beats are insane. I have all their albums, including Kid A and OK Computer, some of the greatest albums of the new era of rock.

Muse is also my favorite band, but they are newcomers in front of Radiohead's legacy.

You may not hear them on the radio too often or even listen to them with regularity, but in the back of your mind, everybody knows that they are clearly the top. Ask any of the bands on this list, and they'll tell you, "Yes, Radiohead, #1."

7 Bring Me the Horizon Bring Me the Horizon is a British rock band from Sheffield, Yorkshire. Formed in 2004, the group currently consists of vocalist Oliver Sykes, guitarist Lee Malia, bassist Matt Kean, drummer Matt Nicholls, and keyboardist Jordan Fish. They are signed to RCA Records globally and Columbia Records exclusively in the US. The style of their early work, including their debut album Count Your Blessings, has... read more

From deathcore to metalcore, to alternative metal, to hard rock, Bring Me The Horizon never fails to bring something new to the table. Despite wanting to escape their old deathcore days, BMTH still puts out some of the best rock today. Striving towards a modern sound while retaining the punch they've packed ever since their first album in 2006. From screaming to singing, this band is a group of talented individuals who always release something good.

Although people are always going to disagree with one another, I personally think that some of the top 10 at the moment don't deserve the spot as much as this band.

They combine hardcore aspects into more mainstream works, and the live vocals and playing of instruments are exceptional.

8 Mumford & Sons Mumford & Sons are a British indie folk band from London, formed in 2007. The band consists of Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane.

I love their Folk Rock sound. It is really interesting. I didn't even know the genre existed until I found these guys. Truly amazing.

About the only band of which I can say I love every one of their songs.

This is music you'll like your whole life. It's timeless.

9 Stereophonics Stereophonics are a Welsh rock band that formed in 1992 in the village of Cwmaman in the Cynon Valley.

Best band you have never heard of, period. Not too many bands can say they are admired by The Rolling Stones, The Who, AC/DC, U2, Oasis, The Black Crowes, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, to name a few. YouTube them and their covers. They've been around since 1996 and released a Greatest album called Decade in the Sun.

One of the greatest rock bands in our decade! From a small little town in the valleys (Cwmaman), they rose to fame. They have amazing tracks like Just Looking, Maybe Tomorrow, Mr. Writer, and so much more. Worth a listen. Anyway, I'm just looking.

One of the best rock bands around, and one awesome thing about them is they're Welsh!

10 Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand are a Scottish rock band, formed in 2002 and based in Glasgow. The band's original lineup was composed of Alex Kapranos, Nick McCarthy, Bob Hardy, and Paul Thomson.

I'm from the U.S., and I can't find anything as unique and original as Franz Ferdinand! Especially living in Arizona, it's not something that's usually come across, but I saw them open for Green Day and they were incredible! Definitely up there in my top bands with Muse. Plus, it's undeniable that their songs are catchy and infectious.

The Contenders
11 One Direction One Direction (commonly abbreviated as 1D) were a British-Irish pop boy band based in London, composed of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and previously, Zayn Malik until his departure from the band on 25 March 2015. The group signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after forming and finishing third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition... read more

The reason why One Direction deserves to be on this list is that they are one of the greatest boy bands there is. They are so inspirational and have inspired the lives of many. They have even inspired me in many ways as well. They taught me that it's okay to be different, to not forget who you are, always stay true to yourself, and to face my fears. Thanks to them, I can say that my life has changed for the better, and I'm sure many other fans feel the same way.

Thank you, One Direction, for being my inspiration and for being my everything. Words cannot describe how thankful I am to you for making my life better. I love each one of you with all my heart, and I pray that you may all get the success that you deserve in your lives, individually and as a band. Although you guys are now currently on a hiatus, I am waiting with my fingers crossed for your comeback as a band - all five of you - and continue to rock my world as you have these past eight years.

12 Manic Street Preachers

Not many bands are like the Manics. Quite possibly the best remaining British band and they don't get enough credit for consistently making amazing songs and albums. Also, they are a fantastic live band.

13 You Me at Six

You Me At Six are the most unique rock band I have come across. It's hard to even name their genre. They are a true talent and the best rock band of the 21st century!

You Me At Six are an awesome band! I love every one of their songs, and they bring such a new and unique approach to rock, alternative, and punk music. You rock, You Me At Six!

The band is amazing, the music is amazing, their concerts are amazing. I love them so much.

14 Asking Alexandria Asking Alexandria are an English metalcore band from York, North Yorkshire formed initially in 2008 by lead guitarist Ben Bruce along with former lead singer Danny Worsnop, bassist Joe Lancaster, keyboardist and synth player Ryan Binns, and current members drummer James Cassells and rhythm guitarist Cameron Liddell. Lancaster and Binns later departed from the band in 2009 with Lancaster joining heavy... read more

Asking Alexandria is probably one of the best metalcore bands. They have changed tremendously and have really "grown up". I think they should be ranked higher, but at least they are part of the top 10.

I love this band. They really deserve to be ranked higher than Bullet For My Valentine. And Black Sabbath should be number 1.

15 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English Heavy Metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The most critically acclaimed period for the band was from 1983-1989. With vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, lead guitarist Dave Murray, rhythm guitarist Adrian Smith, and drummer Nicko McBrain. Smith left the band in 1989 and was replaced by Janick Gers... read more

Iron Maiden has varied their style and stayed fresh. If you don't like one album, try another. There's everything. They're a one-stop shop, complete with a zombie salesperson.

Iron Maiden is one of the greatest bands of all time. Not everyone can make a good-sounding, inspired, original work 40 years after the conception of the band.

Seriously, Maiden are gods. Give yourselves a shake.

16 McFly McFly are an English pop band formed in London in 2003. The band took their name from the Back to the Future character Marty McFly.

McFly is an inspirational band. Not only do they support many charities and promote great causes, but their music has also helped thousands of young people through tough times with uplifting and quirky songs. They have gained a massive following, not only in the UK but around the world. Their journey from boys to men hasn't been easy. However, the music has helped them as well as so many of their fans.

I love McFly. They are the most amazing band and people. They are so underrated and deserve the world. They are also very talented. Harry won Strictly, Dougie won I'm a Celeb, Tom is an author, and Danny made a solo career when the band was on a break. Their new album The Lost Songs is amazing.

They are my favourite band ever. In my opinion, they are underrated. They get along brilliantly, and they write and produce amazing songs. They are amazing live and have so much energy on stage. They definitely deserve a top ten spot.

17 The Script The Script is an Irish pop rock band formed in 2001. The band comprises keyboardist and lead vocalist Danny O'Donoghue, guitarist and vocalist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power.

One of the best of the best! Their music has inspired millions of people. They should be in the Top 10s, unfortunately, they aren't. With one of the best vocals, Danny O'Donoghue, along with guitarist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power, is best known for their fascinating world tours and festivals.

The Script is the only band that I've listened to from which I rate every single song. Every single song that this band produces is gold. Other bands, like Coldplay, are class but aren't as consistent as The Script. The lyrics are really meaningful and the music brilliant.

How can anyone forget The Script! In my opinion, they are the best pop music band on this planet right now. Anyone who has listened to a few songs by The Script will surely vote for them!

18 The Fratellis

I'd say these guys are the most underappreciated band of the 21st century. They're fantastic. This band should be much higher.

19 Snow Patrol Snow Patrol are a Northern Irish rock band formed in 1993, consisting of Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Paul Wilson, Jonny Quinn, and Johnny McDaid.

There is so much meaning to their songs! Their songs are about our world issues today with an indie-like feel. I love them to death.

Half British, half Irish band. However, Snow Patrol are eligible here due to their half British origins.

20 The Wanted The Wanted are a British-Irish boy band consisting of members Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker and Nathan Sykes.

The Wanted is just so awesome! All their songs have amazing catchy lines that never stop you from listening to them. They seem like another bunch of normal 20 to 24-year-olds, but inside, they're like 4 to 6-year-olds. It's like a 6-year-old child trapped in a 20 to 25-year-old's body.

I love The Wanted! Their music is great, and their personalities are hilarious. Their music gets you in the mood for partying, cleaning, working out, just about anything for me. And they have some pretty sad/emotional songs as well. And they have their mature moments.

I have loved The Wanted since I was 12. They are better than Muse. Why did they get the 25th place? Their songs are better than Muse too. Besides, they also have a face as cute as a baby, even though they are 20-25 years old now. If you think I'm right, vote for The Wanted. Sorry for my English.

21 Florence + the Machine

This band develops beautiful harmonies throughout the song. Florence sings so open-hearted and strong.

Heavenly voice and overall alchemy are here, floating in blue space - this is Florence and the Machine.

Florence Welch is from another world! Without a doubt, my favorite band on this list.

22 Keane Keane are an English rock band from Battle, East Sussex, formed in 1995. The group currently comprises Tim Rice-Oxley, Richard Hughes, Jesse Quin and Tom Chaplin.

Keane are undoubtedly one of the best bands at present, and in my opinion, very unfairly underrated. They are such great musicians. They create a unique sound. Their songs are timeless, universal, and so emotional. We listen to them and immediately feel identified and connected in a very deep way. Many of their songs are true masterpieces, outstanding pieces of music and lyrics.

Their music comes from their heart and soul, with no artifacts, no tricks - it's pure and honest. That's one of the reasons why they sound as awesome live as on records, perhaps even more amazing live. No special effects are needed, just the four of them with their own amazing skills and talents, their own unique chemistry. And magic happens.

When we attend a Keane live performance, we can never forget it. Very few bands can achieve this level of perfection and magic. And facts are there to prove all this: their music is loved and cherished worldwide, all their albums went directly to number 1 on sales charts. Very few have equaled this achievement so far. Keane... ROCK!

23 Bastille Bastille are an English indie pop band formed in 2010. The group began as a solo project by singer Dan Smith, who later decided to form a band. Beside Smith, the four-piece consists of Chris Wood, Will Farquarson, and Kyle Simmons.

An absolute wonderful band. All of their songs generally have an underlying theme that is portrayed beautifully through their instrumental and lyrical talents. I would definitely recommend you listen to their albums (Wild World, Bad Blood, and the recent album Doom Days) rather than just the popular song Pompeii.

I found Bastille after Pompeii played on the radio. I listened to all of their other songs and fell in love. Their music is remarkable, and the lyrics are very meaningful. They are an amazing band, and I think that everyone needs to listen to at least one of their songs other than Pompeii.

Bastille is just amazing. Literally, all their songs are awesome, and they also sound great live, which cannot be said about many singers/bands. I started listening to them probably 4 months ago and instantly fell in love with them. Dan's voice is just incredible.

24 Kids In Glass Houses
25 Gorrilaz

The originality of Damon Albarn, combining synth and other instruments, makes him a great artist. Some underrated songs of Gorillaz should be better known.

Bullet For My Valentine is one of my favorite bands ever. I don't understand why Coldplay would be in front. Bullet For My Valentine is real music.

Gorillaz gained most of their fame with their Demon Days album, which was produced by an American, DJ Dangermouse. So, they should be removed from this list.

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