2000 Trees Festival 2013

A lot of festivals try to be everything to everyone, which is no bad thing. But 2000 Trees is unashamedly about the music, new, diverse, intelligent, challenging music, which crosses genres from relaxed foot tapping Folk through to ear bleeding Hardcore. The common factor?…….These six festival organisers have put on a line up of bands that are, or will be, top of their game, even if you don’t know it yet.

The festival site sits in idyllic surroundings in The Cotswolds, is very considerate of the green surroundings and caters for families as well as the predominately young attendees. Ample food and beer on sale, all of a quality you would expect from a West Country, Farm Heavy Shire, where the animals and burgers to be, are treated as royalty, The camping is well layed out, with views of the main stage in the thick of things or further up the site in quieter locations.

The festivals aims to have people leave with a new favourite band. This is exactly what is achieved and a whole lot more. The site consists of four stages, The Main stage, The Cave, The Leaf Lounge, The Green house, each of a different size with its own unique atmosphere.

However, some of the best moments are those unexpected and impromptu performances, be it the three giggling girls and a ukulele playing on the 2000 trees sign up the hill, or the already Legendary Frank Turner in a campsite, playing to 50 or so lucky bystanders. This was one of many appearances by Mr Turner, Playing the The Cave on Thursday night, the BBC Introducing stage and appearing ad hoc during the sets of some of his fellow artists around site. Easily earning himself the title of hardest working artist of the weekend.

2000 Trees

FRIDAY Was mainly spent in The Cave, rather hot and sticky due to the Festival landing on the hottest weekend of the year, much to the delight of fans who attended the Welly worthy event previously. A mid afternoon set saw Hold Your Horse is, step up,to play their Prog Rock to the assembled crowd. As they move further into the set you realise this band has depth, tempo changes, mood swings, that leave you wondering what is coming next.

Black Moth follow with a take on what has previously been considered a Midlands based Rock, An old Skool sound, but reinvented and played with an addictive youthful enthusiasm that pleases all.

INME are the pre headline, they play to a packed tent with people having to stand outside to even grab a peek. The band feel, sound and look massive, Rock with depth, changing direction, worthy of selling out the biggest of venues, but thankfully seen on a more personal set.

Adebesi Skank close day one in The Cave with a memorable performance of insanity. A manic, energetic performance, masked weirdness, a huge wall of sound, that sends fans into frenzied movement in front of the stage, mirroring that of the band.

Whilst on the main stage, Mr Frank Turner holds court, probably the most eagerly awaited performance of the weekend. The crowd are ecstatic from the opening chords of ‘Four simple words’ through some of his most popular and not so often heard body of work, ‘Plain Sailing Weather’ goes down a storm, no pun intended!  As Mr T takes to the stage for an encore of ‘Recovery’ and ‘I still believe’ every foot in the field is tapping and a crowd of voices sing a long with the man himself. It is still a sight to behold as Frank manages to get a majority of the crowd to sit down, then jump up during ‘Photosynthesis’ with the fans singing every word in delight.

Saturday. Today’s opener in The Cave is the metal might that is Grappler. A mention is worthy due to them igniting a Mosh Pit at Midday, on a summers afternoon. The intensity of the Lead singer and wild eyed front man is sure to blow the cobwebs away from the night before. At one point jumping into the crowd, kneeling, screaming to the congregation during a song most personal to himself. The next moment back on his feet and locking heads, with a fan willing to scream back his lyrics.

I have to drag myself away from The Cave and check The Main Stage, a slower pace but with an array of emerging or unspoilt talent. Local Boy Andy Oliveri opens after playing a handful of songs up at The Green House, recorded for a BBC Introducing session. Including a collaboration with Frank Turners new favourites, The Cadbury Sisters, after performing there own set the night before, a family festival indeed, amongst the artists as much!!

The Bluesy John J Presley took command later and with blues hitting a younger generation once more, there is a good chance that Mr Presley could earn his place amongst the great bluesman of the past, the stateside heavies of the 50’s or the Brum based God like Rockers of the 70’s, with his own take on the genre.

Indie heavyweights Mystery Jets close the final night. Some may consider the Indie scene a thing of the past, a floppy fringed predictable style. The Jets have other ideas though with a set of crowd favourites that excite, with a diversity of songs, a band that belie their near decade playing and thrilling audiences.

Performance of the festival for me? Math Rock Mammoths, Future of the left playing an epic set, loud, manic, intelligent, mind blowing.  ‘You need Satan more than he needs you’ being possibly the best song live I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing.

2000 Trees live up to all the promises. It was the most pleasurable of festivals, fuelled by copious amounts of caffeine, courtesy of the Coffee Crew at The Paper Cup Café. If you are a Muso, forward thinking, or just want to expose yourself to new sounds, creative genius, a new family, a fantastic festival and atmosphere, 2000 Trees 2014 awaits, will have you wishing you had more ears……

Photos by Dale Wozencroft

Tim Minchin, Frightened Rabbit and more for Truck Festival

Of course, there have been comedians at Truck in some of the smaller tents: but this is a full main-stage showbiz show with make-up and crazy hair. Of course, Mr Minchin is no ordinary comedian: he describes his act as a "funny cabaret show"; his songs, he says, just happen to be funny. "I'm a good musician for a comedian and I'm a good comedian for a musician but if I had to do any of them in isolation I dunno." Don't be so hard on yourself, Tim! We reckon this is one of the most exciting additions to any Truck Festival bill ever!  
Tim has also been a big supporter of our friends at the (Oxford-based) Sumatran Orangutan Society, who are regularly seen in Orangutan outfits accompanying our own Truck Monster… here he is wearing one of their T Shirts! (like the shirts: you can buy one here). 

Tim Minchin

We are very pleased about this addition too: Frightened Rabbit have been gradually expanding from Scott Hutchison's one-man bedroom project in 2003 to their present globe-straddling epic status, clamoured over by indie enthusiasts and major labels alike. Their new album appears this summer, and this will be their long-awaited first appearance at Truck Festival: it seems like the ideal home for the band.

Future of the Left was formed by singer/guitarist Andy "Falco" Falkous and drummer Jack Egglestone, both previously members of Cardiff band mclusky, in 2005; both incarnations have appeared regularly at Truck Festival, often in the Barn, and that is where they will be once more this year. Apparently Future of the Left have been playing a few Mclusky songs on their set recently, though no doubt we can mostly expect material from their recent EP and the new album The Plot Against Common Sense, which comes out this summer. Welcome back, gentlemen!

Also storming the barn will be TURBOWOLF who sound "exactly how you might imagine a band with that name should " (says Kerrang), and they are charged with bringing the rock back to the barn – no doubt they will prove more than up to the task. We are pleased to announce a first tranche of acts from the Thames Valley Delta, as we call it, and a few from further afield. There will be a trickle (truckle?) more to come shortly, so don't fear if your personal favourite isn't on this list. Here goes with some micro-descriptions. Do check out all of these artists if you haven't already heard them! In no particular order at all:

MAN LIKE ME are Johnny Langer and Peter Duffy, pockets filled with underground classics London Town, Single Dad, Carny and Lovestruck.
DELTA ALASKA are a five piece from Londonwho play pop songs as loud as they can. Sounds good to us!
JOHN J PRESLEY: the fragility of Josh T Pearson, the raucousness of Tom Waits and the orchestration of the Dirty Three. Enticing!
THE BLACK HATS. If you’re all about “high energy post-punk, skewed with some dub beats and ska riffs” then you’ve come to the right place.
CO-PILGRIM, Mike Gale (once of Black Nielson) and friends concoct melodic magic; their dreamy new LP is produced by Mark Gardener of Ride.
DUBWISER, Oxford's finest, indeed legendary, reggae band will get you in the mood for fun.
SPRING OFFENSIVE are a relentlessly inventive guitar band complete with rich harmonies, pounding rhythms and dark lyrics.
DEAD JERICHOS:  this three piece New Wave / Psychedelic band are Truck regulars and will set the barn jumping once again.
CRASH OF RHINOS are five dudes from Derby in a band. OK!
FLIGHTS OF HELIOS: a drone/popular song/psychedelic ensemble from Oxford.
THE DREAMING SPIRES channel Big Star, Teenage Fanclub and the Everly Bros (via Steventon) on their new album on Clubhouse.
POLEDO, also from Steventon, wielding trashy riffs from the Dinosaur Jr playbook and big beats courtesy of Steve Jobs.
THE LAST REPUBLIC: the next big band to emerge from Wales? Soaring, bittersweet vocal melodies set against a sonic landscape of distorted grandeur!
TREVOR MOSS & HANNAH-LOU, Kent's original and best folk duo currently across the channel recording a new LP.
THE HI & LO– two musicians and a boot full of instruments from Leicestershire. They play stripped down original roots music.