A week on I’m still having dreams of being at 2000 Trees Festival. Every year is great, but this year was phenomenal. I will try to conduct this post without gushing. I will fail. I was planning on listing all the bands which were amazing, but that would be seriously long and tedious for those of you who didn’t go. If you haven’t already check out my preview post which will give you a snippet of the kind of music which is not mentioned here.
First off, the Thursday lineup was incredible. Tall Ships, Tellison, Imperial Leisure and Three Trapped Tigers. Ho Mama! The first three were a well balanced choice of bands which the crowd could sing and dance along to but which were different enough from each other musically to appeal to most. Then Three Trapped Tigers which was a seriously life affirming experience. On record their supreme levels of musical talent comes out, but it’s not until you see them live that you fully appreciate their musicianship. Psychedelic noodling that could be guitars or keyboards but is more likely the mating call of a deep space monster recorded on an 8track and played out through an octavator. Then there are the drums. Adam Betts is something else. Surrounded by sample pads as well as a drum kit his playing is impeccably precise and it is clearly what he loves to do. Later on that weekend he played for Summer Camp and his smile was just as wide, and it’s great to see his flexibility between styles. Btw, Summer Camp are great. Go check them out. So good the sky rained sun on them.
Friday was a very heavy day (and I’m not talking about the malt liquor we consumer either weyhey!!) We saw the first Maybeshewill set of the weekend, complete with string section, which was a soaring addition. Luckily for us, it wasn’t even their best set. Filling in for Rosa Vale on Saturday they played the ever so coy He Films The Clouds Pt.2 which was sung back to them by most of the tent. RAD. Back to Friday, Exeter’s Computers were nuts. Playing on peoples shoulders in a mosh pit, rolling around in the dirt. crowd surfing, they know how to put on a party. We then got to see Then Thickens, described by JoFro from 65daysofstatic as the new BIG THING, so how can it be bad? Their set consisted of a horde of achingly moody lyrics over a 70s rock background and my favourite line of the weekend, ‘this song’s for breast cancer, fuck you breast cancer’. Then it was off to drool over Eva Spence and Rolo Tomassi. Sweet Mary the lady can scream. Gallows rocked. In a very similar way to the Computers they put on a brilliant hardcore show, with lead-singer Wade MacNeil (formerly of AlexISonfire, only joking Alexisonfire ) storming off stage, and appearing topless and mud-drenched. Mud sweat and fears.
Then it was 65daysofstatic. It had been raining at least half the day, and the ground had turned to rivers of mud; the sun had set and they came on, and as they came on everyone forgot the rain, and went crazy. It was like going to a dance party at the end of the world. It was perfect.
An honourable mention goes to Sonic Boom Six who were abysmal. Please go back to playing Ska and stop this teenage-pandering, Enter-Shikari-aping, we-are-the-99% chainsaw-dubstep. You’re not fooling anyone.
There was a slow start to Saturday, on account of the Silent Disco which allowed us to roam about the festival, intermittently hearing music, but mostly just smiling and shouting the words we hear about us. After waking up to Maybeshewill and Hymns we then went for stunning Pieminister pies whilst having Fixers breeze over us in a hypnotic indie wave. Brontide then aggressively broke in the day with an epic set of loops and distortion which sent the crowd into frenzy. Watford proud The Social Club was packed and we only managed to peer from the back at their cheery pop punk shenanigans. We all laughed and danced and were able to avoid the rain happily. Summer Camp, backed by Adam Betts, (as mentioned above) brought the sun in a 60 haze of pianos and guitars with Elizabeth Sankey’s stunning voice wafting over the muddy festival goers. As we went for lunch Hundred Reasons flew past us. I’d promised a lecturer I’d go see them, so I did. Maybe the years have tamed them, or maybe I didn’t know or like them as much as I thought I did, but they could have been better. They even had the sunshine to help. Johnny Foreigner lifted the mood with sweet summer music; I was too excited by the White Russians to be able to repeat their tracklisting as well as I would have liked, but they thrilled and excited everyone, and as far as I could look back from the front the tent was buzzing with excitement.
Future of the Left ended the festival on a particularly high note, all anger and fuzz. Their (newish) year and a half old lineup features Julia (the ex-bassist from Million Dead) who blew a few bass player’s minds with her pin-point playing and aggressive grace on stage. Andy Falkous’ taunting yet genuine remarks are always special, but the highlight was the beautiful juxtaposition of new and old, Polymers Are Forever and McLusky’s To Hell With Good Intentions. In short, they rocked like a rock band should.
My band is bigger than your band, we’ve got more songs than a song convention!
So there it was, thank you 2000 Trees Festival. Once again you came up trumps, and have given me and many others some of the most exciting musical experiences of our tiny little lives. Cheerz blud