4 years ago I got a call from a friend telling me I should come along to this tiny festival in Cheltenham which was £40 for the weekend. Sounded like a bargain, and Frank Turner was headlining. I was sold. This tiny festival turned out to be amazing; everyone I met on the shuttle bus from the train to the site seemed to have a great music taste and a massive passion for music. I was pretty oblivious to it at the time, but a lot of the bands that I saw at that 2000Trees have become my favourite bands today. There’s only a week (less if you’ve got early entry tickets) to their 6th year, and the line ups have steadily got better. It’s the only festival which I take the time to listen to absolutely every band on the line up, because even lower down the bill there are amazing bands, sometimes pretty established in their respective scenes, sometimes about to become (slightly) famous, sometimes just super talented and happy to stay where they are. So I’ve compiled an 8Track mix for your delight which you can listen to at work or in the bath or whatever, and I’ve chosen my favourite picks of the line up to show you.
The Greenhouse is the small acoustic stage at the bottom of a natural amphitheatre. Super chilled, and where I discovered Nicholas Stevenson.
Joe Summers seems to play every year, and rightly so. He’s super fun, with no hint of pretention, and no hint of turning into the trite singer-songwriter that Frank Turner (and many of his peers) seems to have become.
Aspen Sails make lovely falsetto acoustic music. Folky acoustic music like this has definitely been done before, but they do it so well it’s hard to be bothered.
If you’d like some beautiful piano ballads check out Perkie. Her soothing vibrato vocals is pretty melancholic but definitely worth a look.
More up beat folk comes thanks of Joby Hardwick. His pitter-patter strumming drives these songs along, and his soaring voice is reminiscent of long summer drive. Lovely stuff.
The Cadbury Sisters have great harmonies. Here is an excellent cover of Enter Sandman which captures the creepiness of the original but buts a beautiful spin on it.
Notable mentions to
The Leaf Lounge
Anything from acoustic music to more up-beat rock. Talls Ships owned this stage last year with their cover of Robbie Williams’ Angels
Old Colours make quiet simple acoustic songs. Again, great melodies and the cello in the background of most of their songs adds a lovely dimension to their sound.
For an English take on Americana go for Goodnight Lenin. Haunting vocals but beautiful melodies.
A long time ago I loved a punk band from Watford called Captain Everything!. They split up a while ago, around the time that every English punk or ska band I loved did in 2006. The Social Club was set up by the lead singer, and their songs have the same breadth of chord sequences that made CE! so excellent.
There was no way I could cover the Leaf Lounge and not mention Johnny Foreigner. They quickly became one of my favourite bands a year or so ago. Their brash yelpy form of indie is infectious. Alexi’s dissonant aggressive guitars fit the lamenting, nostalgic lyrics and their tunes are bursting with energy and fun.
Notable mentions to:
The Cave is for fans of more aggressive music. Expect punk and hardcore. No need to review the Thursday line up. Every band is exceptional in their respected field. Well worth the £15 for the extra day camping.
Run, WALK! are a loud two-piece punk band. Their shows are silly and offensive and this will be one of their last shows ever so it’s sure to be hilarious.
Over my 3 years in Exeter I’ve spent a lot of time at the Cavern and have seen The Computers a fair few time. A punky version of 50s rock and roll their live shows are always fun.
So Frank Carter has left the Gallows, but in his place is a new lead singer (from Alexisonfire) and have gone back to more aggressive Hardcore. Here’s 40 seconds of their latest single. True Colours.
I’d never heard of Arcane Roots before researching this feature, but this video is great. I find guitars intertwining with delay very engaging. Excited to see these guys. BLAAAGGHHHHH.
I’m super excited for Future of the Left. Andy Falkous and his abrasive brand of punk is captivating. Their new album is stunning, especially Robocop VI: Fuck off Robocop. A must see.
Notable mentions to:
The superstar acts of the festival with At The Drive-In blaring out during the interview.
Fancy a nice bit of melodic hardcore to chill out with in the summer sun (please please please)? Try Gunning for Tamar. As well as making excellent music videos they write totally awesome songs. Ideal combo really.
Moving up the main stage line up year by year Maybeshewill have made big waves in the English post-rock scene for a while now. If you want a soundtrack to the end of the world, go!
They sound exactly like their name, Lanterns on the Lake. Beautiful
I hope I don’t need to introduce 65daysofstatic. Time-signature bashing paradidles and euphoric synths, they are genuinely one of Britain’s greatest bands at the moment. Annoyingly they clash with Pulled Apart By Horses, but there’s only one winner in that battle.
Fixers are one of this year’s internet bands. (maybe last year’s as well…) Luckily the hype is worth it. Psych inspired alt-rock. Look at this man with all the rice crispies on him!! Om nom nom.
Hundred Reasons have been tipped to play 2000Trees for the last few years as they are massively popular amongst Trees loyals. Harking back to the brilliant early noughties melodic hardcore scene which features other favourites such as Million Dead this show will be brilliant.
Notable mentions to:
So there you go. Some of these bands will undoubtedly clash, but if you’re going try to see as much as possible. If you’re not, shame, but check out these bands. They’re all chosen very specifically by the organisers and I can honestly say bar Frightened Rabbit last year I have not been disappointed by any.
I have also reliably been told by GoldFlakePaint that the White Russians are exceptional. See you at the bar BOIZ!
p.s here are some playlists if you didn’t have enough: