For a small festival in the heart of Oxfordshire, UK – Truck Festival really did have an incredible line up this year. The amount of super bands I saw in 2 days was astounding, and totally worth waking up at 5am on a Friday morning for a 4 hour drive down from Manchester. We arrive at the site around half 10 in the morning, find a nice spot to pitch up our tent and watch the other campers arrive, some already drinking at 11am. I don’t know if that counts as getting in the festival spirit or being a slight alcoholic. The arena opens up at around half 11 and we take a wander around the cute site and look at the stalls of jazzy pants, cool bracelets and bandanas – apparently this year’s essential festival attire.
Day 1 – Friday 18th July and it’s apparently the second hottest day of the year. It’s just past midday and the sun is properly coming out as Fickle Friends. A new Brighton band pulling out ultimate summer tunes full of synths and lead singer Natti’s beautiful vocals that shimmer over songs like ‘Swim’ and ‘Play’. I’ve previously only seen them in awkward room of teenagers and parents at university open days (as I’m going to the one where they formed) so the festival atmosphere showed just what a great band they really are.
As the day continues the heat seemed to pump everyone up, and even bands I’ve seen before played incredibly – Little Comets, Peace, Catfish & the Bottlemen to name a few. Catfish’s lead lad Van McCann wows the crowd with his onstage presence and continually thanks us for being such a great crowd. Unbelievably catchy tunes ‘Pacifier’ and ‘Kathleen’ are in my head for the entire weekend; I don’t know how they do it. So far Catfish haven’t released a bad song, go listen if you don’t believe me.
I also got the chance to see some acts for the first time today too – Dan Croll creates a wide range of songs mixing up indie, electronic and folk influences on his debut record ‘Sweet Disarray’ and rocked the Market Stage with his great tunes like ‘From Nowhere’ and ‘Compliment Your Soul’ to get the place dancing and singing along. Croll’s band is made up of old friends, and it is clear on stage they have a great dynamic and just enjoy themselves. The best thing about festivals is the freedom to just dance and have a good time, and that’s what I did.
I also got the pleasure to see Saint Raymond, otherwise known as Callum Burrows, who has been gaining more and more recognition in the last 6 months, soon to go on tour supporting Ed Sheeran. His upbeat indie pop is perfect for sunny days and festivals but the heat didn’t put off the crowd who danced until the tent could not have been sweatier. The crowd was packed with young people as Saint Raymond creates perfect teenage summer anthems like ‘Young Blood’ full of sunny guitars riffs and happiness.
Day 2 – Saturday 19th July and there was a torrential rainstorm overnight. My tent has ripped and there’s water dripping in at the sides, the downside of UK festivals. Luckily the rain passed and by the time the music started the sun had gloriously returned to us. We have a relaxed morning going to see some new bands including Whales In Cubicles and As Elephants Are but the guys who really stuck out for me were The Boy I Used To Be. Two guys Edward and Max armed with two guitars and a laptop creating lo-fi garage pop that just gets me. They start the set with a track called ‘I Can’t Stand’ – an upbeat and fuzzy track reminding me of Splashh and Neutral Milk Hotel; an odd but perfect mix. Guitarist and vocalist Edward Perry sarcastically apologises for their lack of band mates “we hate people anyway”. I’ve been listening to The Boy I Used To Be’s ‘Friday Morning EP’ ever since I got back, a mutual love for sarcasm and lo-fi garage made them an instant hit with me.
Probably my favourite 30 minutes of the day was Superfood’s set. A Birmingham band following in the footsteps of Peace and Swim Deep (despite being my favourite over these apart from Jaws) totally rocked the main stage creating mosh pits of crazy teenagers and overflowing sweat. They drew a huge crowd for the time of day, showing just how fast they’re growing as a band. An odd but super set list including 3 brand new songs in a row just got me more and more excited for their debut record. They finish off with their eponymous track ‘Superfood’ helped along by the crowd singing along to “superfoooood, superfooooood!”
Truck Festival was a wonderful two days of music and sun in the heart of Oxfordshire, I would recommend it to anyone, a wonderful atmosphere whether you’re going with friends or family, an enjoyable weekend for all.
Review by Elli Brazzill |