Brumlive’s Hannah Sebestjanowicz (HS) and Dave Musson (DM) continue their coverage of 2000 Trees festival 2016, the 10th anniversary of the festival, with a day 2 deep in the Cotswolds.
Friday has been officially declared as my day of discovery giving me the chance to check out bands based on friends recommendations or just on a whim. That’s the beauty of festivals like this one, the site is so compact and easy to navigate its super easy to have a wander and discover something new and exciting.
This is entirely my own fault for not doing my research, but I got to the Cave early to catch Reigning Days because, with a name like that, I was expecting something leaning towards being metal. That band name just sounds like it should be that of a group wearing black and handing out big riffs and bigger beatdowns. Sadly Reigning Days are not a metal band. Not at all. So, while they played pretty well and the crowd seemed into it, it’s difficult to pass roper judgment as they are not really from my world of musical reference. Not bad by any means but, in my not particularly well-informed opinion, not particularly good either. (DM)
The first band I catch are Press to Meco and even after having their guitarist fall off the stage barely halfway through the first song they put in a fine performance. There are some seriously chunky riffs running through ‘ Diffusion of Responsibilty’ and lots of nodding heads to ‘Means to an End’ which certainly pleases their vocalist as he grins from ear to ear commenting “keep those heads going my penis is growing!”. They showcase ‘Ghost’ off of their debut record, a song they’ve never played live before and “If you like it give us the biggest cheer yet, if you don’t we’ll just go home”. Its a very self-deprecating statement to make but turns out they were just being modest because it turned out to be a belter. (HS)
Over on the Cave stage Trash Boat are delighting the eager crowd with their upbeat pop-punk tunes. A circle pit opens up straight away as they blast out ‘How Selfish I Seem’. It’s an energetic performance but it can’t take away from the fact that vocalist Tobi Duncan is struggling to hit the notes on the clean vocals, that being said they still get a great reaction from the crowd. (HS)
Looking to liven up the main stage are Dutch band John Coffey, who shot to viral fame last summer with THAT video of the singer catching – and downing – a beer whilst crowd surfing. However, they are so much more than great hand-eye co-ordination. Packing the riffs and energy of Every Time I Die with vocal harmonies Fleetwood Mac would be jealous of, John Coffey are just terrific, and roar through their set with tonnes of pizazz. While there were no flying drinks to catch this time, their singer did venture into the crowd – having them carry him out, over to the side and back the stage again all while continuing with his vocals. The only downer is that we’re unlikely to see this great band again any time soon, as they’re set to go on indefinite hiatus. A crying shame. (DM)
Time for another venture out in the forest, this time for The Xcerts and their second set of the festival having wowed the masses yesterday. Murray admits that this is “the most terrifying thing they have ever done” and that they’re “still drunk on cloud 9 from yesterday”. The terror might have slightly got the better of Murray during ‘Kids on Drugs’ as he manages to forget the words but he takes it on the chin pulling it back together with just a little help from the crowd. The crowd heckle for a Brand New song and they oblige with a brilliant cover of ‘Sowing Season’. The cherry on top is a rousing rendition of ‘Aberdeen 1987’ which sees Murray venture off the stage to sing in the crowd. Its always a bit special seeing bands doing acoustic sets especially when its such a beautiful setting and this was no exception. (HS)
From a chilled out set to the brutal sounds of Nottingham’s Palm Reader, its a stark contrast and I’m more than ready to bang my head. Palm Readers mission statement is “We play loud. We play heavy. We play hard. We play fast.” certainly rings true. Some serious feedback and menacing stares from the bassist mark the start of an extremely loud and chaotic set. They finish with ‘Black Hand’, the finals notes reverberating in the air and a drummer who is intent on getting airborne as he launches himself over his kit and into the awaiting arms of the crowd quite clearly riding one hell of a high! (HS)
On my way to the forest to see Moose Blood I can’t help but stop by the Cave to catch a bit of Krokodil – my first experience of them, in fact. And it’s a very positive first impression. These guys are arguably the heaviest band here and bring to the stage riffs and aggression aplenty. It’s also great to see BBC Radio 1’s Daniel P Carter doing his rock star thing, rather than his rock journalist thing in the flesh, although that’s not to take anything away from his bandmates, who are brilliant and collectively form a fantastic, crushing group. (DM)
Back in the forest, Moose Blood’s singer/guitarist Eddy Brewerton is playing to a lot of people. An awful lot of people in fact – there are people everywhere. Eddy is such a captivating performer – a brilliant voice mixed with a humble delivery and a genuine love for his fans – and this set only serves to reinforce what brilliant songs he has written for his band. It’s often said that the sign of a great song is that if it still sounds good when stripped back to just guitar and vocal, you’re onto a winner. By that logic, Moose Blood’s song are all gems, as they simply sound majestic. (DM)
Australian exports The Smith Street Band grace the main stage playing their brand of upbeat punk rock similar to the likes of The Menzingers. Unfortunately for their frontman Will Wagner a leg injury means he’s forced to play the set sat on the stool making it clear at the start that he isn’t lazy just a bit broken. Fair play to the man, he’s clearly in a lot of pain and they nearly had to cancel the tour but in true punk rock spirit he’s soldiering on. The beauty of The Smith Street Band is even if you haven’t heard them before their songs are catchy as hell and tracks like ‘I Don’t Want to Die Any More’ and ‘Surrender’ have me nodding along, the ones in the crowd that know the lyrics sing them passionately back at the band. Even the sun has made an appearance, it all adds up to a highly enjoyable performance. (HS)
Almost a year since I first saw them at Birmingham’s One Beat festival, it’s time to catch another slice of Kagoule playing live. The Nottingham alt-rock trio have been quietly building a name for themselves over the last year and they look like they’ve levelled up on confidence over that period. It pays off on their live show, which is engaging and full of interesting guitar lines and clever vocal harmonies. These guys are going to blast you in the face with riffs and noise, but they play really great songs and they play them really well – definitely worth checking out. (DM)
Having been recommended Dinosaur Pile Up by a friend ahead of this festival, I was certainly keen to hear them, and they didn’t disappoint. A trio who clearly love Nirvana and Weezer, they brought plenty of big fuzzy riffs and catchy choruses to the Cave – all of which was lapped up by the impressively large crowd that had gathered. This set was also the scene for one of the best visuals of the entire weekend; in the crowd was not one but two, human-sized inflatable T-Rexes who, after a couple of songs, started to have a bit of fight with each other. In other words, an actual dinosaur pile up, while Dinosaur Pile Up was on stage. Yes, it’s the little things. (DM)
There’s quite a bit of hype surrounding the Muncie Girls and its always a pleasure to see female fronted rock bands getting the credit they deserve. Lande is ever so polite and seems genuinely shocked and humbled at the amount of people have showed up to watch them seeing as they’ve already played once today. Its a great set filled with some serious tunes and the crowd certainly seem to enjoy it. The highlight for me was ‘Social Side’ which saw Ladne swap her bass for a guitar showcasing her talents and cracking voice. (HS)
Few things are better on a sunny day at a festival that a bit of bouncy pop punk to see off the afternoon, especially coming from a British band with a very bright future like Neck Deep. Their sound might not be the most original, but they are absolute brilliant at what they do. Their songs evoke the snotty skate punk of the early noughts and has so much bounce and melody that you can’t help but nod your head and sing along. Also, it has to be noted what a finely-tuned live outfit Neck Deep are now; they know how to rock a crowd and they look incredibly comfortable on a festival main stage. They’re now a bona fide big band – expect good things for them over the coming months. (DM)
The rise and rise of Cambridge rockers Lonely the Brave sees a packed out tent ready and raring to witness their stellar live show. They’ve recently released their brilliant record ‘Things Will Matter’ which like their previous releases is jam-packed with soaring rock songs and they open with the foot stomping ‘Radar’ which is taken off that record. The last time I saw these guys was in 2013 (I’ve been out of the country since then otherwise it wouldn’t have been that long ago) the shy and retiring singer Dave Jakes spent the entire set at the back of the stage not even facing the crowd so it was nice to see him actually at the front today. Its obvious that he is still slightly unsure of himself though as he clutches himself as he delivers his powerful, gravelly and distinctive voice which is quite possibly one of the best voices I’ve heard in a good long time. The crowd go wild for ‘Trick of the Light’ and even though Dave is clearly not well as he sips tea between songs he still belts it out leaving guitarist Mark Trotter to engage with the crowd as he thanks everyone for showing up and watching them. The crowd goes wild for ‘Backroads’ singing back every word and on the back of performances like this one it won’t be long before they will be headlining this festival. (HS)
Now I’ve been a fan of Basement for years now but for some strange reason I’ve never seen them live so I was very excited for their set. A band that broke up, did farewell shows then decided to get back together they have an elusive history when it comes to delivering an exceptional live show and today is no different. The stage is a haze of dry ice as they power through such hits as ‘Whole’ and ‘Bad Apple’, there is a lot of finger pointing from crowd and a bit of dancing from myself. In fact I find the best way to dance to Basement is to make yourself as loose as possible, its all in the knees! It’s not just me enjoying myself as I spot Becky from Milk Teeth having a whale of a time in the crowd. They close the set with ‘Covet’ which ends to rapturous applause and I’m happy that I’ve finally gotten to see them live. (HS)
Finally it was time for my favourite Scottish gentlemen in Twin Atlantic to take on their first festival headline slot outside of Scotland as they grace the main stage on this fine Friday night. They kick things off with their noisy curve-ball of a new track ‘Gold Elephant: Cherry Alligator’ which sounds even more immense live. From that moment on its hit after hit proving that they have the back catalogue and swagger needed to tackle a headline slot. Barry totally shreds his guitar on ‘Edit Me’ and Sam calls in some help from the crowd for ‘I’m an Animal’ getting everyone to sit down before orchestrating a slightly eager bunch of people to jump back up in unison.
They’ve been absent from the festival for 5 years so they’re glad to be back and its obvious from the reaction they get 2000 Trees is glad they’re back too. With a new album on the way it was time for a couple of new track, the riffy ‘No Sleep’ is already getting numerous plays on Radio 1 and ‘Ex EI’ gets its live dÃ©but with its reverby vocals. ‘Beast of Myself’ of course has everyone singing along, ‘Yes I Was Drunk’ is a highly appropriate song for the rowdy 2000 Trees masses and a rousing rendition of ‘Free’ sees a guest appearance from The Xcerts very own Murray. Those Scottish guys have done themselves proud and who knows where they’ll be going from here but its only going to be on an upwards trajectory. (HS)
Words: Hannah Sebestjanowicz
Words and photographs: Dave Musson