2000 Trees Festival 2016, Day 3, 9th July 2016

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Saturday 2000 trees festival 2016 header-1

Showing great staying power and resilience Brumlive’s Hannah Sebestjanowicz (HS) and Dave Musson (DM) continue their coverage the 2000 Trees Festival 2016, with a day 3 of the 10th anniversary event.

I’ll admit it, I’m tired, hayfever totally kicked my ass yesterday so after making sure I have taken my anti-histamines and packed a mountainload of tissues I’m prepared for what the 3rd and final day of 2000 Trees is going to throw at me. After a slightly flustered morning I’ve surprisingly managed to get on site early and have time to relax with a lovely slice of cake from the WI before heading on down to the main stage to catch my first band of the day Heck.

Saturday 2kt 01 heck-3

Now I had some idea what to expect from Heck, their live performance has been known to be on the chaotic side but I don’t think I was quite prepared for the carnage that was about to go down. Barely even through the first song and already they’ve started smashing shit up, forgoing the stage for the mosh pit. Thankfully they’ve thought ahead and employed an extra long microphone cable for those lesiurly strolls into the crowd frontman Matt Reynalds is quite clearly so fond of taking. In fact he makes it all the way back to the sound desk performing ‘The Breakers’ from way back there. He is quite clearly a man who has no regard for his own personal safety jumping from the stage into the photo pit and completely failing a trust fall off the crowd barrier, his guitar even bears the brunt of it as it gets launched onto the stage which explains all the duct tape! Heck are like The Dillenger Escape Plan but on steroids and a truly enthralling band to watch. I wasn’t sure where to even divert my attention to for their set and even after having their guitarist thrust in my face I still wanted more. What a way to kick off my Saturday! (HS)

Saturday 2kt 02 puppy-1

I feel like Puppy are a band that like to throw curve-balls just to confuse people, I don’t even know how to go about describing their music but imagine Rivers Cuomo vocals blended with riffs that any metal band would have been proud to have written. There are guitar solos aplenty, solid riffs and some almost falsetto vocals, its an interesting mix but weirdly it kind of works. Their spaghetti armed drummer is fun to watch and although highly confused at whether to headbang or to be honest I’m not even sure I definitely had fun watching them. (HS)

Saturday 2kt 04 creeper-3

I head over to the main stage to check out Creeper and to see what all the the fuss is about. The goth punks open up with ‘VCR’ followed by ‘Black Mess’ and the crowd open a circle pit to the catchy ‘Honeymoon Suite’. Highlight of the set for me was ‘Misery’ which is a bit bloody good, the band bar the singer and the guitarist all face the back of the stage during the first part of the song showing off their matching Creeper back patches. The aesthetics are obviously a very important part of this bands image but its not pretentious and they back it up with some seriously good tunes. Speaking of tunes ‘Astral Projection’ is a blinder and sees bodies hoisted into the air and over the barrier keeping the security guards on their toes. (HS)

Saturday 2kt 03 wstr-1

Despite having owned the WSTR EP for ages, this is the first time I’ve actually been able to catch them play live, and it’s definitely been worth the wait. The Scouse pop-bunkers deliver everything you could want from that genre – bounce, catchy melodies and fun. Oh, and a cracking cover of Limp Bizkit too! (DM)

Saturday 2kt 06 black foxxes-1

A quick caffeine refuel before I make my way back to the Axiom stage for Black Foxxes a band that I’ve been wanting to see live since my brother first turned me onto them. Probably the nosiest three piece I think I’ve ever heard they certainly impress me to no end. ‘You Could Have Been a Man’ opens up the set and the drummer is playing his kit so hard he loses his tom! There is so much energy up on stage going from loud to quiet at the drop of a hat. A brave move to cover Bowie but their version of ‘Suffragette City’ is different but certainly does the original justice. There’s a haunting rendition  ‘Black River’ and a finale of the raw ‘I’m Not Well’ prove that Black Foxxes are well on their way to getting more and more attention. If you like your music loud and emotional then do yourself a favour and check these guys out, they remind of Manchester Orchestrate only much louder and edgier. (HS)

Saturday 2kt 05 zoax-3

I’ll get this out right now; I love Zoax. Their self-titled album grew on me with each listen to the point where their brilliant melodies and fantastic songs have seeped their way into my brain and I’m totally sold. They’re also one of the best live bands you’ll see, so this set was always going to be a winner, and it turned out being one of the best of the weekend. The band are all superb musicians and incredibly tight, but it’s their frontman who is the cherry on the icing on the cake. He likes to venture into the crowd and get any spectators involved, but not in your typical, climb on things or crowd surf type of way. Oh no, instead, he goes for a walk and sees what he can find. A bottle of whiskey and coca-cola swiped from an oblivious crowd member?Check. Stopping a confused girl in her tracks and trying to acquire her freshly purchased (and freshly cooked) pizza? Check. Singing into the stomach of another crowd member and then declaring, ‘that’s a lovely belly’? Check. Stealing someone else’s hat for a song? Check. All highly entertaining, but not in a way that turned the set into a farce. The whole thing was fun and everyone felt involved. A great time soundtracked by really great songs – what more could you want? (DM)

Saturday 2kt 08 hey hello-2

All I knew about Hey! Hello! was that it is one of Ginger Wildheart’s other projects – and that was enough reason alone to check them out. They certainly looked like rock stars, and played big, catchy songs that you can sing along with after one chorus. At times it bordered on being a bit West End – their singer has a particularly theatrical delivery – but it was fun enough for 40-minutes of crunchy guitars and big vocal harmonies. (DM)

Saturday 2kt 07 arcane roots-3

Arcane Roots  are a band that I always stupidly forget how much I actually like and I definitely don’t listen to them enough. Today I’m totally remedying my forgetfulness by checking out them out on the main stage. The song ‘Leaving’ is lead singer and guitarist extraordinare Andrew’s self confessed favourite song to play live and its definitely one of my favourites too even with all the high notes he hits every single one flawlessly. ‘Slow Dance’ has so much passion and energy from the bearded frontman and its reflected right back into the crowd who are moshing frantically. Piano led ‘If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves’ brings their set to a rousing end. There is a lot of love in the crowd for Arcane Roots and its easy to see why, they have a truly unique sound and are very humble and gifted guys. They’ve got some exciting things in the works so watch this space… (HS)

 Saturday 2kt 10 ash-2

I stood watching Ash’s main stage set convinced that, at some point, I was bound to recognise one of their songs. I mean, this is Ash, British rock stalwarts. But nothing I heard rang any bells and I soon realised I knew even less about them than I thought. They put on a great show though – perfect main stage festival fodder really, with their uplifting songs and almost permanent smile on their faces. (DM)

 Saturday 2kt 09 animals as leaders-2

Did someone say post metal? Animals as Leaders take to the Cave stage and proceed to melt many a mind in the tent. You know things are getting a bit weird when you’ve got Murray from The Xcerts standing next to you giving you a look of sheer confusion mixed with delight because I guess if you didn’t know about these guys then you would be forgiven for being confused. Judging from his reaction and the faces of confused wonder on the guys around me this is certainly uncharted territory for them and they are having their Animal as Leaders cherry well and truly popped. To be fair what’s going on up on stage is certainly a spectacle to behold so you can’t blame the bewilderment. Its weird and its wonderful and a guitar nerds wet dream and the band garner a huge response from the crowd. (HS)

 Saturday 2kt 11 sikth-3

Having returned with an EP at the end of last year, followed by a support slot with Slipknot earlier in 2016, Sikth are very much back in business and still sounding like a vital, influential and wholly different part of the British metal scene. The amount of energy they pack into their set here in the Cave feels like they’re trying to make up for lost time too, as they absolutely fly through their songs. Their dual vocalists mean you always have something to look at, while musically they are still as technically gifted as they’ve always been, but not to the point where you sop enjoying the songs because there’s just too much going. Sikth’s songs are sophisticated and fun, and their live show is just bonkers. (DM)

I was wondering why I had seen so many Reuben shirts over the last few days, its all Jamie Lenman’s fault. In fact I had no idea who he was, I’d seen him looking very dapper in the VIP area and only went to check him out after a recommendation from Arcane Roots Andrew who I had spoken to earlier. The tent is jammed for the ex-Reuben frontman and he delights the crowd with his witticisms and self deprecating monologues, his musics all right too! I enjoyed his rhyming song ‘Know’ the most even if it is about the time in Munich when he knew Reuben was over. (HS)

Managing to forget your acoustic guitar when you know you’re going to be performing an acoustic set is pretty special but all is forgiven because Arcane Roots are just so bloody lovely, thanks go to Grumble Bee who has nicely lent them his. They are self-deprecating and modest about how well they think the set is going to go using this opportunity to test out some new songs even though they’ve been reworked so much they will be unrecognisable from the actual finished product. “This song is probably not going to be called this and probably won’t sound like this” is the introduction that ‘Solemn’ (working title) gets, it sounds bloody good though and its an honour to get a taste of the new material that they’ve been recording in Toronto. (HS)

 Saturday 2kt 12 augustines-2

Over on the main stage, Augustines are certainly enjoying themselves with a few drinks, a few cigarettes and singing their songs, which have that big stadium rock with a folksy-feel – almost leaning towards the Mumford and Sons thing. A thing which, as it happens, is not really my thing at all. They’re certainly good at what they do, but I’m just not into it. They also draw a rather small crowd for a main stage sub-headliner, which is somewhat surprising. (DM)

 Saturday 2kt 13 while she sleeps-3

Despite openly admitting on stage that they no idea why they are headlining the Cave today, While She Sleeps do an incredible job of rounding off proceedings in this tent. They come flying out of the traps from the start of song one and don’t let up for the duration of their hour’s set. Riffs, crunch and fury at every turn, their stage show is chaotic and packs the energy levels of a caged animal that has been prodded repeatedly and then let loose. While She Sleeps have built a dedicated fanbase based on being able to bring the good on stage, and this triumphant set shows exactly why. Easily one of the best sets of the day – when a metal band is as good as this you come away feeling energised and wide-eyed, and the buzz in the air at the end of this set all around the Cave can almost be tasted. (DM)

 Saturday 2kt 14 refused-3

I’ve been waiting for a very long time to finally get the chance to see Refused and there was a time when it didn’t look like that would ever happen but here I am, its been a long time coming but my body is ready.

Dennis is one hell of a enigmatic frontman and also as it turns out a rather dashing and dapper gentleman. Tonight he is sporting a very spiffing red suit and I can barely take my eyes off him as he contorts and snakes his way across the stage shaking his hips and performing all manor of tidy dance moves, he also happens to be one hell of a microphone swinger making it dance like a snake charmer would a deadly cobra. ‘The Shape of Punk to Come’ gets an airing early on and Dennis takes the time to address the crowd with a nod to the festival tagline and the first acknowledgement of the Brexit débâcle “We are not new, underground or British but thank you for letting us in your country”, its not the last time the subject of the referendum is broached by the left wing Swedish punks. The anti-disestablishment anthem ‘Rather Be Dead’ is an absolute corker and gets Dennis on top of the crowd screaming “rather be alive!” not afraid to be part of the mass of bodies packed down the front, desperate to be as close to the action as possible. Its the final band of the festival and everyone is determined to have one last hurrah including as it happens a gazebo which actually makes it all the way to the front before being destroyed.

Dennis broaches the elephant in the room very briefly as he spots an EU flag being flown proudly above the crowd, ‘Brexit, not such a good idea…” which gets a cheer and a few groans from the crowd. Its not just punk music and politics up on stage though as he gives a passionate speech on his views on feminism which made me respect the guy even more, calling on men to do more to destroy the patriarchy and how there needs to be more women in bands on the bill which I couldn’t agree with more.

Refused leave their biggest and most popular song till right to the bitter end, I am of course talking about the anthem that is ‘New Noise’, and holy shit what a way to end an heroic set. Its the song everyone has been waiting for, its one last chance to dance, one last chance to scream and one last chance to throw our fists in up to punch the air triumphantly! Take a bow Refused, you may have been fucking dead but you have certainly resurrected yourselves now, can I scream? (HS)

 

And so wraps up 2000 trees, here’s to one hell of a festival and 10 more years!

 

Words: Hannah Sebestjanowicz

Words and photographs: Dave Musson

 

 

 

 

 

 

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