Back at it again. 2000 Trees is proving to be a little gem of a festival, with increasingly bigger names booked over the last few years, it’s a good way to kick off the summer season in true festival fashion, while being surrounded by gems of up and coming great bands. It’s proved to be a stepping stone for some big names.
Upon arriving to the magical fields of Upcote Farm I was hit by the blistering heat and the queues were feeling it; suncream was being passed around like being abroad and the beers were in full flow.
1. Haggard Cat
The first band I saw at the festival this year were performing on top of the Signature Brew bar, it turned out to be a great way to get people to visit their early mainstage performance on the Saturday.
The band only consists of only two members, similar to Royal Blood but their energy was great and got the festival off to a unique start.
I’ve seen SHVPES a few times before, including last year. Performing in the Cave Tent, the circle pits were in full swing early on and allowed the early birds to expend some energy after arriving. Plus it was a great way of escaping the blistering sun.
Griffin looked as confident as ever and the band, evolving musically, have upped their game on stage. They seem confident and driven, I’ll keep an eye out for when they next play locally.
3. Palm Reader
I was looking forward to catching these guys. With a mix of hardcore and progressive elements (Black Peaks?), the post-hardcore outfit were focused and had a point to prove while performing. The crowd moved about quite abit and they will have gained some fans in the process.
The post-hardcore scene is taking off; progressive/experimental elements becoming more and more prominent in recent years with the success of Northlane and Enter Shikari.
4. Arcane Roots
Arcane Roots have been on the tip of everyone’s tongue at the moment. Their work has been praised by some big magazines such as Kerrang! and Rocksound.
They are well known for their work being a mix of so many different genres including post-hardcore, with some piano work in their latest record. They struggled to get going during their forest session as the electronica/keyboard seemed to have issues.
They pulled it out of the park during their mainstage session however, lead singer Andrew Groves unleashing some devilishly shrieked lyrics but then at times beautiful high pitched singing. What a talent.
5. Black Honey
The rebellious Black Honey were comfortable onstage and a fair few piled in to catch them, a mix of Arctic Monkey’s casual style indie mixed with the rocky grunge of Nirvana.
I liked what I saw from them, they suited the vibe of the festival well and I expect to see them back soon, only higher up the bill, they commanded the tent from the get go.
Yorkshire rockers Marmozets have played the festival before and it has played a role in their success, getting a higher and higher slot everytime they play, similar with Download Festival.
They played a nice mix of old and new material and lead singer Becca is as strong as ever onstage, thanking the crowd for singing along many times throughout their set. One lad behind me whispered to his mate, ‘They’re going to be bigger than Bring Me the Horizon one day’.
They’re popular and having signed to the massive Roadrunner Records even before releasing an album then great things lie ahead for them.
7. At The Drive In
A band I’d been anticipating ever since the announcement, casually strolling onstage and greeting the crowd with a wave like System of a Down did at Download the other year.
The frontman Cedric got right into his routine of diving Ashley Young style across different parts of the stage, his unique dance moves filling in the gaps between jumps.
Their success with the younger crowd really suprised me, the music from this band is not very melodic and very classic punk rather than the poppy stuff drawing in the crowds these days. It was a great spectacle to see the songs being sung back to the band word for word.
Cedric took a moment during their set to reference the current Presidential situation of the US, stating ‘We are not all like that, man’, with reference to Fascism in particular.
‘One Armed Scissor’, this song went down a treat, the conviction of Rage Against the Machine with the groovy bass of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Day One down, let’s see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully a little shade.
Review and Photographs: Neale Hayes