by Ben Adsett
In just over a decade 2000Trees has gone from a small scale new music festival to one of the jewels in the massive festival circuit crown. The line-up is seemingly impossible for a festival which is so small and intimate and every year the lineup just gets better. This year is no exception, with Slaves, Lower Than Atlantis and Deaf Havana amongst a wonderful diverse line up hitting the stages at Upcote Farm in Cheltenham this July 6th, 7th and 8th. With so many great acts at the top of the bill it is easy to forget that this is a festival that guarantees that you will find your new favourite band.
So to continue our look ahead to this year’s festival, Ben Adsett brings you Part 2 of his 2000Trees Festival Preview (read part 1, here).
Indie Label Heroes
A lot of the acts on the line up are at the very top of underground scenes. Some of our most cherished indie labels like Big Scary Monsters, Alcopop!, Holy Roar and Xtra Mile are heavily represented this year too, and rightly so…
Not only is KD a prolific songwriter, he is also an engaging speaker. As a performer he combines profound lyrics and opinions with charm and creates something that you just have to watch all of.
Tall Ships have been a hidden gem in many 2000Trees line ups. They will dictate your mood from start to finish with killer hooks, soaring guitars and building sounds – they’re the musical equivilant of foreplay. Every time I have seen them at 2000Trees they have taken the stage by storm, this a band that can literally fill any space with math rock beauty.
There are very few acts that deserve the underground hero status more than these three post Cornish punks. Hard work and relentless touring has created one of the most watchable live acts in the world and with the release of their second LP, Outsiders (out now via Big Scary Monsters), this promises to be a tour through their consistently excellent back catalogue.
Jamie Lenman is the legendary (former) front man of Reuben. So revered are the band that there is a 2000Trees campsite named after them. His solo return last year was one of the most heart-warming things I have ever witnessed at a festival. This year more of the same please Jamie!
As Oxygen Thief or Non Canon there is one thing that is certain – Barry Dolan is an incredible performer. Oxygen Thief created more noise than one man with a guitar should but filled this noise with clever word play. Non Canon has all the subtlety that OT lacked but keeps the poignant lyrics so in a forest this is going to be beautiful.
A soaring return – from garage rock to grunge…
Black Peaks are one of the country’s best kept secrets – they have a huge underground following and appearances like this always feel like the start of something. With new material on the way this is almost certainly going to be the start of something…
Hailing from Leeds, Weirds are one of the most exciting bands in the country at the moment. The combination between experimenting and solid song structure creates a sonic experiment that works incredibly well. This experimental side pairs wonderfully with a live style that embraces the chaos of The Stooges and the noise levels of My Bloody Valentine. Their stage presence is unrivaled (when they’re not in the middle of the crowd that is).
These two create enough interest for a band with considerably more members. The grunge inspired blend of honest emotion and passionate delivery create a perfect lo-fi sound. These two are going places fast, and if their debut album, Seafoam is anything to go by this set my just be the platform for a meteoric rise.
Pound for pound one of the best bands on the planet, Beach Slang are socially aware, clever and individual. They combine backwards looks towards post punk and grunge with a modern take on pop punk and emo to create heady infectious songs full of hooks and choruses (but also full of prominent thoughts and self-help).
Creating a huge following and hype, they play brash sludgy rock full of crushing riffs and technical skill. They also have the complexity of math rock and occasional subtlety. However, these subtleties are almost always torn apart with deep thrash climaxes – and that is what makes them exciting. It’s a gnarly futuristic sound.
Take a deep breath and prepare yourself – these five are going to create moments you’ll never forget…
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes
This one is pretty simple: Frank Carter is one of the most exciting front men in the world. With the Rattle Snakes behind him the rise has been meteoric with every release creeping further up the charts, every tour hitting bigger venues and every performance maintaining the chaos of the first. This band will be in the crowd, on the crowd and all over the place in turn the crowd will go wild and there will be a feeling that this was a headline set to remember.
Pulled Apart by Horses
These Yorkshiremen are somewhat veterans to the 2000Trees stages and consistently cause chaos with high energy riff filled performances. With their latest release, The Haze, they have returned to form both in recordings and live performances. Prepare to be blown away.
An intimate forest stage set from one of the UK’s most consistent emotional acts sounds absolutely perfect. This is sure to be a one of many beautiful forest sessions during the weekend but there is no band that can tug on the heartstrings and offer positivity in equal measure quite like Tellison.
The Front Bottoms
The Fro Bo’s are one of those acts that have faultlessly moved from underground to mainstream with relative ease. Their honest acoustic pop punk is full of sing along choruses and in a crowd singing them back this is going to be a spine tingling set.
Lemuria have been an influence of a lot of bands on the line up this year, and that alone makes their appearance special. They will also be celebrating 10 years since the release of debut album Get Better – an album full of inspiration played by an inspiring band could well be the highlight of this years festival.
For tickets click here.