This week (July 7th, 8th & 9th) five thousand people will descend on a picturesque Cotswold field as the 2016 2000Trees Festival kicks off. In the 10 years since it made its debut, the festival has become one of the absolute highlights in the U.K festival calendar.
Who can forget the year Dananananaykroyd set up a wall of hugs, Frank Turner’s not so secret Thursday night headline set where he played Love, Ire and Song in full, the final Jim Lockey & the Solemn Sun set in a forest full of twinkling lights or the brutal double-header of Trash Talk and The Bronx? I certainly can’t, and this year’s mouth-watering line-up looks sure to add plenty more musical memories when it starts on Thursday.
So, to get you ready for what could possibly be the best 2000Trees yet, get familiar with some of the bands and artists Vulture Hound will be singing (and dancing) along with at this years festival.
This hometown hero hasn’t played many solo sets, so expect a big crowd when he steps on to a, hopefully, sun drenched Forest Stage on Thursday afternoon. With fans filling the air with extra backing vocals, this set is going to be a wonderful way to start the festival.
Rob writes straight up acoustic pop bangers. His performance will be full of charm and killer hooks. There will be a guaranteed spine tingling moment during ‘My Friends and I’, you will look around you at friends and soon to be friends and the lyrics will create a poignant moment (probably) ‘my friends and I, we’ve got a lot to live for, my friends and I, we live the good life at least just for tonight’. Aww.
Ben has been out of the game for a little while but will be returning to a festival where he has a very strong following. As an artist he is warm and self-depreciating with every song bound together with dry wit and a wry smile. I challenge you to watch Marwood without picking up some feels. There will be two moments, if he plays the right songs in his set, that will give you an oxymoronic feeling: ‘Singalong’ & his cover of the Postal Service’s ‘The District Sleeps Alone Tonight’.
Simply put; The Bronx are the best band you will ever have the pleasure of seeing live. Intense, aggressive and almost impossible to take your eyes off, they’ve also written some of the best hardcore punk songs of their generation. By Thursday evening you’re going to want to have a good shout/sing along to ‘They Will Kill Us All (Without Mercy)’ and other such classics.
Thrill Collins are somewhat of a 2000Trees institution and their infectious skiffle covers will be going through your head for the entire weekend. Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White’, Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me’ and the Backstreet Boys ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’, are just some of the tracks up for the Thrill Collins treatment.
These guys have the Alcopop! quality stamp. Their new album You Might Be Right captures a sound likened to The Front Bottoms and PUP. The razor-sharp melodies of recent single ‘Leaving Parties Early’ looks set to be a set highlight.
Crooks might be the best band you have never seen. They seldom perform live, which has created a bit of a mystique behind the Cotswold hardcore crew. However, despite the rarity of tours and shows, Crooks have a big fan base and an even bigger reputation. Expect a shout-a-long rather than sing-a-long.
The brand new release from Trash Boat sees a slight change in their sound. The shift from pop-punk with a hardcore influence to hardcore with a pop-punk influence has created an even more impressive live sound. Expect some incredible hooks and choruses from this Hertfordshire band.
After the release of one of the best records in 2015, Romantic Errors of Our Youth, Brawlers are back with the same ‘don’t mess with Yorkshire’ attitude and a new EP. Every time Brawlers leave a stage the audience pick up their jaws from the floor before they can discuss how great that was (probably). There will be intensity, crowd participation and a party feeling all round.
If there is a band in the UK that have risen faster or higher than Moose Blood in the last year they should be very pleased with themselves. Moose Blood’s brand of ‘sad punk’ has taken them all over the world and they’ll fill the Axiom stage for their headline set (and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them fill a forest for an intimate acoustic set too). Prepare to sing and emote!
Made up from members of Funeral For A Friend, Goodtime Boys, Bastions and Grappler, Terrible Love are as close to an underground hardcore super group as you’re ever going to find. There’ll be plenty of emotive sing-a-long moments, accompanied by a fair share of shoegazing at post-rock walls of noise.
Black Honey are a band who are unafraid to mix up simple indie-pop melodies with a wall of guitar noise. Their combination of shoegaze grunge and bitter/sweet indie rock is getting the Brighton based four-piece all sorts of attention. Recent EP Headspin features one of the tracks of 2016 so far, the storming and addictive ‘All My Pride’. More than just ‘ones to watch’, Black Honey are a band you must see.
Any band who refer to their fans as a cult are going to bring a live show to remember. The ‘Creeper Cult’ will be easy to spot able by their Callous Heart back patches and the volume at which they sing. Creeper always deliver storming and crowd pleasing sets, so expect them to be one of the highlights at this years festival.
Of all the bands on this line up you can guarantee Ash have the most top ten hits. Although chart success isn’t a reliable quality guide, by Saturday afternoon this might be just the pick me up you need. Expect a set of hit after hit after hit.
Jamie Lenman is one of the golden sons of 2000Trees, his ex-band Rueben even have an entire campsite named after them. He now plays as a solo artist but with a twist; his Jekyll and Hyde double album Muscle Memory boasts a whole album of acoustic, Americana inspired beauty, and an album of brutal, metal tinged hardcore. His live sets combine an energy, stage presence and musicianship that are a sight to behold.
Headliners don’t come much bigger than Refused. Not only will they be the biggest draw of the weekend, they’re probably the one band whose influence can be heard in most other acts at this years festival. Things are going to get heavy, people are going to get sweaty and there are going to be a lot of sing/shout-a-long moments. How do 2000Trees top this next year?