2000trees 2019

2000trees 2019 (VH Festival Review)

VultureHound’s Cara Mullen and Yasmine Summan were your eyes and ears on the ground at this year’s phenomenal 2000trees in sunny Cheltenham. They braved three days of soaking up the sun, watching both upcoming and legendary bands, silent disco-ing, and taking in the glorious sights and sounds of Upcote Farm just for your reading pleasure. What a task.

Thursday:

If time travel were a thing, all attendees of 2000trees would be greatly benefited in knowing that Haggard Cat were the antidote to the fatigue induced by waking up in a field for the first time this weekend. The level of noise (impressively made by only two people) meant that if you hadn’t brushed off the haze of the first night’s silent disco in the Forest and weren’t yet fully awake by 1:40 pm, you were now. Confetti cannons and raucous singing along from the “tent full of backing singers” made Haggard Cat the only party you needed at lunchtime on a Thursday in The Cave, or anywhere. [CM]

Haggard Cat – Vicki Bailey

Around 2:30 pm is a make-or-break time in any festival day. You’re either heading towards needing a nap or getting straight back on the horse, riding not to the old town road, but the bar for more drinks. For those of us who prefer a bit more chill at this make-or-break time in the day, Wallflower on the NEU Stage provided the perfect experience. Their atmospheric, emotive half-hour set left the crowd feeling replenished and ready for the rest of the day, quite like spending time at the festival’s Retreat area. [CM]

Over at the Forest Sessions, Holding Absence gave their first of two phenomenal performances of the day. Their music suits these acoustic renditions, and frontman Lucas Woodland certainly has the soothing vocals for it. Perhaps they should consider an acoustic album in the future. The Forest was packed out for their set, full of people eating, drinking, and taking half an hour out for some chill time. Despite the volume of people, it still managed to feel incredibly intimate. Like a campfire session but without the fire. And during the day. [CM]

holding absence
Photo by Dominic Meason – Instagram @measons

Often overlooked by the critical math-rock/math-pop stiff necks, Brighton four-piece Orchards defied the limitations of genre and success this weekend in The Axiom, with the charismatic vivacity within their music carrying through to their live performance that resulted in a hedonistic celebration of life, love and the confusing parts in between. The four-piece collective smashed out a passionate and lively performance that, from their upbeat songs alone, could put you in a good mood. Most appreciated was the sense of genuine sincerity for their fans, built on a deeply rooted sense of modesty and authenticity. What you see is what you get with Orchards. [YS]

Orchards – Vicki Bailey

Staying true to their outspoken punk fashion, Petrol Girls always utilise their platform to unapologetically call out discrimination and sexual abuse within the music industry. This performance at The Cave was no exception, both in their aggressive power ballads and during mini speeches between songs led by fronting vocalist Ren Aldridge, who preached of inclusivity, awareness and fighting back. Their crowd rapport was deafening and phenomenal; their stage presence set a precedent for other bands to live up to that day. Though not unexpected for their acclaimed reputation, it was rewarding to see such an intense, passionate crowd atmosphere live. [YS]

The Cave headliners While She Sleeps may have turned up a vocalist short, but made up for it with guest vocals from the likes of SHVPES’ Griffin Dickinson, Blood Youth’s Kaya Tarsus, and Holding Absence’s Lucas Woodland. The tent was packed and spilling out, and the raucous energy of the band was matched with possibly the craziest crowd the festival had seen all day. What a way to end the first day of 2000trees. [CM]

while she sleeps
Photo by Dominic Meason – Instagram @measons

Friday:

Baby-faced newcomers Brand New Friend kicked off a spectacular performance at The Axiom that set aside any doubts of their talents. They brought a cheerful attitude, paired with an optimistic sound that can be best described as ‘songs you’d listen to on a drive to the beach.’ Still at an early age, they brought a refreshing burst of youth to their performance, but have an unexpectedly matured, defined sound that comes with the security of knowing who they are as a band. Most of all, their character on stage is unbelievably entertaining; backed by their genuine, heart-warming chemistry as a band. [YS]

Despite some issues with the sound during the first song, Canberra’s Hands Like Houses bounced back quick and brought the Australian sunshine to the Main Stage. Not that we needed any extra sun, going by the sunburn on quite a few crowd members. A perfect set of classics from Dissonants and stand-out tracks from new album Anon. kept the crowd’s mid-afternoon spirit going strong. Judging by the omnipresent smiles on the faces of the band, it seems they had a pretty good time too. [CM]

Angel Du$t brought the heat and set The Cave ablaze with their off-the-wall performance. Crowd surfers flying, mosh pits breaking out almost everywhere, and a festival tent packed to its rim like a can of sardines to see these Maryland punks tear it up. Though hardcore has hit the mainstream, it hasn’t lost its authentic, gritty charm of sweaty crowds, aggressive stage rapport, gruelling bass, and twisted, chaotic energy where everyone wants to kill each other in the most organised fashion. It was insanity in the best possible way and made for a staple performance of the afternoon. [YS]

angel du$t
Photo by Dominic Meason – Instagram @measons

It’s a good thing the sun was starting to set by the time As It Is took to the Main Stage, or all their eyeliner would have melted off. Their set featured possibly the biggest almost-mosh pit of the weekend, even if the only thing it contained was people running around in a circle. But what the crowd lacked in moshing abilities, they made up for in singing along at the top of their lungs. Golden oldie ‘Dial Tones’ was a definite, albeit unexpected crowd-pleaser. [CM]

Friday night Main Stage headliners You Me At Six proved their worth as not only a phenomenal festival band but a staple in British rock music. Their set had it all – stage invaders (one human, one blow-up doll), a drink lobbed right at frontman Josh Franceschi, and hair-raising singalongs. There was talk from Josh Franceschi of our generation being the ones who can really change things in the world. That may be true, but if nothing else, we at least know how to have a good time at a festival. Good vibes everywhere. [CM]

You Me At Six – Vicki Bailey

 

You’d be forgiven for thinking that all the music was now over, but fans on the way back from You Me At Six to the campsite either to sleep or, more likely, get ready for the silent disco, were treated with an acoustic set from Delaire, The Liar on one of the intimate campsite stages. ‘Not punk enough’ Finn and Joey proved that they definitely are punk enough, and provided the seated audience in that cosy little tent with the energy they needed to go off and party all night. [CM]

Saturday:

After two full days of drinking and listening to music in the sun, it was becoming apparent that the population of 2000trees needed a pick-me-up. All the way from Sweden, Normandie were ready to provide that boost at The Cave on Saturday lunchtime. “Who’s on their first drink of the day?” enquired frontman Phillip Strand. A sea of cups and cans went up in the air and going by the amused faces of the band, they knew they were doing their job right. Ending with the atmospheric anthem ‘Collide’, this was a last-day lunchtime set done right. [CM]

normandie
Photo by Rhys Haberfield – Instagram @rhyshaberfield

Vuvoki effortlessly flaunted their way to the Main Stage with their electrifying pop styles compiled of some of their catchiest hits like ‘La Di Da’ and ‘Animal’ that were instant hits with fans. Leading lady Janice Shilstone brought absurd amounts of excitement and energy to the performance, making it impossible to take your eyes off of her sybaritic stage presence. Paired with their buoyant sound, their performance had a great crowd atmosphere, from those who watched in the back with awe, to the many at the front howling the lyrics to an almost deafening point. They 100% lived up to the hype. [YS]

On this less-sunny Saturday evening, The Skints brought the sun back out in spirit at the Main Stage. Their ska grooves had the crowd moving and picked the energy back up in the most chill of ways. From the front to the back by the bar, the Main Stage was in a cloud of hazy warmth. It felt like exactly what a festival is meant to be and was just the ticket we needed to get us through the last evening of 2000trees. [CM]

The Skints
Photo by Gareth Bull – Instagram @garethbullphoto

Over on the NEU Stage, The Bottom Line brought strong summer vibes to the packed out tent of fans. The blow-up palm trees on stage were a perfectly fitting addition to the band’s set of summer-y pop-punk, a lot of which came from the soundtrack-of-your-summer album No Vacation. If this weekend had been anything, it was a vacation; what a fitting way to draw it to a near-close. [CM]

Last band of the weekend, Main Stage headliners Deaf Havana were a perfect way to bring a perfect weekend to an end. Playing a mixture of older (nothing from Meet Me Halfway, at Least, though – sorry) and newer songs, it felt like a celebration of their history. Ten years since their debut, this band have climbed mountains; if this set is anything to go by, they’re not ready to stop climbing yet. Another appearance from the now infamous blow-up doll stage invader resulted in Matthew Veck-Gilodi putting her on his shoulders through a large portion of the set. Let’s hope she didn’t leave the festival feeling too deflated. [CM]

Deaf Havana – Vicki Bailey

Until next year, Trees – Cara and Yasmine x

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