Wednesday, 4 August 2010

2000 Trees Day One

Sometimes I really feel like I’ve had my head in a paper bag for the last few years. Drinking Badger’s Bottom in front of the main stage in the sun at 2000 Trees was definitely one of those times. Of course, the weather wasn’t perfect, and little did I comprehend the impending blitzkrieg in store for me at the hands of the aforementioned cider; nevertheless, any festival which has sheep dog trials as an attraction has to be worth checking out.

First we had to get there though. This is easier said than done when one of your travel buddies gets pickpocketed outside your home railway station. By the time we were on our way, the hour was late enough to occasion a mad dash for Cheltenham, lest we miss And So I Watch You From Afar (we missed And So I Watch You From Afar). When we eventually got our tents up, we’d missed the Xcerts, but I can report that their singer-guitarist apparently did a decent job of crowdsurfing while still playing. After that, Pulled Apart by Horses tore the place up with their incendiary stage show, which segued nicely into an excellent performance by Future of the Left (featuring Mark Hodson of Oceansize on bass), who drew the biggest and most enthusiastic pre-headline crowd of the day.

After that onslaught of post-hardcore aggression, the double bill of Errors and Metronomy felt rather out of place; personally, I didn’t find anything memorable about either, and my indifference was certainly shared by at least a fair minority, who were camped out waiting for Frank Turner to take the stage.

Love him or hate him, Frank is certainly a growing force on the UK live scene; a detractor complained about him being treated “like God” at 2k Trees, and there’s a little truth in that. Everywhere you go, it seems, he’s mentioned in reverential tones- more of a patron saint than God- but the question to me was whether or not he could fill the headliner’s shoes.

…Well, of course he could. To a crowd composed of the hardcore fans, who knew every song of his, Frank’s set was difficult to top. Obvious mentions go out to ‘Poetry of the Deed’, the set highlight, as well as the mass sing-a-long that accompanied ‘The Road’, his encore. Done with music for the day, everybody went their separate ways to enjoy the rest of the evening.

The pictures here are (c) Jon Stone 2010

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