Wednesday, 4 August 2010

2000 Trees Day Two

The first thing we did on Day Two was take a walk through the corn fields and up into the woods (vaguely following the path of a nature walk marked out by the organisers), which proved an excellent hangover cure. On our return, we were greeted by the bizarre sight of sheep dog trials in the field adjoining the campsite. Introducing her many sheep dogs, the farmer went on to show how each and in various groupings dealt with the task of herding sheep through gates. It was fascinating, and also worth it for a comment I heard in the crowd- “wow, look at that dog. How great would it be to be him? Running around, herding sheep…”

Anyway, it’s been alleged that we were at a music festival, so we trudged back into the arena, where Left Side Brain were playing. To be honest, I grew up in a town where all the bands sounded like these guys, and I couldn’t really care less- big dumb modern metal is so dull. We did however run into Charlie Barnes, who played last year, and gave us some exciting rumours about the line-up for next year (please be true…). The sun was just about out, so we stuck around until LSB were done before heading to the acoustic tent, which to the terror of my housemate was full (and I really do mean full) of wasps. For those that ran the gauntlet though, the reward was Ruth Bewsey, who managed to draw a crowd that filled the tent, the walkway outside and went as close to the Portaloos that fenced the area in as can be considered reasonable.

Recently, I saw Ellen Reed from hotly-tipped Ellen and the Escapades playing a solo set (at Charlie Barnes’ album launch party actually, of all places), and I would say this was the nearest proxy for Ruth’s sound, except that Ruth was better. The melodies were crisper and simpler, which allowed for her voice to really take up the lines and carry them. Too often with a reedy voice, what you get is a mumble, but luckily not here. Her set over, we shot off, for inexplicably the sound engineers at the acoustic tent were putting on loud Drum n’ Bass in between the acts, and it wasn’t helping my hangover.

Acting on a tip we tried to catch OST (Old School Tie), but found the Leaf Lounge was now working on a one-in, one-out basis. Even from our poor vantage point though it was clear that these guys had talent. Somewhere between first-album Oceansize and Sonic Youth around Dirty, they put in a cracking set of post-rock tinged prog. After that, it was time for lunch, and back on the hill at camp it became evident from the sound coming from the main stage that Flashguns have got better in the nine months since I last saw them (thank God).

Returning in time for Sonic Boom Six, the crowd was already skanking away by the end of the first bar; of equal note were the two giraffes at the front (who later won the fancy dress competition) or the ten people attempting to enter the mosh pit in a giant concertina contraption that presumably was supposed to be a caterpillar.

After SBS, there was Twin Atlantic. The description in the programme as “like Biffy, but better” seemed pretty fair, for it’s not exactly in sound where the similarity lies, but rather in the fact that festivals breed a demand for good, no-nonsense rock. Biffy have become huge by playing on this need and being at every festival for the last seven years; if Twin Atlantic do the same, success is assured.

Johnny Flynn and the Sussex wit were a little bit of a disappointment. For all of the good things I’ve heard, they failed to live up to expectations, and I was left with the impression of a tight, but not stellar folk band.

This complaint could not be lodged about 65daysofstatic; it seems that every time I see this band, I’ve forgotten why they were so good the last time that I’ve elected to see them again. They are just so talented it makes me feel a little ill, and their fusion of dance and post-rock is just so infectious that they rightly claim the coveted prize of Band of the Weekend. Congratulations!

Expecting a whimper rather than a bang to follow 65 in Bombay Bicycle Club, I was pleasantly surprised by the set they put in. I’ve seen them once before around the time I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose came out, and following the post-rock giants they plumped for a set of their sharper, heavier cuts, with ‘Magnet’, ‘Lamplight’ and of course ‘Emergency Contraception Blues’ all featuring.

By now, it’s fair to say that the majority of the crowd were probably far beyond drunk, as I was, and the festival offered a remedy- The Subways. To be honest, I’ve never really been a fan, and though I saw them on their first tour years ago, their songs haven’t aged well. Not that this mattered to the amassed crowd of revellers, for like them I was swept away by a set that relied heavily on their first album, with highlights being ‘Oh Yeah’ and encore (obviously) ‘Rock n’ Roll Queen’.

The music finished, the silent disco commenced; one of the funniest moments of the festival was seeing a guy riding on another guy’s shoulders at the front, both without headphones, fall over and take out the people around them. From what I can piece together, I returned to the bar and then crawled into my sleeping bag head-first when I returned to my tent to get a deposit for the silent disco. Oh well.

In the morning, as we drove out of the festival gates, we got high-fived by the stewards out of the window (this appeared part of the standard procedure), and then were on our way. Suffice it to say, that summed up the atmosphere of a fantastic festival. With my first Glastonbury just behind me (I know, shame on me), I couldn’t help thinking that this is what that festival used to be like back when it started, and with any luck 2000 Trees will continue to grow and prosper.

The pictures used here are (c) Jon Stone 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment