Truck 2010 Recap

<p> <a href="Features/Features/Truck_2010_Recap/"><img src="https://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/truck10.jpg" alt="Truck 2010 Recap" /></a> </p> There are countless festivals globally - hundreds and hundreds, and as they grow in popularity, they'll never be enough for...
Truck 2010 Recap

Truck 2010 Recap

There are countless festivals globally – hundreds and hundreds, and as they grow in popularity, they’ll never be enough for all the cool kids to show face.  However, Truck Festival fares a little different from the average music festival.  In it’s thirteenth year – which of course, it is fondly known as merely ‘Truck 13’.  Truck is one of the longest standing independent small festivals.  For those who are familiar with Truck, you may lightly chuckle at the title ‘festival’, is perhaps it may more resemble a village fete, or someone’s central London back porch in Glastonbury terms, such is its size.  Still, size means nothing when you’ve got a line-up as sound as Truck’s, an atmosphere like no other – and boy, is it refreshing to not be inundated with corporate moneymaking agendas.  This festival is about the arts – it’s about the music, and it’s an absolute pleasure to have a festival still in touch with what it’s meant to be about – the music.

A festival for the whole family, and one that attracts music fans from far and wide, as well as right down the road, Truck was founded thirteen years ago by Brothers Robin and Joe Bennett on Hill Farm in Steventon, Oxfordshire.  With the back of the truck as a stage, so emerged the name, and the festival has grown to attract 5,000 muddy punters a year, as well as some names who’ve made it rather big over the last few years – The xx (QRO live review), Foals (QRO album review), Pulled Apart by Horses, Stornoway – to name but a few, and with even bigger long-term legends, such as Lemonheads (QRO live review), Ash (QRO photos), Supergrass (QRO album review), and this year, Teenage Fanclub, many bands understand the importance of events like Truck who understand the importance of music, keeping it accessible and real.

The size of Truck makes it a completely unique experience.  It isn’t your typical mini festival filled with bands that you’d avoid going to the pub if they were playing, instead handpicked, tremendously talented individuals from all walks of life performing not just your typical raucous rock and roll, but electronic, acoustic sets, a-cappella – as well as comedy, acting, films; the full works, Truck provides something for everyone, in a farm which still actually functions and most of all smells, like a farm.

Set up in small tents throughout an area, and in various farm-shaped-buildings (barns and all sorts of buildings which looked like they should either be filled with hay, excrement of some sort or possibly both) some holding barely 30 people, or in open spaces, the air was filled with the faintest tinge of the smell of cider, manure and real excitement for things the weekend was to bring.

 

(click on a band’s name for photos from the festival)

 

Saturday, 24th July
Meursault

MeursaultOpening up the main stage on Saturday, was Scottish folk collective Meursault – not to be confused with anarchist folk punk band from Kaiserslautern, Germany or the trash-metal band from Arlington, Massachusetts of the same name – but instead starting off the weekend in a typical Truck tradition – introducing an upbeat, folk acoustic sound, but not without a sprinkling of the modern, a dash of the synth.  Combined with frontman Pennycook’s bold vocal, Meursault provided a strong opener that looked set to be nothing short of amazing.

And so it was – the weekend was indeed filled with tremendous acts from all backgrounds, all levels of commercial success, but you’d be guaranteed to find something you would have bound to fall in love with at least one band at truck if not a handful, regardless one’s relative knowledge of these artists, because of the sheer nature of the festival and the emphasis on music makes festivals like these – which are unfortunately far and few between worth going to – really worth going to.
Thomas Truax

Thomas TruaxThomas Truax also played to a crowd filled with hyper, after making waves touring with big names such as Glasvegas (QRO album review) and the Futureheads (QRO live review).  The four-piece from the U.K. have been compared to big names such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (QRO album review), and did not fail to disappoint.  Famed for their live shows, they did not lack in energy or forcefulness, providing a rousing time for all.

However, on a contrasting scale was Esben and the Witch.  A set played in daylight – actual visible daylight – this provided an unusual set for the Brighton based three-piece, who have received great media attention from even the great Pitchfork.  Rightly so – it would seem so, as without the mask of smoke and dimmed lights, Esben and the Witch still stunned.  StornowayTheir impact has clearly been made marks in the industry, with landmark label Beggars Banquet snapping them up, a sign of clear potential.

Label mates Stornoway also featured on the bill, faring on the main stage to hundreds of happy faces picnicking in the open air.  Stornoway are no strangers to Truck, being local boys to the area, but this last year has been more than landmark for these young men, releasing their debut album Beachcomber’s Windowsill and selling out London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire – a 2,000+ capacity venue.  Every band knows there’s nothing quite like playing a show in your hometown, especially not like Truck.  Stornoway got the heads nodding and feet tapping with their disgusting catchy tunes and utterly cheesy lyrics, but smiles were to be had and Stornoway certainly left the crowd humming a tune of theirs or two.
Stornoway
65daysofstatic

Perhaps on a slightly different note were 65daysofstatic, who were also playing Saturday in the barn.  For those who are not familiar, 65daysofstatic, more often known as 65dos, are an instrumental post-rock and math rock band subject to great critical acclaim and who have also have a extremely solid fanbase – those who are known to be ‘65kids’, through a career near spanning ten years – including support slots with artists as big as The Cure (QRO photos, opening for The Cure) 65daysofstatic65daysofstaticand playing venues as prestigious as Radio City Music Hall (QRO venue review).  However, it would also seem a crowded barn full of energized youngsters suits the nature of 65dos slightly better – with heavily progressive instrumental, laced with aggressive guitars and live, raw beats sending the energy soaring through the crowd.  With their solid back catalogue, the band fed off the energy of the crowd and seemed to put their all – every living breath – into producing a heavy, layered all-consuming sound – not so indifferent to other shows of theirs – which is perhaps why they have managed to capture the hearts, minds and ears of so many.
Mew

Closing the main Truck stage on Saturday, was something again of a lighter note, was Danish superstars Mew.  MewWith a career spanning over 15 years, Mew astounded with a triumphant set filled with light and smoke, with a range of material from their five studio albums.  Wide eyed and angelic frontman Jonas Bjerre wowed the crowd with heartwarming brilliance, reminding all that Mew aren’t just your run of the mill indie-rock band, but a band with a real sense of the unique, creating a sense of the surreal simply through their musical capabilities.  You can label a band like Mew with all the experimental, dream pop, shoegazing tags you van find, but Mew really are something special – they are able to transport you to a world not of this plain through their stimulating creative elements which almost allow the band to transcend any label placed on them.

Other artists at Truck, Day One:

Silent Alliance
Silent Alliance

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Charley Coombes & The New Breed
Charly Coombes & The New Breed

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Fixers
Fixers

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The Silent League
The Silent League

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The Minnikins
The Minnikins

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Chad Valley
Chad Valley

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Y
Y

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Sunday, 25th July
Wild Nothing

Wild NothingWith already a tremendous line up who had played the previous day, it was only to be surpassed by Truck’s closing day, the Sunday.  Early in the mild summers day were Wild Nothing , playing in the village pub – in reality, a small white airy marquee – enough to get the day of to a cracking start.  With Wild Nothing – actually one man band Jack Tatum, but with touring accompaniment – performing material from his much acclaimed 2010 release Gemini (QRO review) – including a ‘Best New Music’ label from none other than Pitchfork – material was showcased masterfully with a depth and texture from someone who had it down to a tee.  With synth arrangements and delicate guitar work creating epic masterpieces with unbelievably captivating elements, Wild Nothing managed to set the bar very, very high for the rest of the day, and one which would be hard to surpass.
Islet

However, competition from contenders on Sunday was strong – with well-established acts such as Los Campesinos!, Blood Red Shoes, and Teenage Fanclub on the bill (see below).  Despite the big names, it was not necessarily those providing the biggest competition – with perhaps Islet providing the biggest stunner of all performances of the weekend.  Big beats, massive drums, catchy songs were out in force with this stunning, captivating performance with thrashing guitars, melodic undertones and lest forgetting the tambourine.
Pulled Apart By Horses

Darwin Deez, who also performed alongside Islet in the Barn, provided great entertainment – with full re-enactments of the Run DMC vs. Jason Nevins video “It’s Like That” – as if the music itself wasn’t enough!  However, the music just kept on coming – with a rowdy, sweaty crowd being increasingly riled up from Pulled Apart by Horses, Future of the Left, and last, Fucked Up.  Although, undoubtedly and completely unexpectedly Pulled Apart by Horses (“Surely the best live band in Britain” U.K. national paper The Observer has been noted in saying) and Future of the Left provided top class entertainment with full interaction from the crowd, it was perhaps Fucked Up who provided the packing punch to the end of the weekend.  Shirtless and bloody, frontman Damian Abraham – maybe better known as Pink Eyes – clambered into the crowd smashing his way around the barn.  It would seem odd, but the Fucked Up live experience is legendary, and you can easily see why – there is literally, bloody, sweat and tears.  With blood pouring out of Abraham’s cracked skull, the band and both crowd threw themselves into this hardcore performance to its very essence.
Future of the Left
Egyptian Hip Hop

After delving into the barn, all else seems like child’s play, but that’s not to say that the other stages were not to put on a show – Summer Camp and Egyptian Hip Hop provided light, listenable but solid entertainment in the afternoon, easy on the ears, but as dusk grew, the heat was turned up on the main stage.  Los Campesinos! warmed the Summer Campcrowd a little further with their mass of Los Campesinos!multi-instrumentalists pummeling out power indie pop.  Having made it to considerable size, Los Campesinos! may sound like they typical British indie rock band, but have so much more to offer, a greater, more solid structured basis to their pop masterpieces – offering an array of catchy, quirky material, easy to love – and with great crowd participation, or perhaps band participation with frontman Gareth Campesinos! (QRO interview) found a different times rolling around amongst the crowd – how could you not be captivated by these true indie rock stars?
Los Campesinos!
Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red ShoesFollowing Los Campesinos! were Blood Red Shoes, the grunge rock duo with perhaps a little more frustration than is due.  Playing a range of their material from their two albums, Box of Secrets and Fire Like This, the band played with their minimal equipment – drummer Ansell even only plays with three cymbals – rocking out with their raw energized sound, much to the delight of the inspired crowd.  Blood Red Shoes have come somewhat sweethearts of the U.K. indie world, and although they a known to prize themselves on an individual anarchist viewpoint (despite their angelic fresh faces), they couldn’t be more revered across the indie scene, even stemming across Europe.

However, bringing the over forties collective to Truck 13 were Teenage Fanclub.  Looking like a random gathering of gig-goers fathers, it’s rather Teenage Fanclubeasier to see looking at their history rather than their oh-so inappropriate name – spanning back to 1989 – why they’ve lasted the time.  Putting it into the perspective that Teenage Fanclub have been longer than some of the punters have been alive, Teenage Fanclub remain successful with a more classic sound, often likened to the very essence of pop such as the Byrds, which have kept them a hit with fans, critics and labels alike.  With nine studio albums under their belt, Teenage Fanclub chose from their array of material wisely to wind down what was a truly stupendous weekend filled with awesome music from truly amazing bands, some of which will without question stand the test of time, much like Teenage Fanclub.
Teenage Fanclub

Other artists at Truck, Day One:

Briana Hardyman
Briana Hardyman

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Keyboard Choir
Keyboard Choir

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Bats
Bats

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Common Prayer
Common Prayer

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Fionn Regan
Fionn Regan

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