Truck Festival, a weekend of extremes. Extreme weather, extreme sunburn, and extremely good music. The festival kicked off on Thursday in 37 degree heat, this would have been okay if it had just been a day of sitting outside the tent drinking slightly warm ciders (as is festival tradition), but this temperature is not so ideal when you are sat in a queue for the festival shuttle bus for over an hour, wondering whether or not you’ll make it there in time to see Indoor Pets. One single decker bus, every half an hour is not enough. Anyway, luckily I did make it in for Indoor Pets and they were as good as ever, proving once again why they are one of the most exciting small bands playing in the UK at the moment. Thursday’s headliner was Slaves, the Punk rock two-piece who took the UK by storm with the release of their 2015 album Are You Satisfied. 4 years, and 2 albums later, they are breaking into headliner territory. This performance proved exactly why they are one of the most reputable live acts in the country, energy, aggression, humour, this performance had it all.
Thursday finished with an aggressive, fun punk group, Friday started with one. IDLES took to the Truck Stage for one of the most anticipated sets of the entire weekend. Their politically charged tunes got the crowd riled up and angry. “The best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich” being screamed by a crowd of 5000 young people really gives you a little bit more hope for the future of the country.
One of my favourite things about Truck Festival was the number of smaller bands they have playing during the day. It is so easy to just rock up to any stage and see some really good music. The Nest seemed like the best stage for this. Feet, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets were some of my highlights from this stage. The band that really blew me away however were Cassels. The Oxford based brothers really brought the noise to their Sunday afternoon slot with their rash and raw punk sound, blended with thew witty, well delivered lyrics. I went to their set knowing nothing more than what the description on the timetable said, and left with a new and very exciting band to listen to.
The Friday continued in stellar fashion with a double bill on the Market Stage of Pip Blom and Spector, both of whom got the crowd bouncing with fun, energetic sets. Public Service Broadcasting then took to the stage and played a stunning set, filled with incredible visuals that match the songs beautifully. Calling it a show would be doing them a dis-service, when Public Service Broadcasting perform it is an experience.
Wolf Alice then took to the mainstage as the first of the headline acts. The Mercury Prize winning group really showed why people consider them to be future Glastonbury headliners. They stormed through their hits, and a few deeper cuts with style and poise. The crowd were lapping it up, moshing through the faster songs like You’re a Germ and Space and Time, and weeping through Blush and the beautifully minimal arrangement of Silk that left me speechless. They really had it all. Ending their set with the ferocious Giant Peach is always brilliant, as that last riff is one that could get even the most unseasoned gig goer into a mosh pit. The set really had everything, I really thought it was going to be hard for the other headliners to beat it…
Saturday was a damp one, however, the rainy morning didn’t dampen the spirits one bit. Saturday evening was what I had been looking forward to most. We started off with Sports Team who’s set, for me personally, fell a little flat. The band had good stage presence but the sound mixing let them down, the lead singer was barely audible. Then came the three acts i’d been waiting for all day. Don Broco kicked off this stellar evening with a typically solid set. Getting the crowd hyped up with their fun, moshy rock music. Their latest single, Half-Man Half-God really packs a punch live, and their finisher, T-Shirt Song is always a fan favourite.
Johnny Marr then came to the main stage for a career spanning set with tunes from his solo projects, Electronica, and some fan favourite songs by The Smiths. Including This Charming Man and Bigmouth Strikes Again. These really got the crowd singing along. I dont think Ive ever seen a more mixed age audience than I did during Johnny Marr’s set, all the way from 70 year old men, to crowd surfing 9 year olds, everyone was having a great time.
Now it was time for the main event. The homecoming show. Foals returning to their hometown festival for the first time in 5 years. This had to be one of the most hyped sets of this entire festival season. Did they live up to this hype? We’ll be releasing a full review of their set. So keep your eyes peeled.
Sunday was another superb day of music, starting with a trip to the This Feeling stage, where we saw Average Sex take the stage. The London-based punk band performed a really great set. Easy Life were another highlight of our Sunday, they played to a packed out Market Stage. Playing their smooth, chilled out indie pop they really got the crowd going. Their stage presence really was impressive. I really think they are a band to keep an eye on. It won’t be long until they’re playing much bigger stages than this one.
Then it was time for one of my most hyped sets of the weekend, Dodie. I’ve been a fan of her soothing pop songs for a while now, so I was excited to finally get the chance to see her live. Alongside her stunning backing band, she played a really great set. Filled with both upbeat songs and some of the slower, sadder cuts. She really knew how to work the crowd. She also seemed genuinely ecstatic to be there, which always makes me enjoy a set more. Her final song, In the Middle was definitely a standout, getting the whole band involved with their own solos, it was a really terrific performance.
It was then time for the final act, Two Door Cinema Club. Fresh from the release of their Fourth album, was really excited to see them live again. They came on and went straight into Talk, a song that really goes off live. They then played a variety of their biggest hits, including classics like Undercover Martin and What You Know, along with newer tunes like Lavender and Bad Decisions. Along with sounding great, their visuals were also really impressive, lots of trippy patterns and minimalist visuals, there added a really cool backdrop to their already exciting stage presence. They drew their set, and the festival to a close with a brilliant performance of Sun, ending with a huge fireworks display behind the stage. It was the perfect way to end a brilliant weekend.
Overall I would really recommend Truck Festival, it is an incredibly small festival, only taking about 5 minutes to walk from the campsite to the mainstage. One thing I really thought Truck excelled in when compared to other festivals ive been to is the sound quality. Being deaf, I often find it hard to hear the artists voice if it is a bit lower in the mix. However, at Truck that was very rarely an issue. My only real issue with the festival itself was the tendency for the bands playing on The Nest to be cut off early, it happened to both Feet and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. Next year I think they need to invest in a new watch. Despite this, I did love Truck Festival, it was great value, it had a stunning lineup and I had a beautiful weekend. If you are in the market for a festival for next summer, skip Reading and Leeds and go for Truck, half the price, double the fun.
Keep and eye out for our review of Foals homecoming show.
Words: Alex Thomson