Festival Review: 2000 Trees Festival 2018
Festival season is in full swing now, but it seems like it is flying by way to fast, however one we will not be forgetting is this year's 2000 Trees Festival. With a line up that can blag the likes of Enter Shikari, At The Drive In and Twin Atantic, this festival quite easily has been front of the rate for 'line up of the year'.
Boston Manor originated from Blackpool and will soon have their second studio album out later this year. Before the release of this, the band gave the festival a new exclusive listen to one of their upcoming songs from the album titled ‘England’s Dreaming’ which they played live at the Cave stage. This came across as well received by the huge audience they drew, alongside older songs such as ‘Laika’ and ‘CU’, as well as their first official single release from the album titled ‘Halo’. After playing their new releases on stage, the hype around the album can only get bigger as they delivered huge amounts of energy and excitement on stage.
Arcane Roots shows can go from peaceful melodic guitar to the craziest breakdowns and the biggest moshpits we’ve seen; their set on Thursday evening was just that! Frontman Andrew Groves was prancing about the stage, flinging his guitar all over the place and screaming like a banshee down the mic! Brand new song ‘Landslide’ was as good as we had hoped it would be and ‘If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves’ was of course as amazing as it always is!
Marmozets have had such a large buzz around them since releasing their latest album we couldn’t wait to see what they had in store for 2000 Trees! Playing plenty of songs from that mentioned album like ‘Play’ and the aggressive ‘Habits’, the whole crowd was jumping up and down during every song!! A few songs were said to be dedicated to Frightened Rabbit as they were forced to pull out after the tragic death of their frontman, but Marmozets 100% filled the shoes that were left and did Frightened Rabbit the justice they deserved!
With the sunshine out in full force, we opted for an early one on the first day, but the weekend was just getting started. On the second day we started it the lads in Lady Bird.
These Tunbridge Wells natives are all about having a great time while performing their quirky punk anthems; that is exactly what they did when opening the mainstage on Saturday morning! Playing some unreleased tunes that were sounding huge, we cant wait for them to get a proper release; also their hit single ‘Spoons’ went down as smooth as a pint of cider on a hot afternoon!
Bristol based rockers Phoxjaw were a band we hadn’t seen before but after that performance we are gagging to see another one!! Having only been a band for about a year and half they have made a serious name for themselves being supports for bands like Black Foxxes and getting praised by Kerrang! Etc. Their set comprised of heavy riffs and emotionally deep lyrics being screams down the mic by pretty much every member of the band, they even took a little trip into the crowd for the final song to shred some notes in the middle of a hefty moshpit!!
Holding Absence are relatively new to the scene, with only a few single releases and one EP release under their belts. Despite the lack of releases, each one is so well thought out that they’ve managed to gather a huge fan base already. The Cave was almost packed out for the boys in Holding Absence with many singing every single word along with them. They’re definitely a band to watch out for in the next year, with the success they’ve already gained, there’s no doubt they’re only going to get bigger and bigger with new releases if they keep up the same great work.
The noisy rap punk trio brought chaos to Upcote Farm, smashing out punk bangers from start to finish! Eaddy played the majority of the set in a fluorescent police outfit, before stripping off and jumping into the middle of a wall of death to incite even more mayhem!! They played a mix of new and old songs but the highlight was definitely ‘Knuckle Up’ which turned the crazy up to 11.
Post hardcore band Touche Amore released their last album ‘Stage Four’ in 2016, but this year left fans wondering about the possibility of a new album in the near future after the single release of ‘Green’. As the band hit the Cave Stage at 2000 Trees, the crowd got to see this played live on stage alongside many of their classic songs. One song which stood out was ‘Skyscraper’ which breaks up the set with a more toned down vibe, and adds yet even more emotion to what is already an emotional journey with the band on stage as Bolm touches on a range of subjects, including the death of his mother.
Scottish giants Twin Atlantic were Friday nights headliners and they did an incredible job! Playing the perfect balance of songs from previously released albums, they had everyone singing the hits like ‘Edit Me’ and ‘Brothers & Sisters’; whereas during heavier songs like opener ‘Gold Elephant: Cherry Alligator’ there were some serious moshing going on from front to back of the audience!! A beautiful acoustic rendition of ‘Crash Land’ left us all feeling warm and fuzzy inside before frontman Sam bid the crowd a farewell; this is where they would have played their final song but suddenly their was a powercut and all the lights went out on stage, after a scramble of replugging in wires and flicking switches the mainstage shone bright again!! They did a quick re-do of the goodbyes before blasting into ‘Heart & Soul’ and closing the mainstage with style!!
As we went into the final day of 2000 Trees, it was safe to say that the festival had certainly taken itself to another level this year. With the line up, the weather and even down the organization of the event, everyone at the festival was in high spirits. We started our final day with Luke Rainsford.
Luke Rainsford is an acoustic artist which sets him apart from many of the other acts dotted around 2000 Trees. Playing in the forrest of Upcote Farm, surrounded by bunting and cute atmospheric lighting, Rainsford set a lovely mood for the day as he played bright and early at 10:30am before any other bands hit the stage. This is something that really stood out at 2000 Trees as it was pleasant to wake up and take a stroll to the forrest, pancakes in hand, and listen to the heartfelt songs by Luke with a small band to back him up.
Alongside this, he played two late night busking sets which meant that over the entire course of the weekend, he was able to play a huge mixture of songs - both old and new. The busking sets were much more stripped back. Artists playing the busking sets only had their instruments and their voices, not a single amp or mic could be found. These were played after the final act on the main stage played to make sure they could really project their sound to the audience, and they provided a really nice way to round off the evenings.
Basement’s set had been talked about all weekend and for good reason; the melodic hard-core punks brought out the sunshine and so many humongous sing-a-long anthems it was impossible to not be smiling and dancing around the mainstage!! The best portion was most definitely the final song ‘Promise Everything’ which has every single person in the festival singing the words; you could barely hear the band over the crowds voices!
The time had come for the final headliner of the weekend and listening to rumours about it, we were in for a bloody good show!! Blue lights lit up the sky as Enter Shikari took to the stage and lulled the crowd into a false sense of security with ‘The Sights’ before splitting the crowd in half with ‘Juggernauts’!! The crowd erupted into screams of excitement as the notes of ‘Insomnia’ rung through the speakers, a song they haven’t played in over 11 years!
Nearer the end of the set Rou announced they didn’t have a lot of time left so it was time for a quick-fire round; a mash up of ‘Sorry, Your Not a Winner’,’Sssnakepit’,’…Meltdown’ and ‘The Jester’ then ensued to everyone’s excitement!!!
An encore of ‘Redshift’ and big single from their latest album ‘Live Outside’ closed the evening and sadly the weekend. Its always a disappointing time when a festival is over but before we all know it, it will be time to go back into the forest for 2000 Trees 2019 and personally we can’t bloody wait!
Words and Photography by Hayley Fearnley and Joe Dick