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Live review

2000 Trees Festival 

Upcote Farm, Cheltenham

added: 23 Jul 2014 // gig date: 10 Jul 2014
reviewer: Jamie Tipson

2000 Trees Festival - Upcote Farm, Cheltenham - Printable version
In the beautiful surroundings of Upcote Farm in Cheltenham, 2000 Trees festival is a gem of a find if you’ve been lucky enough…I found this festival in 2008 when ‘Reuben’ were due to headline, but even though they disbanded a few weeks prior to the festival, us fans still decided to turn up, and boy am I glad I did…
Being a small sized 5000 capacity festival, theres enough people to fill tents/stages, but not enough to have 20 minute waits at the bars and toilets. The balance between atmosphere and accessibility is second to none.
The food stalls are all hand picked, the same with the local ciders/ales and beers, the organisers have really nailed it on the head, you can tell they themselves are passionate about underground and emerging talent, as well as bringing in some big names, it really does cater for every type music fan.

Arriving late on the Thursday I caught ‘The Cave’ tent headliner ‘Dan le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip’, merging Hip-Hop and electronic overlaid with Spoken word vocals, this duo really know how to put on a show, merging beautifully clever lyrics over various genre bending instrumentals, one minute your dancing, the next your in awe of this intense musical duo, spine tinglingly truthful lyrics backed up by brilliantly arranged tracks.

The weather graced the festival in beaming sunshine the whole weekend, it was an absolute pleasure to wake up to the stunning countryside that this venue had to offer,
Friday had a fantastic line up, I caught ‘The Computers’ on the main stage, the 5 piece Blues/Punk band from Devon are one of the most energetic and crowd pleasing bands I’ve seen in a long time. Suited and booted, you’d usually expect to see a band this well dressed playing a smokey Jazz Club, but no, if that was the case the smoke would be the aftermath of them smashing up the stage and leaving the venue alight, energetically charged catchy blues punk.
Next up ‘Arcane Roots’ emerged with their stadium worthy anthems, having supported ‘Muse’ and ‘Biffy Clyro’ at stadium shows earlier this year, before long you can see this band going the same way, soaring vocals, gigantic riffage and songs so big venues will need to reinforce their roofs.

Headliners of ‘The Cave’ ‘The Bronx’ are 2000 Tree’s first ever international act if I’m right, and what a first act they are, strutting out in hippy festival attire and a painted face, vocalist ‘Matt Caughthran’ spent a big chunk of the show down at the front in the mosh himself! The titans of hardcore punk thrive in this atmosphere, crowding surfing, circle pit galore, if your alright with coming out with a few scratches and bruises, get down the front and let ‘The Bronx’ fuel your fire.

Main stage headliners ‘Band Of Skulls’ hail from Southampton and have recently graced some well deserved slots including ‘Glastonbury’, ‘Sonisphere’ and supporting ‘Arcade Fire’ at Hyde Park..
Blues rock with arena worthy tunes, duo male and female vocals they really stand out and have a sound that upcoming bands will sure be influenced by.
In the coming years I can see this band gaining bigger and wider audiences and headlining much bigger stages. As the sun sets the backlit stage at 2000 Trees was witnessing something very special, a homegrown band sure to be one of our new demanded exports.

Day two at 2000 Trees, weather is absolutely stunning, even though a mid sized festival there is still loads to do if your having a break from the main line up, theres swing ball’s set up near the main stage, a comedy tent on the Thursday, busking stations around the site, you can just roll up and sing a few songs. But it also has a stage in the forest just away from the main arena, its an incredibly chilled out atmosphere sitting on the forest floor watching acoustic acts on the stage, surrounded by trees, hammocks and lanterns, it sure is a welcome addition to this festival and something really refreshing.
A band to look out for in the next coming months are ‘Lonely The Brave’ the feeling you get when listening to a band for the first time and thinking ‘why the hell haven’t I found these sooner?’ thats what I got on first listen.
“Lonely The Brave have a huge sound, mind-blowing vocals and an instant quality of musicianship that engulfs the crowd in a state of admiring concentration. After a new favourite band? you’ve found them.
I visited ‘The Axiom’ stage to see ‘Wolf Alice’ from London, theres a lot of exciting female fronted bands around at the moment and ‘Wolf Alice’ are sure one of the pedigrees, they showered the packed out tent with their grunge tinged folk, how would I describe them? imagine mixing your two favourite cocktails together, now imagine it works!

Second from top on ‘The Cave’, ‘Jamie Lenman’, the man behind one of the UK’s much loved cult bands ‘Reuben’, now solo, he mixes monstrous hardcore with bluesy folk with his new heavy-mellow band. Jamie’s set concentrated more on the heavy side of his recently released double album ‘Muscle Memory’, with some classic ‘Reuben’ songs thrown in. A true hero of most at the festival, its such a treat to see this underground icon grace the stage at the festival he helped shape, for me at least!

I caught a lot of bands this weekend, I tried darting during sets so I could catch a nice varied amount of artists that weren’t just on after the other…I’ve tried to condense it down to my stand out artists of the weekend, but the star of the show is the festival itself, a platform for new bands to show what they’re made of, a crowd filled with some of the most down to earth people you’ll meet at a festival, and memories that will make you go year after year, 2000 Trees is hands down one of the greatest festivals in the country, maybe even global, see you next year.

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5 stars

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