Festival Preview: 2000 Trees Festival 2016

Festival Preview: 2000 Trees Festival 2016

Somehow it’s already been ten years since the 2000 Trees team took their first steps in rewriting what it takes to put on a successful and popular festival, and one with a focus purely on quality music. Along the way, a veritable who’s who of UK and international rock talent have passed through the gates of Gloucestershire’s Upcote Farm on their way to the top.

We can testify that 2000 Trees provides a quality, wonderfully unique and impressively affordable festival experience unlike any other on the British circuit. Gone are the overblown corporate sponsorships, dodgy burger vans peddling badly cooked fair for a small fortune and hoards of pissed up teenagers. Instead it’s an event aimed at true music fans and with a happy bonus of an atmosphere of friendship and bonhomie unlike any other, some seriously excellent independent food sellers and an array of unsigned musicians performing in the campsites even when the main stages are done for the day.

Still, enough waxing lyrical about the festival itself and let us celebrate 2000 Trees’ tenth anniversary with our pick of the best acts to check out at this year’s event. Oh and to keep things varied none of these bands have appeared in our previews of the rest of the crowded festival schedule either.

Will Varley

To those in the know, Will Varley is already seen as one of the stars in waiting of the Xtra Mile roster. Varley’s deeply likeable plaintive delivery, impeccable sense of narrative and a deft, unflinching approach to thought provoking subject matter that plumbs the highs and lows of life and what it is to be human; all make him a joy to behold on record. Throw in his rapidly growing live reputation, some communal singalongs and a beer or two and this set has the makings of an early standout moment.

Where & When: Friday @ The Croft

Bellevue Days

2000 Trees has become renowned for being the place to spot the brightest upcoming British rock talents on their way to the big time. Filling that role this year might just be Croyden’s Bellevue Days. Their unpredictable quiet loud brand of uptempo Brit rock laden with smart hooks, angst ridden riffs, swelling melodic interludes and bruising introverted lyrical musings will all go do down a storm. We loved their recent new ‘Sad Boy’ EP and more then a little excited to witness the tracks live. Catch Bellevue Days now before they inevitably follow the Moose Blood route from upstart festival favourites to everyone’s new favourite sad rock band.

Where & When: Saturday @ The Croft

Ash

There isn’t too much we need to say to introduce veteran Northern Irish rockers Ash. But after being reminded of Tim Wheeler and co’s brilliance at last year’s Leeds Festival we can’t wait to belt out ‘Girl From Mars’, ‘Burn Baby Burn’, ‘Shining Light’ and all the other old favourites in the Gloucestershire sunshine. You might just find yourself enjoying some of the cuts from latest effort ‘Kablammo!’ too. Certainly no one else on the 2000 Trees bill has the potential to deliver nostalgia and huge choruses in quite the same volume as Ash.

Where & When: Saturday @ Main Stage

Twin Atlantic

2000 Trees will see Glasgow’s own Twin Atlantic headlining a major festival for the very first time. Every other time AH has seen TA in full flow at a festival it’s been nothing short of majestic. So with that in mind and adding in that this will be the first time we get our ears around tracks from the bands forthcoming album ‘GLA’ live; we’re positively salivating with joy at the prospect of what Sam McTrusty and the lads will pull out of the bag for this milestone set.

Where & When: Friday @ Main Stage

Jamie Lenman

Former Rueben frontman Jamie Lenman has steadily been earning himself a reputation as a festival favourite on any bill he appears on in recent years. With his ability to switch from irresistibly polished acoustic folk-pop to the all out audio assault of his former outfit it’s not hard to see why. This moustached maestro will undoubtedly deliver a set unlike any other on offer at this year’s 2000 Trees. Plus who wouldn’t want to experienced the utter joy of ‘Pretty Please’ live.

Where & When: Saturday @ The Axiom

Trash Boat

What better way to celebrate the release of Trash Boat’s debut album ‘Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through’ then to witness them blast through tracks from it. You’ll soon see why their incendiary live performance has made them the latest UK pop-punk act to start making their mark on the global scene. Get hyped, this lot will be as energetic as anything else all festival.

Where & When: Friday @ The Cave

Brawlers

Team Already Heard have been big fans of Leeds mob Brawlers since they dropped their first EP ‘I Am a Worthless Piece of Shit’ back in 2014. Since then their chaotic brand of grungy punk has won adoration in all corners of the UK scene, not harmed by the fact that they’re one of the hottest live bands around. Harry George Johns and the gang won’t be shy in getting the party started at Upcote Farm and we can’t wait.

Where & When: Friday @ Main Stage

Crazy Arm

Veteran Devon punks Crazy Arm are pretty much guaranteed a heroes reception when they take to the stage as part of the Thursday Xtra Mile takeover. Expect pogoing, wild dancing, beer flying all over the place and lusty singalongs a plenty as the band’s politically charged and distinctly English take on raucous folk punk whips up a riot.

Where & When: Thursday @ The Axiom (Xtra Mile Takeover)

The Smith Street Band

Ozzie rockers The Smith Street Band will bring a global feel to Upcote Farm. That’s not all they’ll be bringing as their irresistibly bouncy, sentiment heavy rock is near perfect festival fare. With big anthemic choruses a speciality and tidal waves of rollicking scuzzy riffs this set will be one hell of a lot of fun. Plus with tracks like ‘Young Drunk’ and ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’ what more encouragement could you need to have a good time?

Where & When: Friday @ Main Stage

The LaFontaines

When you think rap-rock the first country that comes to mind is hardly Scotland. But that’s not held back genre defying Motherwell natives The LaFontaines one bit. The five-piece combine the traditional Scot rock format with all the best elements of hip-hop and electronic to truly killer effect. Expect slick rhymes, stellar chorus hooks and the most eclectic sound to be found on any of 2000 Trees’ stages this year. In the meantime get the band’s beast of debut album ‘Class’ in your ears in readiness as this prepares to be the year the Scots conquer Upcote Farm.

Where & When: Saturday @ Main Stage

2000 Trees Festival takes place at Upcote Farm, Gloucestershire from July 7th – 9th.

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Words by Dane Wright.