2000Trees festival: A weekend of promise, in a lovely serene setting where the weather thankfully held up, and the line-up assembled for the weekend was simply phenomenal. Bloggers Gamut enjoyed a fantastic weekend there speaking to bands and checking out lots of wicked sets, and here is presented the official BG review of 2000Trees festival 2019!

 

Thursday 11th July

After a lovely drive into the sunsoaked rural outskirts of Cheltenham, a winding and narrow country road lead into the charming Upcote Farm and you were suddenly in the thick of hordes of ecstatic music fans setting up base for the weekend.

Pitching a tent solo is a task i sorely underestimated after not having gone camping since earlier teenage years and thus I was very grateful for my neighbourly campers who kindly put an end to my pitching woes. The only problem at this juncture was it had been such a faf I had missed numerous early sets I was planning on (namely Phoxjaw and Haggard Cat).

The first dose of Trees action came in the form of La Butcherettes who gave a wildly impassioned performance in the ilk of making the most of their main stage slot – they certainly left an impression on the audience. 

Remaining at the main stage, London rock trio Puppy were up next. This is a band who carry themselves with an air of arrogance – for instance, naming their debut album The Goat – that they flaunted turbulently on the stage, and with a setlist as strong and rockin’ as theirs was, not many could argue about said air.

Puppy, main stage.

An executive decision lead to a brief stroll across to The Axiom stage to find Liverpool’s ever impressive Loathe bringing a powerful half an hour of total carnage, exactly as you knew they would to 2000Trees in the best of ways.

 

Interview duty meant no time to check out Milk Teeth, Yonaka or Conjurer unfortunately, but at 17:45 there was no better place to be at 2000Trees than the Neu Stage as Palm Reader stepped up to the plate. The sheer atmosphere in the tent told you how huge this set was and ir was actually a dream hearing Braille being brought to life.

2000Trees festival

Turnstile @ main stage. Photo credit: @GARETHBULLPHOTO

Although it seemed a bit less raw and chaotic than your average Turnstile performance, they still kicked ass. Bopping heads as far as they eye could see gobbled up every riff Turnstile threw at them, and while again the energy levels didn’t hit the usual manic state this show acted as solid proof Turnstile are well worthy of and a great fit for a main stage festival billing.

 

Blood Youth got straight down to business with their utterly relentless set. Their latest and darkest album yet Starve made up most of their performance, to damn good effect. A hearty concoction of nu-metal and groove executed phenomenally is what stands this band apart, expect to see them doing everything bigger and better this time next year.

Waiting for While She Sleeps provided some time to check out the comedy on offer at Word, which was a refreshing change of pace and part of the variety on offer that makes Trees such a unique festival.

Concluding Thursday evening were While She Sleeps, who performed to a packed out Cave Stage and even in the absence of vocalist Lawrence (unfortunately ill), the Yorkshire metal heavyweights perservered by enlisting an array of friends (including Griffin Dickinson, Lucas Woodland, Liam Cormier and Andrew Neufeld) to step in and unleash some screams, the show felt momentous as hell, and damn significant.

2000Trees festival

While She Sleeps @ Cave stage. Photo credit: @GARETHBULLPHOTO

Friday 12th July

 

Forward thinking grime punk hybrid Pengshui were tasked with waking everyone up on Friday with their early performance at the Cave stage. If any in attendance had their doubts about the trio’s ability prior, these were thrown completely out of the window – after a couple of songs everyone was up and lively and it was clear how much fun and how powerful this band can be.

Pengshui frontman Illaman was happy with a job well done

Over on the main stage it was time for the impressive progressive Brutus to revel in the Trees sun and spotlight, as they did a great job of justifying their prime booking. Up next were Dream State who also seized the opportunity and (forgive me for this) left their sizable crowd resting in a dream state.

 

Having consistently heard good things about Belgium’s Raketkanon, it would have been foolish to not make time for their Cave slot. Even still I was not prepared for the sheer ingenuity these guys packed into their show – there is seriously no other band out there right now on the level of Raketkanon.

Raketkanon, Cave stage. PHOTO CREDIT: @SNAPROCKANDPOP

Boasting one of the best band names of the festival, itoldyouiwouldeatyou proved they are far more than a gimmick band with a momentous and passionate set that will absolutely have gained them new fans.

 

Crazy Arm came to party alright, and they sure succeeded with having the The Axiom stage bouncing through their whole set. Feelgood vibes all around and the feature of a violinist in the band added solid memorability to their performance, and they’d be great to witness live again.

 

The hardcore punk supergroup Angel Du$t brought hella energy with their quickfire punky riffs and it didn’t take them long to get everyone equipped with their dancing shoes in the Cave tent, making for an enjoyable half an hour.

Angel Du$t, the Cave. Photo credit: @SNAPROCKANDPOP

One word to describe Rolo Tomassi – brutal. Two words to describe Rolo Tomassi – stage presence. Three words to describe – watch this band. A band that often gains high acclaim, it is easy to see why from witnessing their live show – such a great atmosphere is conjured and the pleasing song structures often employed that see calmer melodic sections explode into furious moments of wrath is unbeatable.

 

Cancer Bats were on fire as usual, and ending a typically wild performance with their rendition of Black Sabbath classic War Pigs was a fantastic touch and homage, as it rallied all in the Cave who fused into one glorious, metal voice for a singalong, leaving on a real high. 

Cancer Bats, the Cave. Photo credit: @GARETHBULLPHOTO

You Me at Six decided their more recent, indie-pop and let’s be honest tame sound was the way to go for the majority of their set but they did make time for one or two emo throwback classics, and gained a rapturous response when breaking into Bite My Tongue. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad show, just felt it could have been a lot more memorable – perhaps best summed up by Josh shouting expletive derogatories about Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, talking about we need to stand up and make a difference, then launching into Take on the World which with the best will in the world doesn’t come close to mustering that defiant attitude. Call me cynical, but I can’t escape the feeling this band is capable of so much more than cranking out FIFA soundtrack candidates. 

 

Saturday 13th July 

 

Normandie delivered a crowd pleasing performance complete with soaring vocals from frontman Philip Strand and some tasty breakdowns. They certainly covered themselves in glory and are absolutely a band to look out for, as they are only gonna get bigger and bigger.

 

Kicking things up a few gears, Lotus Eater brought the intensity with their brand of relentless Glaswegian hardcore that stirred up some frenetic pit action. This performance and band are absolutely contenders for the heaviest set of the weekend.

2000Trees festival

Lotus Eater @ The Cave. Photo credit: @BENMORSE

Pioneering the throwback of the weekend, A took to the mainstage with palpable energy and their frontman donning a Just Eat delivery man outfit, as you do. They certainly sounded tight for a band who haven’t exactly played much recently.

 

Receiving one of the biggest reactions of the day if not the whole festival, MØL absolutely destroyed the Neu stage. Frontman Kim Song Sternkopf has ounces of charisma and spent as much time bellowing from inside the crowd as on stage, this performance certainly continued to mark MØL as a band destined for great things.

MOL, Neu Stage. Photo credit: @SHORTCHRISRADIO

A refreshing change of pace was provided courtesy of London reggae group The Skints, who had hips swaying and smiles all round the main stage. Tastily done fusing of genres and sounds is what you find in The Skints‘ melting pot, and it is such to good effect – you would struggle to leave their show with anything but a silly grin adorning your face.

 

One of the forefront voices of the current pop-punk scene, The Bottom Line were a band on a mission and went down a treat. As well as sounding emphatic and lively, they gained an unofficial award in making the Neu stage tent move the most out of any band over the weekend, which is impressive when you consider the array of heavy bands that graced the Neu over the festival.

 

What a fantastic band Every Time I Die are. Coming onto the main stage like a barbaric militia, the Buffalo boys waste absolutely no time roaring into classic 2003 album Hot Damn and completing their set with more current hits including Decayin’ with the Boys, It Remembers and Map Change. There was no moment of respite, no moment where sheer chaos was not present and not a second where the experience wasn’t utterly glorious.

Every Time I Die, main stage. Photo credit: @SNAPROCKANDPOP

Before setting off and saying goodbye to 2000 Trees festival 2019, there was time to check out the rabble coming from the Cave tent thanks to Frank Iero and the Future Violets who had their foot firmly on the gas and were going down a treat.

 

All in all, 2000Trees festival 2019 was a huge success. Many congratulations to the festival organisers, many thanks to all the publicists involved and we hope you enjoyed the weekend as much as we did if you went! If not, there’s always next year..

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