Image courtesy of VirtualFestivals.com
It was different this year. As 2000 Trees entered its fourth year it would appear that it is starting to become â€˜knownâ€™. So much so that for the first time since the festivalâ€™s start, they managed to sell out tickets to the event before it started.
The problem with selling more tickets is that there are more people to get into the site and this means queues. And itâ€™s in a queue that I found myself on Friday morning when Maybeshewill took to the stage. While I may not have been able to see the stage, thankfully I was able to hear them as I waited to enter the site. The people in front of me in the queue may not have been fans of the soft post-rock meanderings that wafted over us, thinking that it all sounded the same (I didnâ€™t want to point out that it was in fact just one long post-rock epic) – they didnâ€™t appreciate the sounds that gently caressed us and made the hour long queue a bit more bearable.
Post rock was to be a bit of theme for me for the entire weekend which is good as itâ€™s a genre I have a fondness for as can be seen in my post rock playlist. But before my next instalment of post rock there were some other acts to see.
Bags dropped off at the campsite we first made a move to the Leaf Lounge to catch part of the David Goo Variety Band set followed by Midnight Mile – two bands that, thanks to The Cheltenham Underground and I Started The Fire, I had seen before and two bands that produced solid sets. David Goo is an act that is extremely hard to categorise: imagine if you grabbed a bit of every genre and mixed it together with a bit of theatre and youâ€™d start to get an idea of what to expect. Midnight Mile are much easier to describe, being part of the I Started The Fire folk based label you know where their roots are but mixed with a bit of soul and acoustica to produce a deep soul felt sound.
But there was no time to hang around the Leaf Lounge as there was an appointment to be kept at the Green House for the performance of Spotisfaction hero Men Diamler. A solo performer that has more power than many bands I have seen Men Diamler truly has to be seen to be believed. Wandering on and off stage as the whim takes him Men DiamlerÂ doesnâ€™tÂ need a sound system to be at his best and many an audience member will get a very close, and sometimes intimidating, look at his performance. I have seen Men Diamler a few times in the last few months and his performances just seem to be improving. A mix of own songs and traditional spiritual songs, hymns and shanties this is a sound that can divide the opinion of the listeners as much as his antics can physically divide the audience.
Then time to hit the main stage for one of the acts I really wanted to see and yes it was a bit of post rock. And So I Watch You From Afar may sound like something a stalker would say but itâ€™s also more words than youâ€™ll hear in an entire set from the band. An entirely instrumental set may not be everyoneâ€™s cup of tea but these guys pulled it off with aplomb. The band were tight and the sound was phenomenal, this was post rock excellence being performed for our pleasure. With a sound much heavier than some of their post rock counterparts, this quintet from Belfast stormed through a flawless set full of swooping guitars and thrashing drums that is much more tightly structured then it may appear to the casual listener. The sheer forcefulness of their sound is proof that while lyrics can move you, music alone can get you moving.
A break for some food, and some more cider, as well as a wander around the site to check things out before heading back to the main stage to check out the headliners.
First up were Errors, more post-rock musing but this time with a much more electronic, synth laden feel. Melodic and tuneful, the Glaswegian four piece effortlessly blend their playful synth refrains with post-rock guitars and frantic drumming. There is comfortable cohesiveness amongst the band that creates a sound that almost rolls off the stage and over the crowd, settling comfortably into the spaces around everyone. This musicÂ isnâ€™tÂ in your face, itâ€™s more subtle, tempting you in to investigate more.
Next we had Metronomy and quite frankly this was one of the best sets of the weekend. Full of energy and, of course, with a funky light show, Metronomyâ€™s current line up lit up the stage both literally and metaphorically. A mixture of smart electro pop and experimental new rave Metronomy can be hard to categorise but when they put on a show like this genres mean nothing. Pumping tunes like Heatbreaker and You Could Easily Have Me into the audience, the crowd responded with some highly energetic dancing that lifted the mood of the festival above the rain that had fallen during the day.
And finally there was headliner Frank Turnerâ€¦
â€¦hmm yeah I think Iâ€™ll just leave that one there