It’s nearly time for our favourite festival of the year! No this isn’t some enormous BBC3-endorsed behemoth, but a 5,000 capacity event set in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswolds, with 80 of the finest underground bands over 5 stages. This festival is 2000trees, and there aren’t many like it.
Winner of the UK Festival Awards’ “Grass Roots Festival” award in 2010 & 2013, 2000trees was created by a group of friends in 2007, borne out of frustration with the ever increasing corporate sponsorship and ‘musical merry-go-round’ nature of the larger mainstream British festivals.
Disillusioned by extortionate ticket prices and overpriced food and drink, this band of festival veterans vowed to take matters into their own hands and in true punk rock style set about developing the perfect antidote. Upcote Farm has previously played host to Band of Skulls, Frightened Rabbit, Frank Turner, Dan le Sac v Scroobius Pip, Bombay Bicycle Club, Los Campesinos!, Tribes, Goldheart Assembly and Tall Ships – to name but a few.
The 2015 edition kicks off THIS THURSDAY (9th July) so we’re here to take you through who not to miss this coming weekend!
The St. Pierre Snake Invasion
The Cave (3:30pm – 4:00pm)
Confrontational Bristol punks TSPSI set things off on the traditional Thursday session for bands that have killed it at the festival in the past. Expect a breakneck punk rock steam engine to the face to help down that first White Russian of the weekend.
The Cave (5:20pm – 5:55pm)
One of the greatest sets of the weekend in 2014, the Exeter blues-punks will bring a whole lot of lovin’ to the stage and were excellent just a couple of weeks ago at Devizes Festival (full review here). Hopefully they’ll sound out a few more new tracks, and there’s bound to be crowd surfing, dancing, walls of death and a big old party when The Computers are around.
(If you can deal with running around like a nutter, then do yourself a favour and run into the forest to see Lonely Tourist. He’s lovely and ace, and very sweary.)
The Cave (6:20pm – 7:00pm)
More Bristolians now, as the charismatic Turbowolf bring their slick rock and roll to the party. A well renown live act, their psychedelic live show is not to be missed.
The Cave (7:25pm – 8:05pm)
A band that need little introduction after supporting the mighty Muse on tour, these guys have an ever expanding legion of fans and play towering, complex, atmospheric hits chocked full of singalongs. This has potential to be one of the sets of the weekend, so be there.
That’s sort of it for us on the Thursday, as not-massive-fans of either We Are The Ocean or The Subways. We will likely stick around and catch bits, but there’ll be a Smokin’ Hot Tamales burrito with our name on it to be snaffled and a can of Pistonhead to find so never fear!
Bite The Buffalo
Main Stage (12 noon – 12:30pm)
The first day proper of the festival, the opening bands, and already – CLASH. Some umming and ahhing will see us pick local (to us, anyway) boys Bite The Buffalo over the excellent Woahnows who are no doubt going to kill it on The Axiom. BTB are blues-rockers fuelled by deep grooves and excellent songwriting, perfect for the sun that will obviously be bathing the site…
The Axiom (12:50pm – 1:20pm)
More clashes here, as Ghouls playing on The Cave are bloody wonderful. But we tipped Allusondrugs to be a hit in 2015 back in January, so we’re off to make sure we were right. We’ll be catching up with the band during the festival for a chat, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
The Croft (1:15pm – 1:45pm)
Off to the top of the hill now, because missing the start of Sam Russo’s set is better than missing the whole thing. He supported Tim Barry on a UK run earlier this year, where our man Richie Lavery said of the Suffolk singer-songwriter “(his) brand of English country is perfect for his personality; he’s funny, charming, grateful, a nice guy.”
The Cave (2:05pm – 2:35pm)
Another of our “Ones To Watch in 2015”, and is this one of our most anticipated sets of the weekend. After seeing the horror-punks support Moose Blood in a Swindon wonder-show earlier in the year, we KNOW you’re in for a treat with this. Pop hooks, hardcore drums, emotional lyrics and a great on-stage energy, Creeper are essential viewing.
The Axiom (2:35pm – 3:05pm)
A band that played Devizes in support of Gnarwolves in 2013, these boys have gone from strength with the release of debut album ‘Hairball’ earlier this year. The ’emo-revival’ band put on a tight live show that stems from their friendship, full of varying dynamics and eccentricity.
Nothing But Thieves
The Axiom (3:40pm – 4:20pm)
Another band formed on friendships, the Essex 4-piece signed to RCA Victor last year and are another very tight live band. Intrumentally very intricate, the influences of Jeff Buckley flow through their music and their gritty live shows.
The Cave (4:20pm – 5:00pm)
A band that have made their name touring with the likes of Korn and Enter Shikari, rap-metal hybrid Hacktivist are a whirlwind of a live show who will do their very best to tear the roof off of The Cave during their afternoon set. Expect new material as the band prepare to announce record #2.
The Croft (4:55pm – 5:25pm)
I’m leaving Hacktivist early though to catch personal favourite Rob Lynch. The singer-songwriter formerly known as Lost On Campus is a laid back performer, cracking gags between songs and singalongs. He’s a consummate performer, and another musician that we’ll be catching up with over the course of the weekend,
Feed The Rhino
The Cave (5:40pm – 6:25pm)
These guys are a massively impressive live band. Huge sounding, relentless, tight, polished and utterly precise, this is another band that could put their stamp on the festival this weekend. Making their name at festivals throughout the land, everyone is talking about Feed The Rhino.
Main Stage (6:25pm – 7:10pm)
Young Guns are another one of those bands I’ve heard loads about, have been aware of for a long time, but never checked out. Since being announced for the festival, they’ve become one of our ‘must watch’ sets of the weekend. Their ‘Bones’ release is one of the freshest and exciting of recent years, and we hope to hear lots from that!
Pulled Apart By Horses
The Cave (7:10pm – 7:55pm)
One of the first names announced for this 9th edition of 2000trees, and rightly so. These guys open their live sets with the beautifully titled ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’, with driving bass and dirty riffs it’ll feel like PABH have punched YOU in the throat. Tom Hudson is an animated, inspired front man and his band will hold you in the palm of their hands.
The Axiom (7:55pm – 8:35pm)
The next evolution of Jim Lockey et al., Solemn Sun are a feedback ridden wall of noise with a colossal sound. This is bound to be one of if not the biggest crowd of the weekend, such is the reputation of this Cheltenham band at this particular festival. 2000trees is their scene, and they’re sure to be welcomed back as heroes.
Main Stage Headliner (9:45pm – 11:00pm)
A band that have almost completely changed in sound since their debut, the much loved 6-piece are a fitting end to the first proper night of the festival. With soaring guitars and huge melodic hooks, you’re guaranteed singalongs from this headline set. The band really mix it up live, with acoustic and electric versions of their ever growing catalogue of material.
Don’t forget to grab your headphones for the silent disco once the bands have finished!! Also, this is happening:
In the words of curator Heartwork (formerly known as Dropout Dan):
“So as we all know, Mr Ben Marwood is currently out of musical action. Myself and a close group of friends that have been going to this festival for some years now all agree that it’s going to be a damn shame that we can no longer drink Cotswold Premium Lager/Cider & White Russians whilst shouting “Marwood Main Stage” at his face between songs during his classic sets.
So to keep the spirit alive, I’m holding the first ever Camp Marwood on the Friday night after Deaf Havana have finished their set on the main stage.
The line up will be coming to play some of their own songs, some covers and of course a few cheeky Marwood songs in the mix too.
Location:- The Roundabout Busking Stage (on the way to The Croft).”
SEE. YOU. THERE.
The Cave (12:25pm – 12:55pm)
Latest EP release ‘Driftwood’ is full of memorable choruses and spirited energy, making this the perfect set to kick off a hungover Saturday. Our tip is to grab a veggie sausage toastie from the Wide Awake Cafe for breakfast and head on into The Cave. See y’all there!
The Axiom (1:40pm – 2:10pm)
This band have been gathering some real momentum of late, bursting through the UK underground in the wave of 90s throwback style bands. Heavy distortion, changing dynamics and gritty guitars is what this band are about, oh, and that moody persona.
The Cave (2:05pm – 2:35pm)
Such is the scale of Trees, it’s possible to saunter from one stage to another as bands crossover, and not miss much. This we are glad of, as missing some of Black Peaks wouldn’t really be on. After making waves touring with fellow Trees act Arcane Roots earlier this year, we’re keen to catch them for the first time to see if the hype is acceptable. We’re pretty sure it’s gonna be.
Boy Jumps Ship
The Axiom (2:35pm – 3:05pm)
After having to pull out due to family reasons last year, it’s great to see the Geordie pop-punkers rebooked – their sound is all riffs and gang vocals and single ‘Black Hearts Don’t Beat’ is one of our very favourites!
The Cave (3:05pm – 3:40pm)
Gathering fans aplenty after supporting All Time Low and Tonight Alive around the UK, it’s easy to see why with their crowd pleasing choruses, Stephen Arkins’ exqusite vocals and fully charged riffs. Time spent with those pop-punk masters will have helped them perfect their in the past somewhat clumsy stagecraft, and musically they’ve grown superbly in recent years.
The Axiom (3:40pm – 4:20pm)
Latest album ‘I Feel Weird’ is written to be played live, such are the sound of the tracks on the record. We’re particularly looking forward to hearing opener ‘Want You Around (Chunky)’, ‘Everyone’s a Little Bit Weird’ and big favourite ‘Scarier Area’ from the split with Muncie Girls.
Main Stage (5:10pm – 5:50pm)
The first trip of the day to the main stage will see us catch the end of The Xcerts, an excellent band who fully deserve your love, and would get ours if it wasn’t for Great Cynics. However Skinny Lister are not to be missed, the former touring buddies of the mighty Dropkick Murphys have signed to Xtra Mile and released another full length album this year, and what an album it is!
The Axiom (6:25pm – 7:05pm)
This band seem to have grown exponentially of late, after becoming only the second ever band from the UK to sign to legendary US label Hopeless Records. Their latest EP release ‘Viewpoint’ is leading the way for a full length later in the year, and if the current material is anything to go by, that bad boy is going to be huge.
Main Stage (7:50pm – 8:45pm)
East London reggae crew The Skints are the perfect band for a warm, sunny day (and it’s always sunny at Trees, right?!) so kudos to the organisers for sticking them on the Main Stage. There was an air of feverish anticipation around the release of their 3rd album ‘FM’ earlier this year, especially after the quality of the material on last years ‘Short Change EP’.
The Cave (8:45pm – 9:45pm)
The three-piece post hardcore Welshmen have reformed (of sorts) 10 years after their split, and if there’s somewhere they’re gonna let loose, it’s right here at Trees. Tracks like ‘To Hell With Good Intentions’, ‘She Will Only Bring You Happiness’ and of course ‘Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues’ are bound to go down a storm.
Main Stage (9:45pm – 11:00pm)
And finally it’s time for the closing set of the weekend. The slot so ably filled by the magnificent Frightened Rabbit last year this time falls to Matt Skiba, Dan Andriano and Derek Grant; Alkaline Trio. A set that’s bound to be littered with hits from their 8 album, 17 year career, AK3 have hits for days including their entire 2001 release ‘From Here To Infirmary’ which they played in its entirety in Leeds the other night. WANT WANT WANT.
So there you have it. Come find us this weekend and let’s grab a cider (or a White Russian!) and party in true Trees style!
– “A magnificent weekend” (Rock Sound)
– “Diverse, intense, challenging, and down-right incredible music. truly extraordinary, long may it continue” (The Independent)
– “The best festival in the UK – and that’s not going to change any time soon” (Stereoboard)
– “2000trees lives up to all the promises, it was the most pleasurable of festivals. fantastic festival and atmosphere” (Summer Festival Guide)
– “Top 10 small festivals” (The Guardian)
– “A festival set up by festival lovers for festival revellers… it might be small but it packs a punch.” (Virtual Festivals)
– “The most music-focused festival” (Itch, The King Blues)
– “My favourite UK festival” (Frank Turner)
All stage times are subject to change