there's a wealth of underground music to explore at 2000trees

2000trees Festival 2014 review

published: Fri 18th Jul 2014

around the festival site

Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th July 2014
Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 4BL, England MAP
daily capacity: 4000
last updated: Wed 4th Jun 2014

Nothing says 'you twat' more than over sleeping and missing your pre booked train, I finally arrived at Paddington and purchased some more train tickets, and there began my Festival trip to 2000 Trees. The festival began in 2007 and has gone from strength to strength. After a short shuttle bus ride from Cheltenham Spa station I found myself following the crowd of people along the small road ways to the entrance, I got my wristband and headed straight for the camp site where my friend had already set up the tents which is great and made it worth being late for, cheers Sam!

After the tents were up I went for a good look about. We camped in camp Reuben which over looked the main stage, but there was also camp Turner which was based near the 2nd and 3rd stages (The Axiom and The Cave). The other end of Camp Turner was another stage called 'The Croft' and to the left of camp Turner you can go into the woods for 'Forest Sessions' where you will find 2 places with stages (Forest Sessions and Room 7 ) Along the way you will also find busking points where you will also get to see some artists play and tents up in the camp area for more performances and not to forget 'Addistock' stage which was based opposite the wristband exchange area and in front of the illuminated word 'TREES', all in all it kept me VERY busy!

The food stalls were very reasonable and there were some lovely foods available ranging from pizza to jacket potato, to wraps and grilled cheese sandwiches, also available was a coffee van and a shop for all your essentials you left at home. You could also buy a cup of ice which was brilliant and well needed with the heat that weekend!

On to some music and the first act I saw was Ben Marwood playing to a packed tent, easy to say he delivered what the crowd expected and he had them singing along to every track.

Gnarwolves also had a very big crowd, They sounded to me like a cross between Rock and Emo, but with their own unique sound that just draws you in, and boy did they draw me in along with everyone else, they left the stage to chants of 'we want more' from the audience but sadly no more came. Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip headlined and I have to say they are definitely not my kind of music and I felt no enjoyment watching them at all, that said I think the crowd watching were loving it and whatever they had done they must have done it well going by the cheers that went on in that tent. So that was day 1 over, the warm up day for early birds and what a great day it was.

Day 2 started with me seeing B-Sydes playing the busk stage in Camp Turner which was very chilled and relaxed as everybody just stayed sitting down and listened. B-Sydes has a very distinct singing voice and some brilliant acoustic tracks but you just can't compare him to anyone else out there. I was very happy when he played 'Still In Saigon', Great tune! A little later I strolled down to the main stage to catch Natives and they looked every bit at home up there on that big stage. They play the kind of music that gets your toes tapping along and make you wish you knew their lyrics as the urge to sing along becomes very strong! If anyone needed to have their hangover chased away, God Damn would have been a good place to start, heavy riffs and beats with the odd heavy vocals to match, these guys sure would wake you up fast, and there are only 2 members to the band!

Heart In Hand were pretty good musically with tunes to make the hair on your neck stand up. At times they kind of reminded me of Funeral For A Friend minus Matt Davies's smooth melodic vocals, if I could have quietened the loud vocals now and again and added some melodic smooth vocals in with it I probably would have loved them!

 Baby Godzilla started their set sounding every bit like a dinosaur, I can only describe the stage act as 'mental' but not in a good way. The members of the band were everywhere and they didn't stick to the stage, instead they were in the pit and on the barrier and even running around in the crowd and crowd surfing with guitars. The music and vocals sounded as chaotic as it all looked and I know one thing for sure, I will not be seeing this band again!

Arcane Roots played the main stage and full marks go to a good solid performance, even when the singer falls over he still manages to keep playing his guitar as he lay there. With songs that flow from slow and quiet to fast and loud with ease, they didn't quite hold my attention but that doesn’t matter as they had the attention of plenty of other people!

Dave McPherson was the 1st artist I saw playing The Croft and what a great stage that was, it was set the other side of Camp Turner and it had a real privacy where you could hear just that one artist as opposed to snippets of other bands blasting out from other stages. His Set was a great one, with tracks such as 'Snowball' 'Hearts Need Blood' and the awesome INME song (for whom McPherson is the front man), Turbulence.

Next up was Sam Duckworth at The Croft and he didn't disappoint, Great tunes and a powerful voice along with some political opinions and he ended it with 'Call Me Ishmael' Brilliant!!

The Bronx headlined The Cave and they were loud, lively and chaotic but in a good way.

The tent was filled to capacity and the singer enjoyed a crowd surf or 2 before later encouraging the crowd to start crowd surfing. Bet that pleased the security!!

Band Of Skulls headlined the main stage, these guys have a very 70s feel to them and the crowd loved it, I loved the light show, ho hum, off to the next stage.

Three Trapped Tigers headlined 'The Axiom' and they were pretty damn fine! 3 members, no vocals, but what they created sounded great, some amazing drumming, Synths and guitars!

Well that was the headliners over, the night was over right??? WRONG, I then headed off to Addistock stage where we sawAdam Boucher, Neil Morris, B-Sydes, Shoes4Brakes (who consisted of 2 members, one with a guitar and one with a drum boxand sounded brilliant) and last up was Jasper in the Company of Others. Well I thought they were the last up, Until Dave McPherson appeared (Again!) He played an amazing set and was on-stage for 1 hour. During this time I sang along and laughed more than I had in ages, the banter between the audience and McPherson was quite hilarious. We were treated to some covers like 'The Voice' by John Farnham, 'The Living Years' by Mike And The Mechanics which were both great, but my favourite song was definitely 'Faster The Chase'.

Quote of the night from McPherson “oh the irony of being drowned out by a silent disco” sadly he was a bit drowned out by it.

The silent disco ran at the cave and the main stage on Friday and Saturday night, and it definitely was NOT silent as the singing from everyone with their headphones on was amazing and so loud and it looked like everyone was having a great time there. I crawled back to my tent at 3.30am, shattered but not broken!

Saturday began for me by getting a cup of coffee from a small van called 'The Coffee Camper' I just wish every festival would hire this company as the coffee is amazing!! I went to the forest sessions next, the sound in there was amazing and what a treat it was to lounge around the area out of the sun, Rachel Bedford  played a lovely set before I moved on to room no7, which is like a busking point for the forest, and there I caught Dave McPherson. This guy was everywhere, but luckily everyone seemed to like him, including me! Next up I went to the croft to catch VerseChorusVerse, Tony Wright was once in a band called And So I Watch You From Afar but now he has taken a different direction and it sounded pretty sweet to me.

Next up for me was LostAlone. This was a band I totally disliked in the past, but their set was brilliant, I think they have come a long way since they toured with 30 Seconds To Mars in 2008 and become a band I can actually enjoy, oh and it might be worth adding they were joined on stage by Dave McPherson for a great performance of their song 'Love Will Eat You Alive'.

Lonely The Brave were on after that and wow what a set that was, they had the crowd singing along to their songs from start to finish and what great songs they were! Finally I managed to catch Frightened Rabbit on the main stage and what a way to end the day, and what a way to end the festival for me, they were great, the sound wasn't the best for them but they still managed to play a good set and had everyone’s eyes on them for pretty much the whole set. I was supposed to go and see another performance in Camp Turner by Dave McPherson, but I found myself back in my tent falling fast asleep instead, the 3 days have worn me out, but a week later and I am still not recovered!!

review by: Trina Back

photos by: Sam Benamar

Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th July 2014
Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 4BL, England MAP
daily capacity: 4000
last updated: Wed 4th Jun 2014

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