Brakes are the highlight of Wood's opening night

Wood 2009 review

By Tommy Jackson | Published: Mon 1st Jun 2009


Friday 15th to Sunday 17th May 2009
Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, OX10 6AN , England MAP
£55 - 3 nights camping and workshops included.
Last updated: Mon 11th May 2009

After a long journey south, and the subsequent, and never fun, tent-pitching in the rain, the first act I had the chance to catch was the wonderful Rachael Dadd, on the Wood Stage. Making an early push for best festival discovery, her experimental folk set drew in a respectable crowd, and songs such as 'The Wires' and a wonderful take on traditional classic 'Two Sisters' gave Tom Waits' definitive version a run for it's money.

The Week That Was
Having travelled all the way from the North East, I was no stranger to fellow northerners The Week That Was, who's reputation back home is growing at a staggering rate. They are indeed a scarily talented bunch, which is no surprise since they formed from the ashes of indie contenders Field Music. Frontman Peter Brewis is everything a band needs in a frontman - likeable, charismatic and talented, and by the time they hit their stride with 'The Airport Line', The Week That Was were warming the hearts of the cold crowd.

Jason McNiff's heartfelt solo set drew comparisons to the likes of Damien Rice and in parts Elliot Smith, but there is something about him which is delightfully different, and which defies comparisons. 'Pilgrim Soul' was the standout moment in his all too short set, and like Rachael Dadd earlier, he surely gained a whole new legion of fans today.

KTB, or Katy Bennett, is at 25 one of the most sophisticated young songwriters this reviewer has ever had the pleasure of seeing. By deliberately keeping her music simple and literal, Bennett provides the listener with a door to her lovelorn world, and by stepping through we become party to it. As Bennett's voice flowed over the busy tent, it was impossible not to get drawn in, and armed with standout tracks such as 'I Like You Like Me' and the beautiful 'Bluebird', it is surely only a matter of time before KTB takes the next step up.

Standing out like a sore thumb on today's folk heavy line-up, Brakes took to the Wood Stage like a band possessed. Truck Festival stalwarts, they clearly felt right at home here at its little sister, and the resulting set was the highlight of the festival for many, myself included.

The Brighton quartet, who recently released third album 'Touchdown' treated the huge (by Wood standards anyway) crowd to a highlight laden set which included the best of the new material in 'Don't Take Me To Space (Man)', 'Two Shocks' and the fantastic 'Hey Hey', whilst still ensuring the older fans went away happy by ripping through fan-favourites 'Porcupine or Pineapple', and 'Cease and Desist'. It wouldn't, however, be a Brakes show without a couple of their trademark short songs, and tonight we got 'Cheney', which may go down as the best protest song ever, and the frankly marvellous 'Comma Comma Comma Full Stop', which closed the show in grand style, with the crowd going so far as to boo festival organiser Joe Bennett when he came onstage to announce that the show really was over.
review by: Tommy Jackson

photos by: Tommy Jackson

Latest Updates

Wood 2019
festival details
last updated: Fri 26th Apr 2019
Wood 2019
line-ups & rumours
last updated: Tue 9th Apr 2019
festival home page
last updated: Wed 3rd Oct 2018
Wood 2018
festival details
last updated: Fri 4th May 2018