Truck Festival intended to be my first-weekend festival, and a weekend of others firsts, including pitching a tent & sleeping in it. Unfortunately, things went far from planned and I ended up back in Lincolnshire by 8am Saturday morning. It wasn't all a loss – despite the rain and gloomy, cold weather (a normal British summer's day); I saw some great bands and I reviewed the first day of the festival for What the Funk? magazine – here's what I had to say about who I deem to be future headliners, surprises of the day & more! Words were originally published onto What the Funk, and you can read the original (and check out the rest of the funky new website, right here).
Although I've been to a handful of one-day festivals in the past, Oxfordshire’s Truck was the first weekend and camping festival I’d been to. I was immediately impressed with the layout of the festival – there were plenty of food stands, and everything was near each other. Truck had the cutest merchandise shop, selling a variety of albums and records from classics and performers, doubling into a signing tent. Unfortunately, it took a while to even get into the site due to congestion on the shuttle bus route and long queues – from then on bad luck plagued the festival. Dismal temperatures and heavy rain were persistent throughout the weekend, creating what was essentially a mud bath. Still, the weather could not dampen spirits, nor the quality of the acts playing. I watched an eclectic range of acts on the Friday of the festival.
Stand-out performance of the day: BlackWaters
Part of the This Feeling movement, Guildford’s BlackWaters is a feisty young rock band making scenes in the underground new wave of punk. They were one of the first bands to perform at Truck 2017 and ensured the festival began on a lively dynamic note. Were they good? Oh yeah, fuck yeah!
Most disappointing performance: No one!
All eleven bands and singers I saw impressed vocally and in entertainment value as well. If there was one aspect of a band’s performance that let me down, I’d have to say the crowd management during Jaws’ performance on the Market Stage. Whilst the Birmingham indie pop piece delivered a high-quality set, Truck had evidently underestimated the high number of people attending their performance, ultimately resulting in a lot of uncomfortable and painful pushing and shoving!
Headliner of the Future: The Big Moon
The Big Moon is the future of British indie music; soon it’ll be the turn of female fronted acts such as them, Wolf Alice, and others to occupy the main stage headliner spots. I’ll tell you why; the London four-member girl band have quirky fun personalities, and even bigger, fun pop numbers. Songs including Cupid and Formidable are chanted by crowds like the tracks are their greatest hits already, highlighting how successful their 2017 debut record has been. Expect to see them higher up the Main Stage ranking at Truck in the next couple of years.
The Big Moon in action🎸
Goat Girl was meant to take to the Market Stage but was swiftly replaced by Low Island, who was originally scheduled to appear just on one of the other stages. I dug the chilled, ambience electronic vibe the Oxford group had. They were the complete opposite to the antics of Brighton punk band Dream Wife. I’d only heard them by name so I had not a clue what they would sound like, but I was blown away by their exciting, invigorating hectic performance, and will give male punk bands a run for their money.
Truck Festival has a growing reputation for being one of the best medium sized festivals, stepping away from predictability and giving so much incredible new talent a chance to shine. There were so many more acts I could have mentioned in the review – for instance, Slaves and Pulled Apart by Horses are two very different rock acts, yet both delivered high octane performances. Hopefully, the weather fairs better for Truck 2018!