2000 Trees 2014: Saturday July 12th
With the weather remaining perfect, the third day got under way with The Croft the place to be in the early hours of the afternoon. Tos is charged with getting everyone back in the mood for another day of sunshine and music, in between each set he’d get someone up to announce the next band. He would lambast how few people had bought copies of the program and those courageous enough to admit they had one were cajoled onto the stage to describe the upcoming act.
First up were Bristol based Scot Paul Tierney‘s band Lonely Tourist playing tracks from their albums Sir, I’m a Good Man and Shouting at the Weather; his charming and self-deprecating personality selling the band to the audience as much as the poignant and well-crafted songs.
Their enduring set comes to a close with the lead singer’s ode to his former-footballer namesake, “The ballad of Paul Tierney.” A tale of youthful promise and its eventual decline into reality.
You couldn’t go to a festival over the last few years without coming across Northern Ireland troubadour Tony Wright‘s former band And So I Watch You From Afar, which he founded but has now moved on from. Safe to say they graced these fields but nowadays his tunes are crafted for a different audience and therefore a different tent.
By now the Croft has spilled way out into the fields and those lucky enough to be inside are granted audience to an upbeat set with the kind of tales of life on the road that either make you want to pick up a guitar and sleep on couches or make you glad you work in an office.
He left out the masterful Nothing is Easy and hauntingly beautiful Birds in favour of keeping the mood at a high, throwing in songs that he’d only written recently and one conceived over the past few days. It’s still just as enchanting basically, this is music that was made for any massive endorphin inducing event or moments of ultimate peace. He gets it just right.
I’m not sure who feels more honoured, the audience for the opportunity to see Scandinavian frontman Snævar Njáll Albertsson perform or him for playing here.
It’s all glorious, musically intricate and lyrically he doesn’t waste a syllable. Each song has a deliberate message and are distinct from one another, the impeccable Battle Hymn of the Fox Father though an undoubted highlight exhibiting the talent on show here.
Such elaborate soundscaping can see meaning lost to the verdantly layered underscores that would be easy to get distracted by if the songs weren’t so well constructed. It’s a privilege to witness such mastery and it feels like the meaning of every song is intended for the moment they are witnessed in.
A perfect lift before things start to get heavy…
I don’t use the term “behemoth” lightly but Leicester’s foremost post-hardcore artists are just that and hearing Not For The Want of Trying live is worth the entrance fee alone, a moment that speaks for itself…
Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job.The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere that seems to know what to do and there’s no end to it! We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in a house as slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller and all we say is, “Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and my TV, and my steel belted radials and I won’t say anything.” Well I’m not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad!
2000 Trees has been waiting a long time for the Reuben frontman to grace one of their stages and it’s the cave that has the honour.
For the casual fan it was perhaps a little Reuben light, leaving out the ever popular Freddy Kreuger, the huge Let’s Stop Hanging Out and the highly regarded Stuck in my Throat and Moving to Blackwater in favour of showcasing songs from his solo career, which is of course his right.
However, being the tenth anniversary of what is considered the late band’s pinnacle, Racecar is Racecar backwards those fortunate enough to fit in the bulging tent were given the pleasure of witnessing rare outings for No-One Wins the War and Song For Saturday from that album as well as Alpha-Signal Three from 2005’s Very Fast, Very Dangerous.
In the history of 2000 Trees, you have to be able to say you saw this.
I’m hoping that while the ascension of these Londonders’ is very reminiscent of other Howling Bells and Naked and Famous they don’t suffer the same trough after the amazing peak they are at right now.
Last year’s most blogged about artist’s music is everywhere at the moment, chances are you will have heard the beautiful Blush one place or another, the magnificent Fluffy and She or the most recent and marvellous Moaning Lisa Smile from this year’s Creature Songs EP.
They know what they’re doing and everyone here is loving them, they might be kinda big now but this time next year Radio One will be trying to suffocate the country with them.
Things are starting to cool down by the time Selkirk’s finest grace the mainstage to bring the curtain down on another perfect 2000 Trees so the shivers their music sends down the audience’s spine are as intense as they could have hoped.
A 16-song set that spanned their four album career that will have satisfied anyone with a basic knowledge of the band and I’m sure winning over many others playing Modern Leper, My Backwards Walk, Old Old Fashioned, The Loneliness and The Scream, Nothing Like You, fan favourite Swim Until You Can’t See Land and many other popular songs in what wouldn’t be far fetched or unflattering to call a greatest hits set.
The sun is gone and it’s officially over, just the unofficial acoustic sets dotted around for those not ready for the part to end. As with every year it’s hard to imagine them topping this one but rest-assured they always do. See you next year.
Huge thanks to 2000 Trees and Dominic Meason, Snaprockandpop
and Adrian Marsh for photography