Posted by: outroversion | August 1, 2011

Truck Festival 2011: Part Two

Saturday

Little Fish

Having seen Little Fish in their usual guise over half a dozen times now and having seen them on all the logical stages here at Truck, we’re more than qualified to judge the fresh dynamic that comes from taking the drums and electrics out of the equation here in the Cabaret Tent, the home of many a hidden gem this weekend.

Two thirds of the band are here today, Juju Sophie armed only with an acoustic guitar and her sirensque pipes with Ben Walker and his Hammond. The afternoon seemed to be thinking of turning into evening and Truck was thinking about getting down to the serious business of rocking out.

The absence of percussion and the leading lady’s shredding only really meant the temperature and amount of sweat we’ve become accustomed to at their shows was toned down, otherwise it was just as passionate a performance as we’ve come to expect from these OX4 leviathans.

We’ll see more from them tomorrow.

Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou

Charming and familiar the husband and wife folk duo filled their set with enlightening stories inbetween songs from their debut and upcoming albums including tales of generous arcade machines and their own inadvertantly offensive brand of merchandise.

It was during their set that it was confirmed that Amy Winehouse had passed away. They were playing their sumblime 2010 track “England” at the time, a sombre moment.

 “Your grace and your beauty is real to me, straight from a story book i’m told.”

“Somebody say, ‘This was England.'”

 

Thomas Truax

As enigmatic a performer that you will ever find. Dressed in a NASA emblazoned shirt and sharp suit, neither of which being weather appropatiate (It’s getting stupid hot now..) Thomas Truax is surrounded by his own inventions with which he is about to open people’s minds. Fortunately, ours and other Truckers here are already familiar having witnessed his not of this world personality and unique approach to artistry last year.

As with his previou appearence he begins the journey with the “Hornicator” accompanied “Aliens have kidnapped our Nicole Kidman“. His drummer, “Mother Superior” then makes her prescence known on “A notice of eviction to a closet full of skeletons“. While the act is spellbinding it’s also interesting to watch audience member’s reactions; while there could be an Andy Kauffman type ‘Is he serious?‘ response he gets the mesmerised approval that is hard to deny him.

He left the venue half way through having grown weary of the confines placed upon him by technology and festival conventions to play for a new audience in the campsite. dumbfounding his evermore adoring original spectators. He returned and put on a finale just for us-

 

Displaying the kind of improvisation that comes with his wealth of experience, he went on to enchant the audience with “the stringulator“. I hadn’t seen this invention in action beore, a complex concoction of drum, tubing, strings and wires- as complicated to play as it is to describe; it sounds as wonderfully insane as you could imagine.

What a guy.

The Young Knives

Ashby De La Zouche’s Young Knives haven’t played Truck in FIVE years.

Last time they did they were on the cusp of their first album proper, Outroversion acclaimed “Voices of animals and men” with only a mini album to their name “... Are Dead” and while on the mainstage, it wasn’t as the sun was setting on the Saturday. There was no twitter, no facebook, myspace was cool, Arctic Monkeys were in their infancy and we were all five years younger than we are now :(

Here in 2011, with the technological advances, half a decade older and with 2 more albums under their belt, The Young Knives bring it home. While 2008’s Superabundance was considered a little patchy, its better moments fill the gaps in a “voices…” and “Ornaments from the silver arcade” heavy set and it makes for a storming show.

Henry, House of Lords and Oliver are constants, up until this year very little had changed in their music but their newest album seems to have been an experiement where everything turned out right and here everyone is into it whether they knew the material before or not.

Sunday

Alessi’s Ark

The highly anticipated Truck debut of Alessi’s Ark is an engaging and endearing one. Between songs her conversation was fresh and awkward which was in incredible contrast to her professional and presciently soulful performances.

Her elocution is fascinating, as if these beautiful words are escaping her sould and forcing themselves out of her mouth in any way they can. The composure of her performance comes from the kind of belief that comes from such profound and intricately crafted creations.

 

Little Fish Acoustic

Having presumabley stayed the night, Little Fish return to the spotlight looking a little more like everyone else.

Less screamy but just as fervent, Julia shows the true range of her vocals here. A harmonica volunteered by an audience member replaces Ben’s broken keys in the intimate setting of the Truck tent. There’s just as much conversation as there is music, we learn about their songwriting process and the life of a ‘between records’ band.

They start releasing music again at the end of December and they’ll have a lot more reasons to be at festivals next summer but hopefully that won’t stop them coming back here.

Pete and The Pirates Acoustic

Reading’s Pete and the Pirates are up next in the Truck tent. Looking unusually unshaven, leader of the gang Tom Sanders looks almost unrecognisable in a polo shirt with unkempt hair and completely bowtieless!

Sometimes a band’s sound acoustically transfers seamlessly and while the same brilliant tracks, stripped down they are soooo different. Even fighting with nearby mainstager “Johnny” for noise space and without their full band bassist thier songs keep the attention of an audience at ages of both extremes.

This merely sets the evening up even more perfectly.


Pete and The Pirates

It’s hard to have more fun at a gig than you do when witnessing Pete and Pirates. Though their new album is a little more downbeat than their debut, it really goes unnoticed as it is just purely a great time.

As an ensemble the music blends together perfectly but individually they’re all brilliant musicians.

Frontman Tom, sharply attired in wristband matching red and gold shirt, postures and performs to the audience with the effrontery of Brandon Flowers with his efféte vocals controlled and deliberate.

Pete Cattermoul pounds the bass with resounding accuracy. Now, I think he looks like Danny Wallace. No one agrees with me. I don’t understand how no one else sees it?! Great bassist and guitarist none the less.

Swirling underscoring from the guitars and driving rhythm from the drums, irresistable grooves.

Their performance was perfect to the point that we left after their set. The goodbye is always the hardest part about the festival and this was the perfect memory to finish on. A band that encompasses everything Truck festival is about.

See y0u next year.

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