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2000trees

Upcote Farm, Cheltenham

5th to 8th July 2023

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2000trees festival review

Festival season is in full swing and rock fans once again descend on Upcote Farm in Cheltenham for 2000trees! A true music fans festival, this year there is an absolute smorgasbord of the best new and established acts to savour across three full days of relentless entertainment.

However, before the event proper begins though those with early entry have an additional evening of music on tap in the beautiful forest area. The ‘Forest Stage’ has always been a unique and special feature of this festival which is now on its fifteenth iteration.

Wednesday

The privilege of opening the festivities this year goes to Snayx who, despite playing whilst many are still pitching their tents, still attract an eager and excited crowd. The band are able to seize upon this excitement to whip the crowd up even further with their brand of punk rock. A benchmark is set for the weekend early here and thankfully the organisers have a bill curated to ensure that the quality never drops!

The other stage in operation today is the small ‘The Word’ stage which over the weekend will host various activities such as further bands, live podcasts, comedians and more. Over the next few hours we are able to catch delighted spots from B-Sydes, Masca, Polyanna and Gaz Brookfield.

Over on the ‘Forest Stage’ though, the handful of selected bands combine to deliver a highly memorable evening. Delaire the Liar are up next and are able to continue to build their growing reputation with another assured performance.

A real special moment follows as one of the most talented yet underappreciated bands of the last decade Press To MECO play their final show. Such a moment really deserved a bigger stage and longer setlist but those present are able to bathe in those glorious riffs one more time with an emotional ‘A Test of Our Resolve’ a highlight of the whole festival.

Next are a band just getting started. Saint Agnes are tipped as the future of rock music by some, and again on the evidence of their set tonight those people are very much correct! Debut album ‘Bloodsuckers’ can’t arrive soon enough; thankfully we only need to wait on July 21st!

The latest Tigercub album is already out and next up the band bring ‘The Perfume of Decay’ to life with a solid showing as the forest area begins to fill up in anticipation of the nights two headline acts.

Both Holding Absence and Bob Vylan will play two sets over the weekend but before gracing the main stage, they both thrill those packed into the woods! Holding Absence are first and they captivate the crowd with a cleverly selected mix of rarities and fan favourites. This band continues to grow and evolve and it’s scary how good they could be.

Bob Vylan also continue to elevate the game with their headline set tonight they bring carnage to the forest! A spectacular off the cuff collection of on point punk rock more than whets the appetite for their main stage appearance, even showing that they aren’t too far away from being able to headline the biggest stage next time they play the festival.

THURSDAY

Each night the now infamous silent disco takes over the site as the party continues into the early hours, but come Thursday morning the arrival of the rest of the attendees ensure even the first act of the day, Blush Puppy on the ‘Forest Stage’ get a good turnout. The duo perform a delightful run-through of adapted favourites which starts the first full day off perfectly.

With the outdoor stage, three tented stages and the ‘Forest Stage’ all rotating throughout each day an avid music fan can fill their boots with live music and literally catch non-stop music for nigh on sixteen hours a day if they wanted to. We don’t quite have that stamina but we give it a good go and are rewarded by great sets from Kite Thief, Beach Riot and Gaffa Tape Sandy.

Following that run we then head to first catch recent ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast guests CARSICK over on the ‘NEU Stage’. The group proceed to smash through their set to the delight of those present with the likes of ‘Anaconda Frank’ showing real bite.

Another act to impress early in the weekend are Lake Malice in ‘The Cave’. The group have been winning over all who see them this summer and their future appears to be very bright indeed.

Lambrini Girls, Graphic Nature and the official debut of new group Unpeople who have formed from the ashes of Press To MECO all follow and continue to hot run of great sets. Unpeople in particular are able to really tease what is to come and make a fantastic first impression.

The main stage soon literally takes centre stage as first Kid Kapichi and then Bob Vylan deliver two of the sets of the weekend. Kid Kapichi are effortless in their delivery of impassioned punk rock which sees an endless sea of crowd surfers on an inflatable burger! Bob Vylan then reinforce the message that their headline set sent last night, that the duo are as advertised – the most important band in the world!

We then head back to the two larger tented stages, firstly for Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun who preview their upcoming new album ‘Colour’. The record will arrive on July 28th and the band really do a good job of convincing those in attendance that despite the decade plus wait for a new album, the wait will be worth it. All the new material this evening sounds absolutely massive. Then in ‘The Axiom’, The Joy Formidable deliver a delightful little set that evidences the eclectic mix of rock music presented at 2000trees.

Soon enough it’s time for the final run of bands that will close out day one. Skindred are well established as a great live act and tonight they have the crowd at their whim. The Newport Helicopter needs no introduction either as the crowd make the most of the groups big finale.

Back in the big tent next for Eagles of Death Metal who give a festival friendly, crowd pleasing set including the likes of ‘I Only Want You’, ‘Complexity’, ‘Cherry Cola’ and ‘I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)’.

Finally it’s over to the returning Soft Play (the artists formerly known as Slaves) to close out the day. The duo pick up where they left off and play as if they’ve never been away. It’s great to have the band back and fans revel in the likes of ‘Cheer Up London’, ‘Feed the Mantaray’ and ‘The Hunter’.

FRIDAY

Friday begins with an early run of Beauty School, RXPTRS, The St. Pierre Snake Invasion, BLACKGOLD and New Pagans all of whom play their rules well and make the most of their short sets.

After an overcast first couple of days, today is a scorcher and the heat is intense as LostAlone arrive on the stage. The band don’t let that phase them though as they pull out all the stops to get the crowd engaged. It’s mission accomplished by the time they deliver the double header of ‘The Final Call For Forever’ and ‘The Last Drop Of Forever’.

2000trees do very well to bring together the best new music from home and abroad and the next run of Militarie Gun, Zulu, Microwave and Kublai Khan TX shows the keen eye for upcoming talent that the organisers have.

It’s this mix of new with the established acts that perfectly balances out the line-up and Hell Is For Heroes are a great nostalgic party next on the main stage. The quality overall is again on show when you can then head immediately to the ‘NEU Stage’ for an excellently run set from As Everything Unfolds, before returning to the main stage for a very enjoyable Dinosaur Pile-Up show and then jumping straight to the always intense Cancer Bats in ‘The Cave’!

Bullet For My Valentine are the act who close out the night with a huge headline performance. Attracting one of, if not the biggest crowd of the weekend, the band are in confident mood as they showcase their headlining credentials. Older tracks such as ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and ‘Hearts Burst Into Flames’ naturally receive big reactions, but it’s telling newer tracks also are well received.

A surprise AxeWound reunion with Liam Cormier is another festival highlight before ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ and ‘Waking the Demon’ ensure that come the next morning everyone is talking about how great Bullet were tonight!

The festival has been a whirlwind as per usual for 2000trees and it’s a testament to the quality of line-up that to this point there hasn’t been a bad performance. Of course some ultimately standout more than others such as that headline set last night or Bob Vylan destroying the forest but the chilled out atmosphere amongst attendees is reflected by the respect the bands pay the crowd. The reciprocal ambience creates a synergy that elevates every aspect of this event.

SATURDAY

Come Saturday the crowd may be sapped from the previous days heat but over on the ‘Forest Stage’ Xtra Mile Recordings acts (and previous ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast guests) Hannah Rose Platt and Guise are serenading the early crowd with their beautiful music. They are both well received despite the heat being supplemented today by a lot of the wet stuff!

Xtra Mile Recordings has a great relationship and past with 2000trees and new Xtra Mile favourites (and double Full Pelt Podcast guests!) PET NEEDS attract a big crowd to ‘The Axiom’ next. This is no doubt due to some guerrilla advertising from their fans, but everyone that ventures into the tent leave hailing the band as one of the bands of the weekend.

One of the elements that makes the ‘Forest Stage’ so special are the sets from acts playing on the biggest stages which are often acoustic and unique. Next, Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine does a great job of distracting the audience from the deteriorating weather with a highly fun acoustic set.

After catching Dead Poet Society and Enola Gay strutting their stuff we are then able to catch Electric Six themselves who attract another big crowd to the main stage. The crowd lap up the likes of ‘Gay Bar’ and ‘Danger! High Voltage’ as you’d expect, and the band do their job with aplomb.

One Step Closer then cement their hype in ‘The Cave’ before Black Honey demonstrate why they are one of the best newer live acts in the country. Tracks from new album, ‘A Fistful of Peaches’ sound massive as the band achieve another of those more memorable sets of the weekend.

The reshuffled Dream State then show that they still have a big future ahead of them in ‘The Cave’ before Deaf Havana battle through a torrential downpour which decimates their crowd at the main stage. We brave the rain until the end before heading into the forest for a short but very fun set from Lynks.

Talking to people across the site, the opinion is unanimous that this has been a spectacular weekend. You feel as the weekend comes to a close that it can’t get any better, but then Hundred Reasons deliver perhaps the best set of the weekend. The band get the audience onboard from opening number ‘I’ll Find You’ and never lose them despite more heavy rain. One of the moments of the weekend comes when Enter Shikari man Rou Reynolds joins the band for a superb ‘Silver’.

Jamie Lenman then plays his latest masterpiece ‘The Atheist’ in full over in the forest before Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes come out of hibernation to finish the festival with a welcome career-spanning set.

Whilst the band may lack a certain volatility of their early days they don’t lack in swagger or controlled ferocity when required. The final run of ‘My Town’, ‘Devil Inside Me’, ‘Juggernaut’, ‘Lullaby’ and ‘I Hate You’ is the perfect way to bring an incredible weekend of music to a close.

2000trees has established itself at the heart of the summer as a trusted and respected event. From their humble beginnings to now fifteen events later, the festival lays on the infrastructure but the audience makes the event the special weekend that it is!

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Every week we roundup the best music news from the past week!

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News Report

Linkin Park share ‘Fighting Myself’

Linkin Park – ‘Fighting Myself’

Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!

This week we begin with the best new releases of the past week and up first are Linkin Park.

The iconic group are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their seminal album, ‘Meteora’. As part of these celebrations the band have now shared another unreleased track from that era. You can listen to that track, ‘Fighting Myself’, above!

Pre-order your copy of the re-issue here.

Listen on our Spotify Hot List!

Skindred debut ‘Set Fazers’

Skindred – ‘Set Fazers’

Skindred returned this week with, ‘Set Fazers’, the second single from their upcoming new album, ‘Smile’, which is out August 4th. You can check out the video for the single above.

Lead singer Benji Webbe states, “Star date 22.3.23: With this song we’re boldly going where no ragga-metal has gone before. We come in peace, L.O.V.E and unity, to bring Skindred’s outergalactic sound-system to the infinite expanse of the cosmos.”

Skindred drummer Arya Goggin continues, “The idea with the ‘Set Fazers’ video was to make a Sci Fi meets Dancehall epic! Through TikTok we met an amazing dancer called Shin (whose dance to our song ‘Nobody’ went viral earlier this year) and he’s added his unique style to the video too. We had so much fun filming it and can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen on our Spotify Hot List!

Empire State Bastard share debut single ‘Harvest’

Empire State Bastard – ‘Harvest’

Empire State Bastard, the new project from Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and his long-time colleague Mike Vennart of Oceansize, have shared their debut single ‘Harvest’, which you can check out above.

The track features the legendary drummer Dave Lombardo and represents the first taste of what the project will offer with the band simply exclaiming “Empires fall, States rise, Bastards sing…it’s Harvest time motherfuckers!”.

More here.

Listen on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist!

Saxon share ‘Razamanaz’

Saxon – ‘Razamanaz’

British heavy metal legends Saxon have released their second album of influences, ‘More Inspirations’, this week. Alongside the album came a new single, ‘Razamanaz’, which you can check out above.

Frontman Biff Byford comments “In the seventies we’d go and see Nazareth they were one of the premier touring hard rock bands. We were lucky to tour with them in 1980, they used to open the show with this song, it’s about the audience performed to an audience… brilliant stuff!”

Grab your copy here.

Listen on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

Mammoth WVH debuts ‘Another Celebration at the End of the World’

Mammoth WVH – ‘Another Celebration at the End of the World’

Next up in our News Report is Mammoth WVH who has revealed that a sophomore album will arrive on August 4th entitled, ‘Mammoth II’.

Alongside that announcement came the lead single for the album, ‘Another Celebration at the End of the World’, which you can check out above!

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist!

The Pearl Harts share ‘Hypocritical’

The Pearl Harts – ‘Hypocritical’

There was more new music on offer this week from The Pearl Harts also as the duo shared their new single, ‘Hypocritical’, which you can of course check out above!

The track is the third single to come from their upcoming album, ‘LOVE, CHAOS’, which arrives on April 21st!

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen on our Spotify Hot List!

The Pigeon Detectives return with ‘Lovers Come and Lovers Go’

The Pigeon Detectives – ‘Lovers Come and Lovers Go’

This week also saw the return of The Pigeon Detectives with new single, ‘Lovers Come and Lovers Go’, which you can listen to above.

The band also announced that they will release a brand new album, ‘TV Show’, which will arrive July 7th.

Pre-order your copy here.

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Saint Agnes debut ‘Bloodsuckers’

Saint Agnes – ‘Bloodsuckers’

Saint Agnes also announced the release of their new album, ‘Bloodsuckers’, this week with the album set to arrive on July 21st.

The news was accompanied by the debut of a new single of the same name, which you can check out above.

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

As Everything Unfolds unveil ‘Slow Down’

As Everything Unfolds – ‘Slow Down’

Closing out this segment of our News Report as As Everything Unfolds with their latest single, ‘Slow Down’, which you can check out above.

The single comes from upcoming sophomore album, ‘Ultraviolet’, which arrives April 21st.

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist!

News Report

Incubus announce UK dates

Next our News Report takes a look a the best new tour announcements and up first are Incubus.

The band have announced a UK and EU summer tour which will conclude with dates in London and the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Hundred Reasons live in London

Coheed and Cambria reveals UK dates

Another band announcing summer UK dates this week was Coheed and Cambria.

The group will be playing in Glasgow and London with Soul Glo set to join them in London.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘Dinosaur’ from Theory of a Deadman

Generation Sex set for Wolverhampton

Supergroup Generation Sex have added new shows to their summer schedule including a special one-off show at The Civic at the Halls in Wolverhampton this July.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘So Much (For) Stardust’ from Fall Out Boy

Billy Bragg announces UK Tour

Billy Bragg will once again be out on the road later this year for ‘The Roaring Forty Tour’.

A new collection of songs with the same name is also on it’s way with a release date of October 27th.

“Doesn’t seem like just that long ago that I was playing Thursday nights at the Tunnel in Greenwich, opening for whoever was headlining. I learned my chops there in late 82/early83 and I’m still putting those lessons to good use 40 years later. Hope to see some of you this autumn.” – Billy Bragg

Tickets and pre-orders are here.

Read our review of Beans On Toast live in Norwich

The Darkness reveal first wave of ‘Permission to Land’ shows

The final tour announcement in our News Report this week comes from The Darkness who will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of seminal album ‘Permission To Land’ with a load of tour dates!

Initial dates take the band across Europe with further world and UK dates on the way.

Frontman Justin Hawkins comments, “When Permission to Land landed, twenty short years ago, we were bathed in shock and awe. As if by magic, Rock wasn’t dead! Fun wasn’t banned! And Spandex was almost acceptable again…
 
“Well, guess what? Twenty years on, the same rules apply. So please to squeeze yourselves into those inappropriate leggings, back-comb your mullet, splash on a big handful of attitude, and come celebrate with us! We promise everything and we deliver, every time. Bring on the next twenty! 
 
“The Darkness. The best. For you. Forever.” 

Tickets and info here.

Read our review of The Darkness live in Birmingham

News Report

Final wave of acts join Neighbourhood Weekender

As our News Report turns to festival announcements we head over to Neighbourhood Weekender who this week revealed the final wave of line-up additions for May.

New names include The View, Kula Shaker, Gaz Coombes and more. They join the likes of Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, The Kooks, Pulp, The Wombats, Self Esteem, Ocean Colour Scene, The Enemy and Lottery Winners.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘A Fistful of Peaches’ from Black Honey

Bearded Theory makes line-up additions

Closing out our festival announcements in our News Report is the latest line-up additions from Bearded Theory.

This week saw the event reveal that Skindred, Kid Kapichi, Brix Smith, Loose Articles and more will join the line-up topped by Interpol, Primal Scream and Pretenders.

Tickets are here.

Watch Episode 17 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests Millie Manders and the Shutup

The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 17 – Millie Manders and the Shutup

Read our review of YUNGBLUD live in London

News Report

Find Full Pelt Music on Youtube!

News Report

As always we conclude our News Report with the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist!

News Report
Staff Party – ‘Dread

Brighton noise rock trio Staff Party reveal their new single. ‘Dread’, which is the title-track of their upcoming EP.

Commenting on the new single and themes on the EP, frontman Ed Lamb says: “I have tried—but am completely unable to—write happy songs. When I want to write about something, typically I take a look around and something which pisses me off, confuses me, or scares me, is usually what inspires me the most. It’s hard not to draw on the awful state and chaos the world is in at the moment, as well. Just browsing the Internet can be a rich and endless source of horror.”

“I also consider myself a fairly introspective, and potentially sentimental person, so much of what I write about is based on aspects of my own psyche and personality. It feels cathartic to articulate those thoughts in the form of loud, aggressive music. I enjoy the fact that ‘Dread’, with probably the most upbeat and bouncy sounding instrumental, still has these introspective dark lyrics to juxtapose it. I couldn’t even let the fun catchy song be nice.”

headcage – ‘nothing’

Newcastle Upon Tyne Alternative Post-Hardcore band headcage share their brand new single ‘nothing’.

“Lyrically the song details the struggle to overcome the feeling of uselessness and the everyday battles that come alongside living with ADHD and Anxiety. I wanted to state in layman’s terms the difficulty that I face to remain persistent or disciplined in many aspects of my life. The song itself acts as catharsis, a real and true personal expression of the negative aspects of these conditions that I have to face everyday”. – Vocalist – Leyum Pattinson

News Report
News Report
Civil Villains – ‘Mortuary Blue’

Brit alt-rockers Civil Villains have released their brand new single, ‘Mortuary Blue’, taken from upcoming album, ‘Motion Sick’.

The band remark about the record: “Like the nauseating sensory mismatch experienced from the passenger seat, ‘Motion Sick’ is largely about contradictory states and lost control. Born as a series of voice notes, written over webcam, developed via shared Logic Pro projects, and honed in snatched moments of lifted lockdowns, the album was recorded in the rolling countryside expanses of Oxfordshire.”

Listen, Follow and Discover your new favourite act now with our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

Then find out the stories behind the songs on our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast!

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Read our review of ‘Glorious Sunset’ from Hundred Reasons

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Magazine

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Every week we roundup the best music news from the past week

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RIP Taylor Hawkins
News Report

Fontaines D.C. reveal UK Tour dates

Welcome to another edition of our weekly music News Report! We are starting off this week with the latest tour announcements including the above from Fontaines D.C..

Yes, it was a busy news week for the band as they revealed a lengthy trek around the UK and Ireland including a huge show at London’s Eventim Apollo.

Not just that, they also debuted their new single, ‘Skinty Fia’, from their upcoming album of the same name which arrives April 22nd. Check out the track below.

Fontaines D.C.

Pre-orders and tickets here.

Read our review of Fontaines D.C. live in Cambridge

Nine Inch Nails announce additional UK dates

The legendary Nine Inch Nails this week added 3 additional shows to their UK stopover in June. The band will now play Glasgow, Manchester and London in addition to their already announced dates at The Eden Project.

Tickets are here.

Check out our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Spotify Playlist

The Amazons announce UK Tour and debut new single ‘Bloodrush’

Another band having a big news week was The Amazons. The band revealed a UK Tour, including a date at the Roundhouse in Camden, taking place this Autumn.

They also had a new single to debut, and you can listen to ‘Bloodrush’ below. The track will feature on their upcoming new album, ‘How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?’.

The Amazons – ‘Bloodrush’

Pre-orders and tickets are here.

Listen to ‘Bloodrush’ on our Spotify Hot List

Rival Sons announce 10th Anniversary ‘Pressure & Time’ shows

American rockers Rival Sons will be returning to the UK this Summer for a special 10th Anniversary Tour celebrating their album, ‘Pressure & Time’.

Tickets are here.

Check out The Full Pelt Music Podcast

Maximo Park announce the Sïngular Tour and new single ‘Great Art’

This week saw Maximo Park announce the ‘Sïngular Tour’ featuring only singles that will take place this coming Autumn.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band debuted new single, ‘Great Art’, which you can check out below.

Singer Paul Smith comments on the new single:

“The song is about the insidious nature of Conservative ideology, and a response to people who say, “at least we’ll get some great art out of it!” We’re excited to have new material to play alongside our other singles on the Sïngular tour – we’ve always written songs crammed full of hooks, so that’s our ideal medium in some ways.”

Maximo Park – ‘Great Art’

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘Nature Always Wins’ from Maximo Park

Ugly Kid Joe reveal UK dates

To coincide with their arena shows with Thunder, Ugly Kid Joe have now revealed a string of headline shows across the UK this May & June.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Ricky Warwick live in Norwich

Youth Killed It reveal UK Tour

News Report

The final tour for our News Report this week comes from Youth Killed It, as the band reveal a plethora of dates around the UK this summer.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘The Overload’ from Yard Act

News Report

Red Hot Chili Peppers debut new track ‘Not The One’

Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Not The One’

We move on now to the latest new music releases from the past week as out News Report continues. First up is the latest track from Red Hot Chili Peppers ahead of their upcoming album ‘Unlimited Love’.

That album arrives April 1st, but you can listen to new track ‘Not The One’ above.

Pre-order your album here.

Listen to ‘Black Summer’ from Red Hot Chili Peppers on our Spotify Hot List!

Shinedown debut ‘The Saints Of Violence And Innuendo’

Shinedown – ‘The Saints Of Violence And Innuendo’

There was also new music this week from Shinedown. You can listen to their new track, ‘The Saints of Violence and Innuendo’ above.

The song will feature on their new album, ‘Planet Zero’, which is out April 22nd.

Pre-order your copy here.

Check out Full Pelt Music on Youtube

Nothing More unveil new track ‘Turn It Up Like’

Nothing More – ‘Turn It Up Like’

Nothing More also had new music on offer this week with their latest single, ‘Turn It Up Like’. You can listen to the track above, which will feature on their upcoming new album.

Frontman Jonny Hawkins spoke about the inspiration behind the song in a statement, saying,  “This song is a reflection of how we all felt for the last two years, online.  Fear and hate have become our god.”

More from the band here.

Read our review of ‘Crisis of Faith’ from Billy Talent

Reef debut ‘Best of Me’

Reef – ‘Best Of Me’

Reef debuted their new single, ‘Best of Me’ this week, and you can listen above. The track will feature on their new album, ‘Shoot Me Your Ace’, which is released April 29th.

“We want this album to make people just feel good about living, to appreciate life, to give them inspiration to play guitar or drums or sing or whatever they’ve got going on right now,” comments bassist Jack Bessant. “We’ve made a killer rock’n’roll record. And we want to go out and rock.”

Pre-order your copy here.

Read our review of ‘Never Let Me Go’ from Placebo

News Report

Standon Calling adds 40+ new names

We head across to Standon Calling now as our News Report switches focus to the weeks festival announcements.

This week saw the day and stage splits for the event plus 40+ new acts such as Declan McKenna, Razorlight, The Mysterines, Crawlers, Snapped Ankles and more.

They join the already announced Madness, The Subways, Yard Act, Primal Scream and Bob Vylan.

Tickets and information here.

Read our review of ‘Reeling’ from The Mysterines

Victorious Festival adds new acts

Another festival adding additional acts this past week was Victorious Festival.

New acts include Bombay Bicycle Club, The Longest Johns, Embrace and Bessie Turner.

They join an already packed line-up including Stereophonics, James, Primal Scream, Paolo Nutini, The Wombats, Ocean Colour Scene, Kula Shaker, White Lies, The Subways, We Are Scientists and Editors.

Tickets and information here.

Read our review of ‘Fix Yourself, Not The World’ from The Wombats

Manic Street Preachers to headline High Tide Festival

Just along the coast in Bournemouth, Manic Street Preachers will be headlining High Tide Festival.

They’ll be joined by Supergrass, The Subways, Dodgy, Beans On Toast and more.

Tickets and information here.

Read our review of Manic Street Preachers live in Cambridge

Splendour Festival confirms full line-up

Splendour Festival will return to Wollaton Park in Nottingham this July, and this week the event finalised its line-up with new additions including We Are Scientists, Coach Party, The Skinner Brothers and Deco.

They join the likes of Richard Ashcroft, Supergrass, Razorlight, Ocean Colour Scene, and The Magic Numbers.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Wolf Alice live in Norwich

Luton’s Castlefest reveal line-up

Our final festival in this weeks News Report is Luton event Castlefest who this week revealed their first wave of acts.

The event will be headlined by As Everything Unfolds and Death Blooms.

Tickets here.

Read our review of the Download Pilot Festival

News Report

As always we complete our News Report with the latest acts to be added to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist!

‘THIS IS FOR YOU’ – CLASSLESS ACT

First up is ‘This Is For You’ the new single from young rockers Classless Act. The single guest features The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins.

Classless Act’s lead singer Derek Day expressed his excitement over the band’s latest single, saying, “It’s a dream come true for Classless Act to be a part of the Better Noise family. And the boys and I have been working really hard to give you something to shake your ass to. Now, summer’s here and the time is right for a couple of guitars, some bass and drums and a whole buncha me. Let’s get to it!!”

Collaborator Justin Hawkins shared his thoughts about hopping on the track, “One Tuesday night in February I gazed up onto the Swiss night sky. There, to my surprise I witnessed the beaming of The Hawk signal onto a passing cloud. After months of inactivity, I was called into action. My mission? To provide a face melting guitar solo to Classless Act’s ‘This is For You.’ I grasped my Gibson 335, headed into the hawk cave and within 24 hours the solo was born.”

‘JENNY’ – RATS

Next we have ‘Jenny’ the latest single from young indie starlets RATS.

Frontman Joe Maddocks says, “‘Jenny’ is a story about a student who is forced to go to uni by her parents, but she has bigger dreams that soon turn sour.” 

‘STARTING OVER’ – THE LAZY EYES

Finally is ‘Starting Over’ from Aussie psych-rock four-piece The Lazy Eyes.

In their own words, the band explain, “This song was written back in our high school days like the other songs are on the album. I remember having an inkling for the verse on acoustic guitar and thinking “meh” so I just left it be. After a while though, the song came back to me after jamming on the piano. I fleshed it out (admittedly with some pretty cringey lyrics back then) and whipped up a GarageBand demo for the boys. After that, we put it on Soundcloud and it was building some traction… soon after we wiped everything in the search for a new start, you could say we were ‘Starting Over’.”

Listen, Follow & Discover your new favourite act on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

Find the story behind the song on our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast

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Read our review of PET NEEDS live in Norwich

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Live Reviews

Download Pilot Festival 2021

Donington Park

Friday 18th – Sunday 20th June 2021

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DOWNLOAD PILOT FESTIVAL 2021 – LIVE REVIEW

The live music industry is built on togetherness, built on shared experience and built on the power of emotion. The last 18 months have been highly emotional for all the wrong reasons. Together the world has shared an experience that has terrified and devastated us.

The events of the last 18 months have taken an incomprehensible toll on humanity. The pandemic has destroyed lives and livelihoods. The live music industry was obliterated overnight. The people that make the spectacles that we enjoy happen were forgotten about.

While the world attempts to peek through the curtains at a “new normal”, the live music industry is left waiting. Waiting for support, waiting for proper guidance, waiting for a chance. Well, just four weeks ago that chance arrived.

A Government trial event to test the viability of the return of packed festivals and events you say? Spring into action the incredible people behind the scenes who make the live music industry work! In a short period of time, heaven and earth have been moved and here we are at Download Festival.

A much smaller, makeshift, Pilot version of Download Festival at the hallowed grounds of Donington Park. 10,000 people in a field, no social distancing, no masks, no inhibitions.

Credit goes to all involved for creating an event of that scale on such short notice, and to all the acts playing with no preparation. As the gates open, one thing is for sure, the fans want this, no, the fans needs this.

The reality of the situation is that the organisers could have put an old man playing the spoons on stage and the fans would have lapped it up. The opportunity after all that everybody has been through to witness live music is cathartic.

DOWNLOAD PILOT FESTIVAL – FRIDAY

The fact that this may be the most exciting Download Festival line-up of all time only helps to amplify the anticipation as fans gather in the tented second stage for Death Blooms. Almost every person on site crams in to witness that first taste of live music in far too long.

The band make the most of the atmosphere with a storming set that sees the audience let go of all remaining inhibitions. I doubt the majority of those in the tent knew of the band in advance, but they certainly left with a memory that will last forever.

For this special event there are just two stages. Next to the tent is the outdoor main stage which opens with a raucous set from Hot Milk. Kicking off with their latest single ‘I Just Wanna Know What Happens When I’m Dead’ the band show the crowd just what they’ve been missing.

Listen to ‘I Just Wanna Know What Happens When I’m Dead’ from Hot Milk on our Spotify Hot List!

There is no need to worry about those dreaded clashes at Download Pilot Festival. That’s because the acts on the two stages alternate, allowing the music starved fans the opportunity to watch every single band if they so wish to.

Every band this weekend gets a good sized crowd and a warm reception with it, especially the early bands on Friday. Malevolence are next to grace the second stage and assist the audience in releasing their pent up energy with a heavy hitting set.

A repercussion of the pandemic has been the amazing new albums that have been released without the showcase of the live setting. One such album is ‘Glue’ from Boston Manor. That wrong is righted next however as the band storm the main stage and air the likes of ‘Everything Is Ordinary’.

An early standout performance from the band sees them mix new and old with ‘England’s Dreaming’, ‘Laika’ and ‘Halo’ eliciting some of the first full blown sing-a-long moments of the weekend.

Those sing-a-long moments continue with Holding Absence on the second stage as they get to unleash tracks from their sensational album ‘The Greatest Mistake of My Life’. ‘Afterlife’ in particular is a contender for song of the weekend as the band present their credentials for superstardom!

Read our review of ‘The Greatest Mistake of My Life’ from Holding Absence

The Friday action continues with two bands with extremely dedicated fanbases. Neck Deep get the main stage bouncing before Sleep Token captivate the second stage.

It is then down to Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes to bring the first day to a close on the main stage. Always an unstoppable force of nature on stage, the band make the most of the platform to make a statement. That statement says that this band is ready to headline the regular event.

With a setlist spanning their three albums, the band even treat fans to a selection of new tracks including the catchy ‘My Town’. There are guest appearances from Joe Talbot, Cassyette and Lynks, there is a giant circle pit around the sound tower and there is even a cover of ‘Ace of Spades’.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes saw an opportunity to headline a festival, to headline the first festival back, and they grabbed it with both hands. This was one of those sets that will be talked about forevermore!

Listen to ‘My Town’ from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes on our Spotify Hot List!

After hours entertainment comes from a silent disco as the hastily arranged festival shows the skills and creativity of the music industry. You have to stand back and admire the achievement of those involved to create an event on this scale in the time given.

DOWNLOAD PILOT FESTIVAL – SATURDAY

On to Saturday now and the musical delights continue as Lotus Eater, Conjurer, As Everything Unfolds and Bleed From Within blow the cobwebs of the early morning audience.

Next two young bands with big futures introduce themselves to festival audiences. Both The Hara on the second stage and Wargasm on the main stage elicit strong reactions from those watching.

Listen to ‘Your Patron Saints’ from Wargasm on our Spotify Hot List!

After a solid showing from Tigercub, one of the veteran acts of the weekend, A, school the up and coming bands on how to engage an audience. An age appropriate walking circle pit being a nice change of pace in the midst of a hectic weekend. Finishing with ‘Nothing’, A show why they are the perfect festival band.

Two things become apparent as the weekend progresses. When dissecting the hastily put together line-up, the quality of British rock music is put in the spotlight and it more than holds its own. Secondly a good deal of that talent is female. Vukovi and Yonaka both deliver set of the weekend contenders next.

Listen to ‘Seize the Power’ from Yonaka on our Spotify Hot List!

Those Damn Crows, Twin Atlantic and Stone Broken all put in crowd pleasing performances before While She Sleeps attract and entertain a huge crowd on the main stage.

Soon though it’s time for the scorecard for band of the weekend to be thrown out the window. Creeper are able to deliver an out of body experience as they headline the second stage. There are goosebump raising moments galore as the band turn the festival into their own theatre of oral and visual magnificence.

Listen to ‘Midnight’ from Creeper on our Spotify Hot List!

It is then left to Enter Shikari to bring the Saturday night party and they don’t disappoint. If there was ever a band born to get you moving it’s Enter Shikari. They do just that as they also get to showcase newer songs live for the first time.

‘satellites**’, ‘{ The Dreamer’s Hotel }’ and ‘THE GREAT UNKNOWN’ fit in perfectly with classics like ‘Sorry, You’re Not A Winner’, ‘Juggernauts’ and ‘Mothership’. Much like Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Creeper, you can see the special treatment Enter Shikari have given this opportunity and that makes for a stunning spectacle.

DOWNLOAD PILOT FESTIVAL – SUNDAY

Come Sunday you’d imagine fatigue would be setting in. All this action after so many barren months, you could forgive the crowd for tiring and the festival atmosphere sapping. Instead energy is pumped in by bands such as Static Dress, Saint Agnes, Cassyette and Employed To Serve.

The fans reciprocate said energy as they continue to let loose to Chubby and the Gang, Loathe and Higher Power. The passion and pure joy of both fans and musicians to be at a festival is at times overwhelming. This event was destined to be an emotive affair but even through that emotion the quality of the music on offer shines.

Next on the main stage is Lonely The Brave complete with change in singer. A set mixed with fan favourites and new tracks from ‘The Hope List’ shows the band are still an exciting prospect. Can the band now finally take that next step? On their showing here, yes they can!

Read our review of ‘The Hope List’ from Lonely The Brave

For those fans catching every band the pace is relentless and it’s to the second stage next for Jamie Lenman. Lenman powers through a sublime set that gets the crowd moving and features another appearance from Wargasm.

The quirky goodness of Elvana attracts a huge crowd to the main stage as the festival heads towards its climax. The band show just why they are perhaps the perfect Sunday afternoon festival act as they get the crowd singing along to every word.

Massive Wagons are able to take the second stage by storm before a sadly technically challenged The Wildhearts limp off stage. The Wildhearts are a top quality band and the issues with their sound perhaps show the effects of an enforced hiatus for musicians and crew members alike.

It’s on that note that once again praise must be heaped on the organisers, the crew members, the festival staff and yes the bands for making this event such a success. That is only amplified by the incredibly short timescale.

Realistically this has been a once in a lifetime event (we hope). Download Pilot Festival as an event is excellent and would be a great addition to the main Download Festival. It’s the atmosphere and camaraderie however that makes this festival so special.

We are down then to the final four bands, the final acts before reality is set to strike again. Up first on the second stage are Trash Boat who get the tent bouncing, especially with a stunning cover of Linkin Park classic ‘Given Up’.

If there is a perfect festival band it’s Skindred. Put them on any stage in any slot and they will attract a huge crowd. With a sub-headline slot on the main stage, the field is full as Benji Webbe and co put in a seamless lesson in crowd engagement.

The final act on the second stage is also no stranger to the festival scene. Although Frank Turner has played Download Festival in the past, even he acknowledges he may not be the typical Download act. Nobody cares though, as he puts in a typically euphoric performance.

The crowd are not just treated to the set staples but also to new song ‘The Gathering’ and heavier version of ‘Little Changes’. There are sing-a-longs aplenty as Turner does what he does best and that is entertain!

Check out The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Frank Turner!

That just leaves Bullet For My Valentine to close out Download Pilot Festival. A festival which we wish was never needed but are so glad that it happened. Bullet For My Valentine are long time Download favourites and they deliver an apt conclusion to the event.

We are treated to a unique take on ‘Run To The Hills’ from Iron Maiden complete with a perplexing vocal contribution fron Benji Webbe. We get new material in the form of ‘Knives’ and of course we get favourites such as ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and ‘Tears Don’t Fall’.

‘Waking The Demon’ is the final song to ring around Donington Park, and we can only hope and pray that this event can wake the demon that is the festival scene. The fans may have been lab rats, but what a stunning lab it was! Thank you Download Pilot Festival for such a cathartic weekend.

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Read our review of ‘Bodies’ from AFI