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Live Reviews

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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Read our review of Download Festival 2023

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Magazine

News Report

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

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News Report

Download Festival line-up update

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

Up first this week is the latest news from Download Festival who this week added additional bands whilst also confirming the stage splits for each day.

The Metallica, Bring Me The Horizon and Slipknot headlined event will also now feature the likes of State Champs, Puscifer, Hundred Reasons, Static Dress, Cancer Bats and more.

Tickets and info here.

Read our review of Download Festival 2022

News Report

Queens of the Stone Age announce UK return

We move our News Report onwards now to the best tour announcements from the past week and we begin with the UK return of Queens of the Stone Age.

The rock icons will play huge outdoor shows in Halifax, Margate and Cardiff this June with support from Coach Party.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ’72 Seasons’ from Metallica

Limp Bizkit set summer UK shows

The summer is taking shape nicely and Limp Bizkit this week confirmed their plans to get back to the UK.

The band will play two special shows in August at The Piece Hall in Halifax and then at Gunnersbury Park in London.

Support comes from KennyHoopla and Joey Valence & Brae with special guests Pendulum and Deijuvhs also hitting up the London date.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘Still Sucks’ from Limp Bizkit

Greta Van Fleet announce new tour dates

Following the announcement of new album, ‘Starcatcher’, last week, this week has seen the news that Greta Van Fleet will be back out on tour later this year.

The UK will see the band tackling arena shows in London, Manchester and Glasgow with support from Mt. Joy.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘The Battle At Garden’s Gate’ from Greta Van Fleet

BABYMETAL announce headline UK shows

Next up as the tour announcements continue are BABYMETAL who will return to the UK for shows in London and Wolverhampton this November.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Paramore live in London

Atreyu reveal UK Tour

Our News Report continues with Atreyu who have also announced when they will return to the UK. Alongside their EU tour the band will play a run of eight dates in the UK this November.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Atreyu live in Cambridge

Danko Jones set for UK Tour

Continuing the theme of bands announcing their return to the UK, Danko Jones have revealed a full EU and UK tour for this Autumn that will finish at the Garage in London.

Support comes from Radkey.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Danko Jones live in Birmingham

InMe to celebrate 20 years of ‘Overgrown Eden’

InMe have revealed Manchester and London shows to go alongside their already announced appearance in Bristol.

The shows will see the band celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of their album, ‘Overgrown Eden’.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Hundred Reasons live in London

WSTR announce new tour dates

WSTR also had new tour dates to announce this week with the band set to head around the UK this September.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘A Kiss for the Whole World’ from Enter Shikari

The Bottom Line reveal new tour

The Bottom Line will be heading out on the road this November. Support comes from Beauty School.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Fall Out Boy live in London

Fatherson unveil new live dates

Fatherson are next up in our News Report with the band set for a handful of shows in September.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Fatherson live in Cambridge

Madness reveal new arena tour

The legendary Madness will return to UK arenas later this year for their ‘C’est La Vie’ tour.

Support will come from the Lightning Seeds.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘Who On Earth’ from Sean McGowan

Dream Wife reveal new tour

We segue our News Report now from tour announcement to new music as Dream Wife unveiled both this past week.

As the group get ready for the release of new album, ‘Social Lubrication’ on June 9th, they’ve set up a full UK tour set to take place in October.

Support for the tour will come from Ash Kenazi.

The band also had more new music on offer with new single, ‘Orbit’, which you can check out below.

Dream Wife – ‘Orbit’

On the single the band explain, “Written through the joy of jamming together and locking into the groove like a multi limbed space age organism, Orbit has a dance rock edge from the early noughties of bands like New Young Pony Club and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Lyrically, it was inspired by post-lockdown London coming back to life and sharing a space through friendship and community. And how each day you never know what’s in store for you or how a stranger can become someone close to you – for a day, a heartbeat, a phase, or a lifetime.”

Tickets and album pre-orders are here.

Read our review of Y Not Festival 2022

News Report

Foo Fighters return with ‘Rescued’

Foo Fighters – ‘Rescued’

Where else could we start as our News Report moves on to new releases other than the return of Foo Fighters.

Their first new music since the tragic passing of Taylor Hawkins, Dave Grohl and co this week debuted ‘Rescued’, which you can check out above!

Not just that tough, the band also revealed that they will release a new album, ‘But Here We Are’, which will arrive on June 2nd.

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen to ‘Rescued’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Florence + The Machine share ‘Mermaids’

Florence + The Machine – ‘Mermaids’

Florence + The Machine this week shared their new single, ‘Mermaids’, which you can check out above.

The track features on the Complete Edition of latest album, ‘Dance Fever’.

More here.

Listen to ‘Mermaids’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Bloc Party debut ‘High Life’

Bloc Party – ‘High Life’

Whilst currently out on tour with Paramore, Bloc Party have this week debuted their brand new single, ‘High Life’, which you can check out above!

The deluxe version of their latest album, ‘Alpha Games’ is out now.

More here.

Listen to ‘High Life’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Skindred debut ‘If I Could’

Skindred – ‘If I Could’

Next up we have Skindred who have this week shared their new single, ‘If I Could’, which you can check out above.

The track comes from new album, ‘Smile’, which is out on August 4th.

Frontman Benji Webbe recalls that the track was inspired by lockdown and how much he hated 2020 and the effect it had on the world. “On the other hand, 2023 is a different story,” he says. “We’ve released new music and we’re still to drop another few monsters from our album ‘Smile’. We’ve got the KISS tour coming, and we’ve also got our headline tour supporting the new album. So 2023, to me, looks like a very exciting time to be in Skindred. I’m very optimistic about the future!”

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen to ‘If I Could’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist!

Sleep Token share ‘DYWTYLM’

Sleep Token – ‘DYWTYLM’

The mysterious Sleep Token continue their rise with their latest single, ‘DYWTYLM’, which you can listen to above.

The track comes from upcoming album, ‘Take Me Back To Eden’, which is out May 19th.

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen to ‘DYWTYLM’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Beartooth debut ‘Sunshine!’

Beartooth – ‘Sunshine!’

Our News Report continues at pace with Beartooth who also had new music on offer this week. You can check out their latest single, ‘Sunshine!’ above.

More here.

Listen to ‘Sunshine!’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy Playlist!

Spiritbox share ‘The Void’

Spiritbox – ‘The Void’

Spiritbox are up next in our News Report with their latest single, ‘The Void’, which you can of course check out above!

More here.

Listen to ‘The Void’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist!

The Amity Affliction debut ‘Not Without My Ghosts’

The Amity Affliction – ‘Not Without My Ghosts’

This week also saw The Amity Affliction release their latest single, ‘Not Without My Ghosts’, which features Phem, and you guessed it – you can check it out above!

The new album of the same name will be out on May 12th.

You can pre-order your copy here.

Listen to ‘Not Without My Ghosts’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

James and the Cold Gun debut ‘Something to Say’

James and the Cold Gun – ‘Something to Say’

It was a big week for James and the Cold Gun as they announced that their self-titled debut album will arrive on July 21st!

Accompanying that announcement was new single, ‘Something to Say’, which you can check out above.

Speaking on the album, frontman James Joseph says, “We can’t wait to get this album out into the world, it’s a no frills rock and roll ripper recorded ourselves in the garage where we first started jamming as a band, we think it’s a great introduction to what we’re about at our core, loud, energetic guitar rock…”

Pre-order your copy here.

Watch Episode 18 of our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast with guests James and the Cold Gun

‘Discover’ New Music Podcast – Episode 18 – James and the Cold Gun

Listen to ‘Something to Say’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

Militarie Gun share ‘Very High’

Militarie Gun – ‘Very High’

Another band approaching the release of their debut album is Militarie Gun who will release, ‘Life Under The Gun’ on June 23rd!

This week the group shared the latest single from them ahead of that album. You can check out ‘Very High’ above.

The record is inextricably linked to Shelton’s past. “I grew up in a household with family members struggling with addiction,” he explains. “It was an oppressive force. We were always wondering, ‘Is it going to be a good day or a bad day? Are the cops going to come today? What am I going to come home to after school?’”

On the album, “This is what I thought we sounded like all along,” Shelton laughs. “It’s always felt like a melody-forward band to me, but I think now we’re finally achieving what I was always setting out to do.”

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen to ‘Very High’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

Willie J Healey shares new single ‘Little Sister’

Willie J Healey – ‘Little Sister’

Willie J Healey has shared his latest single, ‘Little Sister’, which you can listen to above.

The track features on upcoming album, ‘Bunny’, which is due for release August 25th.

Willie says “The whole era is something that I love. Long before making ‘Twin Heavy’, I had always listened to funk, soul and R&B, but for some reason it never translated into my own music. Really my inspiration was just the feel of things.’’

He goes on to say about ‘Little Sister’ specifically “We recorded it in New York, just one take, it was magical. I remember spending a couple of hours learning and messing around with it and then it was done. I really just enjoy playing music that makes you feel really good.”

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen to ‘Little Sister’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Lottery Winners debut ‘Letter To Myself’

Lottery Winners – ‘Letter To Myself’ feat. Frank Turner

Lottery Winners had more music to share this with as they debuted their new single, ‘Letter To Myself’, which features Frank Turner. You can listen to the track above.

The band are set for the release of their new album, ‘Anxiety Replacement Therapy’, on April 28th!

Pre-order your copy here.

Read our review of Frank Turner live in Cambridge

News Report

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

News Report
Lambrini Girls – ‘Lads Lads Lads’

With just a month to go until their debut EP ‘You’re Welcome’, out 19th May, Lambrini Girls share new single ‘Lads Lads Lads’ about toxic masculinity.

“In order to be a lad, make sure to follow the following guidelines: excessive drinking, harassing anyone with a pulse and starting fights. Most importantly, make sure to never talk about your feelings as this simply cannot be associated with manliness. Lad culture is the shit stain on the bathroom floor and toxic masculinity is the toilet paper that refuses to unstick from the shoe of society. Nobody wins.” says the band.

headcage – ‘false gold’

Alternative Post-Hardcore band headcage have shared their brand new single ‘false gold’.

“With this track I’m trying to lay down the premise of always wanting more from life, as in wealth, status or fame but ultimately realising the people and culture that those things predominantly exist in are not the world I come from or identify with in any way, shape or form. To put it simply, it’s something I’ve always wanted for so long, and is also something I hate”. – Vocalist, Leyum Pattinson.

News Report
News Report
Grove Street – ‘Lessons of the Past’

Recently signed to UNFD, get yourselves acquainted with Grove Street via recent single, ‘Lessons of the Past’!

“Grove Street becoming a part of UNFD felt like it was meant to happen,” says guitarist Sandy. “A label that fully believes in us and wants to nurture our growth as a band is a rare thing to be seen. This band started out as fun between friends, we never had any expectations of reaching the levels we have and with UNFD behind us we can push those levels even further.”

Speaking of the track, the band share, “Lessons of the Past focuses on police brutality, abuse of power, systemic oppression and racism. People not taking a stand against these things only encourages them to manifest further, and we as people must do better to hold those in power accountable.”

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 ‘Love, Chaos’ from The Pearl Harts