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Live Reviews

2000trees

Upcote Farm

10th-13th July 2024

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2000trees 2024 – festival review
📸Jez Pennington

To be established means “having existed or done something for a long time and therefore recognized and generally accepted”. The 2000trees name means something, to fans it means an unrivalled weekend of thrills in a chilled environment, and to musicians it’s a proving ground, a platform for new artists to shine, but also a place to reinvent yourself or test new waters in a safe place. Trees is established as a trusted sanctum for all music lovers, everyone is welcome and good times are guaranteed.

Those who have chosen to arrive at Upcote Farm near Cheltenham early are treated to what is actually becoming the highlight of the event – a special evening in the trees. Yes, Wednesdays belong to the magical Forest stage and this year the line-up is incredible. A mixture of new acts and returning heroes, the bill reflects perfectly what this festival is all about.

WEDNESDAY

With the forest stage alternating with the tiny Word stage today there is plenty of music on offer. At the Word stage alone we are able to catch great sets from KITE THIEF, CARSICK, Enola Gay and Frozemode.

📸 Carla Mundy

But truly it’s within the woods that this festival reaches mythical status. To see a band like Exit Child able to enthral the earliest of attendees with their impassioned grunge, and then have the always uplifting PET NEEDS orchestrate an excitable crowd through a joyous tone setting show before Lambrini Girls galvanise the masses into a united movement all in the space of the first couple of hours just emphasises the beauty of 2000trees.

The audience are all in this together, they believe and demonstrate the ethos of kindness and acceptance which is what makes the event so welcoming.

📸 Carla Mundy

The first of two outstanding Dead Pony sets this weekend soon leads us into the business end of night one. 2000trees royalty The Xcerts understand the assignment and pull out a memorable run through of their third album, ‘There Is Only You’ to celebrate the records 10th anniversary, which is eaten up by the crowd.

It’s around this time that the looming shadow of England vs Netherlands in the Euros takes over the festival. Despite initial reluctance to show the match out of respect to the bands, organisers end up screening the game over at The Axiom. Most impacted are Dream State, who lean into the prospect by showing the football on a TV on the stage, donning football shirts and providing fans with a goal and balls to play with as they belt out the likes of ‘White Lies’ and ‘Chin Up Princess’.

Thankfully Ollie Watkins saves us from the drama of extra time which means that headliners Boston Manor get the full attention of the crowd. Another band performing twice this weekend, they use this set to play early favourites ‘Burn You Up’, ‘Lead Feet’ and ‘Laika’ in a set which is an early contender for set of the weekend.

📸 Jez Pennington

Even when the main entertainment stops however 2000trees is best known for it’s late night activities. A legendary silent disco attracts the majority, but we head next into the camps and one of the busking stages at Camp Turner. There we catch acoustic sets from InMe frontman Dave McPherson and those scamps in PET NEEDS who manage to get mosh pits and crowd surfers in the campsite!

THURSDAY
📸 Carla Mundy

Whether in the general campsite, the family area or the VIP section, fans wake up the next morning to the relief of warm weather! It’s rained persistently in the days leading up to the event, but the ground has held up well. The music is in full flow again from half past ten as relative locals Blank Atlas deliver a great little set on the Neu stage.

The diverse and social conscious line-up at 2000trees builds on the welcoming atmosphere and Thursday morning sees the likes of The Menstrual Cramps, Cherym, Shooting Daggers and The Oozes engaging their passionate crowds.

The structuring of the stages and times means that if you’re that way inclined you can catch non-stop music from early morning until the wee early hours. Us being somewhat inclined to support new music we dash around witnessing more superb performances from Meryl Streek, Dead Pony (again) and Enola Gay (again!).

📸 Jez Pennington

We then head back into the Forest where throughout the main days of the festival you can still see a mix of full band shows, acoustic sets and other unique offerings. We are here however for the always enjoyable Sean McGowan who plays a short sharp set of fan favourites.

2000trees is often at its finest on the smaller stages, but the main stage delivers one of the best barometers for the success of acts. Cassyette is next to grace this stage and showcase why she is steadily moving up bills such as this. A thoroughly captivating blitz of energy, you’d imagine Cassyette will be back soon in an even more prominent position.

📸 Joe Singh

It’s over at the Axiom soon thereafter that one of those magical moments is taking place with Spanish Love Songs attracting a crowd funnelling out of the confines of the large tent. That’s before Kids In Glass Houses then continue their triumphant return back on the main stage, with both bands eliciting some of those beautiful sing-a-long festival moments.

As do Boston Manor as they again prove themselves to be one of the bands of the weekend and an act ready for superstardom as they pack out the Axiom for their second set of the weekend. Manchester Orchestra deliver a charming performance next on the main stage, but clearly many of the uninitiated in the crowd are left a little underwhelmed.

We then finish day two with The Pale White in the Neu tent and The Gaslight Anthem on the main stage. Both bands allow their music to do the talking as they bring the first full day to a close. The Gaslight Anthem in particular are something of a dream booking for the festival, and they don’t disappoint.

📸 Joe Singh
FRIDAY

The festival is in full flow now, with the weather slightly cooler come Saturday, fans are ready for another busy day. It’s up to the brilliant BEX to wake the campers up, which she does to great effect with the likes of ‘Fight’ and ‘sunDae’.

📸 Gareth Bull

If you want to watch as much music as possible, you need stamina or an easy to navigate site layout, and as we catch great sets from Mouth Culture, Sløtface and Problem Patterns, we’re very grateful for the simple site layout!

VIP ticket holders at 2000trees have their own campsite, bar and viewing platform and we catch The Rumjacks main stage set from said platform next. The band are entertaining, and the platform gives a nice view of the crowd getting into the party spirit!

In fairness though that party spirit is evident throughout each day and each performance. Tropic Gold get their crowd moving in the Axiom before As December Falls solidify their reputation as a live act over on the main stage. It’s great to see even smaller acts like Other Half in the Neu tent are given the same energy they produce from a crowd not showing any signs of fatigue.

The standard of performance across the weekend is high, with no set standing out as particularly bad. Perhaps that’s because we chose correctly when looking at those dreaded clashes, but you feel that the bands take 2000trees seriously. They know the rewards of a top tier show and they put in the effort that the crowd demands.

📸 Carla Mundy

Two standout performances transpire next however as first unpeople in the Cave tent and then Nova Twins on the main stage put in epically memorable performances. unpeople come from the ashes of Press To MECO and the power of the riff remains at full strength as they get the crowd fully locked in. Equally Nova Twins ooze star power as they take ownership of the main stage crowd. If you had to pencil in a band as a potential future headliner then either of these would be good bets!

📸 Carla Mundy

Bears In Trees represent a change in pace as their pop sensibilities feel like a refreshing change of pace next in the Axiom tent. Clearly the audience feel the same and many comment on their way out how impressed they were with another band with a huge upside.

📸 Jez Pennington

The undercurrent of 2000trees has always been young British rock acts, but the organisers do sprinkle the line-up with some international flair such as headliners The Gaslight Anthem and The Chats. Up next though is grandson on the main stage who brings an element of star power himself. Many in the audience are here to see what the fuss is about, and grandson delivers a good showing which has generally positive results, albeit with a few unimpressed faces remaining.

📸 Joe Singh

The festival gets a rebrand next as Bob Vylan return for consecutive years with a sub-headline spot on the main stage. The duo rename the festival Vylanfest and state that they’ll be back next year to headline. Truth be told, they probably could’ve done so this year as the crowd take their antics to another level.

A mixture of new tracks from recent album, ‘Humble As The Sun’ and favourites such as ‘We Live Here’ and ‘Pretty Songs’ make up a thoroughly enjoyable time. Bob Vylan are one of the best live acts in the UK at present and we’d certainly put money on them following through on their headline promise!

We finish out our Friday with Hot Milk headlining the Axiom and Empire State Bastard headlining the Cave. Hot Milk have just returned from playing stadiums across the world and make a clear effort to make their headline slot special. Again, you’d be happy seeing their performance close the main stage.

Empire State Bastard on the other hand have no bells and whistles, the group fronted by Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and powered from behind the drum kit by Dave Lombardo destroy the Cave, causing a sonic onslaught that can only be described as magnificent. A different way to end our night compared to The Gaslight Anthem and Don Broco who will close the event, but that’s what makes 2000trees so special.

📸 Joe Singh
SATURDAY

Campers awaken on the final day to the pitter patter of rain on their tents, and the threat of the damp stuff maintains throughout a chillier day, however thankfully the heavens never fully open.

Split Chain are our first watch today and the band who are popping up a lot lately showcase a grunge/nu-metal crossover which explains why they are a good option for an opening act. The Meffs then blow off any cobwebs on the main stage with a blistering set of punk rockers, before the poppier angst of snake eyes thrills the Axiom crowd.

📸Abbi Draper

We then head into the Forest for one last time this year. Firstly, to catch the newly formed Interlaker featuring David Jakes of Lonely the Brave and Jack Wrench of Arcane Roots. The Forest is full as knowledgeable music fans catch a glimpse of this new project. Although only a short glimpse, what is seen is more than enough to whet the appetite for what’s to come!

Next Frank Turner takes part in a live podcast Q&A and acoustic set with the Mark and Me Podcast. Moments like this are more proof of what makes 2000trees different from your standard festival.

📸 Gareth Bull

It’s then a bit of a dash to the main stage for a second The Xcerts performance of the weekend, this time more of a standard hits affair including a surprise cameo from Josh Franceschi of You Me At Six – just one of a few special guests on show this weekend.

The Nightmares in the Neu tent and The Mysterines on the main stage then both make the most of their short times on stage before we catch House of Women and Cleopatrick on the same stages although from afar as we gather any remaining stamina for the incredible run of music set to follow.

We close out our weekend with Frank Turner bringing a headline worthy show to the main stage with new album, ‘Undefeated’, standing tall alongside favourites such as ‘I Still Believe’ and ‘Four Simple Words’.

📸 Gareth Bull

Creeper are then immediately ready to deliver their own headline performance in the Axiom tent. The crowd starting off up to fifteen deep outside of the confines of the tent! What Creeper then proceed to do is simply outstanding. For a band to use their headline set to open with a ten-minute rock opera and to then play almost exclusively all new material is quite incredible. Any other band would be murdered, but not Creeper.

No, the packed tent love every single moment of the set and the time simply flies by with highlights like ‘Sacred Blasphemy’ and ‘Misery’ eliciting some of those mass sing-a-long moments. A finale of ‘Cry To Heaven’ is truly awe-inspiring and again, if we are tagging bands for future main stage headline slots, then surely Creeper must be labelled as oven-ready!

📸 Jez Pennington

The big finale for us this year is a Don Broco currently out of the limelight writing their next record. Coming out of hibernation for this show, they deliver a tailor made headline performance which is up there with the best the festival will have ever seen. The band bring some of those bells and whistles but it’s their party anthems that do the talking this evening.

Over the three nights we’ve seen three completely different headline shows, and upwards of sixty acts giving it everything on stage. Some rest will now be required but with that said, you still don’t feel like you’ve been in a battle, which big festivals can sometimes become. That again is a testament to the magic of 2000trees.

Much is said of the atmosphere here (including by us in this review!), but the number of bands saying it’s their favourite festival is telling. That’s because most fans are here for the music. You can see this with the packed tents before midday and those still seeking live music gone midnight. It’s as much the people that establish 2000trees as what it is than anything else, and long may it continue to be the best festival in the UK!

📸 Jez Pennington

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Magazine

Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 45

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TV

Full Pelt TV

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Love music videos? Check out Full Pelt TV with new and classic videos from Limp Bizkit, The Warning, PET NEEDS, Garbage, Kasabian, The Mysterines, newshapes, Kid Bookie, House of Protection and Foo Fighters!

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Magazine

Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 42

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Album Reviews

The Mysterines

Afraid of Tomorrows

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THE MYSTERINES – AFRAID OF TOMORROWS – ALBUM REVIEW

The Mysterines made a big impression with their superb debut album ‘Reeling’, which finished second in our Album of the Year list in 2022. Eighteen months of heavy touring later, including a prestigious slot opening for Arctic Monkeys on their stadium tour, and the band have grown their audience exponentially.

Time then to strike while the iron is hot, and release a carbon copy of that first record? Not on your life! In their short career, The Mysterines have already shown a fierce desire to explore their creative capabilities and that has been evident in the progress between breakout EP ‘Take Control’, ‘Reeling’ and now their sophomore record ‘Afraid of Tomorrows’.

Heading out to Los Angeles with revered producer John Congleton, the band have commented that Congleton sold himself by stating his opposition to replicating ‘Reeling’. Eager to push themselves, the band dove into these sessions and ended up with an abundance of songs, with only the most engaging making the cut.

Opening track ‘The Last Dance’ in particular proved a catalyst for what was to come and it’s fitting that the song welcomes listeners to the journey that this album will take them on. The band have always felt like a throwback and the limited amount of pre-release singles has been refreshing. It means when listeners dive into ‘Afraid of Tomorrows’ they are doing so with a great sense of intrigue.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘LAST DANCE’
The Mysterines – ‘The Last Dance’

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It’s also liberating that as the album progresses through the likes of ‘Stray’, ‘Another Another Another’ and ‘Tired Animal’, care has clearly been put into the tracklisting to make this album flow like a singular piece of work and not just a randomly collected group of songs.

That cohesion makes this a truly enjoyable record that epitomises the ambition of these four talented musicians. With singer Lia Metcalfe still holding a hypnotic hold over the listener with her powerful vocal delivery, the music provides the perfect balance and enables the groups sound to expand beyond expectation.

‘Afraid of Tomorrows’ really is quite magnificent and will have fans of the band looking forward to the future and the wonders which this incredible band will create!

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Magazine

Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 32

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The latest issue of the Full Pelt Magazine is here, and you can download your copy for free below!

Volume 32 features our cover stars The Hives as they show just why they are regarded as one of the greatest live bands. Plus we review the new albums from James and Gun.

Our News Report has all the latest music news including live announcements from Reading & Leeds Festivals, Graphic Nature, Rise Against, Mammoth WVH, Elles Bailey and St. Vincent!

Plus all the best new releases including The Meffs, Delilah Bon, James and the Cold Gun, Slash, Joanne Shaw Taylor, The Commoners, NOTHING MORE, FM, Like Moths To Flames, Dea Matrona, Robert Jon & The Wreck, Black Country Communion, The Lemon Twigs, Cane Hill, Royal Republic, The Treatment, The Mysterines, Kasabian, Gaffa Tape Sandy and Giant Walker!

Finally, we round up the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist including The Rolling People, Regent and DeadWax!

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Magazine

Full Pelt Magazine

Vol. 25

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The latest issue of the Full Pelt Magazine is here, and you can download your copy for free below!

Volume 25 features our cover stars The Mysterines as reveal details of their sophomore album. We also review new albums from The Snuts, Gen and the Degenerates and Blackout Problems, and we review The Zutons live in Norwich!

Our News Report has all the latest music news including live announcements from Liam Gallagher, Kings of Leon, Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium, Alice Cooper, The Pearl Harts, Greta Van Fleet, Royal Blood and Radar Festival!

Plus all the best new releases including Kasabian, Kings of Leon, Paul Weller, Frank Turner, Linkin Park, Sum 41, Daytime TV, Crossfaith, The Cruel Knives, TheCityIsOurs, Between You & Me, Susan Santos, Raven Numan and The Struts!

Finally, we round up the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist including Major Moment, Caroline Romano and DeadWax!

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Live Reviews

Arctic Monkeys

CBS Arena, Coventry

Wednesday 31st May 2023

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ARCTIC MONKEYS – COVENTRY – LIVE REVIEW

Football season is over and it’s time once again for many stadiums to turn their focus to hosting epic sized gigs!

Tonight we find ourselves in Coventry as Arctic Monkeys continue their embryonic tour in the Midlands.

WATCH ‘BEGIN AGAIN’ FROM THE MYSTERINES
The Mysterines – ‘Begin Again’

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Kicking off proceedings on the tour are The Mysterines who have been solidly making a name for themselves over the last few years. This then is a huge opportunity for the band to pick up new fans and build momentum.

From the moment they walk onto the stage to the final strains of ‘Life’s A Bitch (But I Like It So Much)’, the group feel very much at home on a stage this big. Often even top live acts can struggle to fill these cavernous venues with their sound but that is no problem for The Mysterines.

The inclusion of new track, ‘Begin Again’, hopefully hints as more new music on the way because the world is their oyster. The Mysterines have all the qualities needed to end up headlining venues like this, and with performances like tonight you’d be willing to put money on it.

WATCH ‘BOGUS OPERANDI’ FROM THE HIVES
The Hives – ‘Bogus Operandi’

Last summer Arctic Monkeys headlined Reading and Leeds Festivals and despite the hype, their performances on the weekend were incredibly lacklustre.

It may have been a surprise then to see The Hives announced as main support for this tour. The band, instantly recognisable as one of the best live bands on the planet, certainly have the ability to upstage our headliners.

Opening with new track, ‘Bogus Operandi’, it doesn’t take long for the packed crowd to realise that they are witnessing greatness. It certainly helps that frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist is on hand to remind everyone!

The likes of ‘Main Offender’, ‘Walk Idiot Walk’, ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’, ‘Come On!’ and ‘Tick Tick Boom’ help to get the crowd suitably warmed up for the final act. In truth, you’d be happy with the evening ending at this point as it’s hard to imagine Arctic Monkeys topping the live masterclass delivered by The Hives.

WATCH ‘THere’d better be a mirrorball’ from arctic monkeys
Arctic Monkeys – ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’

When our headline act does arrive though, they quickly smash out ‘Brianstorm’, ‘Snap Out of It’, ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’, ‘Crying Lightning’, ‘Teddy Picker’ and ‘The View From the Afternoon’. You are then reminded just how great Arctic Monkeys can be when they want to be.

The question these days is do they want to be? Thankfully, tonight they mostly do because tracks from their two latest albums are at a minimum and the likes of ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’, ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ and ‘Mardy Bum’ are left to set to the tone. This creates more of a party atmosphere in the Stadium and ensures that the band can keep up with The Hives.

By the time the evening finishes with ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ and ‘R U Mine?’, Arctic Monkeys have ensured that their first Stadium tour is a successful one. Hopefully the band will soon rediscover their desire to record good music as well!

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Features

The Year In Review 2022

Full Pelt Music looks back on 2022 for our Year In Review

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It’s been another big revival year for the music industry following the pandemic years, and it’s been another year of growth for us at Full Pelt Music! We’ve reviewed 67 albums, 7 EP’s, 6 festivals and 38 gigs in 2022 as some level of normality or even stability has returned to our industry.

That said, there are still many issues facing the industry with livelihoods, venues and organisations at risk for a plethora of reasons. Whilst government action is required in many places, what we as fans can do is support the industry with our money. Times are tough for us all, but purchasing an album, buying a t-shirt, nabbing a ticket and grabbing a drink whilst at a gig does so much to support the industry that we love.

Our two great Podcasts have continued to grow and highlights this year came from guests such as Blood Red Shoes, The Treatment, Skinny Lister, Daytime TV, Pet Needs, The Ninth Wave, Sunflower Bean, James and the Cold Gun, Guise, October Drift, BERRIES, Asylums, As Sirens Fall and Jamie Lenman! We’ve already got some fantastic guests lined up for 2023, so ensure you subscribe and follow us across Social Media!

In our now annual end of year awards we’ll be giving out seven hotly contested awards looking at both the recorded and live sides of the industry. Adding to our well established Album of the Year award this year will be the new EP of the Year award. We’ll also once again be revealing our Single of the Year. All awards have seen fierce competition, as once again it’s been a high quality year for new releases.

On the live side of things, we’ll announce both our Gig and Festival of the Year awards. This year of course provided our first full calendar of music since 2019! We were able to witness many great performances this year and we can’t wait to share with you are favourites.

Lastly we’ll look at the artists who’ve had special years as we award our Artist and ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year awards. So without further ado, let’s work through those award catagories!

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

It has been a truly magnificent year for album releases and getting a spot anywhere in our Top 50 was hard enough but in particular the Top 10 was incredibly tightly fought. You can read the full list here.

‘IMPERA’ from Ghost was able to take the crown this year but any of the top 10 could’ve taken that spot. ‘Reeling’ from The Mysterines in particular would likely have won in any other year, but the majesty and magnificence of ‘IMPERA’ proved unbeatable.

Winner:

‘Impera’ by Ghost

The contenders:

‘Reeling’ by The Mysterines, ‘FTHC’ by Frank Turner, ‘Skinty Fia’ by Fontaines D.C. & ‘The Price of Life’ by Bob Vylan

Previous Winners:

2021 – ‘Blue Weekend’ by Wolf Alice
2020 – ‘Ultra Mono’ by IDLES

EP OF THE YEAR

For the first time this year, we are separating EP’s out of our main award and giving them their own pedestal. That alone is the truest compliment to the quality of EP’s on offer this year.

Again, all EP’s in our top 5 are worthy of the number one spot, but it’s ‘coming of (r)age’ from As Sirens Fall that pips it. Catchy as hell single, ‘heaven (spat us back out)’, helps elevate the release to be crowed our first ever EP of the Year.

Winner:

‘coming of (r)age’ by As Sirens Fall

The contenders:

‘False Start’ by James and the Cold Gun, ‘SCP’ by Oakman, ‘Tyrants’ by IOTA and ‘BLACKGOLD’ by BLACKGOLD

SINGLE OF THE YEAR

We look now at our Single or Song of the Year. In considering the award this year we’ve considered the ear worms that have stayed with us after live performances. We’ve also pondered which songs instantly struck a chord and created a buzz of excitement for the albums and live shows that would follow.

Songs which fell into both of these considerations competed for the award and it was again a tight decision, but ultimately for us this year ‘Dangerous’ from The Mysterines has not just ticked both boxes but also remained on heavy rotation throughout the year despite being an early arrival in 2022. That’s why that track is our 2022 Single of the Year!

Check out the winning single below:

The Mysterines – ‘Dangerous’
Winner:

‘Dangerous’ by The Mysterines

The contenders:

‘Talk Hard’ by Jamie Lenman, ‘Compliance’ by Muse, ‘Wicked Ways’ by Halestorm, ‘Spillways’ by Ghost

Previous Winners:

2021 – ‘Test of our Resolve’ from Press To MECO
2020 – ‘Obey’ by Bring Me The Horizon feat. Yungblud

FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR

2022 was the first full festival season since 2019 and what a return it was. All eyes were on Glastonbury once again, British Summer Time curated a stunning line-up, Download Festival breathed fire and 2000trees was able to remind everyone what’s so great about smaller festivals.

Our winner this year though is Reading & Leeds who went big, sold out and delivered an action packed weekend even with the huge loss of Rage Against The Machine amongst others. Always a perennial contender for this award, 2022 felt like the year the event reclaimed its identity.

Read our review of Reading Festival Saturday

Winner:

Reading & Leeds

The contenders:

Glastonbury Festival, British Summer Time, Download Festival, 2000trees Festival

Previous Winners:

2021 – Download Pilot Festival
2020 – Wild Fields Festival

GIG OF THE YEAR

We’ve reviewed many gigs this year but in reality there could only ever be one winner. Rammstein’s tour is less of a concert and more of an experience; one that everyone, fan of the band or not, should experience at least once.

Beyond that there was still some incredible, top tier gigs in 2022 and our contenders are all worthy of glory, but Rammstein are currently on a whole different level.

Read our review of Rammstein live in Coventry

Winner:

Rammstein @ Coventry Arena

The contenders:

Royal Blood @ O2 Arena, London, Ghost @ Resorts World Arena, Birmingham, Muse @ Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, London, The Killers @ Carrow Road, Norwich, The Hella Mega Tour @ London Stadium, London, Creeper @ Roundhouse, London, Idlewild @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, London

Previous Winners:

2021 – Bring Me The Horizon @ O2 Arena, London
2020 – Frank Turner @ Arboretum, Nottingham

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Artist of the Year now and for this award we look for somebody who has had a huge, perhaps even career-defining year. Previous winners Frank Turner and Biffy Clyro have done so by delivering incredible feats, far above the norm.

This year was a big year for many acts, but we’ve gone for Bring Me The Horizon as a band that have had a career-defining twelve months. Long tipped as festival headliners at a major event, many felt that the time would never come for one of the best live bands on the planet. Big releases, sold-out tours, no matter what the group did they never seemed to be given that torch, that is until this year!

Watching Bring Me The Horizon step up and headline at Reading & Leeds this summer felt like a real moment, not just for the band but for the whole scene. For any metal band, let alone one once considered so unfashionable to headline the biggest festivals in the UK is massive.

Already announced to finally headline Download Festival in 2023, 2022 will forever be linked for Bring Me The Horizon to taking that final career-defining set. Throw in their genre-defying collaboration with Ed Sheeran, 2022’s Artist of the Year had to be Bring Me The Horizon.

Winner:

Bring Me The Horizon

The contenders:

Ghost, Rammstein, Biffy Clyro, Muse

Previous Winners:

2021 – Biffy Clyro
2020 – Frank Turner

‘DISCOVER’ NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

As a publication we always want to put new music at the heart of what we do, and that’s why our final award is perhaps our most important! Our ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year is awarded to the act we’ve chosen to highlight on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist and Podcast who we feel has made the biggest impact this year.

At the beginning of 2022 we put the spotlight on new Colchester act PET NEEDS as they continued to promote their debut album, ‘Fractured Party Music’. From that point on the band never looked back with a world tour, a second album (‘Primtime Entertainment’) and a sold out hometown show all under their belts.

They even found the time to become the first (and only at the time of writing) band to progress from our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast and appear on The Full Pelt Music Podcast! Yes, fighting off some stiff competition for the ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award in 2022 is PET NEEDS!

Winners:

PET NEEDS

The Contenders:

BERRIES, As Sirens Fall, Oakman, James and the Cold Gun, Daytime TV, MOSKITO

Previous Winners:

2020 – Miss Vincent

So, that’s it! Another year in the record books, it’s been another difficult year and it has again been particularly tough on the music industry. That said, we’ve had a full year of live music for the first time since 2019 and the creative juices remain flowing with some absolutely stunning new releases over the past twelve months.

Below you can enjoy some of our favourite gig photos of the year courtesy of our wonderful photographer Denis!

All 📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

We hope you’ve enjoyed our The Year in Review 2022 and we wish you a very Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2023 is a good one!

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Live Reviews

Y Not Festival

Green View Farm, Pikehall

28th to 31st July 2022

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Y NOT FESTIVAL – LIVE REVIEW

Festival season is in full swing, the weather is warm, and the women are setting the standard for football, in many ways life is good. Of course in many other ways things are tough right now.

Music has always been an escape from reality, and we certainly need a distraction right now, so as Y Not Festival open their gates for the first time in three years, it’s time for tens of thousands of fans to let their hair down and celebrate. That is once they can actually get in, with some enormous queues upon entry dampening early spirits.

Now, the last and only time I attended Y Not Festival was the fateful 2017 event which ended in cancellation midway through. I wrote a scathing review for another publication and swore never to return.

Well, watching from a distance the festival has put out some stunning line-ups since then, and organisational changes appear to have improved things and returned the events reputation to pre-2017 levels. This year is in fact billed as their first year back as an independent festival.

Having decided to give the festival a second chance on the basis of their 2020 line-up, I’ve since witnessed the line-up change multiple times for the worse based on my personal preferences. There is no doubting however the overall quality of the line-up at a tough time for festivals.

I’m interested to see how the event will progress and whether it can change my opinion of the festival after the 2017 debacle, so the huge entry queues on Thursday and Friday aren’t the best start.

Listen to Full Pelt Music’s two Podcasts

Thankfully once inside, things pick up quickly! The general layout is well thought out in the main arena, with the main stage, the second stage (The Quarry) and numerous other attractions in the main section of the arena, and the third stage (The Giant Squid) and various other stages and attractions located in a smaller area.

This almost creates two distinct festival areas, with a busy walkway connecting them. The only issue here is that later on in each day this thoroughfare does bottleneck and makes movement very difficult. At one point on Sunday night, this reaches a near dangerous level as fans flood the area trying to catch an Oasis tribute band on one of the smaller stages.

Whilst I quite liked the two separate areas concept, in future additional access would need to be installed at the other end of the second area to avoid any disastrous incidents and make crowd movements flow better.

Now on to the music! Thursday is an add-on day and those to fork out and arrive early are given a splattering of acts to enjoy.

The first such act that we catch is Lucy Spraggan who does a great job in getting the audience into the spirit of things. Spraggan has the crowd singing along to the likes of The Proclaimers cover ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, and fan favourites ‘Last Night (Beer Fear)’ and ‘Wait for Me’.

Next, The Hunna grace the main stage and also deliver a crowd pleasing set. The band’s momentum seems to have stalled slightly, but that upwards trajectory is set to relaunch if the reaction to new single, ‘Trash’, is anything to go by. ‘She’s Casual’ and ‘Bonfire’ serve as a reminder of what the band is capable of, and leaves the audience fully pumped up for our Thursday headliners.

WATCH ‘TRASH’ FROM THE HUNNA ON YOUTUBE
The Hunna – ‘Trash’

Those headliners are indie stalwarts The Kooks. The band have been celebrating their debut album, ‘Inside In/Inside Out’, whilst they have also recently released a new album, ’10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark’. It’s no surprise then that 15 out of 21 songs tonight come from those two releases.

The new tracks manage to hold up well with the hits such as ‘Ooh La’, ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’, ‘Always Where I Need To Be’ and ‘Naïve’. All in all this equates to a fun headline show which sets the standard for the weekend to come.

Read our review of ’10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark’ from The Kooks

Friday on paper is the best day musically for me heading in with a great mix of the new and established acts that Y Not Festival has managed to book so well.

It’s a new act we start with on the main stage as Lauran Hibberd brings her charismatic indie pop to Y Not Festival. The early risers are treated to a glimpse of a star in the making and those that make the effort don’t regret it. Hibberd’s debut album, ‘Garageband Superstar’ is out this month, and based on today’s showing it will be a breakthrough record.

Hibberd has featured previously on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist, and next we headed to the ‘Giant Squid’ stage for the first time to catch fellow playlist alumni Daytime TV.

Daytime TV showcase their incredible debut album, ‘Nothing’s On But Everyone’s Watching’, as they quickly blast out the likes of ‘We Can’t Be Friends’, ‘Hush’, ‘Ugly’ and ‘Zombie’. This is another band with a great future, and today they deliver the goods for the early crowd.

Watch our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast with guests Daytime TV

‘Discover’ New Music Podcast – Episode 14 – Daytime TV

Continuing the run of fantastic young acts we catch MarthaGunn in the ‘Giant Squid’ and The Skinner Brothers in the ‘Allotment’. Two very different acts, but two more acts that make the very most of their time on stage, clearly winning over any fans not already converted.

We then return to the main stage for another newer act, but one that already feel established. The Snuts burst onto the scene with their debut album, ‘W.L.’, and have dominated festival stages this year. Today fans are treated to a look at what comes next with new songs ‘Burn the Empire’ and ‘Zuckerpunch’ sounding massive. Expect The Snuts to continue to climb festival bills over the next few years, and don’t be surprised when they are eventually headlining the likes of Y Not Festival.

Read our review of The Snuts live in Colchester

The Pale White continue what has been a consistently brilliant day of music with a powerful set in the ‘Giant Squid’, before we head to the ‘Quarry’ for the first time this weekend.

Festival favourite and all round legend Beans On Toast assembles a huge crowd for a sing-a-long session. The heralded folk singer serenades his crowd with favourites such as ‘The War on War’, ‘M.D.M.Amazing’ and ‘On & On’. Really, there should be a law that dictates that Beans On Toast appears at every single festival.

Watch The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Beans On Toast

The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 3 – Beans On Toast

Even before the major issues struck in 2017, one gripe I had about Y Not Festival was the apparent disorganisation in relation to set times. I worry next that perhaps this issue hasn’t been fixed as Manic Street Preachers fail to appear for their advertised start time. Eventually a message appears on the screens citing technical difficulties, and the band finally arrive almost an hour late on stage.

Read our review of Manic Street Preachers live in Cambridge

This of course has a knock on effect to our headliners Stereophonics, and also means when the Manics do arrive, they quickly depart again only playing for half their originally scheduled time. The technical difficulties seemingly continue to dog the band throughout their short time on stage, which causes more set changes on the fly. A lesser band may have given up, but Manic Street Preachers force their way through.

Read our review of Stereophonics live in Cambridge

Stereophonics are a safe bet as a festival headliner, guaranteed to deliver the goods and give the audience a good time. That’s exactly what they do to close out Friday night, with a set mixed of hits and deep cuts from throughout their distinguished career.

The double header of of Welsh icons Manic Street Preachers and Stereophonics was a major selling point for many fans, so it’s disappointing that the technical issues leave a sour taste in the mouth.

Saturday soon arrives and we start off on the main stage for another double header of established acts. The Futureheads and Levellers bring the crowds in early as the festival rights the wrongs of last night. Both bands deliver solid sets which the audience lap up, and the party is in full swing as we head deeper into Saturday afternoon.

We refocus next however back to the fresh new acts that help to make this festival so appealing. Do Nothing, King No-One and the excellent The Mysterines all draw big crowds to the ‘Giant Squid’ stage and all three acts are able to produce perfect festival sets to the delight of the packed tent.

Read our review of The Mysterines live in London

Sea Girls are one of the bands leading the new wave of indie and they are next up on the main stage, where they are greeted by an army of their fans. The band and fans then reciprocate energy for the next forty-five minutes and the result is a very enjoyable watch.

Our Saturday night is then spent back in the ‘Giant Squid’ for two bands that personify the festival. First up is a hot new band on the cusp of greatness in the form of Yard Act. This is a band that has been touring solidly and making a name for themselves. Today they put the spotlight on debut album, ‘The Overload’, which gets the entire tent bouncing along.

Read our review of ‘The Overload’ from Yard Act

Lastly is an established act of indie folklore, We Are Scientists! The band finish out the night with a fan pleasing set full of favourites such as ‘It’s A Hit’, ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’.

WATCH ‘THE GREAT ESCAPE’ FROM WE ARE SCIENTISTS ON YOUTUBE
We Are Scientists – ‘The Great Escape’

It’s during this time that the heavens open for the first time. Back in 2017 it was the Saturday night when the festival organisers decided enough was enough, come Sunday morning the last day was cancelled and a disorderly evacuation of the site commenced.

One massive criticism of the event that year was a lack of foresight with heavy rain predicted well in advance, the site saw little or no preparation for the weather. It’s great this year then that prior to the rainfall we see straw spread at key points in the arena.

The result is that despite a night of rain, the arena is still in good nick come Sunday morning and we are able to continue with the high quality entertainment. Kudos then to the present organisers for taking proactive action rather than waiting until the horse has already bolted!

So, onto my first Y Not Festival Sunday! We again are on the hunt for new talent early on and catch both Marty and Cucamaras in the ‘Quarry’ and Baby Queen capturing the imagination of the main stage. All three showing that the future is bright.

Sunday really sinks it teeth in on the main stage with back to back performances from Amy MacDonald and Jake Bugg. Two more established acts with stacked back catalogues, two more artists that are able to deliver polished and well received sets as the shine really starts to break through.

After some sing-a-long action with MacDonald and Bugg, it’s back to the fantastic new music offerings as The Hara and Rews in the ‘Giant Squid’, and Vistas and Dream Wife in the ‘Quarry’ all deliver blistering performances which really rile up the audience.

Soon there is a great moment on the main stage where The Vaccines get to announce the incredible result of the Football mid-set. The atmosphere is electric as fans celebrate with more great music.

For us that great music sees us conclude our weekend back in the ‘Giant Squid’, firstly with Blood Red Shoes, who have released one of the albums of the year in ‘Ghosts On Tape’. Their belated set is an intense and ferocious explosion of rock which instantly enters the race for performance of the weekend.

Read our review of ‘Ghosts on Tape’ from Blood Red Shoes

Watch The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests Blood Red Shoes

The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 4 – Blood Red Shoes

That honour is hotly contested as across four days of music we somehow haven’t seen a bad performance. The pure quality on offer despite the multiple line-up changes since 2020 is a testament of the work of the booking team for Y Not Festival.

The last band of the weekend for us is Black Honey, who decide that the crown for set of the weekend belongs to them. They deliver an energetic yet majestic performance that is the perfect way to end what has been a great weekend.

Read our review of Black Honey live in Norwich

I must admit scepticism coming into the event, and whilst I hoped that a great weekend would be had, I wasn’t sure. The organisers have rectified the issues of 2017 and have earned themselves a clean slate from me.

Whether you just want to chill at the main stage, or go hunting for the best kept secrets in the tents, Y Not Festival had it all this year. The ghosts of the past have been put to bed by the acts of the future!

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