Two Thousand Trees Festival - Cheltenham - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Two Thousand Trees Festival - Cheltenham

by Hiro Master Rating:9 Release Date:

Two Thousand Trees has only been going four years but for a fledgling festival it's certainly found its feet very fast. It was set up as a reaction against the high-priced mainstream festivals and prides itself on green credentials and only featuring UK bands.

This year's headliners were Frank Turner and The Subways - OK if you like that kind of thing - but this festival isn't really about the headliners because the best acts were on before the sky got dark. Pulled Apart By Horses, Future of The Left, Errors and Tubelord all provided top-class performances. You may have seen these bands in small dingy clubs but this festival gives them their moment on the main stage. I was actually welling with pride when the whole crowd chanted along to Tubelord's 'Night of Pencils': "We're bigger than Memphis, you only exist, when I want you to."

If you were expecting a show then Two Thousand Trees may not have delivered anything more than some disco lights but here it's all about the bands rather than the pyrotechnics. Vessels, Bombay Bicycle Club and Cats and Cats and Cats were definitely favourites judging from the crowds.

But for me, it was 65daysofstatic whose music managed to achieve the impossible by making me dance crazily and at the same time stand still in awe - or at least that's what it felt like. The efforts of the bass player (who must be the tallest person in the world) have to be noted. He looked on the verge of coming or dying for most of the show and ended up collapsed over a keyboard, alone on stage, hugging a synth.

Also worth noting, for another day, were And So I Watch You from Afar, Three Trapped Tigers and The Xcerts. The biggest disappointment was Metronomy, who lacked energy, and charisma, and anything else you'd need to make it as a penultimate headliner.

What is perhaps special about Two Thousand Trees is that the site is so small it invites an intensely intimate, and therefore friendly, atmosphere. You're likely to see Errors wandering around the campsite, or Tubelord standing next to you at a show. As a result of the atmosphere nothing got stolen and the toilets were clean - they even had loo roll.

The food was tasty; mostly vegetarian or organic, and the local cider made my night enjoyable, whilst the guy with the coffee cart made my mornings bearable. The ticket price is unbelievably cheap at £50, for which you get two days of music and camping. And there are benefits from a two day festival; only two days unwashed and only two nights sleeping rough.

The silent disco was bit of a let-down, as the soundtrack seemed to have been made in 2005, with the Artic Monkeys and Kaiser Cheifs dominating the headphones. A little more modern pop/rock would have gone down really well.

It depends what you want from a festival as to whether you would like Two Thousand Trees. If it's worldwide mega-star headliners and a drugged-up crazy atmosphere, then this festival probably isn't for you. But if you want to catch a ridiculous amount of quality UK bands and drink some country cider with them, then off to Two Thousand Trees it is.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet