Live Review

2000trees Festival 2010

The UK’s leading green and ethical festival has closed its tent flaps for another year.

The UK’s leading green and ethical festival has closed its tent flaps for another year; but does 2000trees Festival really live up to its mantra? Well, the food sold on-site is organic, sourced from local farms and is reasonably-priced (we’re talking London prices, not the usual eye-wateringly extravagant festival prices which gradually lead you further into your overdraft as the weekend progresses). The festival also has a 90% recycling rate, with numerous bins on-site asking whether your latest eaten purchase falls into the compost, mixed glass or landfill category. Having seen everybody who gingerly lifts the lid on the landfill bin, with its angrily-drawn red cross plastered along the side, receive the most haughty of stares, I deposit everything I throw away in the compost bin. I am in no mood to be attacked by a dreadlocked mob. Other notable features include a solar-powered stage and coffee shop, so it’s pretty safe to say the festival organisers are trying their hardest to keep proceedings as green as possible. Now onto the musical highlights!

Friday: Frank Turner

Yes, it’s easy just to stick the day’s headliner on the top of a review and proclaim how wonderful they are and how, yes, they certainly deserve the day’s top slot; but I am no lazy journalist, so to say that the headliner really does deserve the honour is a two-handed salute to folk music’s leading spokesman. Heart-warming, melodic and always brutally honest, Frank Turner’s stories of love, loss, regret and growing up are met with the most rapturous of reactions. It’s as if his entire fan club has travelled to a small field in Cheltenham to hear this man sing about life.

Friday: Errors

This may be a generalisation, but the majority of the UK population would not be of a merry disposition when stood outside in the drizzle. How is it then that post-electro band Errors have at least 85% of 2500 festival-goers gyrating wildly, and slightly animalistically, to their rocky synths and modern psychedelia? Perhaps cowering under Primark raincoats didn’t seem as appealing as filling their ears with intelligent and pulsating music that drifts around the field like acid house on steroids. What I mean to say is, everyone seems to enjoy themselves.

Saturday: 65daysofstatic

Math-rock titans 65daysofstatic take to the stage mid-afternoon on what is a much more pleasant day weather-wise than its predecessor. A heady cross between Mogwai and Battles, with even more frenetic energy onstage than at a Muse gig, this band of ADHD-addled merrymen are anything but static. These guys really are a forceful live band, with their recordings continually failing to do justice to their magnificently boisterous live sets. 65daysofstatic are now, more than ever, a force to be reckoned with.

Saturday: A Genuine Freakshow

Hauntingly beautiful and highly complex, A Genuine Freakshow set the atmosphere of the Leaf Lounge on fire, at a time during Saturday afternoon when coincidence could not have made their sound any eerier. In that hazy stage between sunset and twilight, a magical few minutes where fireflies begin to emerge and many begin to shiver, this Reading-based seven-piece begin their opulent orchestral set. This band feel like a mystery wrapped up tightly within an enigma, but after a few hugely atmospheric numbers, involving trumpets, cellos and violins, people begin to nod their heads in appreciation and even sing along. Like an amalgamation of the most mysterious bands around (Mew, Pink Floyd, Arcade Fire, Sigur Ros), they come, they conquer eloquently, then they float off back their hidden kingdom.

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