With festival season underway, 2000 Trees was one not to be missed. Singing its praises for many years from artists who have been a part of the lineup or anyone who has just attended, it really is the place to be.
From it initially being a small grassroots festival, to now having grown to holding thousands of attendees over 3 days, from the chilled out atmosphere, the eclectic lineup, the variety of food stalls to everyone just being up for having fun over the summer, what more could any music fan ask for?
Returning this year by showcasing bands on Wednesday, at The Forest Stage, a day before the main festival opened up, here’s who We Plug Good Music got to see at this year’s 2000 Trees Festival.
It wouldn’t be 2000 Trees without Kid Kapichi. From their stage presence, punk attitude and songs that make you think while also being perfectly crafted, Kid Kapichi are very much where they belong, especially with the lineup consisting of a band like SOFT PLAY who are one of the band’s biggest influences.
As well as political messages and the relatability factor that can be heard through their music, Kid Kapichi are all about having fun. From the chemistry they have together on stage, the inflatable burger that was thrown into the crowd for people to crowd surf on and chocolate bars being thrown into the crowd, what more could we ask for from Kid Kapichi? They’ll always have a place at 2000 Trees.
Skindred knows how to bring the party vibes to any festival. With the sun shining down on Upcote Farm, the crowd were in for a treat. Frontman Benji Webbe, along with his charm and charisma made the set ever so special. Just like any Skindred show, crowd participation is a must to get the full experience.
From a little rendition of Oasis’ “Wonderwall”, there were elements of surprises to help keep the crowd’s attention throughout. With a mixture of newer tracks and a mixture of classic Skindred, there was something in there for everyone. There were smiles all around, which showed the joy that Skindred brought to the people of 2000 Trees.
Last year, Bob Vylan played the NEU Stage and this year saw them progress to the main stage where they belong. Now having all the space they needed to let loose, they did not hold back. As Bob and Bobbie looked out into the large crowd, the smiles and shock on their faces said it all. Not long into their set, there were crowd surfers coming from all sides.
Everyone was there to have a good time, which they should, especially with the energy that Bob Vylan brought to their set, as well as their stage presence. Being able to bring their experiences to the forefront through their music allows the reliability factor to shine through and allows their music to reach the right audience. Bob Vylan knows what it means to make a statement and do it the right way.
Headlining the main stage, Soft Play were on top form. The change of the band’s name did not change anything about the band’s dynamic on stage and the energy that comes across through their music. Tracks including “Where’s Your Car Debbie” and “Cheer Up London”, they came with full force.
The crowd were up for every second of their set which was to be expected, especially as this was one of the band’s first performances under the new name. Another surprise was when Bob Vylan joined them on stage for “One More Day Won’t Hurt”. As they matched the same level of energy as Soft Play, it was a perfect collaboration. Soft Play made their Main Stage debut and it was one to be proud of.
Gracing The Cave stage with their energy, Lake Malice were ready to kick things off with a memorable performance. With the stage presence that both vocalist Alice Guala and guitarist Blake Cornwall have, giving the crowd a fun and enthusiastic show wouldn’t be hard.
Making the most of the space they had on stage, it was evident to see that they love what they do and appreciate every second of it. They demonstrate great musicianship throughout proving that anything is possible for Lake Malice.
As always, Lozeak captures the audience with her flawless and powerful vocals. The Forest Stage was the perfect setting for an artist like Lozeak, with the stage situated amongst ethereal aesthetics and bright lights, it really set the scene for the performance ahead. She made the most out of the space on stage and even interacted with the crowd which was refreshing.
People really warmed to her the moment she stepped onto the stage, as her confidence shone through. From the blend of genres in her music, this allowed her to switch things up and kept the set interesting. It is evident that Lozeak knows who she is as an artist, and that’s something that will allow her to stand out as she continues to grace the music scene.
It was clear that as soon as Herriot took to the stage, they were taking no prisoners. The tone was set as soon as they looked amongst the crowd to see the sea of people there to watch them perform. With howling tones and atmospheric feedback, the chaos had begun and there was no stopping them. Every member of the band matched each others energy and that fed into the crowd.
The instrumentation went hand in hand with the heavy moments of their set. Heriot were able to switch things up, which for any music fan is always commendable and allows for there to be something different at any moment. Heriot had the crowd’s attention from the start and that came as no surprise.
Bullet For My Valentine
They knew what the crowd wanted and they gave them just that. A rock show. Bullet came armed with some of their heavier material to showcase, which the crowd loved by the smiles on their faces and the applause after every song. As the band took to the stage, they were met with screams and cheers of delight.
Knowing that this would be the band’s last festival performance for a while, it was a performance to remember. The setlist consisted of a mixture of the band’s discography which allowed them to switch things up regularly. You can still hear the echo of the crowd chanting “BULLET” if you listen closely.
For a lot of people, this may have been the first time they were introduced to Japanese rockers Paledusk. And it definitely won’t be the last. They left a lasting impression on the crowd from the very second they walked on stage. The entire tent was packed, spilling out on all sides as everyone wanted to take a look at one of the band’s that made 2000 Trees festival what it was this year.
Consistent energy from every member, getting the audience involved every chance they could get and if entering the stage with police sirens and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is anything to go by, it says it all. With a blend of genres in their music, they kept everyone hooked and wanting more. Paledusk knows how to put on a show and hopefully won’t be too long until the Grace UK soil once again.
Empire State Bastard
The people of 2000 Trees were in for a treat when it came to Empire State Bastard. With a well deserved slot on The Axiom stage, Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and live guitarist/musician Mike Vennart, the crowd were there to witness this gripping performance.
Turning their hand to a different musical venture, it was hard to hear Neil’s vocals over the heavy guitars. Nonetheless, it kept the attention of the majority of the crowd. If there are any festivals to help discover new bands, this is the perfect one for it.
Carpark brought the nostalgic 90s vibes to 2000 Trees. Their aesthetic, energy and catchy songs went hand in hand when it came to giving a fun performance. It was evident that the entire band were enjoying their time up on stage, as they showed their appreciation to everyone there who watched their set.
There was a sense of charm that radiated from their songs which was refreshing. They are reinventing the rules and taking us back to the soundtracks of classic coming of age movies we all know and love. A dynamic and powerful live band that will continue to see themselves play in front of more and more people who truly appreciate what Carpark are all about.
A refreshing sound is what we like to hear. Something not too obvious that it fits into one genre but music that switches things up a bit and keeps the listener wanting more. This was what Clarence & The Modern Life did during his performance on the NEU Stage.
The rebellious attitude of the punk movement and a mission to want to bring something new to the forefront, as well as speaking about topics that actually matter. The crowd were up for a good time and this set the tone for the rest of the set. Clarence & The Modern Life is here and for the right reasons.
Even with potential downpour, the weather did not deter people from making their way to the main stage to see what Witch Fever had in store. They felt and looked ready to be up on stage, making the most of the space provided. With a track as big as “Congregation”, Witch Fever makes their way through their set with impact.
They managed to capture the attention of everyone who was there to watch them and also onlookers. Doing things on their own accord and standing up for what they believe in will continue to make a name for themselves in the industry.
As well as a set from Bat Sabbath, the Black Sabbath tribute band which consists of all the members of Cancer Bats performing tracks including “Iron Man” and “Children Of The Grave”, they also graced The Cave stage with undeniable high energy, chaos and a crowd pleasing set.
The loud cheers and screams after every song said it all. Being one of the best bands to watch visually at the festival and an easy band to enjoy live in the heavy music scene, Cancer Bats brought it all and there was nothing not to be proud of.
Holding Absence have officially played every stage at the festival. Throughout the years, attendees have been able to witness the growth of this band as they go from strength to strength. Like a welcome home party, fans gathered in front of the main stage with full pride and excitement to support the band in full force.
Switching up the setlist from their set on Wednesday, they filled their time with a 45 minute set consisting of anthemic, catchy and powerful songs. As usual, the band put their all into their performance and as a collective, their relationship and musicianship stays as strong as ever. The love for Hold Absence is still present here in the UK and may it continue to be.
Closing the festival with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes was the right choice. As always, they did not disappoint. From pyro and confetti to Frank jumping into the crowd, there was never a dull moment when Frank Carter is about. During the song “Wild Flowers”, in true Frank Carter fashion, he encouraged women in the crowd to get involved in mosh pits and crowd surfing, wanting to make it an inclusive space.
Songs including “I Hate You” and “Juggernaut” went down a storm through the set. Every song played was well received. The crowd reciprocated the enthusiasm and energy of the band, which kept the set as enjoyable from the second they stepped foot on stage till the very end. This is how you headline a festival.
Keeping their music as raw as possible, Frozemode gave the people of 2000 Trees versatility, catchy melodies and hard hitting lyrics. A slightly different sound for what the festival is used to, but that’s what made their performance special and one that stood out.
With music that reflects the band’s personal experience, there is no shying away with Frozemode. Everyone in the crowd were there to have fun and enjoy the music that the alternative rap trio provided. The chemistry that they all had on stage did not go unnoticed. It was genuine and honest, just like their music.
Words + photography by Sarah Akomanyi