About a quarter of a million were at Glastonbury, but for me and a few mates, 2000 Trees was our first festival of the year. I went to Reading religiously for over of a decade, but there’s something awesome about attending a festival that’s that much more intimate, focussed and less corporate.
Camp Reuben, a place for Reuben fans to hang out, started after the band broke up before they had the chance to play the festival. So there’s something very cool about the fact that Jamie Lenman (Reuben’s former frontman) played a set at this year’s shebang. His first solo LP is a double album, with a folk disk and a crazy math-rock/metal/post-hardcore effort. He didn’t focus on the folk efforts, which is a shame as there are some stormers on there, but his set went down a treat.
To my mind the band of the weekend were Delta Sleep. Their music has always been incredibly ambitious, but their new material manages to marry that ambition with the melody of their poppier efforts, like 16:40 am (which you can download for free on Bandcamp). Their new album will be released later this year, and I can promise you that from what I’ve heard, it’s worth investing in.
I saw Tall Ships twice in the space of 3 days having seen them at Clwb Ifor Bach on Thursday. In Cardiff their sound was absolutely massive in intimate surroundings. I’m a big fan of club gigs, but there’s something amazing about hearing a big crowd sing along to the anthemic Vessels, a song that’s as full of character and as unique as it is catchy.
I love the way that Tall Ships manage to include layers of sound in their music, and there’s something equally impressive in the way that Public Service Broadcasting use samples and visuals in what they do. Without their own kit the visuals don’t pack the same punch as at their own gigs, but it’s a great live performance. There’s a great post on the Album Wall that looks at how they might develop their sound, and I can’t wait to hear how that turns out.
Festivals are having a tough time of it, with austerity curbing the cash that people are willing to shell out to go to festivals, so it’s well worth supporting festivals while you have a chance. There’s a stellar line-up at Arc Tan Gent, 2000 Trees’ sister festival. If you’re a fan of math rock, it’s well worth purchasing a ticket, meeting like-minded people and checking out some quality bands.