It would possibly come as a surprise to Truck Festival first timers, that it was in fact celebrating its 19th birthday. A well struck balance between the feel of a small, friendly festival whilst attracting big headliners, Truck thrives on avoiding the traps of mainstream festival expectations. A community festival, one that celebrates local businesses and supports charities, this is a festival that feels good from the inside, and looks great on the outside.
If you’re looking for a festival that allows you to discover new artists but enjoy your favourite ones then Truck should make your festival shortlist for summer 2017. Notable supporting artists to add to your Spotify playlist from this year’s edition consist of The Amazons, Coast, Eliza And The Bear and Danny And The Champions Of The World.
Eliza And The Bear not only stole the stage but also the majority of main stage crowd, opening with their most popular track to date It Gets Cold. The energy of the fans was clearly contagious, here’s a band that can put on a serious show whilst authentically conveying the love for their music on stage.
Despite drawing huge crowds, and no doubt contributing to the sell-out Friday, you can’t help but feel a little disconnected from Catfish And The Bottlemen. Van McCann’s men made little attempt to converse and engage with the crowd, a shame for a band so highly anticipated and talented. Conversely, some would argue it’s all about the music, in which case these guys do not disappoint. With songs like Sound-Check, Kathleen and Homesick, any pre-show dubious CFATB punter left on Friday night a fan!
If you hadn’t heard of Everything Everything before then you may be forgiven for raising an eyebrow as Jonathan Higgs began to sing, the 31-year-old showcasing a very distinctive voice that breaks the conventional sound. As the set went on, instantly recognisable hits like Distant Past and Regret very quickly won round the harder to please listeners! To see a band making their mark in the music industry, who aren’t afraid to be different, is extremely refreshing.
Throughout the weekend we also heard and photographed Jodie Abacus, Jurassic 5, Clean Cut Kid and experienced an amazing set from singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti.
As the sun sets around the stunning Oxfordshire countryside and the festival closes on Sunday night, there really is no place better to be than in the musical arms of Kodaline. As the day draws to a close Steve Garrigan slowly seduces each and every member of the audience, captivating them with Irish flare, charm and heart-felt vocals. He only has to briefly address the crowd to melt the hearts of every girl standing in the front row. There’s not a single song in Kodaline’s repertoire that falls short of the last huge hit.
Overall, for a small festival in the depths of Oxfordshire, it is a great credit to the organisers to have such a strong following. The Bennett family, musicians themselves playing as The Dreaming Spires, they really have achieved something extraordinary in the fields of Truck. If they were ever ‘dreaming’ of a successful festival then they can rest assured they’ve certainly made that dream come true.
Live Review and Photography by Laura Bradley