Home > Focus On Festivals > 2010 | Truck Festival, Steventon

2010 | Truck Festival, Steventon

Jo & Lisa


Where most reviews will inevitably have covered headline acts Mew and Teenage Fanclub, More Than The Music set out on a mission to find the best Truck had to offer on its smaller stages, including all the up and coming local talent and of course a glimpse of the legendary Truck monster.

By the end of Savoir Adore’s Saturday morning slot we knew we’d made the right choice. Mix the psychedelic rock vibe of MGMT with the Ting Tings and Arcade Fire and you’re somewhere close to understanding the sound produced by this otherwise unassuming duo. Playing tracks from their debut album In The Wooded Forest including new single Loveliest Creature they became one of our highlights of the Market Stage and assured us there was definitely enough going on past the main stage to keep us occupied.

Heading then over to the Village Pub stage for our first fix of local talent we caught Alphabet Backwards, the masters of intelligent pop. Highlights of their set as ever included the inescapable Primark and Polar Bears, which we were still humming late on Sunday evening. Playing to a packed out tent, they also granted us new song Ladybird which, whilst a little predictable seemed to be swallowed up by the enthusiasm of both the band and the crowd.

On Saturday afternoon we moved to the Barn stage despite the unavoidable smell of excrement on a recommendation to take in Thomas Tantrum. Though their set seemed somewhat troubled by sound issues, they packed it with feist.  Their female fronted rock contained just enough pop and just enough rock to keep it fresh and whilst Megan’s vocals in Sleep were reminiscent of Marina And The Diamonds, it’s fair to say the melodies contain a lot more grunge than the pop princess.

Coming back out into the fresh air we made our way to the main stage for the first time for Stornoway, the second of the local bands not to be missed. In something of a homecoming gig the band seemed to have grown in stature. The finger picking opener We Are The Battery Human ensured they captivated the crowd’s attention from word go, not allowing it to waver throughout the set. Fuel Up and Zorbing might be predictable favourites but they capture the bands ability to fuse earthy sounds, with catchy lyrics.

Having caught their short acoustic set in the merchandise tent earlier in the day we opted to stay with the main stage for Bellowhead, who were undoubtedly our highlight of the weekend. Reeling through the likes of London Town, Sloe Gin and Jordan they created an electric atmosphere with jigging, dancing, general merriment and even a conga line. Mew may have taken the headline slot but they were undeniably outdone by Bellowhead on all fronts.

We started Sunday back at the Market Stage for Briana Hardyman, who gave us a required dose of country sounds. In a set fusing covers by Johnny Cash (Hurt), Leonard Cohen (Hallelujah) and Bonny Raitt (I Can’t Make You Love Me) as well as the self penned Alcohol And Pills she was a perfect opener to the second day. Something akin to Chely Wright and Lucinda Williams, her set combined classic and contemporary alike, her own songs have charm and spark, whilst the old being treated to intelligent twists.

We then stuck around for another helping of local talent, the Dead Jericho’s impressing us with their tight and edgy punk.  It’s clear from the number of people who descended to Market Stage, that this young band are already turning heads and Red Dancefloor and its punch drunk lyrics, fussed over ballsy riffs seemed to encapsulate why. The three piece make a raging amount of sound, filled with guts and tempo that defies anyone to refrain from nodding along.

Though we were disappointed to arrive at the Barn only to find Veronica Falls had been delayed (or cancelled – we’re still not clear which) Little Fish more than counterbalanced our dismay. Breaking out of their normal comfort zone, they packed their set with variation, demanding the audience get involved with clapping and singing. Nez’s beatboxing at the start of Die Young was a particular highlight, whilst new songs It’s Only A Game and Innuendo still contain the same punk and passion of their earlier songs they mark a growth in Little Fish both lyrically and musically.

The Piney Gir Country Roadshow came on a similar recommendation to Thomas Tantrum despite the two being at entirely different ends of the musical spectrum. A mainstay of the festival and signed to Truck Records this seemed a pretty predictable endorsement but nevertheless we were pleasantly surprised. With laid back country melodies they were perfectly suited to a lazy afternoon wiled away on the grass outside the Market Stage.

Blood Red Shoes seem to have appealed to the audience, but we were left feeling like we just didn’t get it. Whilst their indie pop contained lyrics simple enough that you could sing along by the second verse, their music seemed to lack the melodies we desired. In fact by the time they reached I Wish I Was Someone Better we’d all but given up. Whilst later it was rumoured that they were joined by Pulled Apart By Horses to tear a drum kit and launch it into the crowd we decided we’d taken all we could. Anticipating a similar noise level from Teenage Fanclub and fulfilling our mission to photo the Truck monster we left satisfied that we’d more than had our fill from the other delights the festival had to offer.