Back to Truck Festival on Saturday and wow, it’s sunny! After all the rain of the last few months we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The atmosphere seems a lot better too – the drunken kids seem to be sleeping off their hangovers and the families and “older people” (and yes, I count myself as one of them) are back, bringing with them a proper Truck festival vibe. Using my trusty Spotify playlist I’d planned out who I wanted to see for the second half of the day but the early afternoon bands were all a mystery to me – which is normally a good thing at Truck as there are often some hidden gems to be found. So first stop of the day was The Barn to see The See See, who brought a bit of Manchester rock to the festival. In all honesty I have no idea where they’re from, but they were definitely rocking the old Madchester sound, and had the haircuts to match, along with a peculiar obsession with footwear – they were keen to let us know their choice of shoes – trainers, barefoot, shoes without socks and sandals with socks! I really enjoyed their jangly rock pop but felt it was far too sunny for the gloomy Barn. (I’ve since found out The See See are based in London, though their members hale from New Zealand, Sweden, America and Leeds – not a Mancunian among them!) Lovely to see Truck founder Joe Bennett on stage doing a couple of trumpet blasts, and his brother Robin was around too.
We weren’t going to Truck Festival this year. Despite me being a regular Trucker since 2003 we decided that a combination of money, the Friday start and the weather – but mainly the weather – were enough to put us off. After all, this has been the wettest summer on record so far and I’ve reached an age where standing around in a muddy field in the pouring rain really doesn’t appeal any more. So that was it, we weren’t going … until the forecast improved and Steve suggested on Thursday lunchtime that maybe we could get tickets after all…. By then it was too late to take time off work and the kids had tickets for Batman on Friday afternoon, and we’d miss our favourite Truck band Alphabet Backwards, but we reckoned we could get there by 7pm and still fit in half a dozen bands, and have all day Saturday too – and with that we booked four of the remaining handful of tickets. We were going to Truck!
Arriving at a festival several hours after everyone else is a bit weird –
Really sad to read that the company behind the Truck Festival has gone into liquidation. I was introduced to Truck in 2003 and have been every year since, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Having been to Glastonbury a couple of times, Truck was similar in ethos yet on a much smaller scale. Set in fields just outside Didcot, there are three or four stages, including the main stage – formed from a truck (of course!) – and the Barn (now no longer used) which was … well, a smelly old barn. Over the years Truck has hosted a huge number of local bands as well as some bigger names too, and it’s become a family event for us too, as my kids (now teenagers) have come along for the last few years.
Over the years I’ve discovered the likes of Chikinki, Alphabet Backwards, The Race and Nathaniel Rateliffe, all who have become big favourites of mine; I’ve enjoyed performances as diverse as Mr Shaodow and KTB; I’ve watched big acts like Supergrass, Ash, Biffy Clyro and Futureheads wow the crowd, and I’ve seen smaller acts shortly before they have become household names – bands like Bellowhead, The Magic Numbers and Foals.
This year it was obvious that something was wrong long before the festival gates opened.
Wow. This weekend we went to Truck 13, my 8th Truck festival. If you’ve never heard of it, Truck is a small music festival held in Oxfordshire. It was the creation of two brothers, Robin and Joe Bennett, who wanted to be able to play in their band at a festival, but knew they’d never be picked for Glastonbury – so they created their own mini-Glasto! Truck is a fantastic mix of music, covering everything from rap to folk, and it’s really family-friendly too. The locals get involved as well – the Oxford Rotary Club man the food stalls and bar, and the Steventon vicar sells ice creams on the sweet stall!
Anyway, we had a fabulous time at Truck 13 last weekend. Here’s a quick rundown of who we saw.