Wow. Now that 2000 Trees has come to a close and the dust has finally settled, we sat down to produce this mammoth roundup of the sets that we managed to enjoy!

THURSDAY

Muncie Girls (The Cave)

Muncie Girls (Gareth Bull)
Image from @garethbullphoto

Politically conscious three-piece rattle through a collection of their emo hits with a perky twist.

Emerging on to The Cave to a humble, yet respectably sized crowd, Muncie Girls were certainly well received. A large handful of fans were sporting their merch and singing their lyrics with beaming smiles painted across their face. Those crowd members who weren’t necessarily familiar with Muncie Girls were still visibly entertained – this band produce music that is undeniably accessible – with catchy choruses lavished with bouncy beats designed to sway a crowd. Tracks such as Respect and Learn In School off of 2016’s impressive debut, From Caplan To Belsize, never fail to impress a jovial enjoyment for a crowd and were definite standouts of the set.

If one were to search for any room for improvement in the set that Muncie Girls showcased on this occasion, one may discern that crowd interaction is certainly an area that could be addressed by these band members. Aside from a (somewhat forced) ‘oh Jeremy Corbyn’ chant in response to frontwoman, Lande Hekt’s delivery of the political context that lies behind her band’s music, there was a certain lack of geeing the crowd up. Whether a result of nerves or their desire to allow their art to do the talking, there was an anonymity between the band and their audience – a dynamic that is not ideal when a band should be striving to win over as many potential fans as possible.

3/5 Bytes.

Words from Aaron Jackson (Twitter: @_a_jackson_ Insta: @a_jackson57).

Black Foxxes (The Axiom)

Black Foxxes (Gareth Bull)
Image from @garethbullphoto

A certified, balls-out performance for one of rock’s most exciting bands utterly impresses.

“Right, I’m gonna need your help tonight because I am fucking ill”. Well, Mr. Holley, you certainly could have fooled me with the workout your vocal chords received that evening. As Black Foxxes’ frontman announced his ailments as soon as strolling out onto the second largest stage at 2000 Trees, it somewhat felt as though he had set up his band to fail, however, what followed was quite possibly the most powerful set of the weekend. It’s baffling how a three-piece is capable of emitting a sound of such superlative endowment – a strum of Holley’s guitar is enough to blow a spectator’s face off and, when the rhythm section (driven by bassist, Tristan Jane and drummer, Ant Thorton), forget about it.

A set embellished with standout tracks from their phenomenal introductory release, I’m Not Well, was sure to captivate an audience – hits like Husk, River and the album’s titular track stood out. A special mention must go to the inclusion of Slow Jams Forever, my personal favourite Foxxes track, it made me very happy to witness this powerhouse being played in the flesh so yeah, thanks for that. A cover of Neil Young’s iconic Rocking In The Free World was well received, while the earlier tracks from the band’s discography didn’t quite achieve the same excitement that was generated by the aforementioned hits. All in all, an astoundingly memorable set that has certainly provoked me to continue my investment with this band – rest assured that when they next tour, I will be there.

4/5 Bytes.

Words from Aaron Jackson (Twitter: @_a_jackson_ Insta: @a_jackson57).

Dinosaur Pile-Up (The Axiom)

DPU (Gareth Bull)
Image from @garethbullphoto

Dinosaur Pile-Up pick up where they left off from last year’s 2000 Trees appearance, blowing away a packed Axiom tent.

Playing any Thursday slot at 2000 Trees festival must come with some apprehension, wondering whether people would drag themselves from their tinnies and camping chairs after fighting through the sweat-inducing queue. As the band rattled through opener, Birds and Planes, into fan-favourite Arizona Waiting it was evident that the crowd were ready to kick off their festival experience. Having played The Cave in 2016, their stage upgrade was not only justified but essential as circle pits repeatedly threatened to spill out either side.

The band ran through highlights across their three studio albums, which all received positive acclaim from the crowd. It is clear that Matt Bigland and co. were eager to be playing a show on home soil for the first time in a while – an excitement shared by the crowd. Hits such as Nature Nurture, My Rock ‘n’ Roll and Anxiety Trip invited the crowd to get involved even more than they already were. Participation came at a price, sweat and beer was flying all over the shop as the riffs commanded a certain hustle.

They closed their set in the only way they know how – hurtling through 11:11 with such infectious energy it felt like no single person in the crowd could resist moving. For me personally, DPU wet the whistle for 2000 Trees. Their tight performance and passion for their craft reminded me of the calibre of music on display at the festival. I will undoubtedly be digging deep into my pocket to buy tickets to see them on their November run of shows – money well spent in my opinion.

4.5/5 Bytes.

Words from Callum Huthwaite (Twitter: CallumHuthwaite. Insta: @chuthwaite).

Pulled Apart By Horses (The Axiom + The Forest)

Pulled Apart By Horses (Dominic Meason)
Image from @dommeason

An acoustic set impedes the boys from Leeds but they bring their maximum to The Axiom.

The scorching hot Thursday afternoon of 2000 Trees was mostly spent lugging around the bare festival necessities. I needed a cooldown and the Pulled Apart by Horses acoustic forest session intrigued me. In my head, I pictured the same poetically pained vocals accompanying an unplugged vibe. I was excited for a possible cover or two after being impressed by their charity cover of Ziggy Stardust last year. However, PABH’s set was, in one word – uninspiring. Listening to it felt like I had missed the punchline to a joke. I just didn’t get it and it was uncomfortable to watch them so far from the PABH I know and love. It lacked emphasis and emotion and I felt it failed to fully grasp the audience’s attention, let alone entertain. On reflection, unplugging PABH just doesn’t make sense. It’s about as pointless as Stevie Wonder’s sunglasses. You just don’t get the same raw, heart-pounding hit that a PABH addict craves. I was left disappointed and underwhelmed as I thought they could’ve done something vaguely interesting in those picturesque surroundings.

Despite this, all was forgotten in a matter of hours. If anything, it even further heightened my anticipation for their main set in The Axiom. There is no better place that I would rather experience one of my personal favourite bands than in a hot and sweaty tent in the arse-end of a field with like-minded folk. They did not fail to kick-start the festival for me. My personal favourites being The Big What If from their quality, latest album The Haze as well as the classic, I Punched a Lion in The Throat. The heavy yet refined meltdowns confirmed PABH’s shameless confidence when they perform live. I was left broken, battered, bruised but buzzing beyond belief after their phenomenal set. A staggering show and a stunning start to what was, overall, an incredible festival.

4/5 Bytes.

Words from Joshua Crouch (Twitter: @crouch_josh. Insta: @jcrouchyyy).

FRIDAY

Black Peaks (Main Stage)

Black Peaks (Gareth Bull)
Image from @garethbullphoto

Brighton prog-rock outfit perform one last set before a creative hiatus.

After what was, undeniably, an incredible performance in The Cave at 2016’s 2000 Trees Festival, fans were positively insatiable in the buildup to their slot on the coveted Main Stage this year round. Although relatively early on in the day, you could still sense an energetic buzz simmering above the sizeable crowd that had managed to peel away from their sweaty camping chairs. This is the nature of Black Peak’s craft – hectic and rife with vigour. This performance was exactly that.

Fans were greeted with the standout tracks from 2016’s impressionable debut, Statues, an album that served Black Peaks a great deal in imprinting their mark on the music industry and you can’t help but feel that at this point in their career – they are already on the fringe of erupting from the underground. Set In Stone and Glass Built Castles are always a treat. Whether it be stepping back and revelling in the quickfire proficiency of guitarist, Joe Gosney, or the brutal yet precise vocals from frontman, Will Gardner or gritting your teeth and getting your hands dirty in the inevitably eclectic pit.

In addition to the mainstay tracks on Peak’s setlist, they also allowed time to showcase a couple of new tracks that we can only assume are to be included in their forthcoming release. Can’t Sleep and Fate Won’t Seal The Heart were both enjoyable, it’s always hard to judge a song fairly upon a solitary listen, so I won’t say too much. Gardner declared during the set that this show would be their last for a considerable period of time in which they will be knuckling down to churn out a new album – both the new tracks that we heard during this show were promising – I can safely say that I’m looking forward to this new album.

4/5 Bytes.

Words from Aidan Martin & Aaron Jackson (Twitter: @_a_jackson_ Insta: @a_jackson57).

The Dirty Nil (The Axiom)

The Dirty Nil (Dominic Meason)
Image from @dommeason

Punk rock newcomers, The Dirty Nil deliver a solid performance in front of a respectably sized crowd.

Still riding off the back of their impressive debut LP, Higher Power and, more recently, a compilation of previously released material, The Dirty Nil emerged to a crowd that can only be described as uninterested. Even though the crowd was of a decent size, there was just no real energy being provided and honestly, I wish there was more that I could say about it. This Ontario trio provided a decent performance that was littered with banger after banger but the crowd was just not having it.

In the defence of The Dirty Nil they are very much still an underground band in their home country of Canada, so expecting them to deliver late afternoon on the second largest stage of a festival in another country was a slight reach too far. Nonetheless a very solid performance from a band full of promise – look forward to what is to come from The Dirty Nil.

3/5 Bytes.

Words from Spencer Henson (Twitter: @spencerhenson99. Insta: @spencerhenson).

Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties (The Forest)

Aaron West (David Summers)
Image from @DSummersPhoto

It is hard to imagine that the persona of Aaron West was constructed for any setting other than that of The Forest at 2000 Trees.

Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell’s most ambitious musical project to date has been his adventure away from The Wonder Years with the character of Aaron West. 2015’s We Don’t Have Each Other introduced a man accepting that the things he had grown to love had slipped from his grasp. What makes this act so special is the ‘acting’ of Campbell in his performances, delivering his songs whilst building his show around the stories of the fictional character. The Forest seemed like the perfect setting for his act.

67’ Cherry Red was punchy and woke up the bystanders who had spent their day camped at the stage. The raw vocals of Campbell echoed through the forest and received a delicate choral response from the crowd, which appeared to be fulfilling many of Campbell’s hopes for this venture. Our Apartment and The Thunderbird Inn demonstrated the rich lyrics of his work and the attention shown to his catalogue of songs.

My personal highlight was Grapefruit, a song which appears to have been crafted with many delicate layers, it resonated so perfectly amongst the colourful bunting and tall trees that dappled light onto the crowd.

Seeing an Aaron West performance in the UK is a rarity, but to see it in such an environment must be totally unique and I am so happy to have been there for it.

4.5/5 Bytes.

Words from Callum Huthwaite (Twitter: CallumHuthwaite. Insta: @chuthwaite).

Jamie Lenman (Main Stage)

Jamie Lenman (Gayser Wankleberry)
Image from Fraser Wakeling (Insta: @fraserwakeling)

Jamie Lenman displayed his versatility in a crushing main stage set.

In the eyes of many at 2000 Trees, the greatest British band of all time may not be The Beatles or Queen, but the iconic, cult rock band Rueben. Their ex lead singer and now solo artist Jamie Lenman enjoyed a main stage slot on the Saturday evening. Whilst last year at the festival Lenman opted for an acoustic display, my excitement was heightened considerably when finding out he was plugging in the guitars for this year’s festival. Not only did this mean we would be hearing some of the bone-shattering tracks from the Muscle side of his superb 2013 double album Muscle Memory but it also meant that we would surely be treated to some vintage Reuben tracks – destined to be received with open arms.

Lenman took to the stage with drummer Dan Kavanagh in typically eccentric attire before bursting into his latest track Waterloo Teeth, a storming track which is the most Reuben-esque song in his solo catalogue thus far. The sound for just the two of them was very impressive and it certainly had more balls than a certain other chart-topping two-piece. Tracks from Muscle Memory such as Fizzy Blood, All The Things You Hate About Me, I Hate Them Too and I Ain’t Your Boy were all solidly received and displayed Lenman’s fantastic vocal range. The highlight of the set had to be another one of his new tracks, Mississippi, which is an absolute rager and one which is perfectly suited to a live environment. The chants of ‘I can’t let go’ rang throughout the audience before the fantastic climax of ‘M-I-DOUBLE S-I-DOUBLE S-I-P-P-I’ which was an immense moment. Soon after, Lenman stormed through a Queen cover (accompanied with more flamboyant clothing) of Fat Bottomed Girls which was a fun moment in the set. Furthermore, as anticipated, Lenman rattled through a few Reuben tracks, with Blamethrower being a highlight and a moment many die-hard fans visibly loved.

Overall, Lenman’s set was immensely enjoyable and I was buzzing to finally have seen him playing fully plugged in. I’m also incredibly excited for new music from Lenman, hopefully in the form of a new album, because the new tracks sounded huge live.

4/5 Bytes.

Words from Daniel Tumani (Twitter: @dan_tumani. Insta: @dan_tumani).

Deaf Havana (The Cave + The Forest)

Deaf Havana (Dominic Meason)
Image from @dommeason

The infectious 5-piece embrace the festival atmosphere and impress smiles onto the packed crowd.

One of the aspects that makes 2000 Trees so special is the fact that many of the bands are invited to play intimate sets on The Forest stage before their main sets later in the day. As you may expect, a vocalist as talented as James Veck-Gilodi was invited to do just that.

As cool as can be, Deaf Havana’s front man took centre stage with his guitar hanging by its strap over his shoulder. He began the six-song set with fan favourite These Past Six Years with the crowd’s voices dancing through the colourful bunting like smoke. His powerful voice echoed through the trees as the crowd were treated to acoustic renditions of Fever and Happiness from their latest album, All These Countless Nights. Stuck for ideas, James’ melodic voice continued to stun the forest as he begrudgingly gave in and played his own acoustic take on the Oasis classic Wonderwall. Dragging Matt on stage, the Veck-Gilodi brothers stumbled through Mildred before James closed the set with another smash hit – Hunstanton Pier. If anyone who had come out to squeeze themselves between the trees were questioning whether Deaf Havana were truly back after their four years silence, James answered with a resounding yes.

Later that night, The Cave hosted the main course for Deaf Havana fans. Bouncing into a Facebook fan-picked set, the band appeared happy with both the turnout in the tent but also the sponsor of the festival being Fireball Whiskey. Hearing the riff of Little White Lies sparked a cauldron of reminiscence as I thought back enjoyment Deaf Havana had given me with numerous bangers from 2011’s Fools and Worthless Liars.

The set featured a perfect blend of new material and the classic tracks from which they honed their craft, which sadly had been cast aside in recent performances.

Anemophobia and I’m a Bore, Mostly were phenomenal moments in their set where the crowd participation appeared to peak. Frontman Veck-Gilodi joked that their fans couldn’t even be bothered to vote for one of their songs, one of the highest Facebook voted songs was Cigarettes and Alcohol. The band delivered by performing a cover of the Oasis song but jested that they would not play their own song Nicotine and Alcohol in protest.

For me, Deaf Havana were exactly how I expected them to be. Despite the size of the stage maybe not doing them justice, they delivered a notable performance. I regret that my relationship with the band has become distant over recent years, I place blame completely on myself. It is undoubtable that they have a repertoire of quality songs.

4/5 Bytes.

Words from Callum Huthwaite (Twitter: CallumHuthwaite. Insta: @chuthwaite).

The Wonder Years (The Cave)

The Wonder Years redefine special with their Friday night performance in The Cave.

Where can you start with a band like The Wonder Years? An ever-growing, American pop-punk band is far from the norm on a 2000 Trees bill, however, their appearance at this year’s Trees is a testament to how successful the festival has become.

Even during the band’s soundcheck, herds of fans joined voices to belt out the lyrics of Brothers & to band members who could not help but crack a smile. The cult-like following of TWY and the demographic of Trees had appeared to have met at the perfect equilibrium before they had even played a single note.

The band burst out to Local Man Ruins Everything, to which the crowd responded with violent finger pointing and beads of sweat as several bodies pressed forwards to catch a glimpse of the Philadelphian 6 piece. Dismantling Summer and Passing Through A Screen Door from 2014’s The Greatest Generation highlighted the ability the band has to put on a show full of energy and bounce. They also laced their set with the hits from 2016’s No Closer to Heaven, which is, without a doubt, a collection of masterpieces that transcended so perfectly into their live set.

The Wonder Years had been vocal in the run up to the festival stating that they were going to play songs that the fans wanted to see. Songs such as Don’t Let Me Cave In and, most notably, Coffee Eyes were refreshing additions that left the crowd in a frenzy of sheer excitement.

The acoustics of The Cave did justice to the power of the band, Soupy seemed dumbfounded by the sing-a-longs and energy of the fans as he exclaimed that the show had “blown away the cobwebs” after the band had been squirrelled away writing their new album for the past few months. It makes you wonder what a band may expect from 2000 Trees when upon playing it for the first time, The Wonder Years will certainly be taking fond memories away from it.

The addition of TWY to the bill this year was a huge factor in swaying me to buy a ticket (other than the beers and the boys), and I have never been so happy that I did. Having seen them four times prior, my expectations of the band were very high. It is safe to say they broke my naively constructed ceiling and redefined what I thought was possible from them.

Everything about The Wonder Years and this performance was nothing short of biblical.

5/5 Bytes.

Words from Callum Huthwaite (Twitter: CallumHuthwaite. Insta: @chuthwaite).

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes (Main Stage + The Forest)

Frank Carter (Dominic Meason)
Image from @dommeason

Ex-Gallows frontman and his esteemed band deliver an energetic headline performance following a belated yet impressive acoustic.

The first glimpse of Frank and co. came in the early hours of the afternoon in The Forest as the iconic frontman and guitarist Dean Richardson showcased a rarely seen side of the band. Harsh vocals were traded for a more emotive, soft tone that, albeit contrary to the band’s normal form, worked well. It was intriguing to witness acoustic re-imaginings of well-known songs such as I Hate You and Acid Veins, however, what really stood out was the renditions of Beautiful Death which wholly encapsulated the emotion that flowed throughout the set.

Later that evening, Frank and Dean appeared once again, this time with the remaining members of The Rattlesnakes, and onto the (considerably larger) Main Stage. The show began by ripping into the familiar opening riff of Juggernaut, the incepting track of 2015’s debut album, Blossom. As soon as the distorted guitar and crashing drums kicked in, any memories of The Forest set were blown into the back of the audience’s brains. What followed was a set fuelled by the highlights from The Rattlesnakes’ back catalogue, with the likes of Lullaby, Vampires and the irreplaceable closer, I Hate You, particularly standing out.

Of course, the real highlight of this set is entirely separate to the actual quality of the music – what makes a Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes show so special is the sheer presence of their unequivocally recognisable frontman. It took as little time as the breakdown of Juggernaut for Frank to launch himself into the depth of the pit – only to be immediately swallowed by the swarms of invested fans. From the (dis)comfort of the pit, Frank was enabled to assume his commonplace position for any of his shows – balancing on the hands of his fans. From here on out we were treated to sheer chaos, including the biggest circle pit I’ve ever witnessed. Brilliant.

4.5/5 Bytes.

Words from Aidan Martin & Aaron Jackson (Twitter: @_a_jackson_ Insta: @a_jackson57).

Nothing But Thieves (Main Stage + The Forest)

Nothing But Thieves (Joe Singh)
Image from @snaprockandpop

Breath-taking… Nothing But Thieves stride seamlessly through two Saturday sets of pure musicianship.

This alt-rock five piece possess a sound that is designed for the masses. A debut album full of tunes that are easily digestible, musically excellent and somewhat familiar. But live, it hits you harder than on the record. Their rhythm section is tight, guitars melodic with hard-hitting riffs and, last but not least – the impeccable vocals, in both range and precision.

This sentiment was emulated at 2000 Trees where the band played two sets. The first was an (albeit delayed) acoustic set in the iconic Forest stage of this quaint festival. It was stripped down, it was devout and it was appreciated. Vocalist Conor Mason, accompanied by the two guitarists of NBT, made light work of reflecting the personal vibe of this Cheltenham festival outwards from the small structure that hosted them. Album tracks If I Get High and Wake Up Call proved how versatile this band is and the acoustic aura certainly suited them. 2000 Trees deserves a special mention here for providing the context by which this intimate set existed within.

And then on the very same evening came their full band headline set. This was a huge occasion for them and they stood up to it with gusto. All of the hits came out, as you would expect, including new single Amsterdam and we all loved it. What I enjoyed most was the lack of ego. It’d be very easy for a relatively new band like Nothing But Thieves to let this slot go to their head but instead they just did what they do best – perform. I can’t praise their simple yet effective style enough, the musicianship is mesmerising from start to finish.

Make sure you buy yourself a ticket to their November UK tour and, before that, listen to their second album, Broken Machine, coming on September 8th.

4.5/5 Bytes.

Words from Euan Dickson (Twitter: @e_u_a_n. Insta: @euan_dickson).

SATURDAY

Milk Teeth (Main Stage)

Milk Teeth (Gareth Bull)
Image from @garethbullphoto

The UK’s finest of fresh-faced pop-punkers take to the main stage to deliver a performance full of promise.

The setup of this Gloucester four-piece is one that this industry is painfully lacking. With Becky Blomfield at the helm of the outfit, Milk Teeth are a prime example of the liberation of equality within the music stratosphere. The stunning frontwoman straddles her bass and belts out her vocals with a confidence that is commonplace amongst the other punk sensibilities that these guys exhibit. Simple chord progressions are intermitted with edgy refrains as the band launch into Brickwork, the incepting track of 2016’s impressive debut, Vile Child. The remainder of the set consisted of other highlights from this album and with the inclusion of the melancholy Swear Jar amid the more upbeat hits (the likes of the breakneck Brain Food) meant that Milk Teeth orchestrate music to suit most tastes.

A particular standout was their newest release, Owning Your Okayness, a sign which I find hugely encouraging – this track received a fanatically positive response for a sizeable audience and if it is anything to go by, their upcoming EP, Be Nice, could be the release to boost this band up to the next level. On another note, the audience was perhaps, the one considerable downfall of this set. At an interval in the music, Blomfield announced her nervousness as a result of the magnitude of the crowd that had gathered around the main stage of the festival. Despite their music possessing a certain cutting edge, there was an element of apprehension in the band’s performance – there is room to grow. Rest assured, Milk Teeth will grow – they are destined for big things.

3.5/5 Bytes.

Words from Aaron Jackson (Twitter: @_a_jackson_ Insta: @a_jackson57).

Gnarwolves (Main Stage)

Gnarwolves (Dominic Meason)
Image from @dommeason

Real music played loud… Gnarwolves produce a gutsy set for their frenetic fans populating the main stage pit.

There’s no facade with Gnarwolves live. Their no-questions-asked punk sound is made for being played in small, sweaty rooms but it surprised me how impressive it was from the heights of the main stage at 2000 Trees.

As they said during their set, they have been a band for 6 years but there is no sign of fatigue when these guys blast out bangers like Boneyard and more recent single Straitjacket from their 2017 release, Outsiders. They clearly just love playing music to people who enjoy listening to it, and my word, do we revel in it. During the set, there was an atmosphere of mutual appreciation from fan to artist and vice versa. It is so satisfying when you see a band who have been grafting so hard get the praise they deserve for it. They didn’t stop smiling throughout, their love for their craft is apparent and as a fan, it is inspiring. They make the music they want to make and play it the way it is meant to be played; that is what Gnarwolves are all about. I hope they continue to get opportunities like they were offered at 2000 Trees because it’s hard not to become a fan when you see this band play live.

4/5 Bytes.

Words from Euan Dickson (Twitter: @e_u_a_n. Insta: @euan_dickson).

Spring King (Main Stage)

Alternative rock outfit, Spring King brought the goods on a day where unfortunately the crowd failed to.

When I first saw Spring King on the line-up I must admit that I was slightly apprehensive about whether or not they would fit in on the Main Stage of 2000 Trees – in my opinion, they would be much more suited to somewhere of a similar ilk as the NME Stage at Reading+Leeds. Sadly, my suspicions were true. Even though Spring King offered their all throughout playing a set that mainly consisted of tracks from their debut LP, Tell Me If You Like To, the crowd was just not responding to anything thrown at them. That is until they played the lead single from the album, Who Are You?, which sparked the slightest shred of life into the crowd, which I have no doubt is thanks to the song being included on the FIFA 17 soundtrack.

I do believe this band have the potential to achieve greater things in the near future, however, I feel like playing the Main Stage at a festival where their demographic is practically non-existent was a reach too far.

2.5/5 Bytes.

Words from Spencer Henson (Twitter: @spencerhenson99. Insta: @spencerhenson).

The Xcerts (The Cave)

The Xcerts (Joe Singh)
Image from @snaprockandpop

This humble Aberdeen trio conjured a magical performance with their stadium worthy pop-rock hits.

The Xcerts at 2000 Trees is essentially a homecoming show – as regulars at the festival, they must always feel comfortable in the rolling hills of Upcote Farm. This was evident throughout the entirety of their set. From start to finish, every lyric penned by jovial frontman, Murray Macleod, erupted from the mouths of hundreds of the elated fans that flocked to The Cave.

Three years is a long time to wait for new material, especially when the music we were treated to was of the quality exhibited in The Xcert’s third studio album, There Is Only You. Hits from this release such as Live Like This and Shaking In The Water were fuelled with the same calibre of energy that we have come to expect from this band by now. The real magic occurred, however, during the crowd singalongs. Macleod orchestrated the crowd through airtight performances of Slackerpop and the iconic Aberdeen 1987, the chorus of which would surely have rung out across the entire county.

The new material showcased by the three-piece was a firm statement of intent. The forthcoming album from The Xcerts is set to be career-defining – catchy choruses, emotional lyrics and iconic pop-rock sensibilities are their bread and butter – however, the boys have appeared to step things up even further. Feels Like Falling In Love is an outstanding single and its quality translated into their live show perfectly – despite only being released days prior, fans were singing along with ease. All of these factors made The Xcerts’ set fly by. I am constantly craving more from this band and that is a testament to how much they already have to offer – please get to one of their live shows – it will be otherworldly.

5/5 Bytes.

Words from Aaron Jackson (Twitter: @_a_jackson_ Insta: @a_jackson57).

Lower Than Atlantis (Main Stage)

 

LTA (Gareth Bull)
Image from @garethbullphoto

 

“How many f**king trees are there?” By now, a Main Stage performance must seem like a routine day at the office for Lower Than Atlantis.

Lower Than Atlantis have grown to a point where they would look at home on the Main Stage of many UK festivals – 2000 Trees was no exception to this. They ripped their set open with Had Enough, a hit single from 2017’s Safe in Sound. The enthusiasm and stage presence of the band shows the magnitude of their success, they seemed relaxed and happy to be finally receiving the recognition they deserve.

As is expected from a band with 5 studio albums, the band proceeded to gush through a series of hits from an array of these records. Songs such as Emily and English Kids in America provided mass fan interaction whilst Beech Like the Tree gave something back to the fans that had stood loyally with the band for the best part of 7 years.

It was lovely to see every band member with smiles stretched across their faces at varied points in the set, happy with the fruits of their labour. Another Sad Song provided a sing-a-long which has become staple in every Lower Than Atlantis set.

Frontman Mike Duce delivered his unique style of sharp-tongued stage manner through jesting about how Love Island is shit and that they feared they had become as uncool as You Me At Six.

As a whole, the performance epitomised Lower Than Atlantis; loud music and having a laugh with your mates. Yes, the band has tightened up their live show in recent years but they always have and I hope always will have this at their core.

4/5 Bytes.

Words from Callum Huthwaite (Twitter: CallumHuthwaite. Insta: @chuthwaite).

The Menzingers (The Cave + The Forest)

The Menzingers (Dominic Meason)
Image from @dommeason

The Menzingers deliver a rousing and passionate set in The Cave.

The Menzingers were undoubtedly in my top 3 bands that I couldn’t wait to see over the weekend; they are an exceptional band and I highly recommend that everyone gives them a listen. Earlier on the Sunday, they played an acoustic set in The Forest, demonstrating stripped back versions of hits like Casey and Bad Catholics which was effortless for front men Greg Barnett and Tom May. It showcased their versatility and that the songs work just as well under a different dynamic.

However, It was at 10pm on the Sunday night in The Cave where the real party began. It was an hour long set of pure energy, with the packed out crowd singing back every lyric of every song – it cemented the notion that The Menzingers are moving from strength to strength in their career. Classics like Good Things and Gates sounded utterly anthemic, whilst the songs on their latest (and brilliant) album, such as Lookers and After The Party, went down an absolute storm. It was clear to see that many people are taking to The Menzingers and their genuine, passionate music – it was great to see.

This band is truly special and their set at 2000 Trees displayed that perfectly.

4.5/5 Bytes.

Words from Daniel Tumani (Twitter: @dan_tumani. Insta: @dan_tumani).

Slaves (Main Stage)

Slaves (Joe Singh)
Image from @snaprockandpop

Festival headliner debutants, Slaves close 2000 Trees with a spirited performance.

Prior to their show at 2000 Trees, I had the pleasure of witnessing Slaves on the (considerably larger) Main Stage at Reading Festival. They certainly didn’t disappoint at the second time of asking by putting in an energetic performance that even the likes of Frank Carter would surely be proud of. Chugging through classics from their debut album, Are You Satisfied? and their sophomoric album, Take Control, every word snarled from cockney frontman, Issac Holman was eaten up by a bated crowd.

Showcasing classic tracks such as Debbie Where’s Your Car? and a personal favourite of mine, Sockets proved for an extensive and entertaining set that effectively flexed the highlights of Slaves’ discography. However, for me, what won me over was the impressive stage production that was provided. Every song had a unique video projected on screens that were integrated into the background of either side of the stage to compliment the music. This element truly elevated the performance to the next level.

Slaves provided a special end to what was a wonderful weekend of music – I can safely say that I am satisfied.

4.5/5 Bytes.

Words from Spencer Henson (Twitter: @spencerhenson99. Insta: @spencerhenson).

BONUS REVIEW: Silent Disco (Main Stage + The Cave)

Banging tunes ensured that the party went on into the early hours of the morning.

Cheese, emo classics and mainstream hits – there truly was something for everyone on offer throughout the silent disco at 2000 Trees. £10 deposit that is fully refunded on the safe return of the headphones is a very reasonable trade off and is certainly worth indulging in. Having a rave in a field with your mates and a few drinks is what dreams are made of – 2000 Trees provided the perfect environment to do just this.

5/5 Bytes.

Words from Aaron Jackson (Twitter: @_a_jackson_ Insta: @a_jackson57).

WaveByte would like to give a huge thank you to all those who contributed to the production of this article. 2000 Trees gave us an amazing weekend so thank you to the team that made the festival possible – we can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Our Overall Score: 4.5/5 Bytes.

Mathematical Average: 4.3/5 Bytes.

 

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