This July is all about Truck Festival here in Oxfordshire. The county’s premier music festival takes place between Friday 22nd and Sunday 24th of July and looks to be the best one yet. The festival has increased in capacity, has a brand new stage which will be curated by three of the UK’s best independent records labels (Bella Union, Transgressive and Heavenly), and boasts its biggest, and best, line-up to date. Here are the five acts that we are looking forward to seeing the most.
- Despite his fantastic work with The Czars, John Grant found himself down and out of the music industry once the band split up. Anxious, depressed and broke, the future didn’t look so rosy for the enigmatic front man. All that changed last year however when country rockers Midlake contacted John requesting that they get together and record some songs he had written. The Queen Of Denmark was released to wild praise, and suddenly John’s brooding vocals and witty lyrics had found a brand new audience.
- Greedy award snafflers, Bellowhead, have been dominating the Folk Awards for years now. Especially in the Best Live Act category. Their second year on the trot at Truck sees the band return as triumphant headliners. Expect lots of drunken dancing from the audience.
- We told you that he’d be big! Benjamin Francis Leftwich has had a quite incredible six months. His debut album, Last Smoke Before The Snow Storm, was released this summer and displays the York singer-songwriters knack for composing delicate songs with intriguing melodies. His beautifully hushed tone and vivid imagery has led him to gaining fans up and down the country, continuous support from BBC Radio as well as a wealth of summer festival appearances (this one being the best, obviously!).
- Richmond Fontaine were once dubbed as the Kings Of Americana by Uncut Magazine. Gnarled and gruff, Richmond Fontaine sing songs about robbery and whiskey to a soundtrack of crunchy guitars and pedal steel. At this year’s Truck Festival, however, the audience will be treated to a special acoustic performance by the band, allowing for front man Willy Vlautin’s (author of books The Motel Life and Lean On Pete) lyrics to take the limelight.
- Truck Festival has always displayed unreserved support for Oxfordshire artists and this year is no exception. BBC Introducing in Oxford are curating a stage, as are Oxford’s musical/art collective Blessing Force, but this year no Oxford band has stamped their name into national consciousness more than Fixers. Winning plaudits from national media such as the Guardian and NME, Jack Goldstein and Co’s psychedelic pop has proved to be a winning formula.