Truck Festival Review – Saturday 23rd July

Saturday began pretty badly. For me anyway! Hotter and sweatier than the Devil’s crotch lying in my tent with all my clothes on and in my sleeping bag I thought I was going to die. And then, the headache hits. Too much drink the night before quickly takes it’s toll on your patience levels when stuck in a stuffy tent. So maybe I wasn’t in a good way on Saturday, but Truck Festival was looking glorious, soaked in sunshine and full of tremendous music to be heard. The big talking point of the day was the Last FM Tent which was curated by Oxford’s Blessing Force (an art/music collection of friends) who can proudly boast some of the city’s best contemporary bands. The Main Stage was also a place to witness great Oxford bands of past and future: The Young Knives and Fixers. If you missed Friday’s review, here’s the link!

Alphabet Backwards – Main Stage, 12:00

Alphabet Backwards Truck Festival

Set Highlight: As always, the utterly bizarre and beautiful synth lines.
Truck 14-word Summary: Fondly regarded local pop upstarts prove their worth on a bigger stage. Exhaustingly exuberant. JO

Cellar Family – Last FM Tent, 13:30

Highlight: Frontman Jamie Harris plays with such fervour he snaps his E string halfway through the set
Summary: Somewhat misplaced angry alterna-punk from a band named after Joseph Fritzl and his relatives. CC

Wild Swim – Last FM Tent, 16:30

Wild Swim Truck Festival

Highlight: Lead singer, Jamie playing a sample through his phone.
Summary: Operatic vocals with copious amounts of reverb plus guitar and synth mastery; pure magic. CM

Richmond Fontaine – Main Stage, 16:30

Highlight: The upbeat numbers were crucial and stood out a mile.
Summary: Bittersweet country tales heightened by beautifully satisfying guitar licks. Americana in its rawest form. JO

Jonquil – Last FM Tent, 17:40

Jonquil Truck Festival

Highlight: Trumpets!
Summary: Upbeat, angular riffs over a solid rhythm section from leaders of Blessing Force, Jonquil. CC

Sea Of Bees – Clash Tent, 18:30

Highlight: Julie Ann Bee’s closing solo guitar performance – mapping out constellations of her story with every last emotion.
Summary: Knitted jumpers coupled with vocals as sweet as the Folk Rock rhythms of ‘Marmalade’ CK

Fixers – Main Stage, 19:15

Fixers Truck Festival

Highlight: ‘Crystals’ into ‘Another Lost Apache’ into ‘Swimhaus Johannesburg’ was a 3 song festival high point.
Summary: A euphoric and wide-ranging set from the Oxford boys, complete with novelty oversized beard. CC

Trophy Wife – Last FM Tent, 19:50

Trophy Wife Truck Festival

Highlight: Kit Monteith’s (drummer) unbelievable enthusiasm and energy.
Summary: Wipsy vocals, snappy tech drums and resounding clangy guitars formulating in fantastic Disco Indie-Pop. CK

Pet Moon – Last FM Tent, 20:45

Pet Moon Truck Festival

Highlight: Andrew’s obvious pride at the strength of the Blessing Force stage.
Summary: A winning formula of expertly written art-dance tunes that overcame typical festival problems. JO

Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Wood Stage, 22:30

Benjamin Francis Leftwich Truck Festival

Highlight: Ben’s sideways glance as a drunken teen spews a little too close for comfort, and ‘Butterfly Culture’, that was somehow more delicate than the recorded version.
Summary: Gorgeous stoner-folk presented with a silk-like voice, poetic lyrics bought to fold. JO

Chad Valley – Last FM Tent, 23:15

Chad Valley Truck Festival

Highlight: Hugo’s shirt, no contest… or his voice that soon found it’s spark.
Summary: Hugo’s own pet project bought to life with a set that out performs EP. JO

Words by Jack Olchawski, Callum McCulloch, Caroline Corke and Charlotte Krol. Photography by Pooneh Ghana, Derek Bremner, Trevor Eales and Ian Taylor.