To many, the term “Truck Festival” refers to a gathering of the most beautiful trucks from all around the country. To music lovers, and festival hunters, Truck Festival has become the mid-July go-to event. Located in the small village of Steventon, Oxfordshire, Truck started as a small and local festival, and has never stopped growing to become the current three-day event. So much that the festival, and the Truck Monster (the festival’s mascot), will blow out 20 candles next year. It is seen by many locals as the festival to go to when they “can’t afford Glastonbury”, as many signs on the campsite were stating. Somehow, the line-up for Truck has never been disappointing: a place where local artists meet nationwide superstars, all of whom are all very accessible by the food stands. This is one of the many reasons why music lovers and music makers are queuing up early morning to take part in the festival. That, and the pizza!
1: Virgin Kids
Moving like Jagger, playing like indie-rock bands from the’ 70s, and sounding like nothing ever heard before, Virgin Kids played The Nest stage on Saturday. The London trio, considered by some as the UK’s answer to Black Lips, were playing their first Truck Festival, and impressed with their unique sound. Ending their 30-minute performance with ‘My Alone’, they gave their audience the energy they needed to survive the unexpected heat wave.
2: Black Honey
Sparkly and rocky; these are two words that could summarise the performance of the oh-so-talented Black Honey. Performing on the last (hot) day of the festival, on the Market Stage, the four-piece band from Brighton, led by singer Izzy B Phillips, made people sing, jump, scream and even sit down. A great way to forget the unexpected main guest of this festival: an overheating sun. Elec-truck-fying the hundreds of people in the crowd with their talents, Black Honey remain for many Truckers one of the most satisfying performances of the weekend.
3: The Amazons
“Long hair, don’t care!” On this windy Friday afternoon, rocking with hair in their faces in the middle of the set, this four-piece band from Reading had the same stage energy as Two Door Cinema Club; just more rock ‘n’ roll. Performing on the Truck Stage, The Amazons performed songs released earlier this year including their latest single, Nightdriving. Welcoming many of the festival’s late comers, The Amazons did a powerful performance giving everyone the smile and energy needed to go through the weekend.
4: Jurassic 5
When it comes to an old-school vibe, Truck 2015 had Basement Jaxx, while Truck 2016 got Jurassic 5. Performing on the Truck stage just before the day’s headliners, Catfish, Jurassic 5 electrified their audience. Indie-lovers, rock-enthusiasts and any-other-genre fans became one unified group dancing in the rhythm of the band’s main tracks. By the end of the festival, the majority of Truckers were seeing Jurassic 5 as one of the best performances of the weekend, if not the best.
5: Catfish And The Bottlemen
Following the unforgettable Jurassic 5 on the Truck stage, Catfish And The Bottlemen headlined the first night of Truck. During their one-hour show, the four-man band from North Wales made people jump, sing and clap along with the rhythm of some of their most famous songs, including ‘Kathleen’, ‘Homesick’ and ‘Soundcheck’. Gathering all generations with their talents, Catfish and The Bottlemen charmed everyone with their presence and the energy they share on stage.
6: Spring King
With a front man hidden behind a set of drums, Spring King have learned to double the energy they share while performing, so not to create a barrier between the crowd and the band. Performing songs from their debut album, Tell Me If You Like To, the four-piece post-punk band from Manchester performed at The Nest on Saturday night in front of a full crowd, before flying off to Australia for a series of shows. Doing their second Truck Festival, Spring King finished their summer set with “See you next year, Truck!” Let’s hope it’s true.
7: Manic Street Preachers
Rocking for nearly 30 years, the Welsh trio have once again not disappointed. With a one-hour show, mixing acoustic and powerful electric songs, Manic Street Preachers have offered Truckers the most amazing way to end the day. In the crowd, parents of all age and their children, teenagers and 20-somethings, lovers or friends, all were jumping and dancing in the rhythm of the songs that have now become classics, such as ‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’. Manic Street Preachers gave the majority of people in the crowd the dream gig they were expecting for many years.
8: Everything Everything
Stepping on the main stage of Truck on Sunday evening, all with the same outfit, the four-piece band from Manchester played facing a wonderful sun setting on the festival. In a few songs, Everything Everything had already charmed their audience; adults and kids. Singing a few of their most famous songs during the 45-minute set, energy was shared from both sides of the stage, making everybody present smiling, dancing and having a great time. In a burst of energy, and close to the end of the show, Everything Everything dedicated one of the songs from their latest album, Get To Heaven, to one of their friend who is getting married. The song: ‘Regret’.
9: We Are The Ocean
From London to Truck, the four-piece rock band ignited The Nest stage on Sunday night. With their one-hour show, We Are The Ocean closed the stage for the 2016 edition of Truck Festival. Performing songs from their latest album, Ark, including the full-of-rhythm ‘Good For You’, the band made their audience cheer and jump on dry land. Before calling it a night, the energy they shared with the ever-so-growing audience was much needed before heading to the day’s headliners: Kodaline.
Hands up in the air, eyes closed, feet moving in the rhythm and voices invisibly dancing in the sky during sing-alongs: it was the end of the festival, and nobody was quite ready to accept it. Playing their main songs such as ‘High Hope’, ‘Love Like This’ and ‘Ready’, the four-piece band from Dublin made the audience become one. In a scene that you can only witness at gigs and festival, they even manage to make thousands of people chant, smile and laugh for their friend Phil, who is getting married. After the hour show, the last song was announced; and most of the crowd was getting ready to sing along the most famous song of theirs: ‘All I Want’. Somehow, the song that could be seen as the least energetic to end a gig, let alone a festival, was the only one that could do the job. Kodaline were perfect Truck headliners, and as proof, Truckers carried on singing after the band left the stage.