Once again, 2000 Trees festival delivered and showed why it is our favourite festival! It was hard to pick but we all managed to select winners for our festival awards! Find out who we thought ruled the show;
Lizi Birt– Head of Reviews
Best band performance – Deaf Havana. They sounded great and with a fan picked set list we had some of their lesser played tracks including a cover of Cigarettes and Alcohol by Oasis and lots of banter between the band and crowd.
Best solo performance – tie between both Grumble Bee acoustic sets. Both because Jack’s voice is just incredible. The Camp Reuben set because it was properly stripped back, just Jack, his voice and guitar, no mic, and the sing-a-long to Francium. The Forest session because of the sheer amount of people there and the Lower Than Atlantis cover.
Best crowd reaction – Deaf Havana‘s crowd getting involved in the banter.
The band that surprised you the most; in a good or bad way – Slaves. Watched a few songs and didn’t understand the hype or why they would make a headline band.
Standout performance – Grumble Bee acoustics for the reasons mentioned in the best solo performance.
Most underrated band at the festival. – Milestones. They had quite a small crowd but definitely should have had more because they were class!
The band people should get excited about. – Milestones because the vocalist has a brilliant voice and they put on a really good show (seriously go and check them out!)
Most memorable moment – Deaf Havana‘s entire set, particularly the on stage banter (brotherly love ey?) between James and Matt Veck-Gilodi and the crowd including a circle pit opening up during an acoustic track and getting called out on it.
Special recognition; this can be anything about the festival that you thing deserves recognition. A band/a moment/anything. – the organisers, staff, security and volunteers for just being awesome and making such a good festival year on year.
Laura Brown – Head of Features
Best band performance – Beach Slang. Of all the bands across the festival weekend, Beach Slang were one of, if not the, band having the best time on stage; endless energy from start to finish. Their mid set break of a medley of covers, including Oasis of course, had an over whelming sense of spontaneity (unlike some bands forced covers moments) and they seemed so wrapped up in the energy and fun of the moment.
Best solo performance – Jim Lockey. The recent regular feature of Jim Lockey in the forest has become a corner stone of 2000 Trees and one people will always flock back to. The late evening set time provided a perfect moment of calm before the evening’s festivities kicked in and the mid crowd performance of Boat Song really was one of those ‘Trees moments’ people will remember.
Best crowd reaction – Feed The Rhino. Regardless of what time of day the band played, they were always going to get a great reaction & it was certainly true of their Thursday late afternoon slot. From the get go they have the audience in the palm of their hands and people really can’t get enough.
The band that surprised you the most; in a good or bad way – Dave Hause & the mermaid. Surprising in the sense of not knowing anything about them & then leaving the tent having had a lovely time. What a performance; full on, no holds barred. Someone I’ll be adding to the Spotify playlist for sure.
Standout performance – Black Foxxes (Forest sessions). A world away from their full band performance, their forest session was stripped right back & just what every needed on a Thursday afternoon. The forest sessions really give bands a chance to shine and for many this may have been the moment that Black Foxxes clicked with many people. A band to keep an eye on.
Most underrated band at the festival – St Pierre Snake Invasion. Whether underrated is the right word or not – more people should have gone to see SPSI on the Neu stage. What a performance. The Trees regulars must’ve played nearly all the festivals stages by now and this year took command of the small Neu stage tent. Is it too bold to call it their best Trees performance?
The band people should get excited about – Brutus. Is it possible go on about them enough? They had a fairly small crowd during their set, but those who were there certainly made the right choice. They’re loud, know exactly how to perform & anyone who can play drums/sing at the same time with that much energy gets a big yes. Tearing through tracks from their debut album Burst, their set really was something special.
Most memorable moment – Hundred Reasons in the Forest. It was a set many were anticipating all weekend long and it did not disappoint at all. There’s always a special atmosphere in the forest, but this time it was something different; like something very momentous was about to happen. With surely what was one of the biggest crowds that stage has seen, the band performed acoustic covers of some fan favourites & had the audience singing every word back to them. A highlight of Trees that’ll be remembered for a long time.
Special recognition; this can be anything about the festival that you thing deserves recognition. A band/a moment/anything – Frank Carter. A name that was on everyone’s lips both before & after his two performances and it is very easy to see why. An absolute gent of the rock world. From thanking security, to women’s only crowd surfing, to getting a main stage crowd to, successfully, find a girls lost bag mid set and of course putting on one hell of a performance; he’s a man that earnt a lot of people’s respect.
Amos Hayes – Reviewer
Best Band Performance – this one has to go to Black Peaks who ended their touring cycle of debut album Statues with the most triumphant main stage set of the weekend. The crowd was in the palm of their hand and the band did not look an inch out of place on a bigger stage.
Best Crowd Reaction – this was a tough one as the crowd at Trees was amazing but the crowd for The Menzingers was brilliant. Every word of every song in their set was sung back to them. A particular highlight being before the band came on as the crowd started a singalong of a collection of Menzingers hits.
The band that surprised you the most – while Mallory Knox may not have surprised many, the fact that I’m not a huge fan of theirs yet thoroughly enjoyed their set, speaks volumes about how good they were. They showcased how much of an accomplished live band they were having the entire Thursday night crowd at The Cave partying with them.
Standout Performance – Again this goes to Black Peaks. Their performance wasn’t just a brilliant performance, it was a statement about where this band is heading and how good and big they can be. Their performance on the mainstage felt like an “I was there moment”
Most Underrated band at the festival – For me The Dirty Nil are one of the most underrated bands in the world. They don’t just write songs they write anthems and there was no reason why they shouldn’t have played to a packed out Axiom. Even with a smaller crowd The Dirty Nil still managed to play with all the energy and exuberance that you would expect them to.
The band that people should get excited about – Milk Teeth, Milk Teeth, Milk Teeth! 2000 Trees was full of exciting new UK bands this year but Milk Teeth, recently signed to Roadrunner records, showcased why there’s so much hype around them. Their version of punk rock sounded massive in the sunshine and new song Owning Your Okayness proved itself to be a true summer anthem.
Most memorable moment – the most memorable moment for me started at midnight Friday as Beach Slang‘s James Alex played an acoustic set in the middle of the Axiom tent. The set was a brilliant contrast to the full band set earlier in the day and added a great deal of intimacy to the songs of Beach Slang. Truly a moment I will never forget.
Special Recognition – think this has to go to the organisers of 2000 Trees or at least the person who came up with the idea for such a huge focus on acoustic sets. To be able to watch bands who rarely (if ever) play songs acoustically, play some of their biggest hits in way few have ever heard, was a true privilege and is ultimately something that puts 2000 Trees above every other festival.