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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Festival Review: Truck 2010

A wandering woolly monster, a vicar serving ale, and a line-up of singers and bands that define the term 'shit hot'; there is no other festival like Truck.

Written by Cari Steel

aeon festival
AEON Fest by Faye West
Illustration by Faye West.

This will be my third year at Aeon, stomach and for me it’s been a wonderful, nurse stress-free experience, cialis 40mg no queues, suffocating crowds or over-priced disgusting burgers. It describes itself as a ‘Shoestring Boutique festival’ and is set in the beautiful surroundings in mid Devon. A grassy amphitheatre precedes the main stage which sits on the edge of a lake, you are able to camp under the trees and gather around wood burners with friends and strangers. There is no sponsorship or big branding so it’s one of the most naturally visually pleasing festivals around and there’s something about this festival which has a very simplistic charm which embodies what a music festival only really needs to be – friends, music and fresh air.

There are lots of sweet put-together events that take place throughout the day. Last year I was very tempted by the Speed Date plus free meal for a fiver, a hair fascination workshop and a wood cutting class so that you can whittle down your very own wooden spoon from a branch, but of course was too busy frequenting the bar and resting on the grass whilst soaking up the surrounds. I was however encouraged to take part in the bubble wrap race. Once I was wrapped head to toe in bubble wrap, I thought as we all lay there like grubs that I was in for some kind of relaxing spa treatment. Unfortunately we were asked to try and get to our feet, and race each other round a tree and back. I was just left slumped on the floor, immobile from laughter.

Bubble Wrap Racing Aeon Faye West
Bubble wrap racing at Aeon. Photography by Faye West.

I managed to catch the super busy founder of the fest, Niki Portus for a few words whilst the count down for Aeon is on.

Aeon is in it’s 5th year this August, and I know that festivals tend to change quite a bit every year as crowds get bigger and organisers think up new ways to run an efficient festival. Sometimes this is for the worst! What were your goals for organising this year’s Aeon, and was there much you wanted to change or improve on from last year?

I’m a great believer in if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! I think we have a pretty good formula that seems to work and people really like the laid back feel of it all. We had to put the ticket price up this year which was really hard to get my head round but we’ve expanded on production and line up to reflect that – I think it has been more important though to improve on areas where we know we had problems.

We had a big debrief meeting straight after last year and the main area I wanted to get right was the camping as it filled up very quickly last year and was pretty rowdy. So this year we have added an extra area for noisy camping right next to the main site and kept family camping in the old area away from the rowdy bunch. Some of the programming needed adapting a bit but mostly it’s about us wanting to put on a good show and keep it fun for everyone as well as the element of a few surprises. I guess it’s about being realistic about accommodating natural growth as the word spreads, such as having more loos, better fencing and more security but not so it’s in your face. Little background things that cost more money but can make a big difference to the experience for people.

The main thing about Aeon for me is that it has always been about independent artists and strictly no sponsorship or outside funding – the first year was me taking out a small bank loan and maxing the credit cards but I’ve paid the loan off now *lol* and one day I might actually pay off the credit cards! The festival has sustained itself though for the past 4 years on ticket income and by running our own bar on site so it seems to work. I think people like the fact that we’re home grown – it’s very much like a big family now.

Aeon Ampitheatre Faye West

What do you think it is about Aeon that makes it so special and magical? And are you still achieving what you set out to do?

I have no idea! But we have an amazing crew who come up with all sorts of great ideas and are very creative. I think whilst I never thought it would get this far when I first set out on this journey I do feel its stuck to it’s original goal – that’s something I feel very strongly inside but it’s hard to explain! For me personally it’s definitely a love affair – I’ve don’t draw a salary or wage and if I manage to pay myself back for even something like my phone bill it’s a small miracle.

We’re pretty low key with our publicity as I’m always scared of over hyping things. It’s like ‘wow this is the best festival in the world ever’ well no actually it’s one of over 500 festivals in the country and everyone has their favourites for different reasons – you can’t please all the people all the time and there will always be one or two who think it’s crap, that’s just human nature. You see it all over the forums and I always think ‘god please don’t let that be us’ but you can’t control it. Freedom of speech and all that. This is the first year we will possibly have some ‘proper’ festival press on site – I’m terrified they’ll be rude!

Girls Aeon by Faye West
Illustration by Faye West.

Aeon is a wonderfully afordable festival compared to many others. Is it difficult keeping the cost down, and if so do you think the big festies such as Glastonbury are overpriced?

To the first question – in a word – yes – it’s very difficult keeping costs down! Just the little things like having a full time accountant now all adds up behind the scenes. But I don’t think you can compare it to the likes of Glastonbury – the production that goes in to that one is awe inspiring – in fact The History of Glastonbury is like my bible *lol* I find the stories from behind the scenes really heart warming and you know as an organisation they have set the bench mark for all events – their management structure and Health & Safety awareness is amazing. I like the concept of ’boutique festivals’ though – hence our tongue in cheek ‘shoestring boutique’ moniker.

Equally though there is only so much one person can do in a day and for most people special times involve having a laugh with a group of friends not standing in queues for toilets or over priced warm beers, or spending hours hunting for your friends because you went off on a drunken ramble. That said there are two sorts of people – those who go to festivals and those who work at festivals. All my friends who work at festivals prefer it when they’re behind the scenes making stuff happen.

I do really feel as well that just throwing money at something doesn’t make a party and personally I get a kick from doing things on a tight budget. The crew know I’m tight as a gnat’s arse! We’ve got some awesome artists this year for a really good price and I think part of the reason is the agents know we’re doing it all for the right reasons. It’s not about the big headliners for us – it’s about showcasing the underground well regarded stuff that if you know your music makes you go ‘wow that’s cool’ and if you don’t you know you can take a chance and see something you wouldn’t normally see and it’ll be really good. I did contact a couple of agents about some bigger acts this year out of curiosity to see how much it would be and they were like ‘Aeon who?’

Keeping the balance between family friendly and cool party is in the top 5 of my list of requirements for definite. As a single parent I want to know my son is safe.

Shobrook Park Aeon
Shobrooke Park Estate, Crediton – where Aeon is held.

Aeon takes place in a beautiful part of Devon. It appears to be a very eco-friendly event, is this something important to you, and if so has this been an easy practice to take on?

Honestly? I think it can be easy to over hype being ‘Green’ and in fact not take into account how important it is to support the local economy. I live in a little village on Dartmoor and work at the local preschool there – my family have been there over 30 years so we see firsthand how rural economies struggle and last year I joined a committee to build and start up a village shop after our one was closed down.

At the festival it’s therefore important we use local traders and cafes and encourage them to source locally. There are various community groups from Crediton who run things and fund raise on site as well. We struggled with our recycling last year but this year we have a proper green team on board to take the pressure off us on site and the company we use for our skips has their own processing plant just up the road from the festival site that recycles 85% of stuff. The policies behind landfill are actually really strict these days. We dish out bin bags to everyone and encourage them to take care of the park but in reality we live in a disposable culture that drives me up the wall. I think this isn’t helped by festivals being very fashionable at the moment and companies doing cheap deals on tents and welly boots means that many punters still feel they can leave stuff behind even at small festivals like ours. It’s definitely getting worse for events and certainly puts costs up. We encourage car sharing as well and this year are trying out Festival Coaches to see if a shuttle service from Exeter works too.

*********

Last year I spent a ridiculous amount of money on a larger festival, ensuring I got to see some bands I had always wanted to see. I’m not sure if I am just getting old, or maybe not so rock and roll, but I certainly didn’t enjoy this experience as much as I used to. I got angry at the shear masses kicking up dust, mile long queues to simply refill bottles of water and spending stupid money on horrible food (apart from the tea and toast van, which became my staple). Because others had let us all down by creating fires and explosions with gas canisters, gas stoves had been banned and it was impossible to do any proper camp cooking.

So, when Aeon swung round towards the end of last summer – just as most people were getting over festie camping and portoloos – I surprised myself again with how much I enjoyed the weekend as a whole. There was just no effort or stress involved and it felt like a massive garden party. Although there wasn’t any particular headlining act I had travelled miles to see, the bands were all so easy going and cheerful that everyone danced with the same enthusiam as if hearing their favourite ever song. In fact I shredded my new wellies from all the hopping and jumping. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I might do a way with shoes this year and hop about on the grass underfoot instead. Fancy joining me?

The facebook group for Aeon can be found here.

I am standing on a crowded tube on my way to Ladbroke Grove and boy do I want to bust a move. I want to glide along the carriage, sickness wind it up, approved shake my bootie (even though I don’t have much of one), do the robot, shimmy back and forth – but I don’t. Instead I repress all of my disco dancing energy into a few gentle taps on the pole I’m meant to be holding onto with my fingers; my inner Tony Manero bound and gagged.

Summer has arrived in full bloom as I listen to Ali Love’s latest single ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ on my hot pink ipod and find myself plodding along Portobello Road to meet the man himself. If truth be told, the first time I heard of Ali was only a few weeks ago when I was invited to a one-off exclusive show at new East London art venue, CAMP. Although initially weary of the next ‘hottest new act’ on the electro-pop scene label, on seeing him perform and hearing his latest material, I was genuinely struck by his commercial appeal.


Photography courtesy of Pietro Pravettoni.

Storming onto the stage dressed head-to-toe in black with a cloak, studded vest and, oddly enough, what appeared to resemble a tassled curtain tie-back around his neck, Ali worked the stage with his two slinky backing singers dressed in rubber black cat suits, stitched with fluorescent electric blue tubing, like a veteran pop-maestro. As the girls writhed behind him in synchrony with lashings of mascara and kohled eyes, Ali delivered his anabolic steroid pumped disco tunes, filled with dirty bass lines, swirling-synths and throbbing melodies, to an adoring party audience with his Prince-esque vocals providing the perfect dusting.


Photography courtesy of Pietro Pravettoni.

Bursting with 80s electro rhythms, Ali’s sound is fun, upbeat, catchy and infectious, and his set was filled with plenty of tracks, such as ‘Do the Dirty’ and ‘Dark Star’ which deserve to be hit singles. I started the evening cynical, propped up against a wall but by the end of the night, my feet had taken on a funked-up life of their own.


Photography courtesy of Pietro Pravettoni.

Today, there is no cloak and I arrive at Ali’s early to find myself loitering outside his flat, waiting for him to return from picking up his DMX drum machine. I spot him approaching me in distinctively 80s attire; a bright green t-shirt, blue skinny jeans, white Nike high tops with a fluorescent orange tick and a gold vintage bling watch. Ali towers over me, greeting me with a hug and a Sarf London accented: “Hey babe”.

On stage, Ali appeared extroverted, flamboyant and massively confident but on a one-to-one, he was more reserved than I had imagined, often flitting between intense and evasive, lucid and incoherent, and making little eye contact as he spoke. Over the course of the interview and a nice strong brew, however, as Ali began to loosen up, a cheekier and more spiritual side emerged…

I loved the cosmic theme of your stage set of your gig at CAMP. How did this idea come about?
In colour, the music I’ve created is black and electric blue. When I visualise the sound, I can picture things like arpeggiators and my DMX drum machine (Ali points to the electric blue lines on his Oberheim DMX drum machine). On the cosmic theme, well I like cosmic music coz I’m a cosmic guy.

How do you go about composing your records? Do lyrics or a tune come to you first?
Most of the time, it’s the melody that comes to you first. Then I’ll just pick up my guitar and try to re-create it. Other times, it’s being struck by a word that someone says; something that you instantly pick up on and connect with. A good word can just spark off an idea. Songs write themselves most of the time. It’s like a flame; you have to keep feeding it with your creative energy.

How would you describe your new album, Love Harder, in three words?
Electric love music.

What has been the general response from the audience who you have played to so far?
What I’ve done has been well-received by the gay community and all over Europe. They’re mainly my kind of people; slightly left of centre, so not mainstream. I don’t really make music for closed-minded people; I make music for open-minded people and cosmic party people. I don’t know if that sounds snobby but those are the kind of people I want to impress. When musicians like Aeroplane say they love my music, it’s a really great feeling because that’s the kind of audience I’m trying to reach out to. It means a lot to gain respect from the people that I respect.

There’s a track on the album where you collaborate with Teenagers in Tokyo. How do you think they complement your sound?
Well the opportunity arose to work with Sam (Lim) who has a lovely voice so I just grabbed it. I told her to sing like a space siren and she nailed it. She really went for it on the record and to me, she sounds like an angel singing. I think it’s a great track to end the album on.

Your sound is distinctively 80s – is this an era that you look to for inspiration?
I don’t see myself as a retro artist. The palette was slightly electro and analogue so that lends itself to sounding 80s. The machines that I used are all 30 years old. I don’t care whether something is retro or not, it’s about whether you can hold a tune or whether it’s good to listen to. We live in a post-modern world and it’s hard to create new ground.

What has your career highlight been so far?
I’ve been to lots of different places in the world and have experienced a lot of stuff and that’s all because of the music – that aspect has been good. I’m pretty even minded about most things in a Buddhist middle way; I try to stay emotionally consistent, whether things are good or bad. My most blissful musical times aren’t when I’m doing gigs – they’re when I’m in the studio, recording material. That’s what I love doing the most.

It’s interesting you should say that as most people tend to enjoy the gigging aspect.
The last gig was really good and I felt really confident and happy that people were there, which felt like a breakthrough. I’d like to be like Harry Nilsson, he never played live, he just made beautiful amazing songs in the studio. Same with Georgio Moroder, he gave up playing live. I’m more interested in being a recording artist.

What does making music mean to you?
If I didn’t do music I’d have to do meditation or something to stop me from going mad. Music for me is meditative. I need to concentrate on something and it’s been the one thing I can concentrate on. I was terrible at school. My dad died when I was 13 and it stopped me from caring too much about things. I became quite spiritual as I was suddenly hit by the question of death. My whole mind started to move in a different direction. It has given me a lot more empathy for feeling things in the world and enhances your musical palette which happens to a lot of musicians. You need to find a place to visit to write songs. If everything in your life was normal, it would be quite difficult to find inspiration to write. Having said that I do still really like boner jams about sex; they’re all fine.

How have you changed as a person since you started out in the music industry?
When I started out I was living above a club on Kingsland Road in East London and high all the time. I was living on the dole but passionate about my music; just the classic clichéd punk rock vibe. But somehow I managed to get a big record deal. So because I’d been on the dole for six years beforehand, it all went to my head a bit. I went a bit crazy and the partying outweighed the music-making even before it all started. But luckily I had the hit with the Chemical Brothers which kept me financially afloat for ages. I wouldn’t change anything; it was a good journey. Now I’d love to have a guru or teacher and learn kung-fu in the hills; get more in touch with my spiritual side.

Who interests you most on the music scene at the moment and why?
I’m mostly drawn to disco people like Aeroplane and the guy who did my remix, Bottin. I really like the work that Prince Thomas does and the Lindstrom stuff. Pop wise, I like Empire of the Sun.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’d like to collaborate with rappers, some kind of US stuff. I think it’s because I’ve just moved to West London and there’s a bit more rap around where I live and that’s starting to soak into me.

So do you find that where you live influences your sound?
Well I was living in East London before which is why I made a totally gay disco record!

And finally – what random piece of advice can you offer readers of Amelia’s Magazine?
Be nice to each other and always look right twice when you cross the road.

Ali Love’s new album Love Harder is out on 9th August on Back Yard Recordings.

I am standing on a crowded tube on my way to Ladbroke Grove and boy do I want to bust a move. I want to glide along the carriage, online wind it up, price shake my bootie (even though I don’t have much of one), medical do the robot, shimmy back and forth – but I don’t. Instead I repress all of my disco dancing energy into a few gentle taps on the pole I’m meant to be holding onto with my fingers; my inner Tony Manero bound and gagged.

Summer has arrived in full bloom as I listen to Ali Love’s latest single ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ on my hot pink ipod and find myself plodding along Portobello Road to meet the man himself. If truth be told, the first time I heard of Ali was only a few weeks ago when I was invited to a one-off exclusive show at new East London art venue, CAMP. Although initially weary of the next ‘hottest new act’ on the electro-pop scene label, on seeing him perform and hearing his latest material, I was genuinely struck by his commercial appeal.


Photography courtesy of Pietro Pravettoni.

Storming onto the stage dressed head-to-toe in black with a cloak, studded vest and, oddly enough, what appeared to resemble a tassled curtain tie-back around his neck, Ali worked the stage with his two slinky backing singers dressed in rubber black cat suits, stitched with fluorescent electric blue tubing, like a veteran pop-maestro. As the girls writhed behind him in synchrony with lashings of mascara and kohled eyes, Ali delivered his anabolic steroid pumped disco tunes, filled with dirty bass lines, swirling-synths and throbbing melodies, to an adoring party audience with his Prince-esque vocals providing the perfect dusting.

Ali’s sound is fun, upbeat, catchy and infectious, and his set was filled with plenty of tracks, such as ‘Do the Dirty’ and ‘Show Me’ which deserve to be hit singles. I started the evening cynical, propped up against a wall but by the end of the night, my feet had taken on a funked-up life of their own.


Photography courtesy of Pietro Pravettoni.

Today, there is no cloak and I arrive at Ali’s early to find myself loitering outside his flat, waiting for him to return from picking up his DMX drum machine. I spot him approaching me in distinctively 80s attire; a bright green t-shirt, blue skinny jeans, white Nike high tops with a fluorescent orange tick and a gold vintage bling watch. Ali towers over me, greeting me with a hug and a Sarf London accented: “Hey babe”.

On stage, Ali appeared extroverted, flamboyant and massively confident but on a one-to-one, he was more reserved than I had imagined, often flitting between intense and evasive, lucid and incoherent, and making little eye contact as he spoke. Over the course of the interview and a nice strong brew, however, as Ali began to loosen up, a cheekier and more spiritual side emerged…

I loved the cosmic theme of your stage set of your gig at CAMP. How did this idea come about?
In colour, the music I’ve created is black and electric blue. When I visualise the sound, I can picture things like arpeggiators and my DMX drum machine (Ali points to the electric blue lines on his Oberheim DMX drum machine). On the cosmic theme, well I like cosmic music coz I’m a cosmic guy.

How do you go about composing your records? Do lyrics or a tune come to you first?
Most of the time, it’s the melody that comes to you first. Then I’ll just pick up my guitar and try to re-create it. Other times, it’s being struck by a word that someone says; something that you instantly pick up on and connect with. A good word can just spark off an idea. Songs write themselves most of the time. It’s like a flame; you have to keep feeding it with your creative energy.

How would you describe your new album, Love Harder, in three words?
Electric love music.

What has been the general response from the audience who you have played to so far?
What I’ve done has been well-received by the gay community and all over Europe. They’re mainly my kind of people; slightly left of centre, so not mainstream. I don’t really make music for closed-minded people; I make music for open-minded people and cosmic party people. I don’t know if that sounds snobby but those are the kind of people I want to impress. When musicians like Aeroplane say they love my music, it’s a really great feeling because that’s the kind of audience I’m trying to reach out to. It means a lot to gain respect from the people that I respect.

There’s a track on the album where you collaborate with Teenagers in Tokyo. How do you think they complement your sound?
Well the opportunity arose to work with Sam (Lim) who has a lovely voice so I just grabbed it. I told her to sing like a space siren and she nailed it. She really went for it on the record and to me, she sounds like an angel singing. I think it’s a great track to end the album on.


Photography courtesy of Pietro Pravettoni.

Your sound is distinctively 80s – is this an era that you look to for inspiration?
I don’t see myself as a retro artist. The palette was slightly electro and analogue so that lends itself to sounding 80s. The machines that I used are all 30 years old. I don’t care whether something is retro or not, it’s about whether you can hold a tune or whether it’s good to listen to. We live in a post-modern world and it’s hard to create new ground.

What has your career highlight been so far?
I’ve been to lots of different places in the world and have experienced a lot of stuff and that’s all because of the music – that aspect has been good. I’m pretty even minded about most things in a Buddhist middle way; I try to stay emotionally consistent, whether things are good or bad. My most blissful musical times aren’t when I’m doing gigs – they’re when I’m in the studio, recording material. That’s what I love doing the most.

It’s interesting you should say that as most people tend to enjoy the gigging aspect.
The last gig was really good and I felt really confident and happy that people were there, which felt like a breakthrough. I’d like to be like Harry Nilsson, he never played live, he just made beautiful amazing songs in the studio. Same with Georgio Moroder, he gave up playing live. I’m more interested in being a recording artist.

What does making music mean to you?
If I didn’t do music I’d have to do meditation or something to stop me from going mad. Music for me is meditative. I need to concentrate on something and it’s been the one thing I can concentrate on. I was terrible at school. My dad died when I was 13 and it stopped me from caring too much about things. I became quite spiritual as I was suddenly hit by the question of death. My whole mind started to move in a different direction. It has given me a lot more empathy for feeling things in the world and enhances your musical palette which happens to a lot of musicians. You need to find a place to visit to write songs. If everything in your life was normal, it would be quite difficult to find inspiration to write. Having said that I do still really like boner jams about sex; they’re all fine.

How have you changed as a person since you started out in the music industry?
When I started out I was living above a club on Kingsland Road in East London and high all the time. I was living on the dole but passionate about my music; just the classic clichéd punk rock vibe. But somehow I managed to get a big record deal. So because I’d been on the dole for six years beforehand, it all went to my head a bit. I went a bit crazy and the partying outweighed the music-making even before it all started. But luckily I had the hit with the Chemical Brothers which kept me financially afloat for ages. I wouldn’t change anything; it was a good journey. Now I’d love to have a guru or teacher and learn kung-fu in the hills; get more in touch with my spiritual side.

Who interests you most on the music scene at the moment and why?
I’m mostly drawn to disco people like Aeroplane and the guy who did my remix, Bottin. I really like the work that Prince Thomas does and the Lindstrom stuff. Pop wise, I like Empire of the Sun.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’d like to collaborate with rappers, some kind of US stuff. I think it’s because I’ve just moved to West London and there’s a bit more rap around where I live and that’s starting to soak into me.

So do you find that where you live influences your sound?
Well I was living in East London before which is why I made a totally gay disco record!

And finally – what random piece of advice can you offer readers of Amelia’s Magazine?
Be nice to each other and always look right twice when you cross the road.

Ali Love’s new album Love Harder is out on 9th August on Back Yard Recordings.


Darwin Deez at Truck Festival. Photograph by Sabrina Morrison

It was only a matter of time before Amelia’s Magazine and Truck Festival became the firmest of friends. With circles overlapping so far and wide, information pills we might as well be kith and kin, our relationship was cemented and documented by Amelia at the Climate Camp gathering in Glastonbury (understand that Truck is kind of a generic description – the creators of Truck – the brothers Joe and Robin Bennett also play in the utterly fab Danny and The Champions Of The World) in a memorable performance where Joe played part of the gig on his back. ‘Cause that’s how he rolls.


Photographs by Sabrina Morrison


Pulled Apart By Horses perform. Photograph by Caitlin Mogridge

Truck is known for being somewhat of an anomaly; it’s a thoroughly strange hybrid of a bucolic Oxfordshire village fete, complete with a rotary club flipping burgers, a vicar serving ale and – no village fete is complete without this quintessentially English phenomena – cross dressers behind the bar, all of which serve as the surroundings to a musical line-up that is so hip, cutting edge and au courant that it makes SXSW look tame. The place was teeming with journo’s from every major publication, all of whom professed a long standing love for Truck. I had pitched up with a little crew of fellow Amelia’s Magazine colleagues and friends of mine from the band Amber States. By the time we arrived at 1pm on Saturday afternoon, the weather was glorious, the sun beating down on the 5,000 revelers who had already assumed the position of the day; lying flat on their backs (clearly taking a cue from the founder Joe). We quickly discovered that the festival was pleasingly manageable in size. Taking up no more that roughly three fields, the onus was on being able to bounce (I mean amble) from one stage to the next with the minimum of fuss.


Is Tropical in session. Photograph by Sabrina Morrison

So we quickly settled into a routine. Fuel up with a drink, and go find some music. From an extremely horizontal position I watched ex- Beta Band singer Steve Mason do a rousing Beta Band-esque set, followed by Stornoway who actually got me standing up (high praise). Although at some point I realised that that the hottest spot at Truck was by far and away The Barn, which receives the accolade from me as being The Hottest Music Venue In The World Which Also Smells Of Manure. It seemed that the rest of the festival agreed with me, and due to it’s cult like status, and the fact that the bands playing inside were off the charts, there was a constant queue to get into this converted cowshed. But I would stand in line all over again just to see this man play again.


Darwin Deez auditions for So You Think You Can Dance. Photographs by Sabrina Morrison

Mr Darwin Deez, New York hipster, sporter of the finest curls in the contemporary music scene, and creator of mid-song dance routines that even have their own narrative. My favourite bit was the dance that finished Radar Detector where his band mates engaged in what can only be described as a homage to West Side Story and the unfortunate Darwin was pushed to the floor (don’t worry, it was all part of the routine) but heroically sprang back to complete the rest of the dance/mime show. Why don’t more bands do this?
YouTube Preview Image
YouTube Video courtesy of John Pullman


Mew headlining, photograph by Sabrina Morrison

The evening was given over to watch Mew headlining. I had high hopes about this Danish group because the previous week I had been fortunate to have a long chat with Sune from The Raveonettes and he was in raptures over them. Truthfully, they were technically very impressive, but I wasn’t hooked. I think I was spoilt by watching smaller bands whilst scraping hay off of my converse in the cow shed, so this stadium-esque performance left me a little cold. Actually, I think I may have just simply been cold – it was 11pm by this point and the temperature had dropped. I wandered off to find my friends playing table football in the techno tent and concluded this very pleasant evening by not scoring a goal. Story of my life!


I got to meet the strange Truck monster; he was a bit monosyllabic but gave good hugs.

The next day was given over to more of the same thing. Naturally some lazing around had to be done. (We are not lazing in this picture, we are trying to figure out how to play the game where you lift someone up using two fingers, we didn’t succeed.)

Amber States do a collective i-phone check to find out how it’s done. Test study remains rooted to the ground.


Blood Red Shoes perform. Great live set, but inbetween song banter needs be improved; “We love sharks!” yells Laura-Mary. Photo by Caitlin Mogridge


Los Campesinos! Photograph by Caitlin Mogridge


Teenage Fanclub close Truck 13. Photograph by Caitlin Mogridge

Everyone found a band that we had previously not heard off but now had to IMMEDIATELY rush off and buy their tracks. A friend of mine was delighted by A Silent Film, which reminded her a little of The National. I really enjoyed the synth pop of Miaoux Miaoux, Sabrina discovered the joys of Egyptian Hip Hop, another mate stuck to the front of the stage while Blood Red Shoes performed and we all had a bit of a rousing moment to Los Campesinos! and Teenage Fanclub. Personally, Sunday afternoon was all about Danny and the Champions of The World. I’m not just saying that because of the aforementioned connections but simply because they put on a blinding performance. Plus you never know who you are going to get when Danny plays; later he performed a set in the little acoustic tent to a full house of little kids and was joined by the lovely Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou. Everyone clapped along to the songs – one toddler in the front helpfully kept time with the aide of his drum sticks and to me, this summed up Truck entirely; the ethos is collective, without pretension, kid friendly and all about the music, even when the music consists of two acoustic guitars, no mics and a two year old with drum sticks. Thanks again to Truck, for reminding us that this is what life is about.


Danny and Trevor Moss perform
Photograph by Rishi Mullett-Sadones

With thanks to Sabrina Morrison, Caitlin Mogridge and Rishi Mullett-Sadones for the photos.

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