Truck Festival Review // Steventon, Oxfordshire – 21/07/17

Words by Georgia Stephenson

  • 20th Anniversary Truck Festival had amazing performances, but was plagued with bad luck.
  • BlackWaters were the stand out band of the first day of the festival.
  • The Big Moon deserve to be headlining Truck in the near future.
  • Local act Low Island impressed despite a last-minute replacement slot.

Although I've been to a handful of one-day festivals in the past, Oxfordshire’s Truck was the first weekend and camping festival I’d been to. I was immediately impressed with the layout of the festival – there were plenty of food stands, and everything was near each other. Truck had the cutest merchandise shop, selling a variety of albums and records from classics and performers, doubling into a signing tent. Unfortunately, it took a while to even get into the site due to congestion on the shuttle bus route and long queues – from then on bad luck plagued the festival. Dismal temperatures and heavy rain were persistent throughout the weekend, creating what was essentially a mud bath. Still, the weather could not dampen spirits, nor the quality of the acts playing. I watched an eclectic range of acts on the Friday of the festival.

Stand-out performance of the day: BlackWaters

Image: BlackWaters

Part of the This Feeling movement, Guildford’s BlackWaters is a feisty young rock band making scenes in the underground new wave of punk. They were one of the first bands to perform at Truck 2017 and ensured the festival began on a lively dynamic note. Were they good? Oh yeah, fuck yeah!

Most disappointing performance: No one!

All eleven bands and singers I saw impressed vocally and in entertainment value as well. If there was one aspect of a band’s performance that let me down, I’d have to say the crowd management during Jawsperformance on the Market Stage. Whilst the Birmingham indie pop piece delivered a high-quality set, Truck had evidently underestimated the amount of people attending their performance, ultimately resulting in a lot of uncomfortable and painful pushing and shoving!

Headliner of the Future: The Big Moon

The Big Moon. Image: Ben McQuaide

The Big Moon. Image: Ben McQuaide

The Big Moon is the future of British indie music; soon it’ll be the turn of female fronted acts such as them, Wolf Alice, and others to occupy the main stage headliner spots. I’ll tell you why; the London four-member girl band have quirky fun personalities, and even bigger, fun pop numbers. Songs including Cupid and Formidable are chanted by crowds like the tracks are their greatest hits already, highlighting how successful their 2017 debut record has been. Expect to see them higher up the Main Stage ranking at Truck in the next couple of years.

Surprises of the day: Low Island & Dream Wife

Low Island. Image: VHB Photography

Low Island. Image: VHB Photography

Goat Girl was meant to take to the Market Stage but was swiftly replaced by Low Island, who was originally scheduled to appear just on one of the other stages. I dug the chilled, ambience electronic vibe the Oxford group had.

They were the complete opposite to the antics of Brighton punk band Dream Wife. I’d only heard them by name so I had not a clue what they would sound like, but I was blown away by their exciting, invigorating hectic performance, and will give male punk bands a run for their money.

Dream Wife. Image by Neil Anderson.

Dream Wife. Image by Neil Anderson.

Truck Festival has a growing reputation for being one of the best medium sized festivals, stepping away from predictability and giving so much incredible new talent a chance to shine. Hopefully the weather fairs better for Truck 2018!