For two days this July thousands of people flocked to Hill Farm near the village of Steventon for two days of laid back music amidst corn fields and cows. The atmosphere of the festival is simplistic and welcoming, with charming small companies selling their wares and a charity ‘food hall’ raising funds for local charities. Though the range of food was a little limited and queues were stretching out early in the day, what was on offer was delicious and fairly priced. Truck Festival has maintained its non-commercial and family friendly feel throughout, and the whole weekend was relaxing and entertaining for all attending.
Early band main stage Nothing But Thieves greeted the relaxed cider-sated crowd with their infectious alt rock energy with smooth tracks like ‘Itch’ and ‘Trip Switch’. Their natural energy on stage made it clear they were a band deserving of large crowds and a later slot. Effortlessly good music to brighten the afternoon.
Injecting a little metal into our lives at the Barn Stage were HECK (previously Baby Godzilla) who amazed the crowd as always with their own in-your-face brand of crowd involvement. From the first song the lead singer and guitarist were jumping in the crowd, playing amidst moshing fans, climbing on the stage beams and giving the mic to fans. Whether you like heavy music or not, I’d recommend seeing this band for a show you will never forget.
Hampered a little by mysterious issues, Don Broco showed obvious on-stage frustration at the news that their set was going to have to be cut short. Nevertheless, they dove straight into new songs ‘Automatic’ and ‘Superlove’ with their trademark boyish energy and cool dance moves. Despite not being at their best, they still filled the main stage with energy and charm.
At the other end of the site D.I.D. (previously Dog Is Dead) filled the Market Stage with fresh and youthful indie rock with massive track ‘Teenage Daughter’ uplifting the crowd and creating a gorgeous positive atmosphere. Though limited on stage, the band still engaged the crowd gave a wonderfully buoyant set.
Taking to the stage in the golden setting sun, Augustines couldn’t have been more themselves. Their raw personalities shone through in their performance with an intense and engaging set that saw them talking about New York and lighting cigarettes on stage.
The long awaited Clean Bandit needed no introduction as they walked onto the main stage radiating effortless style and a fresh energy. Their perfectly executed set lit up the crowd and was perfectly arranged to include their best hits including ‘Rather Be’ and ‘Real Love’.
Back at the Market Stage the one-of-a-kind Darwin Deez was closing the evening with his kooky songs old and new. The crowd were taught dances and treated to a rendition of Enya’s ‘Orinoco Flow’ to get them in the mood.
Playing to the relaxed midday crowd at the main stage, Summer Camp provided a playful and positive performance with a powerful edge. Lead singer Elizabeth Sankey was personable and down to earth talking to the crowd with an effortlessly strong voice.
As the evening approached Lucy Rose took to the Market Stage to play an incredible set showcasing her delicate voice and passionate style. Everything about her performance was just her, humble and charming, with the focus being on the beautiful music. Songs were dedicated to her mother (who was at the side of the stage) and the crowd were singing and clapping with little to no encouragement.
Public Service Broadcasting provided a highly conceptual main stage set with an atmospheric sound that was very lacking to experience and failed to deliver in strength.
Saint Raymond, however, delivered a huge set packed with energy and passion that came with dancing and massive smiles from the jubilant crowd. The band provided massive guitar solos and the man himself charmed the audience with his boyish personality. A set without fault.
Temples’ set was dominated by the cool style and even cooler hair, as well as the infectious laid back attitude. Their new song ‘Volcano/Savior’ was smooth and uplifting with a relaxed summery edge and was greatly received by their captive audience. While their performance failed to blow away, their sound and energy was nonetheless strong and entertaining.
Basement Jaxx ended the weekend with a blowout set of colours, enery and soul. Their costumes were bright and exciting as the music they played, and during their best tracks they brought on dancers to excite the crowd. There was no pretension or fakery on stage, every person on stage was natural and channeling their irresistible personalities. Flashing lights and confetti filled the night air for hit after hit, and there was not a still body in the crowd. Both band and crowd enjoyed the set so much that both were begging the organizers for an encore, which sadly was not granted. An incredible end to a stunning two days of music in the Oxfordshire countryside.