Thursday, 17 July 2014

EVENT REVIEW: 2000TREES FESTIVAL 2014

(Photo: Mark Slater)

This year Music Liberation made its first visit to the 2000trees festival at Upcote Farm, in Gloucestershire. 2014 saw the independent event reach it's 8th birthday, with the 5,000 strong attendee's getting their lungs filled with countryside air across 3 days from Thursday till Sunday.

The event originally began in 2007 with a group of friends who had become disillusioned with the 'musical merry-go round' nature of the larger mainstream music festivals, along with extortionate ticket prices and overpriced food and drink. Hence 2000trees was born!

First things first, as a self confessed music lover/junkie/snob, it is often surprising to most that it was only in 2011 that I went to my first music festival - making the pilgrimage to see Mr Eavis and his Glastonbury extravaganza. Since then I've been back to Pilton Farm for the last two years, but have negated to visit any of the other numerous festivals that the UK has to offer over the Summer months. So when the chance arose to visit the 2000trees festival this year I decided to take it, the fact that I've reached the dwindling years of my 20's may well have helped this decision.

Upon arrival at the site (after a very smooth transition from our London based train onto a shuttle bus), we enter the festival without much hassle despite the blazing sunshine testing nerves and fatigue. The first thing that's apparent is how small the site is (bearing in mind my only previous experience above), as we can see three of the four main stages and the two campsites in one swing of the hips. Having quickly set up our camp (ok it took me a fair while with my new tent, and I did require assistance from a friendly neighbour), we took in a stroll of the site.

(Photo: Laura Dimmick)
At one end is The Croft where over the weekend we take in comedy sets and twee folk and brass. The middle of the site is home to Avalon and The Cave, and the other end of the site is where we find the Main Stage, with these three being the place for more louder, plugged in music.

Croft, Avalon, and The Cave are all tent shaped, whereas the Main Stage is open to the elements, which thankfully this year was only the sun. All of them are located near to bars and food, and if you so wish camping can be done of each of their doorsteps in Camp Turner and Camp Reuben.

The toilets at 2000trees deserve a mention, with the portaloos and mens Eco toilets always being reasonably clean, and stocked with hand sanitiser and loo roll. To most it really does make a big difference (particularly for the ladies), and you can tell why the festival won an award for them back in 2010.

(Band Of Skulls - Photo: Mark Slater)

The bands finished around 11.30, after which there was an assortment of music genres being played out by a host of Silent Disco DJ's which never fails to satisfy most. The food provision is good, with a plethora of different cuisines on offer at reasonable prices (my personal preference being the Steel City burger). Other things on offer were secret shows and acoustic sets in the forest, face painting, tight rope walking, boutique shops, and various busking stops situated across the site.

(Trash Talk - Photo: Mark Slater)
Musically my highlights were:- God Damn, Slaves, The Computers, Trash Talk, The Bronx, Band Of Skulls, Maybeshewill, Jamie Lenman, Frightened Rabbit, and although not being quite to my taste a mention must go to Inme frontman Dave McPherson, who managed to play 8 sets across the weekend, nice one Dave!

There is a real community feel to the 2000trees festival with the layout of stages and camping helping to create a sense of togetherness amongst all involved. Musically speaking those who like the majority of noisy guitar based bands will not be disappointed, as will those who prefer a gentler acoustic touch. Having now been to two different festivals it is difficult to pick one or the other having enjoyed a thoroughly awesome experience at both, but that is surely testament in itself that 2000trees can compete with an established mainstream festival such as Glastonbury. I suspect that alongside the other 4,999 people that went this year I will certainly be returning to the Cotswold Hills in 2015.

You can purchase tickets for the 2000trees festival in 2015 now, with a limited offer of 10% off - www.twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk/tickets/

(Photo: Mark Slater)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

ALBUM: ALVVAYS - ALVVAYS

Alvvays began with Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan, two friends from the Canadian island of Cape Breton. Having moved to Toronto the duo have set about creating their self titled debut record, which is mixed by Holy Fuck's Graham Walsh, and produced by John Agnello.

The single 'Archie, Marry Me' has recently been played on BBC 6 Music, and the band (comprised with Alec O'Hanley, Brian Murphy and Philip MacIsaac) played the Great Escape festival in Brighton earlier this year. They'll be returning to the UK for two London shows in August (Birthdays and Rough Trade East) before joining Real Estate on their UK tour in October.

The album is 9 tracks of delicately blended soft vocals over which south coast surf pop riffs are gloriously played out. The obvious comparison is somebody like Best Coast, but Alvvays have a bit more grit than their American counterparts. Perfect for late night summer sunsets, or early morning sun rises, this debut album will lift spirits and set romantic notions alight this Summer.

'Alvvays' is released through Polyvinyl Records on July 21st. // Alvvays

Pre-order 12" vinyl // Digital Download

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

EVENT: 2000TREES FESTIVAL 2014


With just over a week to go until the 2000trees Festival 2014 opens it's gates, Music Liberation is getting verrrrry excited! We've already previewed the event and given away a weekend ticket, but we'll also be tweeting live from Upcote Farm and  publishing a full review shortly afterwards.

Today it's been announced that due to demand there will be a limited number of day tickets available for the Saturday (featuring the likes of Wolf Alice, DZ Deathrays, Tall Ships, and Frightened Rabbit). Click here to get yours!!

Monday, 5 May 2014

COMPETITION: 2000TREES FESTIVAL 2014 TICKET GIVEAWAY

This year Music Liberation is proudly supporting the 2000trees festival in Cheltenham during July 10-12th, and to celebrate we are giving away a ticket for the festival! 

We did a preview of the festival earlier last month, revealing the headliners and discovering a number of acts on the bill have been covered on these pages before.

To enter the competition for a chance to win a ticket for the festival just answer the following question:-

How many acts are appearing at the 2000trees Festival 2014 that Music Liberation has written about before?

A. 4
B. 7
C. 9

You can tweet us your answer (@musicliberation), or send an email to musicliberation@hotmail.co.uk. The deadline for the competition is 12 noon next Monday 12th May, upon which a random draw will take place of all the correct answers and we will contact the lucky winner! Good luck!

[PLEASE NOTE THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED]

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

ALBUM: BLEECH - HUMBLE SKY

'Humble Sky' is the second album from East London three-piece Bleech, following their 2012 debut 'Nude'. The band are composed of sisters Jennifer and Katherine O'Neill and drummer Matt Nick. 

The album released through Billie Dog Records is a reaction to what Bleech see as their capital city being full of wooly jumper hipster bands and posers. Jennifer explains how "it’s exasperating to see so many bands choose fashion over function these days".

'Humble Sky' sets out to stay away from 'tastemaker' lists, instead focusing on two attributes which some argue are usually missing from such lists; big melodies and big guitars.

The album begins in sharp fashion with 'Not Like You', the video for which pokes fun at what Bleech see as our sex-crazed entertainment industry. 'I Just Want You' is our favourite track from the record, showing exactly what makes Bleech great - big, fun melodies which you can sing along to and head banging guitars.

'Love Is Free' slows things down a bit with the tone being darker than before, which sets up 'Isolate', perhaps the bands most ambitious track to date from a songwriters perspective, and its certainly a bold move to place the song so early in the album.

'Marching Song' and 'Here I Am' get things back up to tempo, before 'Sparks' lets the band show off their groovy best. The record closes with the piano led 'Grow', a poignant way to finish an album which is so heavily fronted by guitars.

'Humble Sky' is yet another arrow that can be fired into the trendy tastemakers balloon of 'there are no decent guitar bands anymore'. / Buy 'Humble Sky' / Bleech / Billie Dog Records

Thursday, 24 April 2014

EVENT: 2000TREES FESTIVAL 2014

Music Liberation is pleased to announce that this year we are supporting the 2000trees Festival in Cheltenham which is taking place between July 10-12th. Not only will we be previewing and reporting live from the event, but we will also be giving away a free weekend ticket to one of our loyal Music Liberations fans!

Details of the competition will be announced next week, so for now sit back and find out a little bit more about 2000trees, which last year won the Grass Roots Festival Award at the UK Festival Awards 2013 no less!

First and foremost lets get to the headliners, Band Of Skulls, and revealed this afternoon the glorious Frightened Rabbit! Alongside them you've got the likes of Blood Red Shoes, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, The Bronx, and Trash Talk.

That's not to mention a large number of acts that have graced the pages of this blog in times gone by, including Public Service Broadcasting, Wolf Alice, Tall Ships, DZ Deathrays, Turbowolf, Lonely The Brave, and Johnny Foreigner. Pretty easy to see why we would support a festival which clearly shares the same tastes in music!

Saturday night headliner - Frightened Rabbit
Created by a group of friends in 2007, 2000trees was borne out of frustration with the ever increasing corporate sponsorship and ‘musical merry-go-round’ nature of the larger mainstream British festivals. 

Disillusioned by extortionate ticket prices and over-priced food and drink, this band of festival veterans vowed to take matters into their own hands and in true punk rock style set about developing the perfect antidote.

5,000 music fans will get the chance to discover the very best new and underground bands on six stages, plus comedy, Silent Disco DJs, quality food and drink and much more, in a picturesque Cotswolds setting.

2000trees organiser James Scarlett said: “We book exciting and interesting bands who bring something new to the music industry and we are delighted with this year’s line-up, it is our strongest yet with a depth and breadth of talent for everyone to enjoy.”

Get more information and purchase tickets here - www.twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk - and remember to check back next week to find out how you can win a free ticket!