I miss being drunk before midday, I miss all the amazing people I met, but above all, I miss being surrounded by incredible music throughout my entire weekend. Truck- Oxford’s independent music festival- did not only provide a brilliant line up for an affordable price, but exhumed the ultimate festival vibes and gave me an unforgettable experience. Just a disclaimer: I was very much intoxicated for the majority of Truck festival, so cannot give a detailed review of each band’s set.
After sitting in Oxford’s traffic, I decided to walk the rest of the way as it ‘wasn’t very far’; how wrong I was. The hour trek to the campsite did not only drain my energy, but made me miss the first band on my lineup plan, Trash. I met the friends I was to be camping with and set up my tragic, semi-waterproof pop up tent; followed by sourcing the mouthwash bottle I had filled with vodka and getting on the booze before 1pm.
Truck’s performances were split into four stages depending on how well known the act is; Main stage, Market, Nest and Virgins&Veterans. The first artist I saw at Truck was Willie J Healey at the Market stage. I was not familiar with his material before, but I had a couple of hours to kill before The Amazons, so followed my campmates to his set. In my drunk state, I remember dancing and vibing out to the mellow vibes; it definitely set the tone for the festival.
Even when I was not seeing sets, the atmosphere was incredible. With fairground rides, vintage pop up shops and a variety of food stalls, there was never a dull moment. Similarly, the vibes at the campsite were so chill as you ended up making friends with everyone. I loved how close together everything was; it was so easy and accessible to get around.
Hours of drinking and exploring passed, and it was time for The Amazons. I had been desperate to hear their song ‘Ultraviolet’ live for a while, so set off to the Main stage at 5:15, unable to contain my excitement . The indie rock quartet smashed the Truck stage, sparking mosh pits from the opening song. I remember screaming out the chorus of ‘Ultraviolet’ before abandoning their set early for The Magic Gang at the Market stage.
After a long time of deliberating, I have come to the conclusion that The Magic Gang are my favourite current band, so you can imagine my state of utter elation as Jack and the boys emerged for their Truck set. As usual, they began with ‘Lady, Please’ and the pits immediately opened. The atmosphere was incredible throughout, and the crowd responded amazingly to the band. Their usual closing track ‘No Fun’ had everyone overwhelmed. I may be biased, because I do have a soft spot for them, but The Magic Gang’s set was one of my favourites at Truck.
Unfortunately, I missed Clean Cut Kid due to my poor time keeping and the distraction of the chip stand, but heard excellent things. DMA’s put on a great set. Hearing ‘Delete’ live actually made me sob a little and the audience seemed to adore them. The band possesses an enthralling quality that encapsulates the audience and heightens the energy and buzz without mosh pits.
Hours of drinking passed, and as ten o’clock approach, I was satisfyingly intoxicated and ready for the Friday night’s headliner; Catfish and the Bottlemen. The bustling crowd stretched all down the field from the Main Stage. I jostled my way into the middle as Vann and the boys began their set. The crowd went wild, as expected, and the entire hour they were on stage had everyone screaming out their catchy lyrics. It was one of those gigs when the whole crowd feels at one and utterly immersed in the music. I had seen the band at Kentish Town forum earlier that year, but the crowd did not compare to that at Truck. The mosh pits never ceased and not even the stench from the loos could bring down our high.
“This one’s called Tyrants.”
That infamous line to announce their closing track had everybody whipped into a frenzy, as we all knew this was Catfish’s last song at Truck. The atmosphere was insane as the stage lights flickered and Vann and Bondy surged the last guitar riff through the crowd.
We were all left in shock as everyone flooded out of the arena area. I would tell you about my Truck nightlife experiences, but it’s safe to say I do not remember a lot; which probably shows how good of a time I had. The DJ tent at the Market stage enthused great dance sets until 2am, where I guarantee I spent most of my evenings. The silent disco also looked great but I didn’t get a chance to go.
Overall, my Truck experience was great and I would highly recommend saving up for a ticket for 2017! Everything about it from the line up, cost, food and nightlife was so worthwhile and I loved every minute of it. I have been assigned to write about Friday, but my favourite acts overall would have to be Bloody Knees, Spector, Swim Deep and of course The Magic Gang. I also would adore to share my poor photography with you all, but my disposable camera has not yet been developed yet so stay tuned.