Stornoway: this lot share a name with a small town on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, which should tell you something. Think energetic folk music, played with peculiar talent, upbeat, lively, and guaranteed to put a bounce in your stride. Perfect with a bite to eat as the sun goes down over the first proper day of the festival. Truck Stage, Saturday, 18:45- 19:45.
Drink: real ale.
Danny & The Champions of The World: there are a lot of them, and they’re brilliant. Decidedly un-selfconscious sing-song uplifting stuff. Late on a Sunday afternoon, you need this. Relaxing, rather than energetic, Danny & The Champs provided one of my favourite moments from last year’s Truck. Truck Stage, Sunday, 16:45 – 17:30.
Drink: more real ale.
65 Days of Static. Math rock. Generally quite rapid; lots of stuff going on; not quite sure how their brains work, and neither are they, but they’re making quite a bit of noise, which is a good thing. 65DoS self-define as ‘a lot like the Lambton worm’. A better description would be ‘genius’. Barn Stage, Saturday 20:00 – 20:45.
Drink: gin, lager.
Zinc: DJ Zinc. This should be self-explanatory. I’m expecting ‘classic’ drum & bass, so a bunch of crowd-pleasing stuff. The Barn by this stage is usually packed, so get in early. The acts bookending Zinc (Ms Dynamite; DJ Fu & Script MC) are probably worth sticking around for, but Zinc scores on nostalgia points. The Barn is an excellent venue for D&B; the acoustics are pretty harsh; it’s built of conrete and smells of cows and sweaty people. Perfect. Saturday 23:30 – 01:00 (and before, and after).
Drink: Lager (lots), vodka & red bull.
Fonda 500: Lo-fi pop. Storming. This lot have been described as Black Sabbath meets the Beach Boys. I think that’s fairly accurate. Invigorating, and a stellar alternative to the crisper sounds coming from the Barn around that time. Village Pub, Saturday 21:10 – 23:50.
Luke Smith: Essence de Truck. Pour homme, pour femme. Pure distillate of Steventon, fields, and laid-back Truckers. One man, some backing (Dave the Drummer, with luck), and a guitar. Possibly some keyboard. Musically excellent; comically superb. Market Stage, Saturday 16:15 – 17:00.
Drink: yet more real ale.
The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band: again with the wild upbeat for a Saturday night. Thoroughly danceable seven-piece jazz; brassy, rapid, and probably pissed. Market Stage, Saturday 23:10- 23:45.
Drink: bourbon if you can find it. Lukewarm gin & tonic if you can’t.
Aphasia. I felt compelled to pick something bleepier than the usual Truck fare, since that is the element missing from the list, and aphasia is named after a neurological syndrome (in particular, deficits in semantic or syntactic processing – very apt). So if you want some beeps, get yours here. Beathive, Saturday 21:30 – 22:30.
The Epstein. Somewhere on the country–rock spectrum. Market Stage, Sunday 21:15 – 22:00.
Drink: whatever’s left.
And yes, you should probably go and see the headliners – Mew (Danish, um ‘art-rock’) and Teenage Fanclub (Scottish).
Having said all this, one of the nice things about Truck is the possibility of being pleasantly surprised by a chance encounter with some new music, in lovely surroundings, and always with good company. Happy hunting.