Truck Festival

Truck! Oxfordshire's favourite small festival is back for a weekend of music, family friendly fun and great food from the local Rotary Club.

Some tickets still available at www.thisistruck.com
Truck 2010 Recommendations - Bands and Beverages:

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.
Drink: cider

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.
Drink: Evian.

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.
Cat Martino - A strange, spiky lady from New York, who uses the loop pedal to great effect. She has an amazing vocal range, high and low, dragging and scratchy to angelically pure and her spooky, intriguing songs are pretty much uncategorisable - er, gothic folk? She's on at 6pm, Market Stage, Saturday.

The Hot Club of Cow Town - a wonderful 3 ensemble who present their own songs and swing standards rejigged to an upbeat country twang. All three - bass-player, guitarist, violinist - are seriously good at what they do, beyond the point where it looks effortless and just looks like the most fun you can have out of bed. Great vocals; impeccable musicianship, a lovely old-time sound and, generally a lively, bouncy, exciting delight. 7.40 Market Stage Sunday

The Epstein If you haven't heard these Oxford locals, you should - American-style hillbilly country music that makes you dance like a chicken interleaved with poignant melodies and sweet simple harmonies. Truck Stage 2.35 Sunday.

Jali Fily Cissokho A Senagalese kora player. A kora is made from a giant gourd and is (very) distantly related to the guitar but played upright. Cissokho plays and sings traditional Senegal songs and some of his own - a peaceful plinketty waterfall of sound that is worth crawling out of your tent for on a Festival Sunday and, for me, that's saying a lot. 1.30 Truck Stage Sunday
Unusual: Vieux Farka Touré: Yes, this is Ali Farka Touré’s son. Western-Saharan-inspired blues-rock international ingenuity. An ideal early-evening catch: Truck Stage, Saturday, 1820.

Usual: Supergrass: Obviously. Even for an indie-skeptic, these boys are good. But you knew that already. Truck stage, Sunday, 2015.

Reach For The Lasers: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: They say: prehistoric dub plates made of granite. I say (without a trace of irony): big tunes. I saw (heard) TTED last year, and I remember that they were awesome. Not just a warmup to Total Science (which is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience, etc). Go see. The Barn, Saturday, 0015.

Acoustic: Jeremy Warmsley. Quite affable, this chap. Plays guitar. Sings. Easy on the ears. Does a wicked cover of various songs by Steps, although there may be something entirely different going on at Truck. Good with a hangover. The Beat-Hive, Saturday, 1730

Happy: Danny & the Champions. Happy, cheerful, benign, friendly, waving in the sunshine and possibly burning sage where available. Guaranteed to lift the spirits. Market Stage, Sunday 1630

England, My England: Luke Smith. This man is Truck. In fact, this man is England, on a late summer’s day, clutching a pint of bitter and delivering wry commentary via guitar. Tea and tragic romance. More jokes. Excellent music. The Village Pub, Sunday, 1640. Unmissable, although should be kept secret – his show is inevitably packed.
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