Truck Festival, now in its 18th year, was created by the Bennett family as an alternative to mainstream festivals like Glastonbury that they argued had become too commercial. With attendance of around 5,000 punters it is definitely at the smaller end of UK festivals, but Truck proved, once again, it’s not size that matters but what you do with it.
Truck is unlike any other festival I’ve ever been to. Whereas with huge, mainstream festivals like Reading & Leeds you can lose any sense of character, Truck is a rare gem. Where else could you buy your food from the local rotary club, see bands in a working barn, join a huge paint fight, and all without sacrificing a killer line-up?
Arriving on Friday we headed straight to the Market Place stage to see Jacob Anderson, aka Raleigh Ritchie, and although he was late to the stage (and apologised profusely for this) his lively set was hugely well received. Blasting through ‘The Greatest’, ‘Stronger Than Ever’ and finishing with ‘Bloodsport’, it showed that he isn’t just ‘Greyworm from Game of Thrones‘ and is a fantastic musician in his own right.
Essex five-piece Nothing But Thieves brought their punchy brand of alternative rock to the main stage for a set rife with Chili Pepper-inspired bass lines and cacophonous Muse-styled choruses. Opening with the soaring ‘Itch’ and keeping the energy ramped up to 100 for the entire set, the crowd migrated to the main stage and stayed put for the entire set. The Bohicas followed and kept the dynamism going, and although they were battling with power cuts they kept the punters going with impromptu drum solos. Don Broco carried on in the same vein on the main stage, with an audience of fans chanting back the words to each song, with single ‘You Wanna Know’ going down particularly well.
It’s testimony to how well punk duo Slaves are doing at the moment that there was a crowd of 200 rowdy punters queuing throughout the entirety to try and cram into an already packed barn stage to watch them. At The Edge we were not successful in joining the crowd, but Ghost Poet more than made up for it on the Market Place stage.
— Surge Radio (@SurgeRadio) July 17, 2015
Clean Bandit put on a slick, professional set over on the main stage, with the largest crowd of the weekend turning up to watch them and sing along to their host of hit singles. They were followed by The Charlatans, who although were more Radio 2 than Gary Barlow, pulled in huge crowd.
Over at the Market Place, Darwin Deez put on an excellently weird headline set, being the only band I’ve ever seen who perform choreographed dance routines to Enya’s ‘Orinoco Flow’ in-between songs. Their encore of ‘Bad Day’ and ‘Radar Detector’, which was opened by a dance-off between the band, was the perfect way to end day one of the festival.