A Truck Festival review

As the fireworks exploded from behind the main stage and the audience united in singing chants, Courteeners’ set was a perfect finale for a great weekend at Truck Festival. The heat and sun that lasted throughout the weekend – despite Friday evening’s showers was in stark contrast to the mud and continuous rainfall around which last year’s Truck Festival gravitated. This year’s festival was therefore enjoyable for the lovely weather, but most importantly for the talent displayed by already iconic artists like De La Soul and Courteeners, as well as up-and-coming bands like Her’s.

The Thursday Early Entry Ticket provided a great day of music, with Peace being the highlight of this first day. Stumbling upon them back in 2014 and a whole four years later seeing the band open their live set with ‘1998’, a personal favourite, created a nostalgic and magical atmosphere. Although the set was probably too long, and the band performed a little too much from Happy People (this album didn’t receive the best reception from fans) PEACE’s performance of ‘California Daze’, one of my all-time favourites, made up for this. A song that quite frankly warms my soul, its live performance created an atmosphere for crowds to revel in and allowed an already good day to end on a high, following performances from Bad Sounds and Jaws.

Though there were well-known headliners at Truck – George Ezra is a good example – I think some of the best music came from smaller acts

As the act I was most looking forward to, De La Soul’s performance was quite disappointing though this cannot be blamed on the band. Their schedule conflicted with the only period of rainfall throughout the weekend, and as it stands this iconic late-80s rap group are not so well known to indie-rock festivalgoers. The set was more like a group of hype-men, and they did not play a lot of their classic songs, though ‘The Grind Date’ was a particular highlight of mine from their set.

Though there were well-known headliners at Truck – George Ezra is a good example – I think some of the best music came from smaller acts. The set by Her’s, a band unknown to me before the weekend, was one of the best of the weekend. A great stage presence and the dream-pop vibe made sure the set did not disappoint – I fell in love. ‘Harvey’ was probably their best song amidst a solid setlist, the memorable nature of its lyrics allowing the audience to join in.

The weekend concluded in an iconic fashion, as any performance by Courteeners is sure to do.

Another great set from a relatively new band was that by The Orielles. While the band have gained some popularity since the last time I saw them in 2016, they still don’t have a huge following. Since then the band have released ‘Sugar Tastes like Salt’, which is undoubtedly their best work and contains more than a stroke of musical genius. The 8-minute performance of this song was perpetually enjoyable and a live performance only enhanced its musical qualities.

The weekend concluded in an iconic fashion, as any performance by Courteeners is sure to do. The band have so many classic tunes, and the set seemed almost too perfect. With the sun setting behind us and fireworks exploding after the set finished, there could be no criticism of the set by this Manchester band. ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ was, as always, a highlight, as well as ‘No One Will Ever Replace Us’. This set really encapsulated all that festivals are about and rounded off the weekend perfectly.

2018’s Truck Festival, therefore, proved to be yet another example of the failure of the War on Drugs

My only serious criticism of this festival would be not of the music but of Truck’s management and its attitude to illegal drugs. The searches and sniffer dogs at the entrance to the festival were unsuccessful; my friend was pulled over for the antibiotics in his pocket whilst the majority of festivalgoers were left alone. 2018’s Truck Festival, therefore, proved to be yet another example of the failure of the War on Drugs, as the police searches did not act as a deterrent for the mass of people who were on drugs, including the people who I saw having to get medical attention as a consequence of their drug-taking.

It was disappointing to discover that the only drug-testing facilities were for the police force, as recent deaths at festivals demonstrate that people need to be able to check the contents of their substances to make sure they are as safe as illegal drugs can be before taking them. Festival management needs to realise that they need to make drug-taking as safe as possible, as after thirty or so years of the War on Drugs, it should be quite obvious this method does not work for the majority.

Despite the young crowd and poor attitude towards drugs, Truck Festival proved to be a great weekend with loads of great sets, introducing me to upcoming bands like Her’s, as well as seeing iconic sets from bands like Courteeners and De La Soul that will be long remembered.

 

 

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Comments (2)

  • The title of this made me worry that I’d somehow missed a performance by the fantastic band, The War on Drugs – thankfully not the case. Still, I don’t think it’s too much of an issue to have a few narcotics present at a festival, although I agree that there needs to be a testing tent so that people can be sure of exactly what they’re taking.

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