My Truck Festival experience is one I daresay I will treasure for years to come, as my weekend was full of unbelievably talented bands, as well as the inevitable campsite antics that come as a guarantee with any festival. I do not have the time to fully explain how and why each band blew me away so wildly, and so have therefore decided to choose my top five.

My musical experience began with a bang. Reading indie rock 4-piece, The Amazons were on the mainstage in the early evening and I was ecstatic to finally hear them live. Hearing Millions (The Party), Ultraviolet and Junk Food Forever proved to be a magical moment, as the crowd opened up, and my first ‘pits’ of the weekend were formed (and of course, this opportunity was not turned down). After heavily gaining momentum throughout 2015, finishing off the year with their debut tour, they have become a more regular appearance on the festival line ups of 2016; Glass Butter Beach, 234, Always the Sun and Southsea. It’s safe to say, The Amazons topped any previous expectation I had, and I look forward to hopefully seeing them on their October tour later this year.

Following this, Clean Cut Kid delivered an exceptional performance. This quartet from Liverpool, had their first festival appearance at Latitude 2015, drawing a large crowd, and excelling in the performance of their high-energy pop-rock. A year on, and after the buzz of headlining the Lake Stage at Latitude 2016, they delivered an upbeat set at Truck Festival, featuring their previously released singles Runaway and Pick Me Up. However, my highlight has to be dancing to the infamous ‘bop’ that is Vitamin C. Much like The Amazons, their festival season has only just begun, as they are later to attend Reading & Leeds, Bestival and Dcode. It genuinely shocks me as I remember we still have not heard with a fully-fledged album from these, however what I have seen and heard so far, leaves me in no doubt that we will not be disappointed in the future.

Catfish and the Bottlemen. I acknowledge these to be my so-called ‘favourite band’, (although it really would be impossible for me to choose just one), therefore my excitement levels were through the roof as their Friday headline set drew closer. My first time seeing them live did not leave me disappointed. I was instantly swept into the frenzied crowd, the pits opened up, and I found myself shouting every lyric to every song. Everything about their performance was insane, from Bondy’s guitar solos, to each singular word sung by the indie dreamboat that is Van McCann. Even the crowd seemed somewhat ‘on point’, as you were able to turn to a complete stranger and scream the catchy lyrics at one another. As Van uttered the words “this one’s called Tyrants” at the end of the set, the crowd was wild, and the euphoria that filled every attendee was insane, as Bondy belted the infamous guitar riff out. If you have not seen Van, Benji, Bob and Bondy yet, I urge you to catch their performance at Boardmasters, or grab tickets for their November tour.

The penultimate act I will be talking about are the Birmingham boys that make up the indie rock band, Swim Deep. Formed in 2011, this 5-piece have been recognised to have taken influence from 80’s dream pop, and 90’s shoegaze, which leave them with an overall sound leaning more to psychedelic pop-rock, especially on their second album, ‘Mothers’. Their setlist for Truck Festival, did in some ways let me down, as I was particularly hoping to hear Soul Trippin, however I guess a 45 minute slot, does leave you somewhat pushed for time. Nevertheless, I could not have been happier as I sang along to She Changes The Weather, whilst perching on someone’s shoulders. Having heard excessive praise detailing how amazing Fueiho Boogie was live, I was elated to witness this myself, as well as to see Austin Williams climb the metal tent support during so. Finishing their incredible set with King City left everyone enchanted by their unique sound.

Lastly, but definitely not least, Baby Strange concluded my weekend in a way no other band could have. Having missed their gig at the O2 Academy Oxford due to it being exam season, I was delighted to see their name appear on the Truck Festival line up. The Glasgow 3-piece have been likened to Slaves and have received an outpouring of support over the last year, due to the release of VVV, Pleasure City, Trouble and California Sun in 2015. Having recently put out their latest single ‘Want It Need It’ and following the news of their debut albums release in September, my excitement levels had gradually grown higher and higher. They enthralled, as the sound of their deep bass and heavy drums cascaded around the tent, bringing to life the expectant, and somewhat lively, crowd. The peak of their performance for me had to be the thunderous version of VVV – the first song I ever heard by, now, one of my favourite bands. Future wise, Babystrange have a few gigs coming up in September, following the release of their album, Want It Need It. I urge you all to check these guys out.

And that’s it. My top five acts of the weekend. Other notable performances were given by bands such as Circa Waves, Sundara Karma, Blossoms, Bloody Knees, Everything Everything and Moose Blood. Haze, who played the Veterans and Virgins stage on Sunday, also deserve a special mention purely for their cover of Dance Wiv Me by Dizzee Rascal – check it out on their Soundcloud here:

Overall the weekend left me on a constant high, as the constant buzz of activity provided by not only the multiple stages, but also the pop-up stalls, DJ tents and general campsite activity, never left a lifeless moment. Because of this, I will be returning next year for Truck Festival’s 20th anniversary!

Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx