Share This Tweet
2000 Bushes Pageant – Thursday (Day Two) (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to comply with)
Upcote Farm, Cheltenham
fifth – eighth June 2023
Taking a break from the bigger, extra established different festivals on the calendar, we head south to 2000 Bushes to see the way it compares. Louder Than Conflict’s Dave Beech & Sally Hirshman have been there for the weekend.
Thursday’s begin is a delicate one. Missing the planes, and certainly the folks of Obtain Pageant, we’re not awoken on the first light, and as an alternative begin the day with a leisurely journey again to the Phrase Stage for 10am to catch Sophie Ok and Yasmine Summan and their award-winning podcast, On Wednesdays We Put on Black.
The pair present an open, trustworthy chat concerning the different scene from each business and life-style standpoints with loads of laughs thrown in. This partly is because of Ok’s millennial versus Summan’s Gen-Z dynamic. It’s performed on for comedic impact, however you may inform there’s a mutual respect between the 2 which solely provides to the chemistry.
Regardless of the early begin, there’s a decent end up, most of whom are established followers of the podcast. And although it feels a little bit extra ramshackle than their chat at Obtain, it additionally feels rather more casual, making for the right method to blow off any cobwebs which have settled in a single day, whereas getting us able to face our first full day of bands.
With none time for pause, it’s over to the principle area for the primary time this weekend for Bristol trio Profiler. Coming off the again of touring in Might in assist of InVisions and Earth Caller, the three-piece open The Cave tent with a wholesome dose of nu-metal. Vocalist and guitarist, Mike Evans, and bassist, Joe Johnson swing their devices round throughout the breakdowns with a wild and wilful abandon, by no means as soon as lacking a notice.
Regardless of the sound within the tent being properly balanced, there’s noticeable bleed from the soundcheck on the Axiom stage, and the band usually let the silence grasp between one monitor and the following making it extra apparent nonetheless. Nevertheless, we now have little question that their between-song chat will develop to match the remainder of their on-stage vitality. And with pageant appearances and assist excursions now underneath their belt, it’s secure to say we are able to count on to listen to an announcement of their first headline tour earlier than lengthy.
Opting to remain at The Cave, issues get critically heavy for UK hardcore four-piece, Cage Combat. Sounding precisely like one may count on a band with such a reputation to sound, we really feel for anybody who’s head is hurting from the evening earlier than, although it goes with out saying that their livid and cathartic mix of NYC hardcore and occasional black metallic gained’t a lot blow away any cobwebs, however utterly obliterate them.
Although having began off life as a bed room facet venture, in the present day’s iteration is a totally realised compelled to reckoned with; the addition of French vocalist Rachel Aspe remodeling the outfit from a reliable if not familiar-sounding hardcore band into one thing head and shoulders above their contemporaries. It’s a brief, sharp set that recollects bands resembling Hatebreed and Madball, but additionally the likes of Gorerotted and even Cradle Of Filth, instantly cementing Cage Combat as one of many weekend’s highlights so early within the pageant.
Over to the principle stage now by means of some critically glorious tacos and cauliflower bites (in all probability a few of the finest pageant meals we’ve ever eaten) as British metalcore five-piece Ithaca take to the stage. With their 2022 album They Worry Us having been met with such essential acclaim, our expectations are excessive.
Sadly, although, we’re left dissatisfied. The sound is muddy in locations, and frontwoman Djamila Azzouz’s screams don’t fairly attain their full potential, though her clear vocals do reveal her vary and expertise. A band with a significant message about enabling oneself to heal from trauma, we are able to’t assist however really feel that the general expertise would have translated rather more successfully later in one of many tents moderately than earlier on the Primary Stage.
As such, we choose to go to the Axiom Stage to catch the tail finish of metallers Narrowhead. And it’s simply the tail finish too. In reality, we handle to catch simply the ultimate two songs of their Deftones-inspired grunge. It’s sufficient to make an impression, nevertheless. On us definitely, but additionally on a crowd that’s roughly crammed the tent regardless of it nonetheless being early.
Again to the Primary Stage now and we’re greeted with a “’Ello Cheltenham! We’re Child Kapichi from Hastings, and we like medicine and combating.” And combating music is definitely what they convey. Their set exudes the frustrations typical of working-class, modern-day Britain, because the band kicks off with a trio of tracks within the for Sardines, Working Man’s City and 5 Days On (2 Days Off).
While their polished punk sound could also be harking back to bands elsewhere on the weekend’s invoice, they definitely ship each vitality, and a cheeky ‘no fuck’s given’ perspective together with undeniably catchy hooks and riffs. Requests from frontman Jack Wilson for ranges to be adjusted after a number of of the songs do nothing to dampen the momentum of the present, likewise with a half-way level chant of “Fuck the Tories”. “In case you don’t like that you just’re on the incorrect gig” Wilson quips, earlier than dropping instantly into Occasion at No. 10 which definitely appears to get the group on-side.
A brief interlude wherein the band play the sport ‘Right here’s what you may’t win’ (impressed by the title of their most up-to-date album) follows and sees band members throwing out chocolate bars to members of the viewers. If the group weren’t on facet earlier than, they’re now. An inflatable hamburger flies round amongst the group surfers throughout each Rob the Grocery store and Glitterati, taking us to the opening notes of 2022 single New England.
Regardless of the right alternative for a sing-along, it’s considerably disappointing that Bob Vylan don’t be a part of the band on stage, regardless that they’re resulting from seem simply after Child Kapichi. As an alternative, Wilson introduces them, solely to have Bobby’s half play as a monitor.
Even so, circle pits are referred to as for and a worked-up crowd are all too completely happy to oblige throughout nearer Smash The Gaff, which is devoted to a younger fan within the crowd bearing the proclamation on his t-shirt. Wilson exits the stage, leaving the remainder of the band to play out the previous couple of seconds of the music, in flip leaving the group frothing on the mouth for extra. And whereas there’s no questioning that the band’s sound is definitely acquainted, there’s additionally no questioning simply how a lot the group love them.
Having seen Bob Vylan the earlier evening, we choose as an alternative to go again to the cave for Bristol post-hardcore outfit Svalbard. Having caught the band spontaneously at 1am ultimately yr’s Kendal Calling and being blown away, we all know they’re a should see this yr.
It’s a disgrace then, that the band’s lovely, bleak and sometimes cinematic model of post-hardcore falls a little bit flat this time round. That’s to not say the band are dangerous. Removed from it. However the measurement of the tent and a fairly modest crowd, to not point out the blazing solar exterior, all serve to hamper the ambiance.
In fact, competing with Bob Vylan was by no means going to be a straightforward activity, but evidently their atmospheric hybrid of post-hardcore, black metallic and shoegaze feels rather more suited to smaller confines and darker skies. This stated, the band’s musicality is second none, it’s only a disgrace it feels a little bit diminished within the vacuous Axiom tent, although fortunately this isn’t a mirrored image on the band.
Although tempted to observe The Surprise Years on the Primary Stage, by some means night has rolled round, and we go for meals and a few drinks while we spend half an hour questioning round what’s probably the smallest pageant area we’ve ever been to. With in all probability lower than 50 metres been the principle stage and the sound desk, it’s intimate so far as most important phases go, and simply one of many purpose 2000 Bushes feels so particular. Sufficiently fed and watered, and with an iffy sound plaguing the principle stage, it’s only a quick journey again to The Axiom tent to make sure we get a strong spot for Welsh trio The Pleasure Formidable.
This a band we’ve seen a number of instances beforehand, and who’ve been bigged up arguably greater than mandatory, we’re wanting to catch their atmospheric model of shoegazey indie-pop in a pageant tent once more. Sadly, any pleasure feels misplaced because the band arrive quarter-hour late (for causes unknown), shedding a 3rd of their stage time.
Because of this, their set is brief and feels hinged closely on more moderen materials, omitting the group pleasers in favour of fabric from their current album, Into the Blue. It’s an comprehensible choice, however maybe one finest made for their very own tour dates and never a pageant stage. As such, the ambiance is nearly non-existent, and the understated nuance of the band’s musicality barely perceptible. It’s a disgrace, as having skilled them in numerous venues and pageant phases during the last 10 years, it’s simply the worst we’ve seen them.
From right here not less than, issues can solely get higher, and certainly they do. Quick. Having seen Skindred dwell earlier than, we all know what to anticipate, although are nonetheless excited to see them once more. Expectations are excessive and each ourselves, and certainly the group, gained’t accept something lower than the final word occasion we all know the four-piece from South Wales are able to bringing. We needn’t fear although, from the second frontman Benji Webbe and the boys step on stage, it’s clear that they’re on prime type.
The set gives up songs from seven of the band’s eight studio albums, together with upcoming report Smile, and demonstrates simply how sturdy their back-catalogue is. Beginning with single Set Fazers from the aforementioned Smile, the band will get the group going immediately with their idiosyncratic model ragga metallic, inflicting everybody within the neighborhood to start out bobbing their heads and shifting their hips whether or not they need to or not.
Ever ones to throw in a snippet of a canopy or a medley, the band instigates temporary however euphoric sing-alongs of Wonderwall, Again In Black and Soar/Soar Round, the Van Halen/ Home of Ache mash-up you by no means knew you wanted.
2018 single That’s My Jam permits for some viewers participation as Webbe splits the group and pits both sides towards the opposite, whereas newest single L.O.V.E. (Smile Please) is a real summer time anthem within the making. It’s been stated a thousand instances earlier than, however Webbe is a frontman of a unique calibre. His relentless vitality, comedic timing, fake exasperation on the crowd at instances and fabulous outfits take the Skindred expertise to a different degree, whether or not that is the primary or the tenth time you’ve seen them carry out.
In direction of the tip of the set, early hit No one garners one of many greatest reactions of the weekend to date, proving as soon as once more that Skindred are a band with a quickly creating legacy, whose songs from twenty years in the past are nonetheless each related and common, whereas sounding as contemporary in the present day as they did after they have been first launched. As is anticipated, they shut out the set with fan favorite Warning, which has been the band’s nearer of selection since its launch in 2011. In fact, it wouldn’t be a Skindred present with out Webbe main the group within the Newport Helicopter, and ahead of the sound desk turns into a sea of swinging t-shirts, shirts, and bandanas- a lot of which have been introduced alongside particularly for the event.
Webbe says his goodbyes and leaves the stage, the remainder of the band enjoying him off. We’re ignored of breath and sweating (it’s sizzling, and the Newport Helicopter is a few critical cardio for those who decide to it!) however energised with spirits properly and actually lifted. Having just lately been given their first shot at headlining the Second Stage at Obtain Pageant (and completely killing it there too!), and with a brand new album dropping subsequent month alongside a headline tour, it actually feels after in the present day’s efficiency that Skindred are on the lastly on the cusp of breaking the large time.
Dave Beech is a music author primarily based out of Manchester. Hyperlinks to his work may be discovered over at his weblog, Life’s A Beech, in addition to his Louder Than Conflict Creator Archive. He additionally tweets as @Dave__Beech.
Extra phrases by Sally Hirshman.
Pictures by Gareth Bull, Jez Pennington, Joe Singh, Mac Praed