Truck Festival sold out once again this year, and after a long weekend under the sun, it is easy to see why. This year was the festivals 21st anniversary, and it has only got bigger and better, whilst still maintaining that “festival in your backyard” vibe that all it’s festival-goers love. I have personally attended this event for four years running – and I can happily claim that this year has been my favourite by far. The music was too good to be true, the sun was shining, and the event was organised and ran very smoothly and efficiently in my opinion. It’ll be hard to top this year, but somehow, I know Truck Festival will manage to keep on impressing.
In my preview, I claimed that Friday had a clear indie and dance theme. This was clear from some of the headliners that evening. First to truly impress was Circa Waves up on the Truck Stage. Opening with their somewhat indifferent release, ‘Wake Up’, the band were still sending out some great vibes and had the crowds dancing. They had a very continuous set but soon started getting the crowds invested with popular releases such as ‘Fossils’ and ‘T-Shirt Weather’. In summary, I believe Circa Waves performance was the perfect start to a long, hot summer and will always be a Truck Festival favourite.
Before Circa Waves finished their set, newcomers Pale Waves started playing on The Market Stage. I was so excited to watch Pale Waves perform having only started listening to their music once announced in the Truck lineup. Needless to say, I was not disappointed, it was clear Pale Waves had made a great impression on a mass of crowds already and will be leaving the event with a lot more fans.
Whilst maintaining their “pop-goth hybrid” theme, the contract between releases such as “Obsession” and “There’s a Honey” means there was a song for everyone. Lead singer, Heather Baron-Gracie had a very natural on-stage presence, which will only improve with further performances. It was an overall a very refreshing, unique act which I can hope Truck Festival will consider for further events.
Right after Pale Waves, we had the popular pop-punk band Boston Manor playing in The Nest. Unfamiliar to the band, it looked like many festival-goers had showed up just for this set and it was understandable as the performance was insane. Having only been around for five years, Boston Manor already have made an impression on the pop-punk scene with two studio albums and three EPs. If they hadn’t made an imprint in the music scene before the festival, they have now.
The performance was energetic and engaging, with fans going to twitter to say they “stole the show” and were the “highlight” of the weekend. Many people walked away shocked they hadn’t heard Boston Manor before after watching how good their performance was. They played some great releases from ‘Forget Me Not’ to ‘Halo’.
Overall, I was very excited I was recommended this band as a new pop-punk act to watch and I can’t wait to hear their new album, ‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood”, in September.
The dance theme of Friday truly kicked in with main headliners, Friendly Fires, taking the Truck Stage. The weather took a tiny turn for the worst, with the act having to play in the rain, but that did not stop festival-goers from dancing and jumping for the indie-rock band.
Fan-favourite releases such as ‘Jump in the Pool’, were well received and really bought a great close to the main stage for the first day of Truck Festival this year. Though the band may not have been a favourite to headline the Truck Stage, I can confidently claim they are now. They bought the sound of summer to Truck Festival when the evening needed it the most!
Friday had tons of other amazing performances such as De La Soul, Fickle Friends, Moose Blood and the highly anticipated, Shy FX. It was the perfect start to the festival and despite the rain, people still had an amazing time, with festival organisers handling the post-weather effects effectively.
It is safe to say that it truly wouldn’t be Truck Festival unless Mr Motivator was on the stage Saturday morning, warming everyone up the rest of the weekend. Fitness instructor, Derrick Evans, bought the Zumba moves on the Truck Stage, and it is almost impossible not to dance along with him. Though not a music act, he is a huge part of the event and never fails to make festival-goers smile.
A hugely anticipated act of Saturday was singer-songwriter Tom Walker, who was easily one of my favourite acts from the entire weekend. His vocals are so raw and effortless that it was unbelievable to watch him perform. His stage presence was remarkable, and I am gutted that he hasn’t been performing at this event before.
Walker performed many new releases such as ‘My Way’ and ‘Angels’, which were beautifully written and performed. Of course, he played his extremely popular song, ‘Leave the Light On’ to close his set and festival-goers were going crazy for it. I cannot wait to watch Tom Walker progress further in his career now and he should be a serious contender for a Truck headliner next year!
After Tom Walker, we had Everything Everything, returning to Truck Festival for another performance this year. I started listening to the indie rock band from when they performed at Truck Festival in 2016, where I described them as my “favourite new discovery” in this music genre.
It was great to watch them come back and perform at Truck again, with another effortlessly amazing performance. Everything Everything played many fan favourites, including ‘Cough Cough’ and ‘Reptiles’, which had the audience shouting along. Again, Everything Everything are a great summer band and it really bought a great, positive start to the evening.
It would be nice to see the band come back and headline the event one year, as I think they smash their set every time and have become a Truck Festival favourite.
Alongside Tom Walker, my other favourite performance of the entire weekend was singer-songwriter, Jake Bugg. He has also performed at Truck Festival and came back to sub-headline the Truck Stage Saturday night. Jake Bugg bought a lot of attention to the event this year, with many festival-goers claiming to be attending just for him.
He played many fan favourites such as, ‘Two Fingers’ and ‘Broken’, as well as playing a few new releases, which were received well by the audience. Bugg reminded the audience that he will be releasing a new album soon, which will be more upbeat and energetic.
Festival-goers claim that the hour long set really made their summer and it was shame to see he wasn’t headlining the festival. Nevertheless, his performance was a favourite to remember from the event this year, alongside Walker.
The sound of summer this year has definitely been George Ezra, especially with releases such as ‘Shotgun’ and ‘Paradise’. Ezra headlined the Truck Stage Saturday night and was a much-waited performance. He had a great on-stage presence and bought the audience to life, who was dancing and singing along to Ezra. One fan describes his performance as having a “good feeling and head bopping lyrics with a soulful tone”.
Saturday had many other great performances across the day such as The Sherlocks, Drenge, Sub Focus and The Big Moon. Thus, it’s clear to see why Saturday has been one of the most favourite days across festival-goers.
Sunday brings us to the last day of Truck 2018 and despite the ending of the festival on the horizon, spirits were still high, and the sun was still shining. On the Market Stage, we had a performance from The Magic Gang, an alternative, indie band who were also returning for another performance at the event.
The band have been busy this summer, performing at other festivals and even a wedding! This did not stop them pulling out a great set for Truck on Sunday however, with some fans saying, “it bought tears to their eyes” and was one of their “top three performances” for this year so far.
Headlining the same stage, we had Rat Boy, an indie rock, hip-hop musician. Rat Boy, the moniker of Jordan Cardy, speedily shot to fame and has proven to be a success with his first EP, ‘The Mixtape’ and his first studio album, ‘Scum’. He has performed at Truck Festival and has quickly become a fan favourite.
Festival-goers have described his set as “wicked” and a “highlight”, which is hugely down to his great on-stage presence and engagement with the audience. Overall, I am very impressed with what Cardy has achieved in his career thus far, and it will be great to continue to see him at the event in further years.
On the Truck Stage Sunday night, we had The Courteneers. With fan favourite releases such as “Not Nineteen Forever” and “Are You in Love with a Notion?”, the indie rock band bought a very summer-filled and emotional end to Truck Festival this year.
Fans were surprised to see The Courteneers at Truck and happily jumped along to their summer vibes on Sunday evening. Though not a popular choice for a headliner, they still were a great close to the weekend followed by a stunning fireworks display, as traditional of the festival.
Sunday has been the most controversial in terms of the line-up, with many people wanting perhaps the Saturday acts to be spread out more across the weekend. However, there were many great bands playing across the day such as Editors, The Amazons, Barely Legal and We Are Scientists.
Whether you get muddy or sunburnt, see tons of acts or only a few, are going as a family or a group of friends, Truck Festival will be one of those events you will always go back to. I think the line up this year has been the best we have seen in a while, but I do agree that Saturdays performances should have been more spread out across the weekend.
My highlights have been Pale Waves, Tom Walker and Jake Bugg. My best upcoming band has to be Boston Manor. If next year’s line-up is anywhere as near as good as 2018, there will be no doubt I shall be wanting to attend again – as well as thousands of other festival-goers. As I wrote previously in 2016, it is a festival you do not want to miss!
For tickets and news about Truck Festival 2019, check here.