Truck festival, 2017. What a killer weekend. The festival put on some incredible bands, with an unreal host of small upcoming bands putting on some insane sets, especially with So Young who took over The Nest stage on the Saturday. As well as seeing well established bands who I adore, like Slaves and The Libertines, the festival was an opportunity to see some smaller post punk bands and experience the gritty filth of the current underground music scene hands on.
Socially uncaring, politically crass and sceptical in their music, Cabbage are always an absolute riot on stage. From the rapping over A Network Betrayal to the ‘Don’t Buy The Sun’ shirt to ending their set by throwing actual cabbage into the crowd, the five piece were easily the highlight of the Sunday. There’s an element of crass severity to their boldly left wing political message, tracks like Terrorist Synthesizer and Uber Capitalist Death Trade proving popular with the audience. Performed live, tracks like Fickle have a certain rash raucous feel to them, and the raw riffs glide over Lee and Joe’s voices with ease. Up Le fucking Chou.
Dead Pretties are a riotous storm of abrasive, careless punk. It’s gritty, raw and genuine, packed with dark riffs and loud screams which echoed throughout the tent. The sound they produced live was a headbanging mess of dirty rock’n’roll, fuelled by carefully written riffs, deep heavy basslines, and raspy vocals full of tough gravel. One of my favourite discoveries of the weekend, Dead Pretties have set the bar very high for how a band should be on stage. The thudding riffs and constant screaming distortions give the band a bite, creating a flavour of rock’n’roll which so far is untasted.
Hotel Lux, man, what a band. They had a very cool aura on stage, with this almost unapproachable intimidating feel. Full of laid back cockiness and a sophisticated arrogance, Hotel Lux have a very pure British feel to them. The heart of 70s punk and the raw bitterness and anger that came with it is embodied perfectly by Hotel Lux. The brooding miserable vocal is packed with nasty gritty punk honesty, and the thudding guitar lines over it make you kinda wanna fuck the world in and go have a cigarette. Moody brooding rock is hard to get right, but Hotel Lux do it with an arrogant finesse, filled to the brim with deranged intensity.
Raw vibrant rock’n’roll slaps you round the face multiple times with Strange Cages. Live, they have a sleazy deranged kick, full of raw emotion. To me they embody the genuine meaning of punk, and the rough angst they have live really is blinding. The Cracks is one of the best tracks I’ve heard all year, and it was an absolute honour to see this done live. Their screwed up riotous sound echoed throughout The Barn, pounding off the walls and echoing throughout the room. Charlie’s voice is full of a genuine raw grunge edge, which paired with the amped up distortions and fuzzy guitar riffs give the band a whole extra layer of unique, bold and aggressive power. Live, the band have a viciously intense sound, with so much potential. Check ’em out.
One of the heavier bands I saw over the weekend, God Damn epitomise perfectly the real essence of hardcore post metal rock. Live, the band spit vicious punk rock all over the stage, and this heavy thrashing music resulted in crazy psyched up moshing from the audience. Vultures was performed brilliantly, and the band use these looped rolling riffs and amp effects with the guitar pedals to enhance their live sound. The heavy head banger feel to their set gave it a very dark grungy metal feel, with a psyched up cutting edge and energy. There’s this epic intensity to their music and done live, this dark grungy moodiness is amplified.
The Saloon Bar was one of the smaller stages at Truck, and the subsequent level of intimacy made The Americas’ set one of the coolest of the whole weekend. The three piece are a bluesy force of old school, classic rock’n’roll, with a classic British rock sound blurred with American infused rock. Whiskey, motorbikes and sex oozed rock’n’roll all mixed together give you The Americas, and their use of a guitar and keyboard gives their music a fun, fresh feel. They manage to blend tainted old school rock music with a more raw post-punk sound, layering blues and 60s rock influences over it. Such a combination is incredibly unique, and I’ve not seen a three piece as cool or fun as The Americas before. It’s classy, feel good rock; keep an eye on these three.
Gritty, raucous, post-punk indie rock was the best way to start the weekend, and no band would have been better than BlackWaters to open up the Friday of the festival. They’ve been one of my favourite live bands since I saw them earlier on this year, and the FIDLAR/ Arctic Monkeys kinda vibe they have on stage is blinding. Their sound is messy, blaring loud rock’n’roll, packed with punk post-grunge grit. Tracks like Fuck Yeah, Down and Help Me were insane as always, as was their performance of new track People Street. What I love about the four piece is their abrasive uncaring attitude and the forceful riotous nature they have on stage. It was hectic raucous rock, packing a lively brain-explosive punch, Max’s voice effortlessly tearing through the tent. BIG UP.
Playing for So Young (mad love for them), LIFE were another incredible band and one of my favourite discoveries of the weekend. The hectic rowdy moshing and crowd reaction from the off immediately signalled the band’s popularity, and the tightness of their set proves how deserved their solid fan base is. Their music is, put quite simply, punk. Good old school punk, with a nostalgic sound that’s jumped straight out of a 1970’s London warehouse. Tracks like Rare Boots and Popular Music are wild, packed with a hectic messy nasty sense of grimy old school punk, but with a fresh energetic edge. Similar to bands like IDLES and King Nun, LIFE have something very special about them. For those craving a dose of authentic British punk, LIFE are a band to check out.
Other bands from Truck I’d recommend keeping an eye on: Honeyblood, Yonaka, Kamikaze Girls, Yak, Pulled Apart By Horses, Tigercub, Husky Loops, Palace, Vant, & Bad Sounds