65 Days Of Static, Nedry, Islet, Future Of The Left, Phantogram - Truck 13 Festival Preview

James McDonald & Simon Jay Catling 19/07/2010

James McDonald previews this year's Truck 13; fellow GIITTV scribe Simon Jay Catling will be tweeting over the course of the festival on Twitter.

One of my favourite times of year is fast approaching, bringing with it a bubbling glee of anticipation and the intoxicating flurry of expectancy. Unlike many others, for me Truck is a festival which I'll always endeavour to attend; justifiably recognised by its disciples as an unparalleled showcase for emerging talent and embedded memories of the happiest cache. It's a unique opportunity to see bands you know you'll love before they've even played a single note (and in a barn to boot!), whilst its manageable size (around 5000) means you're sure to meet 'like minded' folk, consequently forming worthwhile and lasting bonds. All the joy of the carnival, on a small farm outside Didcot.

Free of any corporate sponsorship or agenda, Truck festival has deservedly been advocated as 'the Godfather of the UK's small festival scene' by the Guardian, atop numerous equally favourable plaudits from every publication worth having onside. It's reassuring to know that now in its 13th year, a year which has seen the debut of a sister event in the States, a DIY ethos remains the sturdiest of foundations and the crucial compound in the festival's formula for success. Where its peers will charge criminally for a plastic beaker of flat beer, here it is not uncommon to see the local vicar handing out ice cream cones with a devout smile. Where we have come to expect having to shell out a small fortune for an under-cooked and ambiguous hunk of meat elsewhere, here the local Rotary Club serves pre-prepared punnets of pasta, as well as a decent flame grilled burger, of course. The reason I'm typing so excitably here, unflinching in my ballyhoo, is because Truck is everything a festival should be. Exceptional music, exceptional people, an exceptional weekend all round.

So, now with a week until its advent, it's high time to action the process of printing timetables and the election of those worth highlighting upon it. As I expressed earlier, the standard of new music is strikingly elevated - it has become the prime reason for the praise Truck has received during its innings. And this is no coincidence. Organisers are dedicated to sifting through mountains of submitted demoes, steadfast in their quest to deem the line-up 'just so.' Indeed, opinionated heavyweights Drowned in Sound are charged with selecting a number of the acts on display each year, and in this spirit of enlightenment, here are some disposable one-liners, picked by myself and fellow GIITTV man on site Simon Jay Catling, to further reinforce the pleasurable sore thumbs amidst the weekend's agenda. 13 acts for Truck 13:

The Gullivers- Saturday, The Barn midday
Masterfully treading the tight-rope of true genius; think The XX with heightened contemplation and less arthouse glum (JM). More

Miaoux Miaoux - Sunday, The Beat Hive 1:00pm
A Scot and his laptop, providing achingly wide smiles and an unwitting boost to the amphetamines market(JM). More

Sparky Deathcap - Sunday, The Beathive 1:50pm
Jesse Lacey's meek charms blended with the intrigue of unconstrained ambitions(JM). More

MASKS - Sunday, The Beathive, 2:40pm
Frantic table toppery with an emphasis on industrial serration and feet-beckoning rhythms (SJC). More

Nedry - Sunday, The Beathive, 4:30pm
Dark brooding electronica meets sharded bursts of guitar, Nedry are a hauntingly brilliant act (SJC). More

The Gullivers- Saturday, The Barn midday
Masterfully treading the tight-rope of true genius; think The XX with heightened contemplation and less arthouse glum (JM). More

Ace Bushy Striptease - Saturday, The Barn, 12:50pm
Los Compesinos! estranged younger siblings, frequently cut by the sharpness of their own wit (JM). More

65 Days Of Static - Saturday, The Barn, 8:00pm
With fourth album We Were Exploding Anyway, 65 Days Of Static have finally caught up with their live show's breathless velocity, an absolute must see (SJC). More

Islet - Sunday, The Barn, 2:00pm
Store out of direct sunlight as 'uncategarizable', then set the filing cabinet alight with a Molotov (JM). More

Future Of The Left - Sunday, The Barn, 6:50pm
How the hell do you replace the frenetic energy of bassist Kelson Matthias? Simple, invite the insane, lurching figure of Kong's Steven Hodson along. Future Of The Left just got even darker (SJC). More

Boat To Row - Saturday, The Village Pub, 5:30pm
Unimposing guitar lessons from scholars of folk, crackling with the warmth of a welcoming fireplace (JM). More

Phantogram - Saturday, The Village Pub, 10:10pm
A Yeah Yeah Yeahs dynamic borrowing Portishead's 'best of big beat' DVD, in high definition (JM).More

Ute - Saturday, Market Stage, 5:25pm
The soothing whir of leaves in an updraft, diverting course with a mastered aplomb (JM). More

If not already spoiled for choice by a diverse array of fresh bands and performers, attendees can also look forward to headlining sets from Mercury Rev, Teenage Fanclub, and Mew, who make their only UK festival appearance in a village whose population will quadruple in size on the weekend of the 23rd.

May I also uphold my own tradition (two years constitutes a tradition, right?) of providing a track list of the acts which I'd say are worthy of note; lovingly compiled with an emphasis on the names you may find unfamiliar and alien on the roster this year. Naturally, I've included some bangers from the headliners.

Happy trucking.

Darwin Deez - 'The City'

Phantogram - 'Running From Cops'

Miaoux Miaoux - 'Hrvatski'

Ute - 'Panic-float'

Esben And The Witch - 'They Used Smiles To Bury You'

The Flowers of Hell - 'Fractured Compound'

The Gullivers - 'In Orbit'

Bats - 'These Ones Lay Eggs'

Future of The Left - 'Plague of Onces'

Fonda 500 - 'Everything'

Summer Camp - 'Why Don't You Stay?'

Brontide - 'Crunk Ananse'

Islet - 'Iris'

The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band - 'Ants'

Sparky Deathcap - 'Winter City Ghosts'

65daysofstatic - 'Massive Star At The End of A Burning Cycle'

Visions of Trees - 'Cult of Cobras'

A Silent Film - 'Chromatic Eyes'

MASKS - 'Forever Dancing'

Meursault - 'Crank Resolutions'

Man Without County - 'Closet Addicts Anonymous'

Mew - 'Introducing Palace Players'

Ace Bushy Striptease - 'It's A Race'

Ralfe Band - 'Museum'

Spaceships Are Cool - 'Heart Echoes'

Mercury Rev - 'Holes'


This is Truck