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Review: Truck Festival 2023: Wet and Wild

If you thought train strikes and the British summer rain would stop us then think again, as we recount the mayhem and barmy times from Truck 2023.

The sun beamed upon the early gatherers at the Truck Stage on Thursday, welcoming in Scouse bundle, The Wombats. Kicking off the first evening with classic indie bangers, sing-along hits and many crowd favourites, there simply wasn’t a better way to get everyone in the mood for a much anticipated weekend.

Believe it or not, wracking our brains trying to remember all the words to ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ and the chaos of trying to figure out how to put up a new tent for the first time makes one quite exhausted. A Yorkshire pudding with sausages, mash and gravy was the perfect end to day one as we head back to our sleeping bags, ready for Friday’s fun to begin.

I’m not sure whether the sound of Two Door Cinema Club sound checking mixed with the uproar from a lucky couple getting it on next door was the most ideal alarm clock, but regardless, I was up. And fucking warm.

HighSchool

First on today’s agenda was the London-via-Melbourne quartet, HighSchool, making an appearance on the Market Stage, bringing an exhilarating post-punk breather to a festival lineup filled with Indie. Shortly after the gig finished, we escaped to a neighbouring venue where we lost a member to a mosh pit at Heavy Lungs in the Nest, but thankfully, he escaped with just a shy limp. 

Next, Kate Nash runs across the main stage, keeping us until the very last song, in anticipation, for that one tune. “I’d rather be with your friends, mate, ‘CAUSE’ THEY ARE MUCH FITTER!” blows across the field, and I simply wouldn’t have missed that moment for the world. I think everyone there was aiming those intoxicating words at a certain someone from the past.

Wunderhorse

Skipping back to the So Young x Market Stage as Kate drowns out behind me, I made sure to reach front and centre for our favourite act of the day, Wunderhorse. As I’m sure you already know by now, here at So Young, Jacob Slater is quite the figure, and it became clear that we aren’t the only ones to think so. By far the biggest crowd of the day, with a mixture of fans, first-time listeners, and inflatable unicorns (wunderhorses?) filling the tent.

As the evening drew in and the Truck Stage took its main position, The Vaccines and Two Door Cinema Club put an end to day two’s music programming, but we were by no means ready to stop. If any of you ever find yourself in the position to dance around at a TPD-operated silent disco, promise me, you won’t give it up. Sadly, I’m not sure any of us could tell you the rest of the events from that night, special shoutout to those gin and tonics for carrying us through.

Humour

Saturday started with a sore head and a lot of rain but equipped with plastic ponchos, bucket hats and the occasional leather jacket, we were ready for a busy day at the Market stage.

Glasgow’s eyebrow-raising Humour delete the sound of cats and dogs outside with a mix of heavy guitars and unique vocals. Playing classics like ‘Yeah! Mud’ and even newer tracks like ‘The Halfwit’ the crowd were thankful for this wet break entertainment. After, Deadletter grace the stage, encouraging rowdy pits and plenty of crowd surfing, which frontman Zac happily joined in on too.  Leeds’ English Teacher followed, sharing their socially-infused songs for their Truck Festival debut. Of course, big names like Alt-J and DMA’s drew quite the audience, but Market Stage headliners, Squid, set out to prove them the most musically diverse and gifted in the room. Making them the perfect act to close the show. With the heavens opening we made our way to the tents to wrap up before the final day.

Deadletter

English Teacher

Squid

Thankfully, our tent was still up after the last night, although I couldn’t say the same for our raucous neighbours, so big thanks to Go Outdoors for their honest waterproof range. Sunday’s checklist included recent print cover stars The Last Dinner Party and London’s FEET.

The Last Dinner Party

The Last Dinner Party took to the Market Stage, somewhat bright and early, because let’s be honest, 1:45pm is as good of a morning as you’re gonna get on the last day. Their ensemble of black outfits matched the mood as lead vocalist Abigail addressed the crowd, “Lovely to meet you Truck, you’re filthy!” Prancing around the stage and barriers to recent singles ‘Sinner’ and ‘Nothing Matters’, the crowd warmed and began to shake off the alcohol from the night before.

Feet

Later, as most people began to pack up and head home for work the next day, we made sure to stop by and catch personal favourites, FEET, at The Nest. Finally, I got to hear ‘English Weather’ live in the flesh and effortlessly caught the hat frontman George threw from the stage during the performance. “You better pack an umbrella for English Weather” couldn’t be a more appropriate end to the weekend, so goodbye to another year Truck, you’ve been a blast.

Photos by Ren Collins.

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