Irene Sutcliffe
15:54 29th July 2004

Misty's Big Adventure
Truck, without a shadow of a doubt, is one of the highlights of the festival year. It’s still small enough to retain a ‘family feel’ (it is, after all, run by Goldrush’s Robin and Joe Bennett in tandem with their family and friends), yet has become well-known and credible enough to attract a varied bill of some of the country’s best bands. To think this all started out in 1998, when tickets were £3 each for the weekend and the bands literally played on the back of a truck….


Truck had five stages this year, the Main Stage, The Barn That Cannot Be Named, the Trailerpark Tent, The Lounge Tent and the Acoustic Stage, which throughout the weekend hosted an array of bands and performers. Saturday saw performances from, amongst others, Jetplane Landing, eeebleee, Electric Soft Parade, The $hit, MC Lars Horris, Piney Gir and Buck 65.


From the bands Gigwise managed to see on Saturday, Southampton’s Black Nielson played a cracking set in the Lounge Tent and the weird and wonderful Thomas Truax, who we all fell in love with - home-made instruments and all  (most notably the ‘Hornicator’, made of a tuba bell, elastic bands and a microphone, if you can picture such a thing) - was eclectic and er, beauf. Oxford’s The Family Machine, featuring Jamie Hyatt, ex-singer with the now-defunct Medal, recalled some of Blur’s more tender moments over congas and beautifully simple samples, whilst up-and-coming Oxford rock band DaysofGrace finally managed to shake off the ‘emo’ tag they’ve been unfairly given. Headlining the Barn were Million Dead – and fuck me, did they rock. Then we run straight to the Main Stage to see a cracking performance from Goldrush – a perfect soundtrack to a fantastic sunset.


The Eighties Matchbox B-Line DisasterHeadlining the main stage on Saturday were Brighton noise freaks The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. After all the hype they turned out to be a little disappointing. Maybe they were the wrong act for that stage – the Barn may have been a better option – but the kids seemed to love it and they certainly made one hell of a racket.


Sunday was as good as, if not better than Saturday. Kicking off the Barn were Oxford’s metal supergroup The E-Band – one chord, endless possibilities. And a lot of noise. Then to the Trailerpark tent for a set from Oxford’s other supergroup The Evenings – describing themselves as ‘eclectronimentica’. Sunnyvale Noise Subelement, ‘Kraftwerk remixed by Shellac’, played their last gig as a four-piece in the Barn, and Sunnyvale Noise Subelementalthough they looked nervous, delivered a well-paced, intelligent set of experimental noise with the odd beautiful moment – notably in closing gem ‘I Love You Every Time You Smile’.


Misty’s Big Adventure on the Main Stage were the surprise of the festival. The name conjures up images of soft country folky stuff, but is that what they sounded like? Was it hell! They’re a billion piece band playing eclectic, up-tempo Divine Comedy-esque pop, ‘The Extremist Polka’ being the highlight of the set. They have a dancer. He wears a costume with loads of rubber hands tied to it. He runs through the crowd a lot. It’s perfect stuff for a Sunday afternoon in a field.


So to the Barn for local metal act Sextodecimo – a grinding, relentless wall of distortion and screaming. Next up are DiveDive, who, despite guitarist Ben Lloyd’s technical trouble at the start of the set (giving ex-Unbelievable Truth drummer Nigel Powell a chance to play a phenomenal drum solo), were as solid as we have come to expect – a guest slot for Shouting Myke’s drummer on the last two tracks was a winner; an extended version of ‘The Croc’ with two drummers was awesome.


And then on to local ‘barnyard hardcore’ favourites Suitable Case for Treatment. Best described as Tom Waits fronting Cannibal Corpse in previous times, this band have developed into something much more complex over the past year or so, erring on the side of prog-jazz in several places. And don’t heckle them… it’s a bad plan. Finishing the festival for Gigwise were a tired-looking Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies playing new material and still managing a damn good job of it.


Photos by Miles Walkden 


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