LIVE: 2000Trees 2022 – Friday

By Punktastic

After three long, long years away, we’re finally back at our favourite festival. An homage to British and international artists alike, fans and band members are all in agreement that 2000Trees is the best festival in the UK and we couldn’t be happier to see its return. Despite the persistent heat and seemingly endless queues for ice cream, spirits are high as time and time again anyone in possession of a mic takes a moment to express their love for this independently run festival. After experiencing it ourselves, we’re in firm agreement. Here’s what we got up to at 2000Trees 2022.

Words by Yasmin Brown [YB], Catie Allwright [CA] and Brad Stratton [BS]. Photos by Penny Bennett


Let’s hope you’ve got a strong stomach, because HERIOT are a lot to take in at 11am. That doesn’t seem to be an issue for the two-steppers who have congregated en masse, already swigging bottles of homemade Long Island iced tea and furiously headbanging. The Cave is aptly named and surprisingly full for such an early slot, but HERIOT are blazing a trail for themselves after releasing their debut EP in just April this year. Later referred to by James and the Cold Gun as “the best new metal band”, HERIOT’s performance is powerful albeit a little serious and stiff – they might have nailed down Debbie Gough’s shudderingly piercing vocals, drummer Julian Gage’s furiously relentless rhythms and guitarists Erhan Alman and Jake Packer’s chaotically intricate riffs, but it’s not clear whether they’ve loosened up into their fame enough to engage with their crowds and show us what a good time they’re having. But it’s still very, very early days for a band with such promise. [CA]

James and the Cold Gun

If James and the Cold Gun can be described in any single word, it’s ‘enthusiastic’. So much so, in fact, that front man extraordinaire, James Joseph, frequently finds his sunglasses slipping further and further down his nose as he throws himself around. It’s fairly dark inside the tent and sunnies certainly aren’t needed but it adds to the band’s edgy yet somehow flamboyant look – all part of their addictive on-stage presence. Joseph himself is the perfect front man, embracing a groovy persona and encouraging “the movers and the shakers” to do the same as they launch into a setlist full of cool rock songs. Flying their Welsh flag with pride, this Cardiff band aren’t afraid to cause a ruckus, particularly during the likes of ‘It’s Mutual’ and ‘She Moves’, and by the end of the set the previously modest and polite crowd join Joseph in the chaotic energy that now fills the tent. With bodies flying clumsily across the crowd by the time ‘Long Way Home’ plays out, it’s clear to say that this has been nothing short of a raging success. [YB]

Chapter & Verse

There’s nothing more impressive than a band that brings instant energy to a festival set. Many less well known acts take a moment to warm up – both themselves and the crowd. Chapter and Verse, thankfully, fit firmly into the former camp. Leaping onto stage in the jazziest of suits, front man Josh Carter demands that we move our heads to the music as they happily embrace their second appearance at 2000Trees. Their electro-rock sound goes a treat, the often poppy nature of their music making the heavier elements even more jarring in stunning juxtaposition. Carter is chatty and wholesome when interacting with the crowd but he’s given a whole new edge when he starts singing. Sounding exactly as he does on record, there are no faults to be found in his performance which shines brightly over the voices of those fans in the first few rows of the crowd. It’s these attendees to whom the band dedicate ‘Ink’ – “the ones who have been with Chapter & Verse since day one” and from the energy they’re throwing back at the band they certainly deserve this dedication, however it’s clear to see that there’ll be plenty of us standing with C&V moving forwards from today. Next time, this dedication will be for us, too. [YB]

Petrol Girls

You can barely squeeze into the Cave tent ahead of Petrol Girls’ afternoon set. Igniting their fierce punk with a tank full of gasoline, this “raging feminist” four-piece are certainly not afraid of ruffling feathers. They come with a message that they express not just through their music but their dramatic on-stage presence, too. Drummer, Zock Astpai, isn’t one to sit down, instead choosing to dance around in full connection with the songs whereas at the helm of the band, Ren Aldridge shows passion and ferocity through headbanging so hard you fear a concussion is on the horizon. At times, it’s so ferocious that it feels overwhelmingly jarring but then again, perhaps that’s the point. And if it is, Petrol Girls are achieving all they set out for and so much more. [YB]


With a cute summer dress and a glass of wine in hand on stage, lead singer Lucy Evers is someone we want to be friends with (and take lessons in high-kicks from). She’s the perfect front for Orchards’ perky alt-pop sound, pumped and ready to party. But it’s not all dancing and trivialities as there are some important messages too: fuck the Tories, fuck The Sun, and don’t hold women accountable for fragile male egos. ‘Girlfriend’ is about just that – she could be your girlfriend, but she’s already committed to herself. Taken from their first album ‘Lovecore’, which was released in 2020, Orchards are now relishing the opportunity to play to bouncing live crowds after too long spent in lockdown. They’ve waited three years to be back on this stage, and are radiating energy and enthusiasm (even shedding a wholesome tear when the performance ends). The set is fun, authentic and has given us plenty of fodder for our summer listening. [CA]


It’s a strange day for ROAM as while they see themselves on today’s mainstage, performing to a huge crowd of fans who know every word to their nine song setlist, there’s also a heaviness that accompanies such an accomplishment as today marks the band’s last ever festival. It’s a valiant farewell for this Eastbourne five-piece and as they faultlessly perform every note under the brutal afternoon sun, you can’t help but feel this is the perfect and only way for them to play out their swan song. [YB]


They’ve forgotten their phone cable so there’s no “cool walkout music”, but realistically Puppy don’t need fanfare. The tent is a little sparse to begin with, but quickly fills as the deliciously catchy ‘Black Hole’ spills out from the Axiom Tent and draws in a crowd of eager moshers. Having first played 2000Trees in 2016, the festival rightfully saw something special in Puppy. And it doesn’t take much to understand why: it’s remarkable that such complexity and finesse comes from just three people. If there are better guitarists out there, we haven’t come across them yet! With a new album (‘Pure Evil’) now under their belt from a few months ago, Puppy have some fresh tracks to share with us including the almost satanic ‘Shining Star’, ‘The Kiss’ and ‘…And Watched It Glow’. But the crescendo is still ‘Forever’, the first song Puppy ever wrote – a high bar to set so early in your musical career (but absolutely not to say that more recent material is anything less). [CA]


This year’s not-so-secret Secret Set sees The Cave packed out for what has quickly become one of the must-see performances of the festival, as Nottingham noisemakers HECK make their triumphant return to the big stage five years after splitting up. Anyone worried that the quartet’s half decade away may have softened their approach to creating pure chaos in the live environment sees those fears quickly allayed, as co-vocalist and lead guitarist Matt Reynolds can be seen crowd surfing even before raging opener “A Great Idea Bastardised” has finished. What follows is 30 minutes of sublime mayhem, as it becomes near impossible to track where Reynolds and fellow vocalist/guitarist Jonny Hall are at times. The duo keep riffing away whilst passed above the heads of the crowd, perform in a circle pit at the back of the tent and keep screeching away on the mic at eye-popping heights after climbing up the tent’s middle pole. By the end of closer “Dave Lankester”, drummer Tom Marsh and most of his kit join the duo in the crowd, with bassist Paul Shelley the lone member left on stage as their set comes to a thunderous crescendo. That many onlookers left the tent struggling to process the bedlam they’d just witnessed is the sign that one of the UK’s most underrated bands are well and truly back. [BS]

Rolo Tomassi

Rolo Tomassi have made quite a name for themselves in the alternative / hardcore scene, so it only makes sense that today they easily fill the tent long before their set even starts. While the clean female vocals leave something to be desired, the guttural screaming is fierce and both facets of this band work in perfect juxtaposition to create an undeniably impressive performance. The popularity of this band is evident – you simply cannot squeeze into the tent no matter how hard you try, and make no mistake, many do – and it’s clear as to why. Their talent is boundless, their energy goes beyond even that and there couldn’t possibly be a better platform for them to express that than here today at 2000Trees. Long may they return. [YB]

Boston Manor

After an uncharacteristically lethargic start, the dusty main stage crowd quickly picks up following front man Henry Cox’s semi-aggressive encouragement. As the chorus of ‘Algorithm’ kicks in, Boston Manor are suddenly in their element at what is their “favourite festival”, continuing to easily engage the crowd for the remaining duration of their early evening set. It’s hot – like, really hot – but that doesn’t stop fans from losing their minds, obeying Cox’s orders like school children in a PE class as he commands that they successfully open and maintain a circle pit that goes beyond the sound desk for the duration of ‘Funeral Party’, embracing the heat, sweat and dust with glee. New songs ‘Foxglove’ and the live debut of ‘Passenger’ are received with uninhibited excitement, with fans screaming along to every word despite ‘Passenger’ only having been released a day earlier, in conjunction with the announcement of brand new album, ‘Datura’. Crowdsurfers catapult themselves into the air throughout the set but never more so than during ‘Plasticine Dreams’, making the most of the band’s last show for at least five or six months, embracing it with every last bit of energy they have to give. Following nothing other than a makeshift rowing boat in the middle of the dusty pit during the raucous ‘You Me & The Class War’, Boston Manor close off with some of their strongest songs to date. With one last chance to lose their minds, everyone who’s braved today’s heat launching themselves into the air, screaming the lyrics as euphoric adrenaline courses through them with ‘Halo’ playing as the soundtrack to this incredible moment. Boston Manor are everywhere in the UK scene right now – exactly as they should be. The next five to six months may be long without them but we’re certain that whatever comes next will be well worth the wait. [YB]


Turnstile really said “GLOW ON” and the sun said “okay then”. It’s a working theory that the heatwave across the weekend can be attributed to Turnstile being on the lineup, and witnessing their golden hour Main Stage performance was truly something special. Referenced by numerous other acts across the weekend, the crowd was (expectedly) the biggest of the day after the truly monumental reaction to their album released last year. If there wasn’t already enough anticipation, we were kept waiting for another fifteen minutes. But for the precious time we did have with Turnstile, we made it count. It’s hard to pin down exact moments when every track is a straight 10/10, from the glittering ‘MYSTERY’ and ‘BLACKOUT’ to get us hyped, to the frantic ‘HOLIDAY’ and ‘T.L.C (TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION)’ that bring the set to a heart-pounding close. Bassist “Freaky” Franz Lyons looks like he’s having the time of his life, with lead vocalist and keyboardist Brendan Yates enthusiastically swinging the mic in and out of the crowd to hear us just that little bit louder. “Until next time, I love you”, says Yates as he exits the stage – and he knows they’ve left us wanting more. [CA]


What’s up, freaks? Canadian punk quartet PUP didn’t realise there were so many losers at the festival and this self-deprecating rhetoric (a jibe at frontman Stefan Babcock’s grandmother who called being in a band a Pointless Use of Potential, inspiring their name) seems to be working. Their introduction was short and to the point – they’re going to rip through as many songs as possible in the time they have, pick anyone up who falls over in the pit, and just as importantly let’s have a great time. One person might have taken this slightly to the extreme, climbing a pylon and sheepishly shuffling back down when the crowd beneath didn’t seem willing to break their fall, but the rest of the tent is clapping, dancing and singing along to the likes of ‘Anaphylaxis’, ‘Sleep In The Heat’, ‘Morbid Stuff’ and ‘Kids’ – spanning their impressive twelve-year repertoire. This is the last date for PUP in a short but sweet UK tour and in Babcock’s words, festivals are hit and miss, but they were told that 2000Trees would be good and it didn’t disappoint. [CA]


Arriving right on time, Scottish three-piece Vukovi storm onto stage to a cacophony of marching beats and alarms. The clapping starts instantly as the “best up and coming band from the United Kingdom” appear in front of us and chants of “Here we fucking go” all but drown out the music. The anticipation builds up to an explosion as not even one song in people are squeezing into any available space left in the tent. The band exude boundless energy as always and this is something the crowd easily feeds off as, without encouragement, they throw themselves into the air in enthusiastic crowd surfing, screaming along to every word. This energy continues throughout as the band make their way through a setlist made up of endless Vukovi hits, with the likes of C.L.A.U.D.I.A’ and, of course, ‘La Di Da’ receive the strongest reception. Vukovi really are one of the greatest bands in the UK industry now and every opportunity to see them live feels more special than the last. It won’t be long before they make their way up the bill at 2000Trees and beyond and my God do they deserve it. [YB]


Flailing limbs for Turnstile have been replaced with a quiet respect for this evening’s main headliner, Thrice. If you’ve been even mildly interested in alternative music in the past 25 years, you’ll at least be familiar with the name and there’s a real feeling of sharing our evening with one of the greats. The field seems divided between the diehard fans who have waited years to see the 2005 album ‘Vheissu’ performed in full, and those who can’t recite a single word but are still hanging off every one that leaves lead vocalist Dustin Kensrue’s mouth. It’s not a lively reception, but it’s the kind of melodic, emotionally heavy music that takes you inside your mind instead of wanting to outwardly throw yourself around. 

The ambience is taken to another level as the sky gradually darkens behind the Main Stage, putting even more of a spotlight on these masterful musicians and a perfect alignment with ‘Vheissu’s closing track ‘Red Sky’. With ten studio albums, the set barely scratches the surface of Thrice’s discography – but we’re treated to some of their other favourites like ‘Scavengers’, ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Deadbolt’ before we retire to our tents (or get stuck into the silent disco). If you get the chance to see Thrice in future, regardless of how familiar you are with their music, don’t miss the opportunity. [CA]