Sunday at Oxfordshire’s Truck Festival saw a guest appearance of blue skies, as festivalgoers stomped through the mud enjoying the weekend’s last hurrah. Although the small festival has grown considerably over the past two decades, it’s 20th Birthday bash maintained all the things that mean the same punters return year on year: the family friendly attractions, a stage that’s literally a cow-shed (imaginatively titled The Barn), and even the local rotary club providing the burgers (“we’ve been here for the past 17 years!” one of the volunteers proudly told us); but of course it’s the surprisingly good lineups for a festival of its size that really make the annual event one to remember.
Final headliners The Vaccines brought their raucous energy to Truck in a breakneck set. Entering to the Game of Thrones theme music, the indie rockers bounded on stage to roars of appreciation, before launching into new track ‘Let Me Take You Surfing in the Sky’ and ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’. “Truck! Truck! Truck! We are The Vaccines!” frontman Justin Young announced, before blasting their way through ‘Teenage Icon’.
Going at a hundred miles per hour, the wild performance was accompanied by the carnage cups of mud being chucked across the crowd. The crowd got on board for the handful of new songs The Vaccines played, but it was bangers ‘Post Break-Up Sex’, ‘20/20’ and ‘If You Wanna’ that really whipped the audience up into a frenzy.
And then, as quickly as it began, it was over. “Thank you very much Truck we love you very much…thank you for sticking around, you old friend” Justin called to the audience, before ticker tape rained down, accompanying the finale of ‘Norgaard’. There was no encore, no fuss; but The Vaccines provided exactly what a Truck headine set should be.
The Vaccines played:
Let Me Take You Surfing in the Sky
Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)
Your Love Is My Favourite Band
Post Break-Up Sex
Blow It Up
All in White
If You Wanna
The Vaccines were so good at Truck I think I had an out of body experience when they played Bad Mood
— nicole (@nicoIekellie) July 24, 2017
Earlier in the day, Maximo Park brought a vintage feel to the main stage. Playing new tracks filled with disco grooves and funky basslines, it was the old indie anthems like ‘Apply Some Pressure’ and ‘Our Velocity’ that evoked the liveliest reactions from the crowd. Frontman Paul Smith told the crowd that this was a nostalgic show for them, as they last played Truck in 2004 “and only about 3 people turned up…that was the first festival we played!” he told the crowd, “I guess this might have been one of the songs we played then:” Paul added, before the band launched into ‘Regret It’.
Elsewhere, it was The Market Stage that shone on Sunday with a stellar lineup. Oozing with cockney charm, Chase & Status collaborator Tom Grennan crooned his way through an early evening set. “Oxfordshire’s a bit posh though, we were driving hereand I was thinking Rah! I’d like to live here – got to earn some money first though!” he chattered to the audience, before diving into one of his soulful songs.
Nobody seemed to enjoy their Truck set more than Glasgow’s Honey Blood. Bursting onto the Market Stage, they stormed their way through a fiery performance. “The next song is about tequila – cheers” drummer Cat Myers called to whoops and cheers, before launching into ‘Sea Hearts’. Finishing with ‘Babes Never Die’, the tent was full of “wee moshpits” as punters made the most of the last day of the festival.