Kasabian praise “incredible!” Truck Festival as 25,000 join Oxfordshire party
THE COUNTY’S biggest and best new music festival celebrated its 25th anniversary in spectacular style at the weekend, with headliners Kasabian describing it as “incredible”. Truck Festival saw 25,000 revellers descend on Hill Farm, Steventon, for four days of live music from some of the country’s biggest bands and artists. Headliners Blossoms,The Kooks and Sam Fender delighted fans at the event, which was blessed with fabulous weather.
The event was brought to a rousing finale with an incendiary show by Leicester indie-rockers Kasabian, with a closing set topped off by hit Fire accompanied by fireworks. Frontman Serge Pizzorno, praised the crowd for their energy, calling the festival “incredible”. “This is the last of our shows this summer – and it’s been the best!” he said.”
Also playing were ‘Milkshake’ star Kelis, The Murder Club, Sports Team, Sea Girls, Big Moon. Bru-C and scores of other acts, spanning rock, pop and dance music. On fire: Kasabian
Saturday’s main stage action kicked off with two very different Oxford acts. First up wer ethe Oxford Symphony Orchestra, whose virtuoso musicians played a crowd-pleasing set of film soundtracks, Beatles covers and classical bangers to a, perhaps surprisingly, rapturous reception. They were followed by county singer-songwriter Emma Hunter, who delighted with a gorgous stripped back set of perfect sun-dappled country-folk pop underscored by deeply satisfying, chest thuddingly twanged guitar.
Adorned with trademark floral headpiece, the engaging Emma charmed the young crowd who sat – or lay – on the parched grass to let it all wash over them. A worthy main stage debut from a local gem who is destined for even greater things. Emma Hunter
Another highlight was a surprise reunion by whimsical Oxford folk-pop band Stornoway with a headline set on the festival’s Veterans and Virgins stage. The Cowley band of frontman Brian Briggs, Jon Ouin, and brothers Oli and Rob Steadman were a fixture at many Truck Festivals until their split in 2017. The band were listed on the schedule as special guests, but rumours of the reunion had spread ahead of a planned show at next week’s WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) festival in Wiltshire and the marquee was packed with Oxford fans.
Zorbing: Stornoway The crowd-pleasing show included their best-loved tunes, including Zorbing and their mellow version of The Only Way is Up – most famously covered by Yazz and The Plastic Population – currently featuring on Co-op food ads on the telly. The Veterans and Virgins tent was programmed by Joe Bennett, who – along with brother and fellow Goldrush member Robin – founded Truck Festival.
The pair performed with their band The Dreaming Spires and as part of a Truck All Stars line-up to perform the hits of Bruce Springsteen. Another familiar face who returned to the farm was Kansas-born singer-songwriter Piney Gir, who treated a Saturday night crowd to a captivating show of her own music accompanied by an extended 11-piece band of largely Oxford musicians, including drummer Mike Monaghan and former Goldrush bandmates Nick ‘Growler’ Fowler and Garo Nahoulakian – all of whom play with Supergrass star Gaz Coombes’ band.
Killing it: The Murder Capital “Truck Festival is great and it’s so good to be back,” said Piney. Growler, who lives near Wantage, said: “It’s so good to be back here with all our friends.
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