The Dawn Chorus / The Retrospective Soundtrack Players - Blogging all over the World

My name is Kyle. I am a happily failing indie/punk/folk/country/rock musician from Hampshire, UK. I have been singing and songwriting in The Dawn Chorus since 2005, and The Retrospective Soundtrack Players since 2010. I love these two bands like my brother/wife rolled into one. This blog details the shows I have played with both bands, in chronological order.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Truck 9 review, July22/23 2006, Steventon, Oxford

Truck is the best festival in Britain. I haven't been to many, but i know this is fact. No corporate sponsorship, no queueing for half an hour for a plastic cup of carling, tasty food, friendly people, brilliant bands right in front of your face and all for 40 quid. Marks out of ten in brackets:


Caught a bit of Harry Angel on the Main Stage, the less said of which the better. The biblical weather conditions then forced us into the Barn to see Kill Casino, whose punk dirge was instantly forgettable (2). Plastic Ponchos were then bought so that we could see Goodbooks on the Main Stage. Nothing groundbreaking, but the melodies are strong, the lyrics are interesting and they seemed genuinely pleased that a handful of people stood through the downpour to watch them. Expect them much higher up the Main Stage bill next year (7). Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly was up next, and the weather - or possibly unproffessionalism meant that his laptop died so the set was acoustic. The same set was performed as a year ago, but there certainly seemed to be a buzz about GCWCF. His half hour was apt, but without the programmed beats this was only half a performance (6). The sun finally came back for Brakes, who delivered a joyous set on their main stage debut. The new material promises another strong album to come (8). Next up were :( on the Trailer Park Stage, whose emo crossed with 8-bit Spectrum sound effects was interesting, but holds little beyond the initial intrigue (5). Good Shoes drew a decent crowd to the Trailer Park Stage, but their set was 10 minutes too long in my humble opinion, and despite a handful ofpotential indie disco toe-tappers, it's hard to see them as a band that anyone could truly fall in love with (6). Chris T-T is somewhat of a Truck legend, and packed out the newly expanded Market Stage (ex-Acoustic Stage). Chris' comedy side is now truly a thing of the past, as his political rage overspilled into between song rants aginst animal testing. This was a shame in my eyes, as his music is capable of doing the talking in a much more eloquent manner, but any set containing the biting protest anthem 'The huntsman comes a-marching' surely can't deserve any less than a (7). Forward Russia got the evening's proceedings underway on the Main Stage, but including some more downbeat moments from their debut album (sixteen, fifteen pt. 2) seemed like a strange choice for a festival set. However, their energetic (as ever) stage presence meant that they just about pulled it off (7). Hundred Reasons wisely played a set heavy on material from their debut album, and the Main Stage crowd gave them the best reception of the day (7). Finally a long, leg-ache enducing wait hardly seemed worth it for a Futureheads headline set that seemed tired and passionless. Second album highlight 'Yes/No' was inexplicably left out to make way for weaker material from their latest effort, and even ever-present crowd singalong 'Hounds of Love' seemed somewhat flat. As a veteran of 7 Futureheads gigs now, it's disappointing to see a band once full of manic energy introduce a song with; 'this one's a bit of a downer...' (5).


Skullthrash sound exactly as you'd expect, surely it's someones's cruel joke to put them on at the ungodly hour of 10.30 Sunday morning. The Keyboard Choir - another band who do exactly what it says on the tin - seemed a better bet to get the day going, and their host of tin foil clad robot dancers had the Trailerpark tent filled to the brim. Look past the novelty, however, and this six man keyboard choir - complete with conductor - make genuinely moving live electronic music (8). Next in the Trailerpark tent were Six Nation State, a band who scientists have proven it to be literally impossible to keep your feet still to (7). Emmy the Great put on a fascinating performance in the crammed Market Stage, her heartfelt folky ditties - equal parts Conor Oberst, Joan Baez and Jenny Lewis - a reminder of the brilliant eclecticism of the festival (8). Easy Tiger's Trailer Park set had been reccomended by Brakes the previous day, but this good-time cowboy hat-wearing heading-down-the-open-highway rock'n'roll nonsense made me want to cut my ears off (2). Not much of an improvement in the Barn, where My Awesome Compilation's unremarkable brit-rock won't have won them many new fans (4). Youthmovies were back in the Barn after two years with little activity, but their intelligent post-rock - now with extra vocals and permanent trumpet player - is truly compelling, if a little confusing to newcomers (8). The huge surge of bodies from the back of the Barn stage could only mean that 65daysofstatic were up next, unleashing the trademark intensely energetic set that will surely see these Truck regulars play the Saturday night headline slot one year (8). Seth Lakeman offered a change of pace on the main stage, and despite some terrible sound problems his four piece folk band managed to capture the relaxed mood on this sweltering Sunday afternoon (6). Buck 65 is another Truck legend, and a packed barn were clinging on the Canadian hick-hopper's every word. Unfortunately these words were almost impossible to hear over the deafening backing tape, but his effortless charm and genius between-song stories put a smile on every face (7). Which left Regina Spektor to round off the weekend in the Barn. The crowd's anticipation is reaching fever pitch when the Russian born New Yorker steps onto the stage, but she doesn't disappoint. Whether playing piano, guitar, singing acapella or whacking a wooden chair with a drumstick, the crowd stand in silent reverence and hang off her every word. The likes of Samson and The Flowers absolutely soar, and every single conversation overheard on levaing the Barn is along the lines of; "that was absolutely amazing". With which I can only agree - a fitting end to another succesful Truckfest (9.5).

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