Waking up to another blisteringly hot day at 2000 Trees on the Friday, I took the opportunity to grab an ice cream and a cold drink before watching Strange Bones in the Axiom. The Blackpool-based band could be best described as chaotic and as mad as a box of frogs as they leapt around the stage performing their own brand of scuzzy, blues-infused rock. At times the lads reminded me of classic rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, but they also have a distinctive hint of punky youthfulness which helps keep their music fresh.

Following this, fellow Midlanders Shvpes played in the Cave; and as a band that I’d heard a lot about, but not actually seen yet, I decided to go check them out. Although heavier than what I’d usually listen to, I was actually really impressed with their passionate set and the tent was absolute mayhem with circle pits galore throughout. As their set finished, I returned to the Axiom to see my new favourite Scottish rockers Vukovi play. Despite some technical difficulties before their set, the rock band managed to pull off a polished performance; of which, charismatic front woman Janine had the audience eating it up from the palm of her hand. I expect big things from Vukovi over the next few years.

The main stage had some interesting acts on Friday, and this is where I spent most of the rest of the day. I saw the last few songs of Dutch experimentalists De Staat‘s set, and it looked like rather good fun as the audience bounced around in a huge, swirling circle pit during their song Witch Doctor. Then I saw two old favourites of 2000 Trees, Black Peaks and Skinny Lister. It was great to see Black Peaks finally on the main stage after seeing them on the Cave stage in previous years. Things definitely seem to be looking up for them in 2017 following some amazing support slots with the likes of System of a Down; the recognition is very well deserved too as they are one of the best live bands in Britain today. Skinny Lister’s set was fun too as the audience got involved in sea shanty’s and drinking songs all around.

I was chuffed to see Irish rock act Greywind at 2000 Trees this year, as they pulled off a perfect performance on the Neu stage just before 6pm. The only problem with their set is that it could have perhaps done with being on a much larger stage, as the tent was overspilling throughout. I hope to see them back at the festival again next year, perhaps in the Cave. Speaking of the Cave stage, one of the highlights of the day came from Deaf Havana shortly after, as they performed a entirely fan-chosen set (with an Oasis track thrown in for good measure).

Ending the Friday with two of the most magical sets of the festival; I checked out local lad Jim Lockey‘s Forest session and also Nothing But Thieves on the main stage. Jim’s set was actually one of my highlights of the day, as he just pulls off acoustic performances so well and it was made all the more special by the beautiful woodland surroundings. Meanwhile, Nothing But Thieves on the main stage really was something to behold and so well deserved. Just a few years ago, the band were playing at the festival for the first time in the Axiom; but there’s no denying that their rise to popularity has been meteoric.

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