LOUDER REVIEWS: 80Trees at Exchange, Bristol, 31st July - 1st August 2021
Due to world events, festivals have been cancelled and postponed across the whole year. Whilst needed, it’s been a sad sight that people couldn’t come together for live music for so long. 2 such festivals, 2000 Trees and ArcTanGent, were two such festivals that had to sadly cancel due to uncertainty about restrictions and COVID vaccine rollout. Once the government then announced restrictions were to be lifted in mid July, which included the reopening of nightclubs and live music venues, the two festivals combined for one event to be held in the city of Bristol at the Exchange venue. Just for the weekend, bands and artists would come together for a smaller-scaled event, with many performing for the first time in a year and a half. But would that show in the band’s performances, or would they be able to shine throughout the whole weekend?
Saturday was filled with uncertainty as the doors opened, more because of the anticipation with what to expect at this event. That concern died away once the first band, Lightning Seeds, began on the 2nd stage. Their fiery performance, screaming and punching vocals, and generally great and powerful music made for a perfect first performance for the day and the weekend event. Panic Shack were the first on the main stage, giving the punk energy and in-your-face music, as well as some interesting choreography added to their songs. Their lyrics about the female experience, especially when out and about like in a bar. Other highlights during the day included Blanket, a progressive styled band that showcases the smooth style of metal they captured and presented immensely, Mountain Caller, an instrumental band that took the audience on a mystical journey throughout their whole main stage set, and Saint Agnes, enfusing nu metal and heavy rock into a fiery performance that made their mark not just in the event, but on the whole day as well.
For Sunday, another day ahead with heavy music meant another afternoon for new music and insanity on both stages. This was certainly shown with Mother Vulture’s set on the second stage - whilst the stage was small, the band certainly used the space well to go insane as they played, rolling around and rocking out with fierce heavy-punk energy needed for the day. Meanwhile, Lande Hekt, member of Muncie Girls, gave an acoustic performance from their solo material, released recently. This gave a nice break from the heavy sound of the weekend and, including a song about their cat, was a needed change of pace that was well executed. The pace was immediately picked up to great effect by Haggard Cat, delivering alt rock awesomeness between the two members. Their energy was infectious on the rest of the crowd and showcased their fantastic talent. Other amazing bands from this day included Calva Louise, a Spanish hard rock band that mixed fun with fantastic music, playing some of the best music of the night, and Palm Reader, showing hardcore how it’s done, pushing the envelope and exploding with heavy music and incredible energy.
Overall, as a last minute event combining two festivals put on in these uncertain times, it went off without a hitch and to fantastic effect. Each band delivered brilliant sets that showed the amazing nature that is live music. Even at that, it showcased how brilliant the UK rock and metal scene is. There are so many fantastic bands that really shined this weekend, and that will carry on to do amazing things as the live music scene gets back on its feet. 80Trees showed that, even within a few weeks, the UK music scene can pull together to showcase some of the best the country has. Hopefully we can see more of these bands in more festivals across the country, and across the world soon.
Next 80TREES event 27th November 2021 - tickets available now!