7/8/9 July 2022

“2000trees is incredible”, by John Helps of Maybeshewill

Maybeshewill are one of 2000trees’ favourite bands. They have performed for four years running and in 2013 whipped up one of the biggest and best crowd reactions we’ve ever had – check out the video below… stirring stuff!

Huge thanks to guitarist John Helps for taking the time to write down his ‘Trees’ experiences, we hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did.

We said this in our programme last year: “Maybeshewill create a place where the worlds of post-rock, pop and metal collide. A place full of sound and fury, of emotional intensity and insanely compelling riffage. A fascinating talent.”

The press says: “Maybeshewill juggle the collective noise of Mogwai and Glassjaw… these songs are extremely quick to kick your teeth in” – Kerrang!

 Roll on the summer! – Andy, 2000trees

Maybeshewill 1

We were turned down to play 2000trees once. Way back in the mists of time we got an email from a guy called James asking if we would be interested in playing his festival, and could he come and see us play at our next London show? We were playing at The Dublin Castle with a band no one remembers anymore called And So I Watch You From Afar, and he never showed up. We didn’t get to play. What an asshole.

For whatever reason the following year he relented and our first experience of ‘Trees’ was arriving in the middle of the night in torrential rain. None of us really slept before our set opening the main stage the following day and the abiding memory from that year is of it being really fucking hard work – that is, right up until we went on stage and the sun came out. From that point on it was brilliant. In fact it says something important about the festival that despite torrential rain or oppressive heat pretty much every time we’ve set foot on Upcote Farm we still think of every year with fondness.

Maybeshewill 3

For us part of the magic is that we cross paths with so many friends from other bands and from the country’s music scene in general – there are always people we’ve toured with or met elsewhere on the bill and in the audience. It’s an incestuous little scene that we’re proud to be a part of and Trees is sort of the hub of it for one weekend of the year. It seems to take weird bands like us and our friends to heart for some reason, and it’s always enormously rewarding to be in the audience for our friends playing and getting to enjoy being part of the immense appreciation that you guys show them.

2000trees was one of the first ‘proper’ festivals to take us under its wing – we were a small band when we first played and we’re not much bigger now, but we’ve played to much bigger crowds than we perhaps deserve to there, slowly making our way up through slots on both the first and second stages, culminating in last year’s set as the penultimate band in The Cave.

Maybeshewill in The Cave at 2000trees 2013

That set… man oh man. For once it was sunny. Almost unpleasantly so. I think everyone was relieved when it started cooling down a bit in the evening, which is all I feel I can attribute what happened that evening to. I don’t think we’ve experienced anything quite like we did in that tent anywhere else in the world. You guys just wouldn’t stop shouting and that felt incredible. I guess it’s the experience everyone in a band aspires to, and it was glorious.

More than one of us shed a tear on stage, which sounds incredibly pretentious, but it was an intense experience that it’s hard to communicate. We honestly can’t thank anyone enough for putting us in that situation.

Sometimes they threaten not to let us come back for a year, but somehow we’ve ended up playing five sets in the past four years of the festival. It’s become an intrinsic part of our summer and if we weren’t playing we’d move heaven and earth to be there in the audience.

Maybeshewill 2

There are few other festivals where it’s accepted to hug the organisers on arrival, and that’s another little part of what makes it special. These guys care about something other than just turning a profit, and that attitude is palpable in everything that goes on. It’s been by far the loveliest outdoor festival we’ve had the privilege of playing for as long as we’ve been going, perhaps only equalled this year by ArcTanGent, but given that they’re run by a lot of the same people, that didn’t come as a surprise. I suppose we’ve got to forgive them for turning us down that first year.

Beyond just playing we all have great memories of past festivals. Getting drunk in Lebowski’s with various members of the band diving off the bar in to bales of hay late on a Friday night in an uncharacteristically boisterous display of behaviour. Watching friends roll in literally feet of mud. Crying with laughter at Thom &U&I claiming to be the tallest man in the world. Too many nights in the silent disco… So many good times that it’s impossible to not sound like a total sycophant in this blog.

2000trees is brilliant. Long may she reign.

Maybeshewill are currently working on the new record… watch this space!
John Helps’ Twitter feed is @johnshewill

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You only have 52 weekends a year, make sure the 7-9th July 2022 is a belter!