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2000trees Music Festival 2013

It took a while, but summer has well and truly arrived.  The pale-faced pessimists who said that summer would never come now languish, fan-swept, in the coolest room in their houses.  These are the same pessimists who never believed we would find ourselves with a British Wimbledon Champion come summer's end.  They will have to save their pent up mockery for another grand slam.  Unfortunately for them, and as an extension to celebrations of last year, this summer has been another flag waver's paradise.  Just when we thought we'd expelled enough patriotism for one decade after the Queen's Golden Jubilee and The London Games, along comes 2013, or (for the optimist among us): 2012+1, or simply: The Update.  It's as good as any Super Saturday. 

So we find ourselves slap bang in the middle of music festival season.  This week is book-ended by two of my favourite festivals: 2000trees, which enjoyed wall-to-wall sunshine last weekend, and Latitude this coming weekend.  I was lucky enough to win tickets to 2000trees, so my girlfriend and I headed over to Upcote Farm on Friday morning - a site less than 15 miles away.  In spite of my life-long love of music, it may surprise some that I've never been to a musical festival.  At 27, this was a new and wonderful experience for me.  And what's more: no wellies were required!  Wet soil was rarer than hen's teeth!  

It helped that 2000trees was set up as a remedy to the ginormous  faceless festivals such as Reading.  What struck me first off was how small, intimate and extremely friendly the festival was; you could walk from top to bottom in less than ten minutes.  This year, the festival organisers capped the number of admissions to 4,500, so the festival was able to stick to its original philosophy as being more about the quality of the experience than a burgeoning, cash-centric capacity.      

The path to the Main Stage
Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls headlining the Main Stage

Festival-goers enjoying the intimate Greenhouse stage on Saturday.  A very apt stage name.

One of my favourite performances from the weekend came when King Charles performed on Saturday as the support act to Frank Turner.  I was familiar with the name, but I admit I didn't do any YouTubing prior to his performance, or anyone's performance at the festival for that matter.  His set came as a pleasant surprise.  So much so that I've played "Love Lust", his penultimate song in his set, constantly since Saturday.  I have yet to happen upon any other of his songs that capture the beauty and infectious rhythm of this one, and on occasion he does sound like a poor man's Vampire Weekend, but this song is real gift and one that will forever remind me of an unforgettable weekend.

I particularly like the sentiments of the second verse: 

I wrote you a song, Mississippi Isabel, 
I even sent you flowers when you felt ill,
You've the strength of the Greeks,
You are god's masterpiece,
You are every triumph, every victory,
I believe in every breath you breathe.

Lyrically, King Charles isn't as accomplished lyrically as, say, Vampire Weekend or Devendra Banhart, whom he also calls to mind, but his craft is being honed in the right direction.  If he can produce anything that comes close to the achievement of this song (he was the first Brit to win the prestigious International Songwriting Competition with Love Lust), then King Charles has a glittering career ahead of him.


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