Thursday, 21 August 2008

Review - Various - 2000 Trees Festival Presents Cider Smiles Vol. 1

Various - 2000 Trees Festival Presents Cider Smiles Vol. 1

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7 out of 10

The 2000 Trees Festival, held near Cheltenham for the second time this July, is one of the few genuinely 'small' festivals. There are only 2,000 tickets (See what they did there?), at £39 a pop, and it's very, very environmentally friendly (Lots of recycling, organic food, biodegradable cups and plates, renewable energy sources). It's the like the spirit of old Glastonbury and Latitude distilled and made tangible.

Most the of the best known artists from this year's line-up don't feature here (Art Brut, Eighties Matchbox, Johnny Foreigner, Chris T-T, Ghost Of A Thousand), and the better known names on 'Cider Smiles' are dealt with in one fell swoop: a familiar highlight from Frank Turner's last album; an old song from Tubelord that shows their early promise but is no 'Feed Me A Box Of Words'; the metallic, popping, post-new rave of These New Puritans; and Future Of The Left's crusty, angry as ever punk rock. It's as dark as you'd expect a song called 'Small Bones, Small Bodies' to be. There might be something buried under their patio.

The large bulk of this collection is made up of new folk artists, most of them highly promising. James Yuill is a highly rated folktronica singer and remixer, but the dreamy 'Breathing In' doesn't set your imagine alight. Unlike Dom Coyote, whose mixture of pretty, acoustic intricacies, a drum machine and rapping sounds like it was made by gangsta fairies. No other song here will make you want to hug people as much as 'One For The Passenger'.

One a more traditional tip, Kat Flint's dramatic Scottish brogue is one of the most powerful voices on this collection, rivalled only by Little Lost David. Half of 'Devil Don't Mind' is performed a cappella, while the other half builds to it's thrilling gothic climax; it's a stunning performance. A rare non-folk entry is Imperial Leisure's hyperactive, hugely enjoyable skacore. It makes you wish you'd been there.


1. Frank Turner - Photosynthesis
2. Future Of The Left - Small Bones, Small Bodies
3. Tubelord - Propeller
4. These New Puritans - Colour
5. The Anomalies - Bamboo Beats
6. Dom Coyote - One For The Passenger
7. James Yuill - Breathing In
8. Kat Flint - Ohio
9. Jim Lockey - Coloured Cats
10. Little Lost David - Devil Don't Mind
11. Captain Black - The Singer Is Dead
12. Imperial Leisure - The Beast
13. Souljacker - Naked
14. Danny & The Champions Of The World - These Days
15. Josh Bray - Take Me To The River

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