2000 Trees has long been my favourite festival, and generally a highlight of the year. Every year the organisers put together a compilation of bands playing at the festival called Cider Smiles, which I pick up each year. Seeing as the festival line-up is usually pretty great, there's often a band or two I haven't listened to on the compilation who are worth checking out - indeed, my first real exposure to Tubelord came from the presence of Propeller on the first volume of Cider Smiles. I think for that alone, I owe it to them to buy a copy every year.
Anyway, last year was a little different. For one, 2000 Trees was no longer the only festival to care about - the team behind it decided to also put on a math-rock festival called ArcTanGent (because maths) which I obviously had to go to as well. This also meant that they released Cider Smiles as a compilation of bands playing at either festival, which was a nice touch. More importantly for this blog, it was released on vinyl for the first time!
Mmm, that's a nice cover. I'm a big fan of the use of symmetry here, and the triangles because I love a nice triangle me.
Sound the clear vinyl klaxon. Lovely as ever, and a free CD of the compilation is pretty helpful. Of course I appreciate the consistency of the artwork between the record sleeve, labels and CD - that pretty much goes without saying by now. This release was limited to 250, and if you view the image in large you will see that I have number 78. Not that it matters, but this is a mathematically boring number. Boo-urns.
We've got five tracks from each festival here, a slightly shorter total running length than the previous Cider Smiles compilations but I can forgive them for that. On the Trees side my favourite is undoubtedly Drinking In LA by The Xcerts, not just because they're the token Scottish band but because they're pretty great. On the ATG side, it's difficult to see beyond the majestic T=0 by Tall Ships (which I inexplicably omitted in my post about the album it comes from), though Talons are pretty great as well. It's a decent compilation, all told, and a nice addition to the series.
As of today, I have booked my tickets for my fifth 2000 Trees and second ArcTanGent and I'm already excited. Consistently great line-ups and an atmosphere far superior to more "mainstream" festivals make them my automatic choices for festival season. You should come. I'll sing to you, I promise. If the seventh Cider Smiles is on vinyl, you'll no doubt see it here (a significant number of months after I buy it, no doubt).