Mini Countryman Open Air @ Mudchute Farm 8th June 2010

This festival was a event that money couldn’t buy. It was to celebrate the new Mini Countryman car. Once I had found out one artist whom was going to be playing I would of given an arm and a leg just to gain entry. This event was guest list only plus a few competition winners. The artist who I wanted to see was someone I idolised since she burst onto the music scene in 2001. I became aware of her music when I saw Buffy Season 6 Episode Tabula Rasa. This artist was Michelle Branch. Even though she had visited the UK before London wasn’t a place she came to. During the set Michelle mentioned that this was her first time playing in London and she was going to do an album showcase for The Spirit Room in London but came down with food poisoning. Even though I did not win the competitions I still hoped Michelle could of sneaked a couple of fans in. Time was getting on and I virtually had given up all hope that I would be attending. Where it was taking place was a closely guarded secret so I couldn’t even turn up and hope that I would get in. So I was on my laptop just browsing websites then a tweet from Michelle came up. It said “First 5 tweeters to tweet their full name get 2 free passes”. So I tweeted back instantaneously then put my camera battery on charge just in case. 15 minutes later Michelle tweeted back saying “You’re In”. I was so happy at that point I was going no matter. At this time my dinner was almost ready and I still needed to get ready. Michelle was on at 9.30pm and it was taking place on Mudchute Park (Isle Of Dogs). At this time I was on the computer planning how I was going to get there and get the train times. So at 19.40 I got a lift to the station and it was touch and go that I would make the 19.56 train. Thankfully I did make it and finally got to the park just a few minutes after 21.30. I then got my wristband after my name was crossed off the back of the guest list. When I was inside it looked really plush. The stage area was covered and it looked like a marquee. Thankfully Michelle hadn’t been on. The artist who was onstage was James Yuill. At this time I was clock watching because I only wanted to see Michelle and it was already gone past 9.30. Also the journey there was horrendous. After when James had finished it was back to George Lamb who was hosting the night. There was then some talk about the new Countryman Cooper S.

A couple of minutes later Michelle made a sensational entrance by being driven up on stage in the brand new Mini Cooper. Once Michelle was out there was a little chat with George Lamb who said have you got one of these cars on order. When the Mini was driven offstage it was onto the performance by Michelle. Having seen the set list I was pleasantly surprised as I expected the one song but from looking at the set list it was in fact 5 songs. The set featured much loved songs and was greatest hits packed (well Michelle has only released 5 singles over here). I had been wanting to hear Michelle live for so long and this night was a special acoustic set. It kicked off with Everywhere which was the debut single back in 2001. Even though it is now 9 years old it still sounded amazing. The chorus is perfect and it also turned into a sing along. Following on was All You Wanted which is beautiful and you can picture a story to it. It is a bit annoying when you have people talking through a set of an artist you have been waiting to see for so long. After the two tracks from The Spirit Room it was then onto sophomore album Hotel Paper. The guitar was stripped away and then there was some banter “Technically this is my first show in London ever”. Even I was singing along to the next song Breathe. The lyrics are amazing and the chorus is ever so catchy. So after the applause it was then onto the penultimate song The Game Of Love.

Michelle had the guitar back and this song is very up beat with infectious lyrics. Once over there was applause and minutes later DJ Freestyle then made his entrance in the back of a Mini. Moments later Timbaland made his appearance onto the stage. When he was making his way down to the stage his baby Daughter was in his arms. Timbaland put his microphone up to his daughter Raine and she said Hi then Bye Bye to the crowd. “Keep a eye on her cos she might make it into my bag as she is so cute” Michelle said. The final song of the set was a world premiere. It was especially written for Mini Countryman and it was a joint effort by Michelle and Timbaland. The song is called Getaway and it is very up tempo. By this time plenty of people came to this stage. It has some catchy lyrics that will just be embedded onto you brain “I want to getaway, got to get away”. Plenty of people loved this song as everyone was dancing. After the song had finished Branch left the stage. Timbaland started straight after. Before starting the seven song set he joked “I am in my favourite place, London. Let’s get the sheep and the cows popping”. The song that kicked off the set was #1 single The Way I Are. At this time I was making my way through the packed audience. I wanted to meet the artist who I have been supporting for 9 years but never have actually seen live. So I went up the grass verge and saw some other Branchies wanting to meet her. We then hung round this tent and Michelle came out. It seemed so surreal but fulfilling at the same time. I have loved Michelle’s music for a long time and just to have the privilege of meeting her brings a smile to my face. She met my expectations, she was so nice and spent quite a while with us talking then having photos taken. Michelle then went off because she needed to film something for camera. Off I went to make my way home after having the perfect Getaway.

OVERALL: The acoustic set by Michelle was well and truly special. I am so thankful that I was put on the guest list. It was very last minute and it has to be the craziest gig I have been to. Crazy in the sense that I left an hour after knowing I had a pass. The 5 song set was perfect Getaway is a brilliant song and the 4 album tracks which were sung were superb. I would of liked Goodbye To You to have been on the set list but I have no complaints whatsoever. I enjoyed myself greatly. I hardly saw the set by Timbaland as I wanted to meet my idol.

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