KING CHARLES, Hyde Park – Evening Standard, 3 Aug 2012

Continuing the theme set by the opening ceremony, Hyde Park is offering an appealing (and free) mix of big screen sport and decent music throughout the Olympics. While the biggest screen often splits in two to reveal anything from Russian folk dancers to Sir Tom Jones, there are more acts worth spotting tucked away on the tiny stage at the opposite end of the field.

Attempting to wrest eyes away from cycling and canoeing in a mid-afternoon slot yesterday, Londoner Charles Costa provided tunes to suit the victorious mood in his guise as King Charles. Looking like Russell Brand’s more dissolute ancestor with his chest-exposing shirt, hair piled high and neat little moustache, he still enthused about our Olympians and performed with energy to match the superbeings on display around him.

A debut album released in May has yet to produce any hits — surprising, given the catchiness of Bam Bam and Mississippi Isabel — but his songs’ jaunty hummability made him a good fit for a set that required him to hold the attention of people who don’t know who he is and are really here for the gymnastics. This was worthwhile exposure for someone who deserves to be exposed.

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