It's school festival time at last in K-ON! - A staple part of any school-based anime series diet, but a naturally important one for this particular show's subject matter, as it means a first live performance for the light music club.
The trouble is, there's little time for the girls to practice together as they're all (Mio aside) involved in other festival activities, but eventually they manage to get together and spend a little time practicing, while Sawako has "helpfully" spent some time designing costumes for the girls - Why this changed from a swimsuit and nurses uniform for Yui and Tsumugi respectively to something vaguely more "normal" during the course of the episode isn't explained, but I suppose I'll let that continuity issue slide in the name of humour.
Inevitably, it's Mio who is the focus of much of this episode as she struggles to overcome the shackles of her shyness and the knowledge that she's going to have to get up on stage and sing in front of everybody - Even when she exudes a calm exterior, her hands tell a different story while holding a cup of tea in one of the more amusing moments on show this time around.
Eventually of course we reach the performance itself, and thankfully KyoAni decided against suddenly turning the group into perfect musicians for the sake of it, leaving us with a respectable but hardly high quality performance, complete with the husky voice Yui carries around all episode after too much voice training last time around (a great voice acting performance in itself by the way, and a definite highlight of this episode for me). We're also treated to a Thelma and Louise-esque music video during said performance, which was fun in itself although I can't help but think I would have preferred to see them actually performing rather than cutting away from it like that. Oh well, you can't have it all.
So, we can chalk this one up as another fun little episode of K-ON! I suppose - Not incredibly funny in itself but entertaining to watch, a nice example of tightening the bonds of friendship between the four girls, and oozing the kind of lovability we've already come to expect from this series. It probably goes to show how masterful KyoAni are at pulling in the punters when I've found myself genuinely looking forward with something approaching excitement to seeing the girl's school festival performance ever since last week's episode.