Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Great Escape 2011 - Preview (Saturday)

On the third day of The Great Escape as an observer you are far less likely to see rough looking and exhausted punters compared with the typical outdoor / camping festival. As a punter unless you’ve had the misfortune to sleep on Brighton beach (a romantic idea in theory – a nightmare in practice) you’ll have experienced a decent amount of sleep - maybe even a lay in - followed by a bath /shower or proper wash and breakfast in comfort. This all sets you up neatly for the final day, so there really is no excuse for not catching some bands early and three of our recommendations for Saturday will enable you to do just that, probably before you’ve even had lunch.

These are our final five acts that we’re recommending for Great Escape 2011. We won’t be at all of these shows, but certainly hope to be at some of them. Check back at Breaking More Waves early the week after the festival to see our Great Escape 2011 review – it won’t be just about the music, but a punters snapshot of everything else that makes the event great or not.

Fear Of Men – Shipwrights Yard 12.15 and Green Door Store 19.10

It wouldn’t be right to suggest fifteen bands playing the Great Escape and not name at least one home town act. Our choice is Brighton’s latest fuzzy, jangly indie sensations Fear Of Men. Fear Of Men are very new, very lo-fi and have just a handful of tracks on line one of which Phantom Limb streams below and can be downloaded from Bandcamp (here). Despite their cassette tape aesthetic Fear Of Men have a pop sensibility which reminds us a little of listening to an early demo by The Primitives or The Shop Assistants. If the weathers good then the open space of Shipwrights Yard may be a good place to start your day – but if not there’s always the Green Door Store later.

Fear of Men - Phantom Limb

Lanterns On The Lake – Queens Hotel 15.15 and Komedia (Upstairs) 20.15

If you fancy an afternoon of varied but singularly great music, you could do no better than getting yourself along to the Queens Hotel for a ‘North East Invasion’ run by Generator. The afternoon features four bands all of whom have featured on Breaking More Waves – Polarsets, Let’s Buy Happiness , Mammal Club and the blissful Lanterns On The Lake who we introduced way back in January 2010, describing them as having a ‘flat-out loveliness’ and a sound of ‘subtle fragility.’ Since then the band have inked a deal with Bella Union records and we have a feeling that when an LP arrives it will be endearingly wonderful

Lungs Quicken by Lanterns on the Lake

Daughter – The Fishbowl 14.30 and Life 20.45 (Also at Latest Music Bar 21.00 Friday 13th)

Another act who will be performing twice on Saturday is Daughter aka Elena Tonra. Elena has already picked up significant coverage from many of our favourite UK music blog peers including The Blue Walrus, Faded Glamour, Flying With Anna and Music Fan’s Mic. “‘I want you so much, but I hate your guts,” sings Elena beautifully over haunting guitar work on her song Landfill which streams below. It’s moving and stirring stuff and we suspect a Daughter live show could be exactly the same.

Daughter - Landfill (free download)

The Vaccines – Corn Exchange 23.30

Hardly the most adventurous choice of recommendation, we’ll agree, but here’s why The Vaccines could be worth a go on Saturday night. Because after the wave of hype that The Vaccines rode in on when they first appeared, they did the right thing and got down to letting the music doing the talking. They played gigs and released an album, a record that will never appeal to indie snobs but, on appraisal, is packed full of decent songs. No, of course these songs are hardly ground breaking, but then how many acts in this day and age can be considered truly original? Nearly everything references something else to a greater or lesser extent. And now The Vaccines find themselves headlining a big venue - the 1200 capacity Corn Exchange. Can they pull it off? Have they got the charisma and personality to work these bigger venues? The Great Escape will be a test for The Vaccines, to see if they can take it to the next level. For this reason we think they may be worth a shot.

The Vaccines - Blow It Up

D/R/U/G/S – Audio 20.45 and Concorde 2 23.40

Our final choice also plays a late night show that goes head to head with The Vaccines, but musically it’s a polar opposite. D/R/U/G/S first came to many people’s attention, including ours, at last years In The City in Manchester. Since then we’ve featured them a number of times including (again, like The Vaccines) naming them as one of our Ones to Watch for 2011. We say ‘them’ as they used to be a duo but we understand that D/R/U/G/S is now just a solo outfit, or certainly recent live shows have just consisted of one member. Taking house, ambient dance and minimalism as reference points D/R/U/G/S create hypnotic electronica that grows to produce layers of character that’s brutishly intelligent.

D/R/U/G/S - Velodrome II

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