Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Great Escape Festival 2014 - Review (Part 2)

The second day of the fun, frolics and musical mayhem by the sea that is known as Brighton's Great Escape continued in much the same way as the first, with Breaking More Waves joining the music hungry masses to see what tasty delights were available to feed the ears and how many bands it was possible for us to see in three days.

Here are 10 more things we learnt at Great Escape 2014. (Yesterday’s list can be found here).

1. The spirit of rock ‘n’ roll isn’t dead (1)

Scottish two piece Honeyblood brought a glorious lo-fi ness to the Dome Studio. The concept is simple: two girls making a racket with Stina Tweedale’s vocal providing some neat pop melodies underneath her garage band guitars (that’s garage band in the old fashioned sense not the computer software), whilst Shona McVicar bashed away wholeheartedly at the drums. Their just get up there and do it d-i-y approach seemed to be providing dividends as well; this time last year we saw the band at the same venue and the 2014 audience was much fuller, so much so that it was a 1 in 1 out situation, impressive for a mid-afternoon gig.

2. The spirit of rock ‘n’ roll isn’t dead (2)

Even more rock ‘n’ roll than Honeyblood was Misty Miller. Last time we saw Misty live she was a dainty teenager with butter wouldn’t melt looks singing cute ditties about love with a ukulele. Now her image is more goth than sunshine princess and her music is 50’s and 60’s inspired grubbily raw rock ‘n’ roll. Managing to exceed the licenced permissible decibel levels in the outdoor Festival Hub stage Misty was told to stop playing after 15 minutes of her set. Cue a two-fingers to authority moment as Misty told her band to play on and amped up the volume whilst an official climbed on stage and tried to wrestle her microphone away to boos from the audience and yells of ‘fuck you,’ from Misty. 

3. Friday was busier than Thursday

Whereas Thursday got off to a relatively quiet start it appeared that by mid Friday afternoon the world and his wife was at Great Escape with the festival's text notification and twitter services already starting to report a number of venues being at capacity. However we found no problem getting into every venue we wanted to and at one stage despite receiving a notification that one venue was at capacity, arriving three quarters of an hour later in between acts there was plenty of space to get in, so as useful as the text service was it was very of the moment and during the day audience movements were fluid.

4. Breaking More Waves might not always be the first to post the latest buzz band, but we can be the first to post a review of yesterday’s proceedings.

We beat the professionals. Better reviews not bashed out in half an hour before breakfast after 5 hours sleep will surely follow from the pros but our first one was up at 8.30 yesterday morning. We impressed ourselves. Today we're a bit slower at 9.30, but hell we didn't go to bed till nearly 3am. 

5. The worst toilets at The Great Escape are in The Blind Tiger.

Like something out of that scene from Trainspotting.

6.The quiet ones are the ones to watch out for (1).

In the basement of 10 Below, the Lake District’s Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher better known as Aquilo provided one of the sublime moments of the day. Their soothing  tunes were stripped back for a live set that silenced a room that went from being virtually empty 10 minutes before they were due to play to chock-full with a noticeable amount of music industry delegate pass holders. It suggested that whilst Aquilo may not be known to the general public particularly yet, they’re doing all the right things to make that happen in the future. With both of the duo providing soulful choirboy vocals, lush keyboard based ambience and gentle touches of guitar they silenced the crowd with something perfectly crafted and a little bit special. Hear them below.

7. The quiet ones are the ones to watch out for (2).

The toilets might stink of piss but Sophie Jamieson’s songs in the Blind Tiger had a fragile robustness that was musically fragrant. Her shy I-shouldn’t-really-be-here stage presence was transformed the moment she starts playing her mix of Daughter like folk rock, her face full of expression and intensity. The languid atmospherics of her bands guitar work added layer upon layer of goosebumps. What other words are there to describe her music other than gorgeous? None.

8. The quiet ones are the ones to watch out for (3).

Thankfully the toilets in Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar didn’t smell as bad, but Wilsen come from the same school of musical melancholy as Sophie Jamieson. Their dream-folk music swelled with sleepy waves of emotion and beauty, with tunes that were not immediately obvious on first listen, but became an immersive experience as they continued. Once again, gorgeous.

9. If you’re a band and you want to get a big round of applause just tell everyone it’s your guitarist’s first gig.

Indie rockers Shy Nature did that. It wasn’t. But they got the applause.

10. Sometimes you need a sit down.

14 hours of music and nearly all of it in standing venues. We actually praised the lord when we entered the Unitarian Church to watch Lyla Foy and Sea Change and saw chairs. Sometimes a sit down is required. The legs aren’t what they used to be.

If our legs hold out we’ll be doing it all again for a third day and reporting back here soon.

Bands Seen On Friday: Secret Company, Wilsen, Ted Zed, Beautiful Boy, Honeyblood, Misty Miller, Secret Son, Aquilo, Sea Change, Lyla Foy, Sophie Jamieson, Y.O.U, Death At Sea, Shy Nature, Bat And Ball

Here are the important statistics

Number Of Artists Full Performances Seen In Total: 29

Number Of Hours Sleep : 10 ( 5 hours / day)

Fatigue Factor : Moderate to sleepy

Hugs From Artists : 3

Number Of Music Bloggers Randomly Bumped Into : 6

Aquilo - Part Of Your Life


Joe said...

I came here for the stats, and was not disappointed :)

Al B said...

Sounds great. Just a pity I can't make it down to Brighton