Sunday, 11 May 2014
The Great Escape Festival 2014 - Review (Part 3)
It was the third day of Brighton’s Great Escape Festival and once more Breaking More Waves took to its streets amongst shoppers, tourists, clubbers and the occasional hen and stag party for a non-stop day of live music, clocking in a whopping 42 acts full performances over the course of the whole festival.
Here’s ten more things we learnt: (You can find the other things we learnt here and here)
1. Bridie Jackson of Bridie Jackson & The Arbour likes to keep it old school.
Keeping it real, the golden toned Bridie Jackson had a Filofax on stage for her lunchtime performance at the Komedia. We assume that this had the set list written on it, but maybe when she wasn’t providing note perfect renditions of songs such as We Talked Again and Prolong she was actually looking at a shopping list for all the clothes she was going to buy down The Lanes boutique shops later?
2. The Great Escape involves spending a lot of time in basement venues.
And due to lack of wi-fi this meant that often if we wanted to live tweet from the gig we had to resort to old fashioned text tweeting, if there was a signal at all. Brighton’s Audio won however, as it has public access wi-fi.
3. Our new favourite discovery of the festival was Meanwhile.
From starting his set eagerly jumping up and down in the audience as his three-piece band began to play, to his finishing stride out through the crowd, the man known only as Meanwhile became our new favourite discovery. Here was a man who fizzled with charismatic / camp booty and hip shaking energy and a blast of Prince like electro-funk grooves, plus songs that were both intriguing and infectious. Despite suffering from the dreaded ‘technical hitches’ he knew how to impress. His debut track Luvletta streams below.
4. Sometimes just when you don’t expect that much from a band, you get a lot more.
Having already seen Fickle Friends three times this year we suspected that gig complacency might set in for ourselves, after all there’s only so many times you can see a band play the same songs isn’t there? Plus the gig was in The Mesmerist, a pub with no stage. It didn’t bode well. However we were proven completely wrong, the bands summery effervescent blend of indie pop sparkling bright, bringing natural highs, big smiles and dancing. Lead vocalist Natassja admitted that she was enjoying the show more than the previous night’s one at the Green Door Store, even although the band had been up partying most of the night.
5. Half hour sets are the perfect length.
Nearly every gig at Great Escape was half an hour long. This was the perfect length. Not too long that new bands would struggle with material, but also perfect for more established bands who could ditch the filler and just play the killer. It’s also the ideal length for attention spans, allowing the audience to get enough, but probably leaving them wanting that tiny bit more.
6. Gig venues at festivals like this need to have food stalls.
How else are we going to be able to zip from venue to venue without pit stopping elsewhere for refuelling and potentially missing the opportunity to see more live music? So we’re not asking much are we? Just a food stall and wi-fi in every venue please. Thanks.
7. Salt Ashes is more than quite good.
With pulsing dark disco electronics and throbbing beats Brighton’s own Salt Ashes knows how to make sexy pop music. This we already knew. But Great Escape gave her the opportunity to show that she could also do it live. She delivered. Unlike many other pop acts there was no guide or backing vocal, for Salt Ashes voice is so note perfect that she didn’t need it. Add to that a composed and commanding stage presence and this lady showed that she means business.
8. Indie rock is the lifeblood of Great Escape Festival.
Whilst there was pop, dance, folk and a small amount of hip-hop, indie rock was the dominant genre of Great Escape. One of our favourite bands within this genre was Blessa. With chiming, anxious, noisy and claustrophobic guitar work juxtaposed with dreamy female vocals the Sheffield band brought an old fashioned indie sound bang up to date in the Komedia Studio.
9. We thought the only band to ever wear shorts and get away with it was Carter USM.
But Olly Alexander, lead singer of Years and Years proved us wrong in the Corn Exchange with shorts, a baseball shirt and cap. We saw several girls swooning. Black clad skinny jeaned indie boys take note. Can you imagine The Horrors in shorts? That might be a giggle.
10. The Great Escape is a must visit for any fan of new music. It also represents excellent value.
An early bird ticket was just £39.50 plus a small booking fee. We saw 42 acts, the majority of them being above average quality. You do the maths.
See you there next year?
Bands Seen On Saturday: Bridie Jackson & The Arbour, Codes, Meanwhile, Jake Isaac, Fickle Friends, Robyn Sherwell, Years And Years, French For Rabbits, Young Summer, Blessa, George Barnett, Salt Ashes, Hannah Georgas
And finally, here are the important statistics:
Number Of Artists Full Performances Seen In Total: 42
Number Of Hours Sleep: 14.5 ( An average of 4.8 hours / day)
Fatigue Factor: Surprisingly awake
Hugs From Artists: 5
Number Of Music Bloggers Randomly Bumped Into: 8
Meanwhile - Luvetta