Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Great Escape 2011

I'm a professional blogger. When I set out to do coverage of something, I do it with such a level of professional dedication it's unreal. The same applied for The Great Escape 2011 in Brighton last weekend. I even hired a personal assistant and took her with me to Brighton to do all the photographing whilst I could focus on saying all the important and relevant stuff about the bands and all their this-and-thatness.

We'd have been fine if we were still living in the stone age. A camera with film that needs developing (in this day and age!) and a mobile phone without the internet or angry birds.
My photographer is still developing the film and will then scan the photos onto a computer and then have them with you sometime next year.

In the mean time you can look at this.

May or may not be Miami Horror (hard to tell)

All in all The Great Escape yet again fulfilled its promise of being "Europe's leading festival for new music" with so much going on every night with official Great Escape gigs, alternative escape gigs, various street gigs and loads of late night dancing.

Highlights included Denmark's Oh Land's friday night gig at Digital.
All dubstep wobble, pounding beats, ridiculously catchy tunes and possibly the most visually stunning show (woman) I've ever seen.
They were filming her gig but I haven't found it anywhere yet so here's an older live video. I think we were treated to a more intense performance

French band We Were Evergreen stepped in to replace Niki and the Dove and charmed the entire audience with their cute and quirky songs.

Their genuine upbeat goofyness translates so well from live set to video

I was so looking forward to Cults that I thought I'd end up super disappointed, but nay! Their set at Horatio's on the Palace Pier was every bit as entertaining as it could have been. You Know What I Mean live was just a different class of awesomeness.

Seams, Becoming Real, D/R/U/G/S, Miami Horror and Fantastic Mr. Fox took care of our need to dance. SBTRKT would've done nicely too, had we seen more than the last 3 minutes of his set. (Biggest regret?)

Ghostpoet and Braids took care of two of my favourite albums of the year so far.

Josh T. Pearson was simply amazing and Villagers sang his young little heart out.

Lewis Floyd Henry was a one man blues band but definitely not a novelty act. Definitely NOT a novelty act. Gritty, dirty and downright insane songs.

Honorable mentions go out to PVT (whose album Church With No Magic is amazing) who championed technical difficulties and started the festival off with a bang.
Brother and Bones should appeal to most Pearl Jam fans and played an entertaining and energetic set somewhere in a basement.
Here Comes The Storm by Brother and Bones

The Minutes from Ireland played a raucous gig in a tattoo shop where they were giving away free booze. Sounds perfect eh?
Black Keys by The Minutes

It wasn't all just giggles and booze though. Throughout the weekend there were some forgettable moments.

Hotly tipped Fixers managed to create an unlistenable wall of sound. Which was a shame because they do have some ace tunes.

Hype duo Big Deal who're signed to Moshi Moshi made me ask: "What is the Big Deal?!"
If I were giving away prizes for the most uninspiring and static performance of the weekend, they'd have won it hands down.

Erika M. Anderson's band EMA's live performance did in no way reflect the same intensity and dark groove as on her recordings. She seemed less like a Karen O-esque sex kitten and more like a tired puppy.

So that's it for this years Great Escape. It's becoming a tradition to do it every year so if anyone from Finland (or anywhere really) wants to join me on a big old adventure next year, then message me and let's do it!


  1. I really regret I didn't sneak in in that massive queue outside Coalition now when I hear Oh Land...

  2. You should regret it dammit! It would've been really easy for you. Through everyone's legs and away we go... She was pretty amazing though. Kelly described her as "Lykke Li but, you know, loads better.


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