A brief glimpse into this years Great Escape Festival. Was only there for one day (Thursday) but able to catch a good number of bands and soak up the vibe in the Brighton sunshine.
C.O.F.F.I.N. - from Sydney, kicking off the afternoon’s Australia Sounds showcase at Komedia. You kinda know what you’re in for when the drummer takes the stage sporting a Motörhead T-shirt. And they lived up to that expectation with 25 mins of in-yer-face heavy guitar rock with drummer on lead vocal.
Pacific Avenue - in contrast, this was mainstream indie pop, with lead singer cutting a Marc Bolan figure; showcasing their recently released debut album ‘Flowers’. Shades of Kings Of Leon in the vocal style.
Mia Wray - providing further variety across our early afternoon. Stunning voice and superb delivery of her pop-drenched songs I was expecting she’d be solo but had a full band, though the numbers I enjoyed most were those she did with just keyboard accompaniment, notably Monster Brain
From Komedia, moved to the Beach area, comprising 3 stages, two in tents and one on the pebbly beach. The running order put sets on at the same time on each stage so ended up dipping in and out a bit. First of all:
Freak Slug - young indie in the sunshine; and Future Utopia - mature, dreamy indie (with a soulful feel) in a tent. Mountain Girl, off their 2020 album ’12 Questions’ was my favourite song, ending with a Greatest Gig In The Sky moment
Deadletter - surprised not to be in a sweaty tent, and more surprised with sparsity of the crowd given recent release ‘Snitching Hour’ is on 6Music’s A-list. But all that didn’t stop lead singer Zac Lawrence getting into the crowd with some very nimble jumps over the barrier. Suspect their later night sets would have been even more raucous
Arxx - Two-piece guitar & drum, sometimes jerky, sometimes soulful but always energetic. Maybe better suited in sunshine ? Most striking was their humour…… as they went into one of their more pop-sounding numbers: “this is what I call our Dua Lipa moment …. she’s not coming on but it’s a bit dancey……. I’m so scared let’s carry on … “
Coach Party – with two guys and two girls in the band, it’s most definitely guitarists Jess Eastwood and Steph Norris leading the charge through this set of 8 angry rockin tunes. Outings for latest releases ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’ and ’Micro Aggression’, and closed their set with the excellent ‘FLAG’ (Feel Like A Girl)
Fauna summer guitars in the Brighton sunshine - think Allah-Las or Real estate
Boslen – excellent heart-warming rap with DJ
Moreish Idols - from the Dan Carey stable and my most hotly anticipated band of the day, presenting first class indie prog - much of the vocal in Black Midi mode but instrumentally reminded me more of Squid, probably due to abundant offerings of sax and flute
Brimheim - from Denmark via Faroe Islands, this is Helena Heinesen Rebensdorf’s second visit to Great Escape and I’m glad to say I’ve caught her on both occasions. Superb singer with banging band. Less publicly prominent than some other bands I saw today, but one I would definitely recommend checking out.