The Great Escape Festival Brighton 2010.

ThomasHewetson festivals 1 Comment

great.jpgSorry I haven’t posted in the last couple of days. I got caught up in the hedonism and debauchery of the Great Escape festival in my current city of residence, Brighton. If you missed it this year, although on paper the line up didn’t look as strong as last year it was a hell of a three days. The city becomes a different beast to usual as 1000’s of music fans complete with the most popular accessory of this years festival, a can of Red Stripe, came down to enjoy the sun, sea and new music.
With one wristband and dozens of venues there were 100’s of bands and only a few you could make it to see, but some were just incredible and don’t worry, Ill tie this all in with clothes! Luckily, the first set I went to see was Darwin Deez, and if you haven’t checked out the D.I.Y. Garagebandesque sound yet I urge you do. It’s the catchiest music I’ve heard in a while and sounds a lot like a lo-fi Albert Hammond Jr. Sporting his trademark ‘tache, headband, oversized t-shirt, boat shoes and faded skinnies, he was a picture of the Brooklyn scene at the moment and didn’t disappoint playing the debut album which was out May 10th and getting the crowd involved by urging a stage invasion and the choreographed dancing which the band are prone to breaking out into during their set.
Later on amid a few smaller bands, The Cribs played and this is where things started to get a bit weird. Before, you could tell whether someone was part of a certain social group if they wore skinny jeans but now, it seems to have become a uniform for lads too as the atmosphere felt overtly masculine and chants and WHEYY’S ensued over a sea of spilt drinks and testosterone. Not my scene really so retreating to the pavilion gardens and getting drunk in the style of 16 year olds brought up some nostalgia and definitely saved the night.

Waking up to a dry mouth and throbbing headache, even though in the comfort of my own bed was in true festival spirit and I managed to drag myself up in time to see Bright Light Bright Light perform tracks from the upcoming album which was brilliant and the sunny synth pop complete with Rod Thomas’ powerful vocals made for a great set and a good opener to the day.

Kelis – Acapella (Bright Light Bright Light Remix) available as a free download here.

The festival unfortunately has a huge gap from 5 until 7.30 so the beach became a hotspot and their were Quadraphenia style scenes when a fight broke out and 200 (I’m not even exaggerating) ran from all corners to witness what I heard down the grapevine (I wasn’t one who ran over so I watched from a distance) was two sixteen years scuffling and was sure to be the talk of the town in the playground on Monday.
Expecting to get in and see Darwin Deez a second time, unfortunately the queue was ridiculously long so I only got in to see the last minute of the last song, yet was not too upset, because half an hour later I witnessed the best set of the entire festival. Chew Lips are incredible. The record ‘Unicorn’ is incredible, but it’s nothing compared to seeing them live. Making my way to the railings I couldn’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else as they entered the stage. Tigs, the frontwoman has an unbelievable voice, complete with unbelievable stage presence and I, along with I think every other person, man or woman definitely fell in love. Well that was the consensus between me and my friends. Still reeling from the brilliant songs such as ‘Slick’ and ‘Play Together’, I felt my night was complete and aside from the a Moshi Moshi afterparty at New Hero, home to the infamous 80’s night on Saturday, nothing came close.
Saturday lacked the spark of Friday which was strange because the queues were way longer than on Friday and there were 100’s of people queuing for Chase and Status which was the act I least wanted to see, so I walked past the queue smugly and encountered someone working for Topman who wanted a picture for the Topman festival report. I can’t work out if I should take that as a complement or not, but who knows, might make a good profile picture when its up. In short Saturday didnt live up to the previous days, with exception to The Joy Formidable who are a Welsh band who have gathered quite a following recently and they brought the house down with a stunning 7 minute long version of whirring to top off what was a great festival with stunning venues and stunning bands.

In terms of a style report, it was relatively uninspiring because Brighton is ALWAYS dressed to a tee and there were way more winkle-pickers and checks from 2007 around than usual, but in short, for any festivals pick up some Tom’s and roll up some carrot chino’s. Everyone who had that look looked effortless and I’m not saying that because I was wearing that, I still need to pop to Office and buy some.