The Great Escape – Day Two
With Day One safely navigated, somethingyousaid.com’s Harriet Cheney made her way back for a second helping:
My second day of at The Great Escape began at 1pm so I could pack in as much music as possible and have time to check out some of the fun vintage shops in the city. Brighton is a really cool place with little alleyways full of quirky shops and organic cafes, which lead down to the pavilion (designed in magnificent Indian architecture) and the more touristy beach front. The buzz in the city over these days was vibrantly humming, not only because of the hoards of music lovers there for TGE, but also because Brighton Festival was on at the same time. Everywhere you turned, there was someone performing, market stalls and parts of Brighton Fringe spilling out of the theatres onto the street.
My first music stop of the day was at a community hall style venue called the Brighthelm Centre to see a Scottish punk-rock band called Vukovi (pictured, top). The vocalist had a versatile voice that would sit equally well over electronic pop. Dressed in a houndstooth check, floor-length shirtdress, she really worked the audience and brought incredible energy to the set, something that bands often struggle with when they’re performing in the middle of the day.
Next stop was Jamie Lawson in the Spiegelpub – a tent erected in the Brighton Festival village space. The UK singer-songwriter has had number one hits in Ireland and his sound is very much like Ronan Keating, so you can see why. Nothing new or cutting edge here, but a perfectly pleasant soundtrack to the afternoon.
Onto the Paganini Ballroom – a grand space in one of the waterfront hotels – to see the very eclectic Canadian group Groenland. With Ukelele, violin, cello, synth, guitar, drum and almost everyone in the band on vocals this could have been non-descript noise and terribly confusing, but it wasn’t. Their big sound and 60s’ feel was propped up by beautiful harmonies and a powerfully soulful lead female voice.
Yosi Horihawa. What a mad set. Long lines to see this guy in the Unitarian Church and it became obvious pretty soon why. His nature samples – thunder, birds, insects – with well-crafted bass drum, chime and glockenspiels sounds created a hypnotic, organic sound. What’s not to love about a rainforest rave?
Back to the Festival Village, this time to the Spiegeltent to experience its beautiful acoustics and top-notch sound put to good use by Estonian folk-rock four-piece, Ewert and The Two Dragons. The four guys in the band were super cute, busting out well-written songs with killer electric guitar riffs and facilitating a good-humoured audience sing-a-long.
I really wanted to see Aurora but it seems that everyone else was also crazy about this 18 year-old Norwegian babe, so I had to listen to the set while waiting in a line outside the beachfront Brighton Coalition venue. It was frustrating because you could hear how amazing she was, but couldn’t get closer.
There’s no doubt that this artist with her gorgeously lush voice layered over gentle electro beats is destined to become bigger and bigger.
The evening finished on a high with the sweet tunes of Tobias Jesso Jr. at the piano, effortlessly singing in the style reminiscent of Ben Folds.
He has a real star presence and is a brilliant songwriter. The audience was completely captivated, hanging on his every word – the confidence, charm and humour sealed the deal and everyone left that venue crushing on him majorly.
The music continued into the early hours of the morning, but it was time for me to turn in and get some sleep to prepare for day three, the final day of The Great Escape festival.