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  • Not been on here in a while so thought i'd share some cool new music as a hello as this was my highlight of the year!

    Did the Great Escape in Brighton for 2nd time this year. And it was better than first visit. It pays to do research. Not if you want to avoid bad music, but if you want to avoid missing something you'll love. So I did an exhaustive list this year. Find artist > Play a track or 2 > Watch a live video if possible. > Write a fun witty comment so you remember them. With over 400+ acts and 100's more on Alternative Escape you forget all about many after first listen. The excursions onto the alternative escape we equally rewarding this year (all free!)

    Last time I went It was as a guest of a friend of a friend so I didn't see as much as I had hoped as it was partly a social thing. But I did see some great stuff (Courtney Barnett, Samaris, OY, Paul Thomas Saunders, Sea Change, HoneyBlood, Phantogram). So this year it was to be a minimal team of 2 and hardcore band watching.

    So here goes. Only 1 band on my 'to see' list was very poor (COVES) and 2 were not great, but we only saw these as we were waiting for next band. But the 27 below were great. That's not including the ones we caught the end of :-)If you don't believe me check the list. 

    I knew of Methyl Ethyl, Kero Kero Bonito, Rozi Plain, Beverly before I went BUT stuff like Dream Wife, Julia Jacklin, Pumarosa, FEWS were totally new until I started my list.


    1. VANIS ALPS.

    Singer had a beautiful voice (accidentally did first track with no sound and her voice held up). Bit samey msuciallly but lovely sound and great single.

    2. FEW BITS

    Very talented lady. Bit disappointed we missed the full band set but he was talented enough on her own to keep us happy. Actually video below.


    FIRST BIG BUZZ OF WEEKEND. Only based on one track and no info. But Julia (and her excellent band) were spellbindng. KInd of same for Australia as First Aid Kit were for Sweden. Ended up watched Pumarosa and Antonnie Tonnon with them. Lovely guys. 


    Already new there single, but great live. Singer can not hide his huge love of Robiyn Smith (Cure). 

    > Alternative Escape < 

    5. INWARDS

    Ventured out of the main festival for free stuff in pubs. Fun seeing this in a pub with sea view.

    6. BANFF

    Pre Pumarosa wildcard option from list (Pumarosa one of few hyped acts we went to see - my tip is to avoid anything hyped to much in music press (big queues) and especially check out foreign bands as it may be there only visit of the year and they are really up for being here). Anyhow Banff not bad, very pleasant to get us back in mood after food.

    - end of LEIF ERIKSON

    Caught these guys while waiting for Pumarosa and were much better live than i expected (you sometimes have only one song to go on). This song was brilliant.

    2ND BIG BUZZ OF WEEKEND. Imagine Florence fronting a funky manchester band from 90s. Very talented band and amazing front women. They deserve to be on Jools soon. Could be huge. 

    8. DRELLER

    SUPRISE GEM. Knew very little about him, although bass player from Julia Jacklin gave me a run down of his other famous band in AUS. Much better than on record. Imagine Beck with a massive Prince  obsession. His guitar solos were brilliant homage to the PInk one.

Fire alarm meant we may miss MAKENESS so headed out for another back up choice. Really nice sound and very poilte inbetween songs in a way only german can be!

    Post edited by tattmaylor at 2016-09-28 07:29:35
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    10. BRY
Another filler that turned out to be great. This guy is so funny and charming. Turns out my Niece is already a fan of his podcast and he is a big star in certain age groups.

3rd BIG BUZZ OF WEEKEND. fell in love with a couple of his songs as i did my list but wasn't expecting his very fun live show with lots of avant garde audience participation. Songs Water Underground and Suger in the Petrol tank are amazing,

    12. DBFC

    Good live band. Started off like Dandy Warhols and ended like a euro LCD soundsystem. Fun.

    > Alternative Escape <

    13. DREAM WIFE

    I saw some videos of this art school project that turned out to be good and was really intrigued. But live they were amazing, Watched with about 3o people in an alleyway behind a pub. Imagine Bjorks cute little sister fronting the Slits! 

    14. MOTHERS

    Caught at a low point (just needed to get second wind of our big drinking day :-)). Good band live and Copper Mines is superb tarck.

    15. JUNK SON

    They were very good but not sure if they lacked a focus live or we were losing our energy. 

    > Alternative Escape <


    Decided to spend most of evening in a pub as part of Alternative Escape (free sister event on at same time) as there was an interesting line up. This band really reminded me of Grant Mclennan (Go Betweens). For wnyone who loved Streets of our Town. Great Live.

    > Alternative Escape <


    4TH BIG BUZZ OF WEEKEND. This is one band i was quite excited about seeing and live they blew that away. I thought they may be a bot like Duke Spirit but although the singer wasn't singing R'n'B lyrics she had the stage presence and way of expressing the words you don't get an alt rock band. Great lyrics. Lovely band who we chatted to for the rest of night in pub.

    > Alternative Escape <
    18. EAT FAST

    Great end to our evening in the pub with an edgy art rock band. Not sure if it was them of the fact we had good bear out of a glass for first time all weekend (advantage of pub gigs). Getting some media buzz.


    19. ARY

    5TH BIG BUZZ OF WEEKEND. Again had only one song to go in with Ary (although it is a a great song). But wow! Blown away. She had a man with a box of tricks anda  talented guitar player (turned out she was an artist in her own right in Norway - check out Fay Wildhagen) as her band and they obviously had a love of Royksopp and analogue synths. SOOOOO excited about her album. Would love to see her live again. Absolute treat!

    Post edited by tattmaylor at 2016-09-28 16:38:23


    COVES was a band that had been hyped and looked good - but they were terrible live - bad attitude and flat. So we took a break for a while.

    - end of LAURA CAHEN

    Popped into a random venue and caught end of this lady wish i'd seen more.

    20. GLASS

    My mate requested this from my list comment. "It could be brilliant or terrible". Stepping that line in 80s synth band homage that my be ironic or maybe straight? Part Dare Human League part 70s eurovision. At one point the singer came into the crowd (of mainly middle aged men) to sing 'let's get lonely together'. Funny the single below in brilliant and does not show how they were live.


    Good band but we may have OD'd on this type of stuff. Tip for weekend like this mix up the music styles.

    > Alternative Escape < 

    22. BEVERLY

    A band I knew of started by Frankie Rose (Dum Dum Dum Girls). Great to see in a pub (again a free gig!)

    23 FEWS

    Swedish band that channel Neu into indie rock. So much energy live!

    24. ROZI PLAIN

    I love Rozi Plain on record but live she has just the same effect. Loads of band sound problems but she'd sound great just on her own. 


    A filler as we didn't want to do an walking and were waiting for Kero Kero Bonito. A bit pop and samey but good sound/nice voice. A bit too much Kate Bush arm actions thought. 


    6th BIG BUZZ of WEEKEND. I really wanted to see this band. So odd and unusual but brilliant live. Really tight musically for something seemingly a bit silly. Massive smile on my face whole gig. A must see live.

    27. THE CALLAS

    A totally opposite to Kero Kero Bonito. Greek Art Rock band with the most captivating drummer I have ever seem in ages!

    Post edited by tattmaylor at 2016-09-28 07:25:33
  • F**k Glastonbury! Beat that for amount of good music in one weekend

    This was all for £50 :-). Spent money saved on an cosy Air BnB flat. Camping no more for me.
    Post edited by tattmaylor at 2016-09-28 07:30:04
  • So, Tatt, does The Great Escape have a website?  How did you do your research?
  • You get a gradual stream of artists starting after Christmas (although they have announced a few already for promo gig in london this year) and even ones added a month before. As they are announced they have a web pages with links for each band. Some have complete websites and albums on spotify. Some are very mysterious and just one pic and a link to soundcloud. They also have a spotify list GE do (past years are still up there).

    If you are going to do it properly you need to be organised. With 400+ artists you can't dip in and out or you will forget who they are weeks later. Wait till most are announced and make a list. Methodically check site links to (here you can immediately highlight Grime Rappers, Joss Stone wannabes's etc. or what ever style you want to avoid). BUT still write a description as you might find yourself at a lose end one day and be stood outside a venue with 30mins to kill and the first year we had 'Canadian rapper with great live band' next to us so we popped in to see even though i don't really like rapping. Would never have picked it but the band (drummer, bass, guitar) were amazing. So if it's not your think but really good 'quality' highlight as FILLER. Obviously plenty are easy to put 'Definatley No!' so you do thin the list - the fun of GE is there is so much variety - anything goes.

    With the ones you are interested in it's worth checking a few tracks then (this is the important bit) check out some live videos. Some artists are totally different (good and bad) in the flesh (is it a laptop or a band?, etc.) Plus you can also check out the ones that you know will irritate you. You know that indescribable thing that just puts you off ;-). Also don't always go with the hype. This year we avoided most of hyped bands (mainly British) and we didn't feel we missed an quailty. And 1. the venues are small so hyped bands often have queues and you don't get in. 2. foreign bands can be much more interesting, grateful to be there (you can hang with them afterwards), you may not get a chance to see then again, and generally no queues

    So with the good ones catergorise DEFINATES, MAYBE, FILLER  as when you get the listings (there are 20 or so venues) there with be lots of clashes so you have to have back ups. 

    Seems a bit crazy and OCD but if you are going to go to the length of checking out all the artists you may as well do it properly. It does take A LOT of time so you have to be dedicated. Funny I meet a guy this year who had done the exact same thing. So I didn't feel quite so pathetic. Also on Sunday we went off list and really we regretted it. It can work but if you are fussy (or worried you are missing something else) then don't bother. Or just do it to take a break, i.e. pick a nice venue pub so you can just enjoy hanging out there (I think we fitted so much in on first 2 days we should of chilled a bot more on Sunday.

    Just hope I can mange to go next year. 2014 Phantogram were playing so I went just for them (and Courtney, Jon Hopkins were also bands I knew off). Whereas this year there was not really any one band I really knew well (bay Joy Formidable who i have see) so I thought it might not be as good. But it's the bands you discover that make it , Samaris, Seachange, Honeyblood that year.
  • Actually, after searching some more, I found the website and the list of groups for London in November.  It sounds like a blast.  What's east London like?

    That's some really good, dedicated advice, Tatt.  Ha!  I think I would be overwhelmed with anything more than the fifty playing in London.  I definitely see where you are coming from.   It would really suck to go to a festival with so many bands and not see something that you liked.  How long do they typically play?  Like an hour?

    Love to see Jon Hopkins.  He does some awesome stuff.
  • The London thing is new this year. Brighton is much more fun than London (I don;t go to London much). Also the London thing is a selection of £5 gigs (still good value) whereas in Brighton you can just jump between stuff (and loads of free stuff in the streets). So you may have to just choose one venue for each night. Plus Brighton is great (even with the over high hipster count :-)). One year we went to a secret gig in the aquarium and one venue is on the end of the pier!

    In the Brighton GE artists play 30mins and the last artist of the night at each venue can play 45 - 1 hour. To be honest 30mins, with a new band that you don't know, is perfect. Nice tight set of their best stuff!

    The overwhelming numbers is why I do a list. If I go next year I'll post the list (it may work on here as the music choices would hopefully have some Frapp board cross over). I enjoy it on a nerd way as i love ediscoering new stuff.

    EDIT: I may have to edit it though as some is a bit un PC ;-)
    Post edited by tattmaylor at 2016-09-30 05:22:11
  • Yeah, in my case, it's a matter of serendipity.

    30 minutes should be plenty, you're right.
  • This sounds alright. Have never bothered with the Great escape myself due to the seeming never ending walk between venues. Not like the Camden crawl. East London's fine. Lots of traffic and hipsters. But apart from that its good. Ive been to a few wee things like this in East London. I seem to remember for ever queuing up to get into MacBeth in Hoxton which was just the downstairs of a house. But worth it obi.

    As were in October now, theres Blogtober. Lots of different music blogs are doing free gig nights at the Finsbury (North London). Looks alright in places 

  • London has to be a constant music scene, anyways, right?

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