I spent the last few days mixing with the majors and hanging out on the sea front in Brighton for The Great Escape.
Having been underwhelmed by the line-up at first glance, there was of course the upside of quite a few IT favourites on the bill including apples, Django Django, The xx, Dimbelby & Capper and Marina & The Diamonds.
One of the biggest highlights were Brighton's much hyped Mirrors who performed on the first night. It was one of the most atmospheric gigs I've ever been to and this band aren't even signed. I don't even want to know how much money has been piled into them thus far, but with tracks like this - I'm not complaining.
Mirrors - Look At Me (YSI)
Friday was a bit of a let down as I didn't manage to catch half of the bands I wanted to see due to queues/it taking too long to get to the next venue/bands pulling out, but I did manage to see the aforementioned Django Django and The xx as well as Riz MC who was phenomenal.
The night culminated in an hour of queueing for headliners Metronomy, who having lost Gabriel to his Your Twenties moniker, have evolved to a four piece. I do miss the touch-light aesthetic but adding a bassist and live drummer into the mix really gave them an extra bite and having closed with On Dancefloors; the night was complete.
Saturday was by far the most relaxing of the three days, maybe because the sun had finally fought it's way from behind the clouds or maybe because there were no clashes of bands that I wanted to see.
Having avoided the pretty crappy matinee shows on the two previous afternoons, I went to check out Montreal four-piece BEAST on the recommendation of Lea (Risk & Consequence), and they absolutely slayed it. Front woman Betty Bonifassi's vocal is both formidable and unique, matching the heavy distortion and punchy beats of producer Jean-Phi Goncalves.
BEAST - Mr. Hurricane (YSI)
I also got to see Three Trapped Tigers, Marina & The Diamonds and Your Twenties before heading over to the much anticipated Neon Gold party.
I'd been looking forward this the entire weekend as it was the first chance I'd had to see Yes Giantess and it was also Wolf Gang's first live show in front of the general public.
Yes Giantess were everything I'd expected and more, full of energy and vigour and their tracks sound huge in a live context. Wolf Gang are one of the tightest bands I've seen in a while, their tracks sound a hundred times better live and they even managed an en-core.
I'm hoping to catch Dot to Dot in Nottingham this weekend but I'm not sure if I can make it, if anyone wants to throw a free ticket or press pass at me - do it.