So myself and a few great friends decided to inflict ourselves upon beautiful Brighton this weekend. For anyone who is a fan of fun, great music and beachside beers, then this is your spot. Especially if you make it over for The Great Escape Festival which calls itself Europe's leading festival for new music. I am unsure if I would say it's the 'leading' festival but it's definitely up there. Everyone was there from Groove Armada to Wild Beasts but the gig for me was Broken Social Scene.
This was on in The Corn Exchange which is an amazing venue in the heart of the Brighton. The gig made for easy and relaxing listening which reflected the whole vibe of the festival and Brighton in general. Like any perfect live performance though, they built it up nicely towards the end with their brass section. This Canadian band have anything from six to nineteen members and it really made for an exciting atmosphere when what seemed like a free for all would begin on stage. One minute there would be five to them , then all of a sudden there would be fifteen of them up there all doing there own thing! Somehow, they all make it work and it all came together very nicely. As there are so many of them contributing in this group, it makes for interesting listening as there are so many musical influences going on there as opposed to one overall sound. It means you don't want to miss what they will play next!
These guys are going to be at Oxegen and many other festivals and I would highly recommend catching them. I can only imagine what they would be like at an outdoor gig in the Summer sun.
While I cannot fault the variety of bands at The Great Escape, I would take issue with the fact that you will not necessarily get to see everyone you want to see. As a seasoned festival goer, I am aware this is usually the case but we just about made into Broken Social Scene despite the fact we were there early. There was not space for everyone. Another friend queued for Groove Armada for almost an hour and a half but to no avail. Also, you have the issue of legging it from gig to gig which is fine, but you would like to think you will get your moneys worth at the end of your sprint; Not a bouncer telling you that there's no room left at the inn!
You also cant help that smug feeling you have at a new music festival like that because you know you are seeing the big acts of tomorrow, pre-hype and at a good price. I would just advise folk to be aware they may not get to their chosen band as easily as they think. I would also maybe advise you not to to get so drunk that you lock yourself out of your hotel room as a good friend of mine who shall remain nameless did. You know you who are! I am still laughing about it. Not sure if she is!
-Michelle O' Grady