It was that time of the year again where every music lover from near and far makes their way down to Brighton to discover great new music and to fall in love with new exciting talent.
That could only mean, it was time for one of the best festivals around – The Great Escape Festival!
In true festival style, it was absolutely chucking down the entire Thursday. Apparently it is kind of mandatory for every UK festival to have at least one rainy day.
The Great Escape Festival kicked off for me at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar where ‘ze Germans’ hosted the German Showcase ‘Zeitgeist’. After a nice pint of Erdinger it was time for the first band of the festival.
Hailing from North-Rhine-Westphalia Giant Rooks opened up the stage at Sticky Mike’s. The five-piece eased the punters into the festival spirit with heir cleverly crafted art-pop hymns like ‘Slow’ and ‘New Estate’.
Lead singer Frederik Rabe got the crowd involved for their song ‘Chapels‘ resulting in beautiful harmonies for the chorus and a great end to their set.
Braving the rain at the Vevo garden stage, it was time to catch Norwegian punk rockers Sløtface! The four piece were playing a short but sweet ‘acoustic set’.
‘We are the least acoustic band ever, but we will give this a try!’ singer Haley Shea announced before launching into recent single ‘Magazine‘.
Under the sea of umbrellas, the crowd was having a ball and ‘Bright Lights‘ and my favourite ‘Empire Records’ sounded absolutely lush in Sløtface’s very own semi-acoustic style.
Running up the entire Queens Road in Brighton all the way to The Green Door Store wouldn’t be the last time during this years The Great Escape Festival. I honestly don’t remember how many times I climbed up that hill!
Sheltered from the never ending rain, The Green Door Store was hosting the amazing Gothic Tropic. Coming all the way from sunny L.A. only to be thrown into the best of British summer it seemed only fair that the room was rammed with people.
With days to spare to the release of ‘Gothic Tropic’s debut album ‘Fast Or Feast’, the band was buzzing.
Despite running on only three hours of sleep, as lead singer Cecilia Della Peruti explained at the start of the gig, the indie pop sounds of like ‘Cry Like A Man’ sounded big!
Only a stone throw away at the Prince Albert, London based trio Cheap Meat was having a laugh.
Upon entering the room, you could tell that the entire band was very much enjoying their stint at #TGE17! With their big rock songs like ‘Spin-Offs‘ and ‘Sweetness, Take Me Back‘ the three lads had the room rocking out.
Lead singer Ross Drummond couldn’t help himself but show off his amazing dad jokes in between songs, which had the crowd in stitches.
Rolling down the hill to the seafront ( I always forget how hilly Brighton is ) in time to catch Finland’s newest export since the reign of Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi, it was time for some new funky pop music.
Courtesy of the amazingly talented ALMA! Her whole gig at The Arch was just unreal! Owning the stage with her twin sister Anna, the energy bouncing off the two of them is intoxicating. Anna never leaves ALMAs side and is clearly her biggest fan / hype girl / best sister ever all in one.
Kicking her powerful set of with ‘Karma’ it instantly becomes clear that no one is gonna stoop ALMA on her way to the top.
Her signature sound, a cleverly crafted mix of pop over electro beats with a hint of old school RnB, is gonna get you move no matter what. The entire place is turned into a rave as ALMA starts her smash hit ‘Dye My Hair’.
Mayhem, carnage… ‘I wanna see a mosh pit!’ ALMA screams at some point. The energy in the room is electric and with her last song ‘Bonfire’ ALMA simply sends The Great Escape Festival into a meltdown.
One thing is for sure, ALMA is here to claim her spot in the pop circus, and she won’t stop until she reached the top!
Closing the first day of The Great Escape Festival 2017, were Brighton’s very own Fickle Friends. The synth-pop outfit headlined The East Wing and the home crowd came along to dance the night away.
‘We haven’t played Brighton in 1 1/2 years – can you imagine?’ front woman Natti Shiner announced half way through the show. Their whole set was a perfect synth-pop extravaganza, complete with fluorescent lighting, loads off smoke and first class bangers.
Hit single ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘Hello’ went down extremely well with the punters and had the whole place dancing. Fickle Friends even treated their fans to some new material. New track ‘Glue’ sounded lush and gives a glimpse of the great future this band has ahead.