Its that time of year again. Time to put a wristband on, grab a programme and spend three days
queuing running around Brighton trying to catch as many of the 450+ gigs as possible. This year is The Great Escape’s 10th birthday, and my sixth consecutive year. Year one was a failure, I had a day ticket and didn’t understand the queuing so saw a total of two bands. Year two I worked at the wristband exchange, told Fyfe Dangerfield’s wife I loved him more than she did and fan girdled obsessively over the Guillemots. Years 3, 4 and 5 we successfully partied and so I’m excited for what this year will bring.
The wristband exchanged has stayed at its new Spiegeltent home and this year features an inside exchange area (perfect for today’s weather!) leading into the Spiegeltent area. Felt like a proper festival and was worried I hadn’t bought my sleeping bag. Grabbing a programme I ran back through the rain to the downstairs of Komedia for the end of the Australian Showcase. I arrived in time for Fraser A Gorman, a lad with a mighty head of hair (not that dissimilar to my fathers hair in the 70s) hailing from Melbourne. Considering it was 3pm on the first day, the room was packed and from the cheers arising from the crowd as song names were mentioned, he clearly has a following here in the UK. He kickstarted the set with “Better take your washing off the line because it’s raining” – very apt for the rain sodden city outside. Featuring catchy riffs, harmonicas and brand new tambourines, his set was good fun and got me in the mood for the weekend. Uplifting and highly bop-able.
Deciding against going back out into the rain I stayed inside for Holy Holy, which the programme describes as “huge, full band builds and crescendos, mixing distorted duelling guitars with warm, close harmonies and wild percussive rhythms.” Certainly a mouthful. As the room filled up around me and the buzz started to build, I started to think I had picked a winner. Hearing them for the first time reminded me of when I first saw Prides. Slightly blown away by the noise, and intrigued as to how much sound could come from so few people. They did indeed have full band builds and crescendos. They also had a bassist so tall I thought he would hit his head, and a guitarist that looked like Jesse Bradford in Bring It On but with Jon Snow’s hair (GoT Jon Snow, not channel 4 news Jon Snow).
The plan for this evening: Jagaara, Tenterhook, Astronomyy, Fismoll and Jack Garratt (if I’m still awake). Blog to be updated, probably when I get in tonight.
Don’t forget I’m on Twitter for random updates of who I’ve seen.