The Great Escape - Saturday - Brighton
Brighton's Great Escape Festival has been running since 2006. The event hosts around 300 bands playing in 30 venues over 3 days.
My Saturday afternoon was spent at Digital watching the Aussie BBQ. Sadly none of the bands playing did much for me musically but Red Ink and Jinja Safari both put on very energetic performances so they were fun to watch.
My first show of the night was an early evening showcase from former X Factor contestant Aiden Grimshaw. Aiden left the 2010 competition in week six after facing DEADLOCK! with Katie Waissel. The singer appeared on the tour that followed but has kept a fairly low profile since then. This hasn't stopped his army of fans making him a regular trending topic on Twitter though and I'm sure they were over the moon when his forthcoming single "Is This Love" was announced.
A fair few had crammed themselves into a busy Coalition anyway, with the singer receiving a great welcome. I can't say I'm a fan myself though as I found his onstage persona still too miserable for my liking and his singing was (in the words of Randy Jackson) just a little bit pitchy here and there. I'm sure he'll have a great success with his album Misty Eye when it appears in August mind you (just don't buy me one for Christmas).
After Aiden it was off Audio to watch sister act Haim, with grungers Fanzine keeping me company till their appearance!
I'd read up on the girls a few weeks earlier, downloading the EP they offer on their website but I wasn't really pulled in by their music. I was still curious about checking them out live though and ended up really won over by their live show. The LA-based sisters sounded heavier than I imagined and they just had a great vibe about them. Unfortunatly I had to leave after about four songs to leg it to The Dome and I was really kicking myself as I was loving their set, with the songs I'd caught ending up my joint highlight of the weekend, alongside Friday's Nicole Atkins performance.
I arrived at The Dome just in time for the Africa Express Sound System set. I was shooting the show as Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa was appearing alongside her bandmate Dan Smith. The music wasn't the sort of thing I'd listen to normally but it was a vibrant, infectious performance and a pretty decent way to end my Festival weekend.
Africa Express Sound System