The Great Escape 2015 - Day One - Brighton

The Great Escape is Europe's biggest festival for new music with hundreds of acts performing in various Brighton venues over a three day period.

I'm a regular attendee of TGE's bigger brother - Austin's SXSW - but I don't tend to take too much of a risk there, as far as new bands go. It's a costly exercise, so prefer to make new discoveries whilst waiting for someone I have an interest in to take to the stage. I'm far more likely to throw caution to the wind in Brighton though as it's a wee bit cheaper, and spent the first part of my day investigating at trio of acts from the Netherlands at the Queens Hotel.

I enjoyed what I heard from Pollyanna, The Indein and Tears And Marble, but the first act of the afternoon I really took an interest in was Casi Wyn, performing at Patterns Upstairs. The singer was part of a showcase highlighting acts from Wales, alongside indie popsters Cut Ribbons, who sounded promising during the couple of songs I caught after the Welsh warbler. Casi was on excellent form, delivering atmospheric electro pop tracks in both English and Welsh.

Pollyanna
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The Indein
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Tears And Marble
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Casi
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Cut Ribbons
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My evening was spent at Coalition, arriving just as Lapsley was finishing her set. I managed to weave my way through the crowd finding a decent spot for the act that followed, Ibeyi. I'd seen French-Cuban twin sisters, Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz perform at London's Islington Assembly Hall a couple of night's earlier, so knew I'd be in for an uplifting memorable showcase, and didn't come away disappointed.

The twins performed as a duo, with Lisa on lead vocals and keyboards, with Naomi keeping the rhythm going with various percussion instruments, including using a box as a drum, with a few beats and samples also on display. The sister's music showcased a variety of styles, including jazz, acapella and little moments that reminded of Bjork.

My final act of the evening was Las Vegas dance diva Shamir. I'd caught him playing a short set at Fader Fort at SXSW but wasn't that impressed. I had only planned on staying to watch a couple of his tracks at Coalition, but as his set was running late I had no chance to get to my next venue in time as it was a bit of a trek, so decided to hang around for the duration of the performance. In the end it proved the right move, as I actually really loved the showcase, with the singer producing a high energy set, spotlighting songs from his debut album Ratchet, turning the venue into a bit of a disco, with Shamir leaving the venue dancing his way through the crowd.

Lapsley
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Ibeyi
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Shamir
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