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.
Tears And Marble
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.