The Great Escape 2015 - Day Two - 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.
My second day in Brighton started at the Prince Albert, taking in an fun-filled lunchtime set from Irish firecracker Orla Gartland, a girl with a host of decent pop songs up her sleeve and an infectious personality to boot.
I seemed to gravitate to the Queens Hotel this year and I stumbled upon my favourite act of the weekend while killing time there - Latvia's Triana Park, fronted by Agnese Rakovska. She's a tremendous performer, reminiscent of fellow 'in your face frontwomen like Juliette Lewis and The Sounds' Maja Iversson. The band were fairly full on, leaning towards an electro pop direction, with a bit of rap, a potty-mouthed anthem and a song on the ukulele thrown in!
The remainder of my TGE Friday was mostly spent popping into Vevo's Wagner Hall venue, taking in a couple of short acoustic sessions in the afternoon and three showcases in the evening. I had the pleasure of viewing sets from Colombia's Kali Uchis and Swedish songstress Seinabo Sey back in March at SXSW. Both singers were Austin stand-outs, so I knew I had to see them in Brighton.
I wasn't 100% certain I'd be able to be around for the evening sets originally, so hung around the venue's little stage outside for a couple of delightful two song performances from each act.
Before ending my evening at the Vevo venue I managed to pop into Coalition to see Norway's Aurora. The 18 year old's career got a big boost recently when Katy Perry praised her singing online, leading to many new fans. The Coalition set was impressive, with Aurora's dark pop going down a storm with the crowd, leaving the vocalist a bit stunned by the reaction. Sadly the lighting during her set stunk to high heaven, so the showcase was a little bit of a let down for me, although musically exciting.
There were no lighting problems at Wagner Hall as the venue was lit up like a Christmas tree due to the sets being streamed online. I arrived to catch the tail end of Seinabo's stint, viewing a few songs from Thabo And The Real Deal while waiting for Kali.
Thabo And The Real Deal
I was travelling back to London that evening, so couldn't stay for Kali's full set but I enjoyed what I heard. There are obvious comparisons with Amy Winehouse and I'm sure she's a star in the making, but she needs a few hook driven songs with decent choruses in her repertoire, as a lot of her tracks don't go anywhere. I'm sure she'll get there in the end though.