Katzenjammer, Lissie + More! - The Great Escape Brighton - Saturday - A Review In Pictures
Brighton's Great Escape is Europe's leading Festival for new music with over 300 bands playing at 30 venues over a three day period.
I started my Saturday in Brighton by checking out an afternoon of Australian bands at The Aussie BBQ. Hungry Kids Of Hungary were finishing up their set when I entered Digital so the first act I really took in were Electro Rockers Bluejuice.
Before their arrival I had turned to a photographer friend saying "Bet this lot will be boring". Well I couldn't have been more wrong as Bluejuice arrived firing on all cylinders, with their take on hard dance based rock creating a stimulating performance perking me up immensely. The band's two frontmen Jake Stone and Stav Yiannoukas had bags of energy, especially Jake, with singing from the crowd, jumping from the drum kit and soaking their roadie with water the order of the day! I was slightly put out when he licked (or spat?) on the front of my camera lens but I'll let him off as the band's set was tons of fun and they had some great songs to back their performance up.
Teenagersintokyo were the next band on the bill. I had seen their name bandied about recently but hadn't got around to listening to any of their output. Live they seemed to a very promising prospect with their music reminding me slightly of New Young Pony Club. The group's debut album Sacrifice is due imminently and I imagine their set was pulled from it. The band did manage to throw in a cover, with their rendition of Hall and Oates "Maneater" a set highlight.
I was really impressed with what Teenagersintokyo had to offer but sadly the same can't be said for the band that followed Bridezilla. The band delivered brief moments that I liked but the majority of their set felt like a posh 6th form public school girl's take on the dark side of Indie, with the singers wailing matched with violins and saxophone towards the end of their set giving me a headache!
Dappled Cities were due on next but I decided to leave them to it as I had noticed inflatable hammers and sharks amongst their set up so felt they would be too whacky for me. I did hang around to watch their first song but it didn't win me over so I left the venue to grab some sea air.
I wandered around Brighton for a bit, grabbing some food then made my way to the Corn Exchange to take in a couple of early evening sets. I wasn't really paying attention to what was on offer so started my evening proper with a trip to Coalition to watch a performance from Katzenjammer.
After spending Friday watching bands I knew and loved I decided to branch out on the Saturday, taking in some new music. I browsed the Festival's programme to see if any acts took my fancy, coming across Norwegian girls Katzenjammer. I checked out the band's My Space songs and other material I found online, really appreciating what was on offer so I was looking forward to seeing what the band were like live.
Katzenjammer remind me of a female Gogol Bordello with plenty hollers and shouts accompanying their gypsy rock. The girls all took turns to sing up front while accordions, keyboards and other instruments were swapped amongst each other. This was without a doubt my favourite performance of the Festival as the band were amazing, going down a complete storm with the packed Coalition crowd.
I had planned on heading back to the Corn Exchange after leaving Coalition so I could photograph Broken Social Scene. Unfortunately the line to get in was all kinds of stupid so I gave up on that idea, popping round the corner to stand in line at the Pavillion Theatre, waiting for the doors to open so I could watch up and coming singer songwriter Lissie.
Lissie is another performer who I've been meaning to check out for a while but hadn't got around to it. I imagined her to be a bit of a 70's throwback with shades of Joni Mitchell but her musical output was a lot more aggressive at times in reality, with her songs packing a punch. Towards the end of the set a special guest took to the stage in the shape of Ellie Goulding. Ellie and Lissie had bonded in the loos at Jools Holland's show. The pair performed "Everywhere I go" from Lissie's Why you runnin' EP from last year. Lissie ended her set with a Kid Cudi cover, downing a shot of tequila before beginning the track, ending her set and my Great Escape experience on a great note.
I had considered hanging around to watch the band that followed or heading elsewhere to see someone but there was no chance of getting in to see the two bands I was interested in - Marina And The Diamonds and Band Of Skulls so I was happy to call it a day. I had been introduced to three new bands that I really liked and had fun watching more so I believe I got a lot out of the event and hope to cross paths with the majority of Saturday's acts again somewhere down the line.