The Great Escape 2011 - Day Two - A Review In Pictures - Brighton

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.

Day two started back at The Hope, watching my second set at the Festival from ex Bonde Do Role member Marina Gasolina, now rocking it up with a full band. Marina's show was just as full on as the previous evening. Word must have got out anyway as the front row was full of photographers eager to shoot her rowdy performance. Marina doesn't seem to have much in the way of solo material available so I'm eager to hear an album at some point down the line.

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I made my way to the Latest Music Bar after Marina's performance, arriving to find it chock a block, finally squeezing my way inside to listen to the closing numbers of Lucy Rose's set. The singer sounded in great voice but I didn't see an inch of her during her stint due to the venue being packed. She did seem a bit of a young entrepreneur mind you, as she was selling her own brand of tea after the gig!

I had taken the trip to the venue to view a short acoustic set from the Cocknbullkid. I hadn't seen Anita play for a long, long time and if truth be told had written her off as she had seemed to have failed to capatalise on the buzz around her a few years back. Well, I hold my hands up and say I was wrong as I was captivated at times during her set, especially when she performed current single "Asthma attack" and "Hoarder". i've had the opportunity to sample Anita's imminent debut album Adulthood since TGE and it's a terrific Pop collection.

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I hung around after the Cocknbullkid's set just to watch a couple of songs from singer / songwriter Ben Howard ending up staying for the full duration. Ben travels the same sort of path as David Gray and Damien Rice but already has a collection of songs to rival the pair's output, appearing over a couple of EP's and had a few nifty moves on his guitar too! Ben had a lot of fans in the house, including a collection of female admirers down the front singing along to the majority of the set.

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My next stop was The Dome as French trio Gable were performing as part of a French party in the convention hub. I'd caught the band the day before and was amused by their performance, so it was a no brainer to view them again, picking up a free beer on the way! There was a lot of people just socialising in the venue but the band managed to still pull a decent amount of punters to view their strange musical output, complete with an orange box demolition!

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I was due to spend the majority of my evening at Digital down on the sea front but popped in to The Haunt on the way to take in a couple of songs from Kyla La Grange.

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Digital was playing host to Swedish Electro Popper Oh Land and I was eager to catch her again after seeing her numerous times at this years's SXSW. Digital has very small photo pit so I arrived just before the act before Oh Land took to the stage, squeezing my way into the pit!

UK rapper Ghostpoet wasn't really my thing, so I just fired off a few shots and sat patiently till his set ended. The lad seemed to go down a treat with the capacity crowd mind you and there were several disappointed audience members when he didn't return for an encore.

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Oh Land released her self titled debut album Stateside back in March and is due to drop the collection in the UK sometime in July. Her Digital set was pulled from the release, producing premium live renditions of the likes of atmospheric set opener "Perfection", "White nights" and current UK single "Sun of a gun". The set was pretty much the same as the ones I observed in Austin but there was a bit of a treat in the form of a cover of Fleet Foxes "White Winter hymnal" leading into set closer, the stomping "We turn it up".
The whole gig was being filmed so hopefully there will be an opportunity to catch at least some of it sometime down the line as it's certainly worth viewing!

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I had originally planned to stay at the venue for Little Dragon's set but had been couped up in the tiny pit for almost two hours so needed to get outside for a bit of sea air. I was tempted to head back to London early, catching a train at the back of ten, as most of the venues would be rammed but took a trip through town to what was going on. I noticed the Pavillion Theatre didn't have a line so decided to pop in for a drink, taking in whatever was on offer, viewing a performance from Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou as part of a night sponsored by Mojo magazine.

The husband and wife duo's Folk offerings were quite relaxing after a day of full on performances but I found the pair off them hogging the one microphone a bit sickly! I still stayed for the set's duration though and grabbed a free copy of the magazine on the way out to read on the train home.

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