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The Great Escape - Day 2


After a packed first day we are ravenous for more new music. Today seems to us to be the best day. We stock up on plenty of free coffee and pastries as we know it’s going to be a huge day of discovery.

However in order to ease us in gently and to soothe a few sour heads we head to the iconic Brighton pub, the Prince Albert for some soothing Irish folk. Saint Sister are a duo using traditional Irish harp and folk to create what they describe as ‘atmosfolk’. We decide that there is no better nation to soothe us. The sisters do not disappoint with the synchronicity of their vocals gently brush away the aching heads and leave us refreshed and ready for another day.

We pop across the road for something a bit more lively. We find Ben Caplan And The Casual Smokers. His beard alone is impressive then his voice hits you. A huge bear of a man he is captivating and his humour and stage craft blow us away. His foot stomping, sea shanties tear the roof off and we know it’s going to be another wonderful day.

Now we really have the bit between our teeth, we rush to catch a bit of Dan Owen's acoustic set then pop round the corner for the livelier sounds of Ten Fe. It’s in a venue with a very low ceiling and these lo-fi rockers put on an amazing display. The four piece deliver a cleverly crafted swirling psychedelic pop sound to a packed audience. The combination of driving thumping basslines with intricate guitars is awesome. This is a band that we feel has a huge future and we would strongly recommend a listen.

Whilst we were attending this we hear amazing things about Cosovel. Her talents flow effortlessly over a simply electronic folk sound. We also catch a bit of Lebanese electronica from Wake Island as well as a quick glimpse of REWS, a London female two piece with electronic pop and a bright future.

We return to the Prince Albert for the Rusangano Family. A three piece Irish Hip Hop act that simply contain some of the most energetic dance moves we have seen on stage. Flinging themselves around whilst delivering full on hard-core Hip Hop is an unreal sight to behold. It sums up what this wonderful festival is. The ability to move from venue to venue and to discover not just new acts but also immerse you in music we may not have chosen. It challenges our preconceptions and open the door for more wonderment. After all that we decide that we need some fresh air. However there is no escape from the music and why would there be?

We remember back to the first day when we were entertained by the wonderful New York Brass Band followed by the Voodoo Love Orchestra. Today we have the highly crowd pleasing indie rockers The Dunwells. This is followed by the simply divine indie choir that is the Jam Tarts Choir. This collection of older member’s blast out indie hits. We get a wonderful rendition of Bowie’s 'Heroes' as well as a Kaiser Chiefs track and even Ronson’s 'Uptown Funk'. As you’d imagine it went down a treat.

Right into the evening sessions and we are off to see some angry South London indie rockers. The Bulletproof Bomb are five 20 year olds who are full of attitude and who put on a wonderful display of raw indie power.

We are now on Brighton seafront and will be dashing in and out of various clubs. This allows bigger audiences and therefore bigger acts. We pop in to the very busy venue to see the wonderful three piece Blackpool rockers Strange Bones. They are very loud and extremely good and we expect huge strides forward from this band. We then are treated to three quite superb soul acts in Tiggs Da Author - a combination of grime artist, poet and soul singer via East Africa who does it all so effortlessly. More than that it works and it’s a wonderful combination of styles. Up next we are in for a real treat with the polished soul sounds of a young lady who is quite simply going to be huge. Izzy Bizu has already received huge critical acclaim and this performance will propel her into stardom. Her clean arrangements are a refreshing change. A simple, stripped back sound and stunning vocals is all she needs.

Then comes the real treat of the night. The local boy made good, the soul singer with the power of a juggernaut. Its time for Rag 'N' Bone Man. Not only do we force our way to the front of the stage we suddenly realise that we are standing with his mum.

She is obviously an extremely proud lady and is apparently loving referred to as Mama Rag. Her son simply delivers one of the best vocal performances we have ever witnessed. He carries such power and authority in his voice. Yet he is shy and vulnerable onstage. The sheer range of his voice allows him to move from modern soul songs mixed with hip hop and straight up funk. He then pauses and ask if he could perform acapella, what follows is an incredible vocal performance which leaves not a dry eye in the house, simply stunning stuff.

We don’t feel that anything can top that but,being dedicated to music journalism, we pop in to see the 1960s inspired psychedelic rockers Black Honey who deliver a sound not dissimilar from Pixies.

We also hear wonderful things regarding soul sensation Samm Henshaw and also the hugely talented rising stars of Tibet. But for us that’s the end of a magical day of new music.

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