With another sell out festival and a huge line up the annual Great Escape just keeps getting better and better. With the added input from major sponsors and BBC 6 Music the importance to new artists and their exposure this event generates is massive.
The best example of this is Rag 'N' Bone Man. Last year he was tucked away in a tiny club and 12 months later he is the major showcase attraction. The theme this year is defiantly a huge spotlight on the exploding UK grime and urban music scene. The sheer amount of artists is incredible and as with each year there are far too many to cover.
The urban grime theme is matched by the very grimy weather as it is absolutely chucking it down. However we plump for our first artist. He is Pierre Kwenders and covers a lot of bases. He is a Canadian/Congolese rap jazz artist and also easily the most beautiful man we have ever seen. He oozes cool and is the perfect showman with laid back rhythm and superb presents as he raps in five languages. Not a bad start at all.
With the weather not abating we force our way onto Brighton seafront to catch some sun drenched dreamy pop. This seems to be the most inappropriate music possible due to the outside weather but we need to dry off. The noise makers are a New Zealand band Fazerdaze and draw similarities to Smashing Pumpkins. They certainly warm us up with a warm fuzzy slice of California inspired guitar hooks. Back into the now horizontal rain and we need our spirits lifted. Who better than The Goon Sax, an Australian trio who have a huge debut album behind them the place was packed. They are so uncool they are by definition, cool. Think Ian Dury meets Cardigans is my best attempt at their unique sound. More rain greets us but by now we decided it beats working and we run off to catch the pure song writing talents of Vince James.
BBC 6 Music are running a live broadcast and we decide to plump ourselves here for a few hours until the night shows start up. We are honoured as the one and only Steve Lemacq fist bumped me. It also allowed us to catch a few acoustic acts and listen to some wonderful tunes as we dried our socks out over a speaker.
Tonight we start with Psychedelic jazz from Bahrain’s own Flamingods. These guys were crazy and leap about the stage. Drawing influences and similarities to Goat they started the evening off well. We continue our world music inspired evening with Ibibio Sound Machine a wonderful one woman West African electro disco funk machine.
Now we enter fully the British Isles grime and urban music scene with Avelino. Looking like a version of Snoop Dogg. This guy is going to be huge and he conducted himself with a wonderful upbeat session.
“Don’t show up to my show if you got no…. (energy) “
He preached a no bad energy vibe that cemented his future as the changing face of this ever changing genre. Finally the act that we all been waiting for Rejjie Snow. An Irish-based kid from Dublin managed to pack out a huge venue and judging by the queue alone could have filled it twice over. He did not disappoint, spitting some serious bars he had the place absolutely rocking. He pumped out ‘Flexin’ and ‘Blakkst Skin’ with a wonderful female singer who the crowd lapped up.
With limited access we finally tried to fit in one last act. Scanning what is around we had to plump for a band called Fuck Art, Let’s Dance. How could you not want to see an act calling themselves this? They are a German outfit whose main aim is to be very angry and very loud they are the perfect end to a wonderful first day.