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The Great Escape - Day 1

  • Written by  Rob Crozier

Well here we go again, thirty venues, 500 acts in three days. We accept we can see it all but we are going to give it a damn good go.

We decide that the best way is to ensure that we and our various friends spread ourselves far and wide in order to ensure we see as much as possible, yet we know that this will only scratch the surface.  

The first thing we learn is that the festival is apparently named after the Great Escape ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped from England to the French coast some 250 years ago. So we fuel ourselves on free coffee and pastries from the wonderful people at the vinyl bar Dead Wax Social. Here we rub shoulders with a mix of promoters, band members, lots of beards and general freebie searchers like us.

First up is Valois Alps an Australian two piece synth band. They produce interesting beats from a box of tricks, whilst a female vocals pierces the venue with an angelic voice. Across town we hear good things about Leif Ericsson with his psychedelic swirling guitar sounds.

The wonderful people at Sounds Australia are putting on a great afternoon show so we decide to stay for a bit for the Indie band fusion of crafted pop backed hip hop bears of Slum Sociable who deliver a great vocal performance complete with one of the most energetic tambourine displays we have ever seen.

We hear wonderful about Welsh hip hop act Rejuel Elijah. At Prince Albert for a very busy Ali Barrie for their incredible performance and across town the wonderfully talented Tomas Cohen is giving us a Bowie inspired performance to great reception that will cement his place as certainly one to watch for the future.

After refuelling on beer on pizza we decide to visit a few outdoor stages and mix with the general public. We watch a great rock performance by Miamigo and are then soothed by the local talents of Oktober in the sunshine of the busy north lanes in Brighton, set in the grounds of Brighton pavilion it's a lovely site to behold.

As the sun goes down we decide to head indoors to the Unitarian church a beautiful venue for the sounds of Isaac Gracie whose incredible voice although battered from a full UK tour still managed to enrapture us.

We catch a bit of an inspired young man backed by his band, Mirror Signal has the voice of an angel and we sip our Red Stripe and plan the night ahead.

We have plenty of options as we lean towards a night of Indie rock with Tangerines and Otherkin providing us with the fuel we need. We go for Skinny Girl Diet whose amazing female growling voice rewards our choice with full on indie power. We scamper across town to catch Night Beats for more indie rock mayhem. However we receive a real treat with the exceptional talents of Dagny. They draw obvious comparison with Blondie as the stunning blonde female singer backed by four male indie rockers deliver a virtuoso performance in catchy well-crafted pop songs that set the place on fire. 

In the open air stage we catch a bit of Tom Walker, a solo act with guitar with a collection of J Dilla beats before we descend to the amazing construction of the Spielgeltent to see Kiko Bun finishes off in style with his modern reggae vibes which soothe our now aching feet. We leave thinking that if this is just the first day we are surely in for a great weekend. 

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