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The Great Escape - Day 1

  • Published in Live

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. 


Together The People Festival - Pre-Launch Party

What do people want from a festival these days?  The trend seems to be a move away from the big corporate festival with many in search of small community based bespoke events.

Enter a new Brighton-based festival stuffed full of diverse acts. Together The People is set in the wide open spaces of Preston Park and features some heavyweight artists along with some more quirky, diverse acts.

We attended the pre-launch party at one of Brighton's newest bars, Dead Wax Social. A vinyl-only bar it serves up pizzas in either the 7 inch or 12 inch format. We also had the chance to mooch around and chat to a few of the organisers and a couple of the local acts who were all very excited and thrilled to be involved in this new venture.

For a relatively small festival it’s somewhat surprising to find that it has 5 stages. Jacko Hooper is a Brighton lad whose reputation is growing with his carefully crafted soulful acoustic sounds. He has also been placed in charge of the Folklore Stage which aims to bring the acoustic sounds to the waiting public.

The festival is also keen to ensure the younger audience are catered for, thus allowing parents to appease their little darlings whilst hoping to then be in a position to enjoy some of the acts themselves. Therefore whilst the little ones are being entertained by acts like The Cat in the Hat or the wonderful production that is Horrible Histories the parents and everyone else will have their eyes on the wonderful live phenomenon that is Public Service Broadcasting or such legends as Billy Bragg, Jose Gonzalez, Roots Manuva and the Brighton's own Levellers.

That's not to say that this is a festival full of aging acts, far from it. The five stages allow all taste to be accounted for and there are plenty of new upcoming acts to keep all interested. Lucy Rose is an obviously talented songwriter whose reputation is growing at an alarming rate. Add to this the wonderful talents of Ghostpoet, Brakes and Lucy Spraggan and you start to feel that this festival has covered all the bases.

All we need now is a favourable window of weather, but don’t worry if not. Speaking to one of the organisers they have already ordered in 1000s of emergency ponchos; let’s just hope we don’t need them. The festival takes place over Saturday and Sunday the 5th and 6th of September and further details of the events ethos and how/where to get tickets etc. can be found here.

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