The Great Escape – Brighton (Saturday 21st May 2016) – LIVE REVIEW

The Great Escape – Brighton (Saturday 21st May 2016) – LIVE REVIEW

‘Hangover Day’ at the Great Escape brings out some of the big guns

Saturday is traditionally ‘hangover day’ at The Great Escape, not that you’d know by the amount of people waiting to be let into Komedia at midday for The Big Moon’s matinee set as they called it. The first of their 2 shows today. Considering the girls themselves had played a ‘secret show’ quite late the night before, they looked considerably chirpy, but then they always do. Word is spreading about these girls and it’s easy to see why. They’re songs are infectious and the girls incredibly likeable.

Unusually for a Big Moon show, there wasn’t much talking between songs apart from Celia saying she was enjoying the matinee as it’s more calm & serene than their later shows. Lead singer Juliette also has a knack of staring straight into people’s eye whilst she’s singing which unnerves a who’d made there way to the front.

Talking of bands who always look chirpy, next up in the same venue were Scouse 4-piece Clean Cut Kid who do not sound at all how they look. With his tattoos and long beard, lead singer & guitarist Mike Halls wouldn’t be out of place in a metal band but their sound is very much pop. Their music would probably appeal more to a Radio 2 crowd, but their apparent joy at just being on a stage means you can’t help but smile along with them and Halls infectious personality between songs makes you really warm to them. Halls is actually also a very good musician with his guitar solo, which comes near the end of the set, getting a rousing reception from those in attendance.

Saturday is always bad for clashes at Great Escape and this year was no different. Do you go to your favourite haunt to see a ‘secret’ acoustic set or go to the see one of this year’s hype bands at a venue that’s probably too small for them. The ‘hype band’ won and that band is The Hunna. They were playing The Brighthelm Centre which is a church hall. They look the part although they have a 1975 vibe about them and their music is very Radio 1 friendly indie. They had a big turnout but I’m not sure how many people who left following their set will rush to see them again.

The good thing about The Great Escape is that you get a 2 hour window in the early afternoon between the morning & evening sessions and this gives you good opportunity to explore other areas of the town you probably wouldn’t see normally when you’re going from venue to venue during the sessions. Places such as the World Famous Pavilion or the pier where you can unexpectedly spend £5 on the 2p machines. Or you could just go back to your hotel to freshen up…

A trip to Brighton wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of the best Independent record shops outside the capital, Resident Records. It’s always well stocked and clean and chances are, you will find what you’re looking for. They’d even had a few Recordstore Day restocks in. It’s rare that a record shops’ vinyl section is equal to their CD side but that’s what you get at Resident.

The final evening session is a bit of a party atmosphere and usually when you get the bigger names, even though it’s a festival for ‘new music’. Tonight’s Corn Exchange headliner is The Mystery Jets, on the promotion trail for their new album ‘Curve Of The Earth’ and as with their tour in September, support came from The Big Moon with the second of their 2 Saturday shows.

Most of The Big Moon’s shows to date have been in small venues, so it was interesting to see how they translated to a medium size venue with bigger stage and bigger pit between barrier and stage preventing Juliette doing her staring thing.

Despite Mystery Jets being the official headliner there was an afterparty in the same venue featuring band of the moment DMAs and Jagwar Ma. DMAs just don’t look like a band. The leadsinger in his tracksuit bottoms and white t-shirt looks like he just rolled out of bed, but they’re pretty good. They fill the gap left by Oasis, The Enemy et al in the ‘lad rock’ category, complete with mates on shoulders in the crowd and a drunken ‘mosh pit’.

And just like that, this years Great Escape was over, and on the way back to their various hotels people were already looking forward to next year.

This Great Escape article was written by Simon Bull, a GIGsoup contributor

The Great Escape – Brighton (Saturday 21st May 2016) – LIVE REVIEW