The morning of Friday 19th May presented a new day of discovery at The Great Escape and with the jubilant atmosphere of Day 1 still ringing firmly in the ears of punters, countless sore heads did not dampen the spirits, just like the rain failed to do on Thursday. The thick clouds and heavy rain that engulfed the humble seaside down on the first day seemed to disappear, all but for a few hours, and the sun wriggled out of the geological abyss that seemed to swallow it up.
Over at Jubilee Square, singer-songwriter Callum Beattie and his band provided the perfect accompaniment to the breakout of sun. Anthemic, sing-a-long style choruses juxtaposed alongside soft percussion and driving guitar, demonstrated perfectly on latest release ‘We are Stars’, his final track of the set. His unique and colourful style when it comes to his songwriting will take him a long way, Beattie is certainly an act to keep an eye on and will be hoping that his appearance at The Great Escape can propel him to dizzy, new-found heights. Estrons, also on Friday afternoon provided the perfect contrast over at Bleach. Fuzzy and fast-paced riffs tied in with powerful, crying vocals from lead singer Tali Källström created a very welcome racket leaving ears ringing and pulses racing.
As evening settled swept in alongside the cooling sea breeze, Superfood played their second and final show of the festival over in The East Wing. Their creamy, cosmic blend of dance pop and classic indie helped to manufacture a perfect atmosphere in the conference center, turned gig venue, you could certainly say they created a “vibe”. The admirable thing about I is that even with new material, their sound still retains the ‘four mates, just making music’ feel that proved so popular upon their breakout, especially on ‘I Can’t See’.
Attention then turned to Wagner Hall, where I had set up camp, showcasing some of the most exciting new talent across all spectrums of music. Norwegian pop sensation Dagny delighted with a sparkling display of shimmering pop tracks and with the incredible array of talent developing from Scandinavia at the moment, CC, Zara Larsson and Tove Lo, we may have the next big breakout from the region on our hands. Speaking of Scandinavia, Icelandic / Brighton hailing three piece Dream Wife tore their way through a frantic set of punk and pop not giving the eager crowd a moments breath. ‘Somebody, ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ and ‘FUU’ provided the highlights in a dizzy set, affirming their status as one of the standout bands at The Great Escape.
Finally, Chelmsford born Jordan Cardy, the creative mastermind behind RAT BOY brought Friday night to a close in a now sweaty, packed out Wagner Hall and despite some technical complications at the start of his set, which Cardy admirably dismissed with typically quick wit, the four-piece with Cardy at the heart powered through the rest of a cult hit packed set bursting with nostalgia. ‘Sign On’ and ‘Left 4 Dead’ left the crowd in rapture, while ‘Revolution’ further demonstrated his imaginative capability.