The Great Escape 2010, Brighton 13-15/05/2010

May 27, 2010 by  

The Great Escape holds a certain resonance with us here at Addict. It was exactly a year ago that we blagged our way into the press tent, having started Addict barely a week before. A many a industry type we met and a many a queue we jumped. This time around things were slightly different. Not only had our supposedly all mighty press passes doubled in size, their power in the queues had diminished in equal measure.

Having made our way to the pier on Friday to see what all the fuss was about with Darwin Deez, we were refused entry, despite our passes, due to the mass of punters trying to get a glimpse of the half man half poodle. So then we set off for Japandroids and made it in this time, but couldn’t get past the toilet door of the venue and were forced to listen to the Vancouver duo from the hallway.

As you can imagine we didn’t stay long. Instead we took the hardest decision of all and decided to set-up a proverbial camp in The Corn Exchange. Up first were Yuck, who are one of those bands we’ve been hearing loads about and even liking their music, but not had high hopes for them live. But behold, they were magnificent. Far more direct and exuberant than on record, their slack-lo-fi rock comes to life on stage and is complimented by the second finest fro in the whole of Brighton (the first will be revealed later).

Up next were Surfer Blood and The Cribs, who both managed to disappoint and enthral at the same time. Surfer Blood were good when the hits came out, but their chubby front-man has a pretty annoying college boy stage persona – I mean, who asks a crowd if they watch ESPN? The Cribs, plus JOHNNY MARR, tore through their set at great speed and with their music’s simplicity it all seemed a bit samey and poor old Johnny looked a bit bored on their early power chord driven lad rock, but when the set headed for the new arpeggiated material it all worked perfectly.

Saturday, we started early and caught half of Best Coast’s set, who were another surprisingly good American band who pedal slacker-pop-rock, before trying our luck once more at a Japandroids gig. On the way we bumped into the best fro in Brighton Seb Rochford of Polar Bear, and took this good fortune as a sign of things to come. And come they did. We managed to get into Japandroids and were treated to over half an hour of some of the best live music we’ve seen in our life. The duo played frantically throughout, with Brian traversing every facet of the stage while pounding out his post-punk with feverish passion.

Overcome with youthful giddiness we took the almighty gamble and left the venue in search of Wild Beasts. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off and we were forced to watch a busker sing covers outside ? and they were not even Wild Beasts covers. So to the hotel bar we went, where we met our first industry chums of the weekend and drank into the wee hours with a band whose name we cant remember – all we can is that one of them had a black eye and they were all wearing matching jackets!

With our livers floundering and cash running low, a subdued final day was all we could muster. Despite the lure of Die Hard on the telly, we ventured out and managed to catch the wonderful pop of Here We Go Magic, and ex-Verve man Simon Tongs’ psychedelic folk act Erland and The Carnival. With every punter seemingly heading toward Broken Social Scene, we thought it best to steer clear and catch our favourite electro-disco types Fenech Soler, whose pulsating set was a perfect end to a frantic weekend by the sea.