The Great Escape: Friday's Summary

Brighton's Great Escape Festival 2012; over 300 bands, 3 days, 30 venues and a chance to see some of the best up-and-coming acts in the city's most prestigious venues. A lot of the Gigseen team went along to the event, but this is my take on Friday's lineup.

As we arrived in Brighton, the sun was out and the streets were bustling. People of all ages had gathered for one purpose (well, mostly) - to take in as much live music as possible. The discovery of new bands at the festival is, obviously, its main appeal, as well as the chance to watch them in some truly intimate settings and the possibility of meeting and chatting with them too.

After perusing the extensive schedule of acts and venues, we made our way to the main festival 'Hub' - an open air stage quaintly surrounded with deck chairs and a beach feel. Before I get onto which bands we saw, I should mention one thing - make sure you plan who you want to see to avoid disappointment.

So our first band of the day were We Were Evergreen; a French trio playing a blend of summery Electro-Pop featuring ukelele, synths, loop pedals and imaginative rhythms. With obvious influences with the likes of Metronomy and Vampire Weekend, their quirky sounds and hugely likeable personalities were a prefect start to the day.

A brief walk into Komedia's pitch black downstairs venue saw us catch the last few songs of Films Of Colour. Playing a set as part of 'ACM Presents', the alternative rockers are often cited as similar to the likes of Bloc Party and Miike Snow. Although only hearing a couple of tracks, they impressed me..see what you think:

The band that really got the day going for us were Eagulls; a Hardcore/Punk quintet from Leeds. They delivered a brilliant set with vocalist, George, a bundle of energy, rage and charisma. Eagulls were one of the bands I'd really wanted to see, and they certainly didn't disappoint! They were performing in one of the 'Alternative Escape' venues, The Queens Hotel just off the seafront, and was presented by independent station, Amazing Radio. The rest of their hosted set included the likes of PINS, Mammal Club and Rae Morris.

After Eagulls at about 6.30pm, we weren't too impressed with the bands we saw, popping in and out of venues hoping to come across something that took our fancy. A little disorientated, we wondered around the seafront shocked at some of the queues that had amounted outside Digital where Canadian, Grimes, was performing. We eventually settled for Coalition, another seafront venue, where we'd heard good things about Odonis Odonis. Packed to the rafters, we didn't get along too well with the band - it seemed our stomachs' calls for chips were just too great. However, we returned to Coalition just in time to see another highly regarded band, Scottish Inide Rockers, We Were Promised Jetpacks. Despite sounding great, we couldn't see a damn thing, no matter where we moved. Note to self: Coalition has many pillars and view-restricting walls - not ideal for a gig. Despite that though, the crowd (the one's who had good positions at the front) were loving them.

Looking at my watch, I was very aware that it was coming close to the scheduled time for Wet Nuns, so we made a move and walked up into town to a small pub venue, The Hope. That was the great thing about this festival; if you didn't like a band, you could just go to the next venue. You weren't summoned to stay for the whole show!

So, Wet Nuns were, for me, the best band of the night by far! Having discovered them only a month or so prior to the festival, I'd made them a definite priority in my itinerary. The Hope was literally melting from the heat of so many bodies, beards and long hair, aided only by a measly fan in the corner blowing around stale, warm air. Wet Nuns are a duo from Sheffield/Leeds who deliver a deafening concoction of heavy Stoner/Blues and Punk with songs about death, strangulation and other cheery subjects.

Their roughly thirty minute set was packed with jokes, banter, beer and a hell of a lot of noise for two people. The singer's voice was one of the most powerful I've ever heard; a Bluesy, American twang to it with a gravelly growl that filled the room. I'll definitely be at their next show!

To finish off the night, we went back to Komedia (this time upstairs) to see 'Sound Of 2012' sensation, Lianne La Havas. This was one of the bigger gigs we attended, with the crowd eager for Lianne's appearance. I was absolutely stunned by her vocals, they were beautiful - every note was perfect and resonating. She had an amazing band with her, too, and I was totally mesmerised by their talents. She was certainly the most polished and professional act we saw that day. A short walk to The Loft ended our night with a short performance from another buzz band, PEACE. However, it was clear that they were a little 'wet behind the ears', playing their biggest song, Follow Baby, twice in one set. But hey, If it's what the people of Brighton wanted, then so be it!

Thanks Great Escape! Ten bands in one day is not bad at all! I'll see you next year!