The Great Escape 2016 has just finished and already I miss Brighton and all its glory. Of course part of the fun was discovering new bands and getting to know the artists that made this year’s festival complete.
For the past ten years the Brighton community has welcomed thousands of up and coming artists to its’ music venues, and this year The Great Escape welcomed festival goers and onlookers to its very own Street Party. It was a chance for everyone from delegates to wristband holders to members of the public to join forces and revel in new music, marvel at street performers and sample some of the City’s finest food and drink.
At the convention wristband holders and delegates were able to take part in talks about courtroom conversations, how music could help with Mental Health and how hands own artists could be with their careers these days.
On Thursday I decided to head to The Arch on the seafront to see Connie Constance and Foxtrott perform. I was not disappointed and impressed with what I saw. Connie Constance, a self-confessed poet brought some soul to the festivities and her vocals were certainly mesmerising. My personal favourite was her performance of Answer but the whole set was beautiful. Foxtrott was the highlight of Thursday night for me and one of the highlights at TGE all together. I mean how can you fail an act that brings a french horn to the party! Foxtrott’s performance was powerful and the band’s sound was big. It was incredible to see a three-piece band make such a big sound on stage, which was both interesting and catchy. Later that evening I went to check out Her and The Amazons at the Hope and Ruin. Both played rock, which at times felt a bit generic but these bands weren’t there to reinvent the wheel and what they did was good. The same night Craig David played the Wagner Hall but this was so packed I didn’t manage to squeeze in but I hear he performed all the hits to the delight of all the fans.
Friday was sunny and what a great way to start the day but to go to the seafront and on my way there I saw some great music on the pop stages and the street party, which did add a nice touch to this years event. I also caught a bit of Ben Caplan’s set at The Green Store of the Canadian Blast but this was an absolute sweatbox and packed so decided to see what else there was to see. Public Service Broadcasting took part in a panel about DIYing your career and this was very well received by artists, who were eager to hear it straight from the source. On the Carousel stage I was excited to get to see a favourite, Holy Esque, who really did deliver an energetic performance and played some catchy tunes. For a change of scenery I went to Patterns and got to see Avelino deliver a really strong performance, proving that talented hip hop artists are still about. Similarly old-school rapper, Yungen caught my ears at Shoosh with his new material and probably one of the best performances of TGE 2016. The best music was being played at Coalition Friday evening and there Izzu Bizu didn’t disappoint and proved to be a deserving up and coming artist. The singer sounded great and really got the crowd going during her set. The best act I saw Friday night was easily Rag N Bone Man, who made a flawless performance and sounded amazing and had the whole crowd captivated. If Rag N Bone Man isn’t a household name by the end of the year then I don’t know who will.
Saturday was the last day of The Great Escape and by no means the least interesting. The Temper Trap played a secret gig for Amazon Front Row Live, hotly-tipped and award-winning Latvian band Carnival Youth played a packed gig. In the evening Stormzy stole the show and for those who wanted a break from the music Raindance Screenings was showing Sleaford Mods: Invisible Britain documentary about the duo’s UK tour running up to the elections in 2015.
Overall The Great Escape 2016 was a huge success and an absolute delight. On the downside and cons I had to queue a fair bit and ended up frequently missing some of the acts I wanted to see but this just meant I had to play it by ear and this was fun too once I got over the acts I could not see. The Great Escape is still the best UK festival when it comes to new music and has so much to offer in the respect so for fans of new music this is the place to be, I know I don’t want to miss it any year!