(SIDE NOTE - APOLOGIES FOR THE DELAY IN POSTING; LAPTOP GOT A VIRUS BUT IS ALL BETTER NOW AND OWL BY NIGHT WILL BE BACK ON TRACK SHORTLY).
SYKUR @ ABOVE AUDIO:
Above Audio is always a strange venue for a gig in Owl By Night's opinion. The venue's layout is very elongated and the band can almost feel disjointed from the crowd when having to perform behind a waist high partition wall, however, the charismatic and exuberant mass of energy that is Agnes, lead singer of Sykur, ensured that the barriers came tumbling down. The sheer enthusiasm of this established Icelandic four-piece was incalculable; the youthful bouts of jumping and dancing with limbs flailing menacingly added to the visual performance and enhanced the feel of the music making it almost tangible. With a blizzard of glitchy synth meanders and sexualised robotic frivolity there was unquestionable laser-driven chemistry between the diverse musical elements which cohesively swelled together into a pouncing beast of 'Iceland-tro'; think Icelandic and electro and you get the hybrid. Sounding like a kaleidoscopic mix of Crystal Castles meets Hearts Revolution and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's it is obvious to see why this band are so popular in the Nordic regions. Harnessing computational bleeps over a gargantuan thundercloud of bass makes each track forceful on the eardrums; relentless glacial electronica basally sliding towards your senses with domineering attributes. With Agnes' frosty tinged power-chord vocals almost squawking over the instrumental collective it adds a veritable charm to each song; the tracks are indeed overwhelming but possess innate qualities of fun, flippancy and energy. During the gig, the personality of the band intertwined with each tweet, bleep and chime that ascended that godforsaken partition wall and spread forth with icy precision and fluidity; cosmological electro spewing forth neon pink and day-glow purple haze into an entrancing music extravaganza. Definitely a band to watch out for in the near future.
With a delightful air of charm and ruggedness, this loveable Canadian with his vagabond wiry beard and casual attire sang with such honesty and personal feeling that it was truly a pleasure to watch. With an earthen sincerity to each lyrical scripture the songs dripped sweetly with gentile guitar tweaks and honeycombed resonance. Humble in composition, Woods' songs transcend emotional boundaries and showcase an openness rarely seen in contemporary music. With such interwoven folk realms, this furry array of camp-fire melodies are a must for those hazy late evenings in the warm night air.
This band are destined for great things in the vast music universe. Their infectious mix of delirious electronica spliced open by sharp pop sensibilities and rhythmic dance undertones creates the absolute and perfected sound package for today's contemporary music charts. These enigmatic Mancunians have been a stable favourite on Owl By Night for some time and it is pleasing to see things shaping up and taking off for these lovely lads as the EP comes together and the gig bookings steadily come flowing in. Their performance at The Warren was both captivating and refreshingly vibrant; bestowed by bucket full's of juvenile panache and northern wit Swiss Lips springboked around with snappy bravado and assured capabilities. The dynamic mix of commercial pop and alternative electro gave way to glitter ball eruptions of diamond synths sparkling neatly over soul ridden seventies whimsy and nonchalant indie-pop swagger circa 2008. The fusion of contrasting noise ultimately nudged together into a finely tuned channel of beats, bleeps and reactive thwacks; bass thuds and plucky keyboard chimes gleefully barraged into toxic pop conflagrations that ignited aural senses and physical movements; the manly nod of the head or the discreet tap of a foot. Tracks like "Danz" and "U Got The Power" boisterously dash around in veiled states of playfulness and excitability. With such colourfully pigmented electro-pop assaulting the ears gig after gig, the Swiss Lips name will certainly be uttered on many people's lips.
The somewhat mysterious guise of Strangers was emphatically lifted on Friday afternoon inside the claustrophobic tomb of Life's upper bar level. Amongst the rough brick tunnels and laser-beam red lighting stood the band Strangers; London's adept collective who paint raven black smears across the often joyous cavalcade of synth laden electro. Strangers were Owl By Night's gig of the day for one single and paramount reason; the voice. Their lead singer has a rapturous vocal presence; each key note is sung with such confidence and passion that it cannot help but make the hairs on the back of your neck stand. With hauntingly opaque loftiness, the vocals transcend all possible physical and inventive boundaries, generating a sound plateau that is enticing, absorbing and above all, emotive. Spilling pools of blackened synth droplets amongst organic bass trenches develops a sound which is resonant and powerful; uplifting human senses into ethereal realms of cosmic-pop and binding you with twirling musicality. The deliverance of each track was placid and lacked the usual band gusto to instead be replaced by honesty and instrumental integrity. Keep an eye on Strangers and their unique slant on noire-tronica, they are sure to gain popularity over the coming year and about time too.
The esoteric three-piece from the UK have garnered their own take on predatory electro-pop and established themselves within the paddock field of hybrid music thrashing. With an ever loyal fan base it is perhaps no wonder they drew along an enthusiastic crowd to the alternative courtyard setting of Republic Of Music. Playing within the confines of what can only be described as an open garage was something rather surreal; feeling like an American teeny-bop music video full of angst and adolescent vigour, it was a pleasantly interesting change of scenery to the usual darker club settings. With a brushed degree of self assurance, these guys nailed it with scrupulously precise darker disco slices of indie fantasia. Chopping together the hollow beats of their drums over simplistic techno bloops and tweaks allowed many of the band's songs to feel unrestricted and free of musical clutter. With a sound that is very Metronomy in places, melodic sand dune hills of spectral vocals filter through the heavier bouts of plucky guitars mires; fluid and silken to the aural touch, each track had sufficient inputs of energy, crashing beats and regal compositions.
Michael Lovett must possess the secret ingredients to developing pristine works of minimalistic electro-pop as he does so with such professional ease and ingenuity that it leaves Owl By Night all rather bemused, (but in a good way bemused). With the distinct sound of Metronomy or a very diluted Cut Copy, there is a clear abundance of tidal clarity; gentile trumpeting electronica laps lovingly against the oceanic vocal sprays that emit from Lovett. Each track glistens with a new edge finish; the lacquer of clinical electro beats encapsulate each said lyric and underlying drum beat with marksman precision to chisel at the minimal framework of musical composition. The radiance of NZCA/Lines is enticing; the songs individually possess a distant horizon that shimmers from afar with sun kissed instrumentals that leave you basking contently in the serene waves of layered noise. Performing with such hushed charisma and muted personality the gig at the Republic Of Music was draped in mystery and intrigue, which only left the crowd wanting more.
Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor are the two front faces of the very credible and well matured folk-pop bashment ensemble that is Slow Club. Playing once again at the Republic Of Music, the setting was a crammed cobble courtyard surrounded by several storey flats and open windows with cheeky onlookers sharing a peek at the festival goings-on. Sardine-canned into the open garage, Slow Club delivered an energetic and positively contagious array of elegant tracks from their expanding music catalogue. As the sun began to cast it's increasingly weaker rays into the tiny open square it served as the perfect accompaniment to the textured layers of Slow Club's fuzzy folk numbers. The band's plethora of sound generates an invigorating flume ride of raucous guitar thrashes amidst Hessian beats; feeling and sounding almost abrasive in places; the grinding cogs of musical notes jolt past one another into a skittish display of fervent noisia; terracotta folk which seeps honeyed charm and succulent alt-pop morsels allows the ear canal to feast on the bonanza of uplifting music. Slow Club's set was full of motivating tracks as each member stamped an assured heel of individuality into every note or choral build-up; with a personable frontage the band really connected with the audience delivering a perfect afternoon remedy to block out the chilling breeze and the distaste of warm beer.
The shrouded mystery that is Palma Violets was finally unveiled in all it's stage presence and musical wonderment on friday. Having been together for less than a year and snatching a great little deal with Rough Trade Records, new music should start to filter down the media frame. The absolute secrecy this band imbues is fantastic; the lack of representation and actual music on media platforms has allowed the band to establish a "physical" fan base of actual people who will attend their gigs and support them in person. With such intangible qualities, the Palma Violets package is all the more interesting and adds to the unique dynamics of such a group. With a brief gig at Horatio's the venue soon filled to cattle ranch cramming capacity as nattering words of mouth spread infectiously amongst music lovers across the city. Being compared to The Vaccines or Libertines must become monotonous, but such comparisons can only be a good thing; the small scale resurrection of credible and traditionalist indie returned into a calamitous explosion. Grated guitar twangs, feverish drum beats and echoed vocals helped to achieve a deviantly noxious dose of bronzed noisia dripping with indie hooks and instrumental deference. Each facet of music almost tries to obsequiously comply with one another but soon falters as gusto energy and drive snowball each track into a bashful display of indie fun. With a crowd that lapped up every note emitted, it will not be long before the Palma Violets name will be known by all.
The ever changing line-up of Pond makes them an all together temperamental and frenetic mix of musical professionals who regurgitate their effervescent mix of brassy rock psychedelia on awaiting ears. Hailing from Australia the revolving door policy of band mates keeps the overarching Pond package fresh and vibrant; their gig at The Brighton Corn Exchange served as the perfect antidote to shrug off tired brains and aching legs. Pond manage to lasso a cacophony of juxtapositional sounds and restrain them into a more mature bundle of noises and sounds; almost neatly presenting them with golden purity and shimmered intrigue. With wallowing pits of drenched rock slices nudging at the glimmered array of guitar tweaks and heavier drum stampedes the contrasting elements generate an overwhelming, almost cavernous effect of intoxication; psychedelic rock at it's very best and most original in composition and musical dynamics.
The London five-piece Citizens! have had the most punctual and smooth climb up the social music ladder and deservedly so; their pristine and neatly folded style of origami mood pop has been produced by none other than Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand. The generalised grey toned imagery that evokes from Citizens! has Kapranos' stereotypical and well recognised iron style. Delve past that and you can see the gentle shadows of Kitsune influence (the band's record label) to which distant Gallic flair and glittered frivolity meander between musical notes and the group's persona. The slot at The Brighton Corn Exchange excellently bridged the gap between the earlier afternoon sets and the grander evening performances; with a predominantly full room the crowd loyally engaged with Citizens!' visual aesthetic and musical direction. Each track performed had a playground simplicity but scoop below and it is clear to see the intricate layering of instrumentals and delightful pop compositions. Songs such as "True Romance" ooze mischievous bouncing beats and skipping hoots of synthing as every diverse musical element tumbles into one another with carousel nostalgia; glazing copper hues over vocals allows the background foundations to be impaled by human interference generating a jittery staccato lay out. With reminiscent twinges of Phoenix or The Concept, this band have a scorching amalgam that will definitely grab people's attention; summery pools of translucent indie, bejewelled alt-pop and tidal waves of charisma, lovely.
The elegant façade of Spector immediately draws in your interest, suited and booted and looking like a marketing campaign for Saville Row these London lads are gaining praise and plaudits from every corner of the music industry it would seem, from BBC Radio 1 to NME. With a marketable package of panache, style and musical integrity, it is perhaps no great surprise that this band are set to become very popular indeed. Hailed for a musical sound harking back to the 2010 days of The Vaccines and even elements of The Strokes or a rambunctious, vastly better Kaiser Chiefs, there is definitely an upheld belief this band are reinvigorating the sanguine indie music scene with a fresh burst of clattering guitar strings, charismatic drums and gritty instrumental foreplay. Their slot at The Brighton Corn Exchange was cleverly timed for a late evening billing; the perfect time for when the most amount of people have filtered into the big hall. With a rugged charm offencive, Spector manage to clash together vaulting swathes of guitar against transgressive drum explosions into a sparkling neon display of aural soundscapes. Lead singer Macpherson possesses a voice box of hoarse indie chords that rattle with a vibrancy and fervent dynamic rarely conveyed amongst the genre; sliding down chasms of metallic disagreement the vocals lasso deviant noise into a fireball onslaught of industrious music. With an essence of Americano brassiness this London band hold a unique sound close to their chest that many in the crowd welcomed with open arms and jiving footsteps; such positivity and embrace can only mean Spector are here to stay.
One of the 'IT' bands of the moment and indeed amongst the billing of acts for The Great Escape are Dry The River. The group's hardcore days of grounded noise and thrashment have been utterly ditched having successfully reinvented themselves with a leather beaten folk sound that is luxuriant, smooth and relaxing. Tip toeing guitar strings generate a melodic serenity that transcends each gentle beat and ushered vocal note; seeking solace in underlying ethereal lyrics of Christian teaching and ambiguous religious belief helps to garner a sound that comforts the soul and evokes deep rooted emotion. The watery flow of each instrumental component travels seamlessly from stage to crowd in swirly dances of earthen revelry and sombre noise. Dry The River have a fantastic stage presence that is made even more impressive when you think of how little the band move or "act" during the predominance of their set; the music is the focal zenith; shimmering with hope and tangible enlightenment. Having such placid and likable qualities helps to win the crowd over; a slapping of banter here and a line or two of dry wit there engages both band and audience; seeing and hearing is to be believing as the distorted cliché goes. Like a gut warming whiskey each song managed to unite people into raising arms and swaying with an inebriated glow upon each individual face; with such musical dynamics working in harmony it is no wonder Dry The River are becoming increasingly popular and noted for their song-writing and sound compositions. As each track trickled heavenly droplets of percussion and sugared vocals into the clouded haze, there is was overwhelming sense that this gig is one of those to be remembered for many years, by a select and rather lucky few.
Being the dexterous blogger that Owl By Night is, for every gig I spread my feathered wings and took some photos so you can fully immerse yourself in The Great Escape Festival. Enjoy the best from the opening day of activities.
FRANCOIS AND THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS @ THE PRINCE ALBERT:
BORN GOLD @ THE BLIND TIGER:
HUSKY @ THE HUB:
DEAR PRUDENCE @ ABOVE AUDIO:
THE SKINTS @ COALITION:
LA FEMME @ HORATIO'S:
PEACE @ HORATIO'S:
FRIENDS @ HORATIO'S:
NIKI AND THE DOVE @ HORATIO'S:
MYSTERY JETS @ THE BRIGHTON CORN EXCHANGE:
AFTER CHECKING OUT THE ABOVE PHOTOS, CLICK ON THE HYPERLINK BELOW FOR A FULL REVIEW AND SUMMARY OF ALL THE GIGS FROM THURSDAY, ALONG WITH THE OWL BY NIGHT FACEBOOK FANPAGE AND TWITTER. (ALL PHOTOS IN THIS POST ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED BY OWL BY NIGHT, 2012).
There is no festival in the world that can match the unique and quintessential charm of The Great Escape. With multiple and diverse venues sporadically distributed across the city centre, each day is like a military roll call to get to each venue on time to see whatever respective artist is on your agenda. The spring breeze, the smell of warm Red Stripe beer, the seismic and onerous thuds of bass creeping up through the tarmac pavement nearby. This festival is truly alive and infectious; the vast array of bands from all corners of the globe scuttling to this Victorian resort is detriment to it's importance as a new music festival where creativity and raucous juvenile behaviour oozes from every square foot of staging. Owl By Night is lucky enough to live within this humble seaside town, where every year, a festival comes to town, a great escape.
------- THURSDAY ROUND-UP -------
ZEBRA AND SNAKE @ THE HOPE:
Packing out the upstairs room of The Hope were these relatively unknown Finnish lads. With a starstruck slice of cosmonaut dreaming twinged with effervescent electro that seeps into the very pores of the brain; with twitching nerves and shaking limbs this collective showcase asteroid dust pop at it's best. Funnelling Baltic intellectualism and perpendicular icy lines of noise and notes that roar sunburst waves of space fuel soaked in celestial electro-pop DNA from start to end. Zebra And Snake's performance was surefooted and upfront; highlighting the duo's confident eighties patterned musical roots. Take a peak at their latest single "Money In Heaven" then show the guys some love via the links below.
FRANCOIS AND THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS @ THE PRINCE ALBERT:
Combining the melodic rhythms of simplistic French riviera beats with earthen tribal nuances, these guys show the seamless ease at which contrasting sounds can salamander together with agile proficiency to deliver a misty consortium of delicious noise and charming revelry. Bongo donks lathered over keyboard twinkles create a jet pack sound montage of charming notes topped with sugary French murmurs to sculpt the final music production; very Agent Du Monde visits Paris. Refreshing and innovative, Francois And The Atlas Mountains clutch closely the secrets to their unique sound, sharing little in the way of direct musical comparisons. The venue of The Prince Albert added to the intimacy between these four gifted Frenchman and the sardine packed crowd. Haphazard in places and profuse sweating amongst band members and people within the listening masses, it made the performance informal and open; the groups small dash of choreography exemplified their intelligence in that visual aesthetic can enhance a given performance. Such an established band deserve more recognition in the UK, perhaps their time is now.
These charming Australians deliver a type of pop vegetated with folk roots, which harness a soulful plateau of blissful guitar caresses and echoed air amongst wooden enclosure. Dusty and almost barren in places, their sound is a heatwave mirage of gentile keys and whispered vocals, attracting the listener with relative ease. Their escapist music ushers together tracks with lovable tones and thoughtful lyrics. Almost like Greg Holden meets Paul Simon, the compositions leave you in an eye squinted haze of warm breezes and sandy guitar dunes (despite the gloomy droplets of rain that dampened the scalps of those attending the open air venue at The Hub). The sheer ability of this band to invoke dreams through music that transport you away is utterly stunning. Check out Husky through the links below.
Among the plethora of diverse bands from all reaches of the globe, spewing forth their own personal sound and flying the flag for their own respective country at The Great Escape, there are a small collective of Brightonian bands punching above their weight and earning some well deserved recognition. Dear Prudence are one such band who performed with assured confidence and guile. With a pugnacious amalgamation of vaulting heyday punk that accosts more agile contemporary indie, this band diligently fuse genres with dynamic finesse. Jabbing drums rugby tackle the minuscule grouping of keys and tentative electronic bleeps; each instrumental facet striving to sword swing a lethal aural blow. With finely layered guitars, the sinewy strands of fretted handwork and metallic musical whirlpools garner a raw edge with eager enthusiasm and extrovert angst; emphasised further by a strong performance at Above Audio. Agitating the nuances of pop, this noire-tidal group besiege genre crenellations and allow a transitional movement of noisia to flow seamlessly. The Vocals of Madeleine Poncia resonant with concrete force and lasso individual sounds into a collective assemblage. The gap where Doll And The Kicks once were, has now been perfectly filled; Dear Prudence are here to stay.
Being together since 2007 has allowed The Skints to seriously fuse the lackadaisical rhythms of reggae with the skill of new wave and the flamboyant swagger of ska into a genetically maniacal mix. Their set at Coalition was extremely chilled; perfectly complimenting the tone of the music as well as the club's atmosphere. With sweetened precision each beat dripped seductively into the next to create tunes of tumbling steel and balmy relaxation. The Skints' contemporary dub edge allows them to cut urban paths towards the front escaping mediocrity; allowing them to showcase their individual and provoking sounds with gusto and professionalism.
Cecil Frena is the extrovert mind collective behind Born Gold. With a performance that showcased innovative product design in the form of a movement sensor light show all within the confines of a leather jacket along with his brand of futuristic brash-pop noise-tronica, it is easy to see why Born Gold are genre splitting extraordinaries with buckets of talent and assertive musical direction. With calamitous thrashments of sonic beam synthesising and razor splicing bass crunches you can readily envisage the future of heavy electro in the conceptualised form of Born Gold. Tracks like "Lawn Knives" scream boisterously with devilish grinds and aggressive beats which compete in an arena of terminal destruction. With such qualities, the Blind Tiger gig was one to marvel and appreciate what the future may hold for such a genre.
With a performance that was pumped full of whirring bass and gritty guitar strides bulldozed over stereotypically twinkling key taps and guttural French dialectic, it is no wonder the bar of Horatio's, set on the end of Brighton's famous pier, didn't spectacularly fall into the sea. The sound is very Bang Bang Eche meets Mika Miko, but more subtle. The strenuous array of blau-surf-rock submerged amongst experimentalist French vocal curiosities and sparkling indie veins created a dynamic mix which vibrated the very marrow within the crowd's bones. Absorbing and intriguing, the dose of mystery was just right in order to create a performance that left the crowd amazed and wanting more.
Peace were one of the surprises of the day with their cloudy display of whimsical indie-pop. With dream-gaze nonchalance they performed with a weighted vote of confidence, each note, each strum of guitar and whack of drumstick possessed a gladiatorial dose of bravado and force. The Birmingham lads have been racking up praise from industry experts for the best part of six months now and it is only a matter of time until Peace will be a recognised name amongst the majority. With reminiscent echoes to The Vaccines, Theme Park, Foals and Friendly Fires, there are clear indications this band have the musical prowess and ability to ascend the enlightening paths to success. Tracks such as "Bblood" and "Follow Baby" sew fine ethereal vocals through glittered drums and polished guitar work to entwine and caress both auditory and physical senses; A neat package which sits on the right side of mainstream whilst tentatively stepping back into the alternative realms of golden shoegaze. Epic gig, epic band.
This Brooklyn group were another relative surprise of the day in which lead singer Samantha Urbani engaged with the audience in a way that was engaging, comedic and ever so slightly flirtatious. The girl fronted troupe packed a femme-fatale slap across the chops of meagre indie fusion bands. With a polished glimmer this five piece have garnished wholesome urban pop with a dexterous splash of R'n'B. Nodding wryly to the complexities of mashing conflicting sounds together, Friends produce fantastic day-glow tracks with ease. With a sultry finesse tracks such as the hauntingly layered nineties number "My Boo" reveal the abyssal depth of percussion that envelopes the modernistic vibes generated by sublime electronica and musical wizardry. Feeling in places like a newborn dear, there were some jitters as instrumental limbs felt for sturdy ground but the dear quickly got into a confident sprint and the crowd duly lapped up each shimmering drop of fuzzy indie without hesitation. With an essence of Blondie slammed against a wall then diluted within a washing machine of viscous sounds, this band's performance left a good impression in the room to which only good things shall prevail for the American collective.
Owl By Night's "MUST SEE BAND OF THE DAY" were slotted into a late evening showing. After a tantalising wait within the confines of the wooden ornamentals and vulgar carpet patterns amongst other things within Horatios' bar on the pier, the lights eventually dimmed and on came the superb physical presence of Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf. Championed by this blog from the very beginning and receiving nothing but credible plaudits from industry experts across the globe, Niki And The Dove are hastily rounding up a fan base loyal to their musical direction. Malin and Gustaf are personable, even humble, showcasing a sheer adoration and devotion to the music they produce. The give away is in their facial expression: the wry curling of a top lip to reveal that assured smile and inner excitement at being able to play their songs for others. This duo are continually compared to Björk, Icona Pop and Kate Bush, but they are unique in their own right. With a devilishly noxious mix of cloudy computational bleeps and tweets spread evenly across icy plateaus of glacial electro rivers, the overall melange is one of celestial wonderment; cosmic star shimmers amongst onyx black keyboard chimes and onerous thuds of scuzzy bass warps. The effect is truly astounding. With astral proficiency Malin's vocals soar high into galactic realms; the absolute epitome of Swedish electro-pop. With Malin's crisp Nordic echoes and Gustaf's musical genius there is harmonious cooperation. The entire set was entrancing, yet final track of the set list, "Tomorrow" hypnotised the crowd; with reflected smiles and hands raised, the chorus was delivered to a rapturous response that the duo lapped up and savoured. I was lucky enough to meet the pair after the gig; lovely down-to-earth people who were friendly and talkative. Watch out for Niki And The Dove; the legacy has only just begun.
The established British band returned to The Great Escape with a distinctive new chapter in their history. After recording their new material in Texas, USA, the guys have absorbed that renowned Gulf heat and produced some bronzed pieces of indie-pop. With a genuine air of sophisticated charm the lads managed to attract a packed crowd into the cavernous venue that is the Corn Exchange. With a characterful medley of recognised hits it is perhaps no wonder these guys are so popular. Placid guitar twangs agitated the smooth keyboard strokes with a featherweight zest of excitement. Dripping honeyed vocals of a deeply sincere and relevant nature over mature drum thuds and crunchy bass donks helped The Mystery Jets blend each song with Tropez tinged instrumentals; a warm display of thoughtful songs and inviting placidity. The gig itself was absolutely brilliant; leaving the majority of the crowd transfixed; rooted to the spot murmuring some of the bands best tracks. It was the perfect performance to end the day on; the whimsical dreamy appeal of indie melodies chortling along in the mind as you walk away into the brisk night air, in search of the nearest pub.
So after some technical glitches that halted OWL BY NIGHT'S intrepid grass roots reporting from The Great Escape Festival everything seems to have come together, albeit perhaps a little late. So here is the first post in relation to Brighton and indeed Europe's biggest new music festival. ENJOY!
ONE'S TO WATCH - TWOO WORD SNAP SUMMARIES:
ALUNAGEORGE: Vampish slow-jams.
AVALANCHE CITY: Melodic folk.
BASS DRUMS OF DEATH: Maniacal rage-tunes.
BASTILLE: Sultry indie-pop.
BIG WAVE RIDERS: Fini-lectro synth-surfers.
BIGKIDS: Juxtapositional heroes.
BINARY: Sublime electro-indie.
BORN GOLD: Canadian smash-tronica.
BOY FRIEND: sophisticated revelry.
CAVE PAINTING: Brightonian thought-provokers.
CITIZENS!: Pop champions.
CLEAN BANDIT: Instrumentalist extraordinaire's
COLLEGE: Influential Franco-lectro.
CROWNS: Punk-folk bashment.
DJANGO DJANGO: Effervescent artsy-rock-tronic.
DRY THE RIVER: Celestial mood-makers.
FILMS OF COLOUR: Emotive compositions.
FOXES: Seductive noire-pop.
FRANCOIS AND THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS: Surreal-scape marauders.
FRIENDS: Resonant electro-tists.
GRIMES: Psychedelic fusion.
GROSS MAGIC: scuzz popsters.
HATCHAM SOCIAL: Mountainous indie.
HUSKY: Sublime folk.
JINJA SAFARI: Rambunctious Australians.
JONQUIL: Indie romanticists.
JUVENILES: French architects.
KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS: Cerebral soundscapers.
LA FEMME: Competing Instrumentations.
LIANNE LA HAVAS: Sultry vocalism.
LAST DINOSAUR: Joyous indietones.
MADEON: Electro eclecticism.
MAN LIKE ME: Forthright musicality.
MMOTHS: Picturesque noisia.
MISTEUR VALAIRE: Sophisticated beats.
NIKI AND THE DOVE: Svenska synergies.
NZCA LINES: Synth-pop thoroughfares.
PALMA VIOLETS: Skittish indie.
PEACE: Resplendent tunes.
PORCELAIN RAFT: Hazy hypno-pop.
RED INK: Ostentatious theatricals.
RICH AUCOIN: Celebratory compositions.
SAVOIR ADORE: Magical renditions.
SHIELDS: Beat-savvy construction.
SLOW CLUB: Intelligent indie-folk.
SPECTOR: Explosive slices.
ST. LUCIA: Dreamscape makers.
STRANGERS: Eighties synth-tronica.
SWISS LIPS: Elated pop.
SYKUR: Glacial wildernesses.
TANLINES: Sun-drenched synths.
THE NEW UNION: Suave indie.
THEME PARK: Dynamic lyricism.
TOY: Genre splitting.
TRIBES: Punchy alt-pop.
TRIPPPLE NIPPPLES: Hallucinogenic tomfoolery.
TRUST: Satin electro.
VISION OF TREES: Pristine electronica.
WE HAVE BAND: Exultant music.
WE WERE EVERGREEN: Franco indie-pop.
WILD BELLE: Serene blisstopia.
YACHT: Plod-along electro-pop.
ZEBRA AND SNAKE: Finnish experimentalism.
ZULU WINTER: Graceful compositions.
TO CHECK OUT ANY OF THE AFOREMENTIONED BANDS AND ACTS, SIMPLY TYPE THEIR NAMES INTO YOUTUBE / FACEBOOK AND FOLLOW FROM THERE.
It is that time of the year again when all up-and-coming and established music acts make the pilgrimage to the Victorian seaside resort of Brighton to fend off vicious seagulls, ravish on fish and chips and gulp sweet beer, all whilst in the presence of a multi-venue music festival. This year there appears to be a definite leaning towards unsigned/unknown acts as a means to break through and gain valuable public and media exposure. The line up does indeed appear slightly weaker compared to the indie heydays of 2007 but fear not, this year has produced an excellent crop.
OWL BY NIGHT is going to cover the festival with a daily dose of posts showcasing the possible stars of the festival for you lovely people; who to watch, where to watch them and mini gig reviews to bring you as close to the festival action as possible. OWL BY NIGHT's specialist TWOO WORD SNAP SUMMARIES will give you the vital snippets of information you need followed by music videos and handy links to mentioned music acts. REMEMBER to keep tabs on the OWL BY NIGHT Twitter feed to get scrumptious morsels of feedback and opinions. ENJOY THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL people! :)
When you sift through the countless and unrelenting barrage of new music on a daily basis it can be hard to pick out worthy bands or individuals who make an impact, both audibly and visually. The monotony of overly assured acts who hark continuously about not being mainstream, about being raw and creating new genres which guarantees an earned standing of superiority, can be altogether rather boring. Every now and again however, an act will grab Owl By Night's wholly undivided attention and instill nothing but positive emotions and pleasantly warm thoughts. Skinny Lister are one band who possess such capabilities.
The five members of Skinny Lister originate from all over the UK, individually sculpting a unique and vibrant sound from each enchanting pocket settlement and personal upbringing. It is these variations, the richness in musicality and categorical diversity which has ultimately bound the guys together; the uniform approach to production and the similarities of sound intertwine to create sublime grass roots indie folk pop. Sounding like The Pogues meets Gogol Bordello, the band have played a miscellany of gigs including the renowned SXSW. With carefree whimsy Skinny Lister detract from bands who prefer bravado and obnoxious self critique, preferring to embrace their listeners and have a fuzzy alcoholic laugh or two. The fact that Skinny Lister chose Hastings as the setting for this track's music video earns valuable points seeing as Owl By Night's birth town is none other than the famous medieval port.
"If The Gaff Don't Let Us Down" is a salty dreamscape assault on rousing folk music that is both captivating and infectious. Starting off immediately with assured guile, Skinny Lister's single trundles along with an energetic tempo that inevitably spurs a gradual layering of noise; a deliberate culmination that launches into an irresistible choral collective. Foamy vocal spontaneity slides across tidal cascades of instrumental gaiety and rapturous applause uniting juxtaposing sounds into seamless and vibrant audio textures. The seafaring stop-start staccato nature of wooden beats and rambunctious guitar pangs encourages footloose swagger and coastal jaunts fuelled by Sussex ales and crackling pub banter. The charming concertina evokes traditional imagery and audio bubbles of nostalgic 'Blighty' camaraderie. With such a plethora of sound it can feel overly consuming, but who cares when the sincere and plucky lyrics wax neatly over skittish thuds and happy bleats of noise to nudge you into bouts of foot stomping revelry. "If the Gaff Don't Let Us Down" possesses an openness that many musicians strive to accomplish. With credible dexterity this track highlights the intelligence and genius behind Skinny Lister's production. With pleasant values and a garnered folk aesthetic these five individuals have the ability to go very far indeed and deservedly so.
Check out the awesome little music video below then follow these guys on Facebook and Twitter and show them some love, then follow the Owl By Night Facebook Fanpage and Twitter too.