24 May 2013


As promised we will give you a succinct round-up of all the bands and artists we managed to see and a brief descriptive review of each gig so that we can share with you the plethora of acts and types of music we saw at The Great Escape Festival.


Opening up events at The Great Escape were Adelaide based duo Echo And The Empress; a female duo consisting of Skye and Beth whose whimsical dream-pop landscapes provided a gentle introduction to the days busy schedule. Their deep-rooted earthen productions are fuelled by gleaming key layouts and crescendo building drums to generate a world of celebratory day-glow pop with bounding electro beats. Their performance at The Haunt was sultry yet assured and the Australian group delivered a set that perfectly showcased their intriguing musical world. 

Echo And The Empress: Facebook


Following on with the Australian theme, four-piece collective Made In Japan who hail from Sydney served up a set full of thumping indie drums, coppery guitar riffs and mellow synth keys that reverberated around the lofty interior of The Haunt nightclub. Interestingly the glazed vocals that thread each song neatly together are sung by the drummer James, making a nice little change to the usual guitar-singer leads we are so often accustomed to. Despite a hint of nervousness from James' voice courtesy of a numb midday crowd, Made In Japan packed in a stream of radio friendly pop treats that shared a similarity with British indie leanings.

Made In Japan: Facebook


Cardiff based Paul Zervas and Kathryn Pepper's performance upstairs at The Hope was what can only be described as a delightful surprise. The pair have already been picked up on the 6 Music radar and have received much praise for their fantastic dualities; the rousing vocal thickets of Zervas serve as a perfectly dynamic accompaniment to the dulcet echoes of Pepper and upon witnessing such male female harmonies first hand to the backdrop of gentile guitar plucking, we were blown away by their set. Humble; bashfully charismatic and warming, the pair's set list was full of canyon-folk melodies and hazy acoustics. Despite Zervas snapping a guitar string and having the pressure of keeping the crowd enthused the gig was something very intimate and unique indeed.

Zervas And Pepper: Facebook


A below ground carpeted reception room in a posh hotel on Brighton seafront is not the first venue that you would think of when you read the blurb description for Filosofische Stilte's style of music but somehow the random combination most certainly worked. The young genre smashing maestro from The Hague sieved boisterous Nintendo bleeps with Commodore 64 glitches over thumping synth punches and voluminous computer sounds. Whilst the visual performance may have been lacking the music certainly spoke for itself and Luuk Graham's presence behind the electronic gadgets was steadfast and confident with a distinct air of MVSCLES and Materikaa regarding musical style. A nice little set from the Dutchman. 

 Filosofische Stilte: Facebook


Standing alongside The Great Escape Festival is the The Alternative Escape which shakes up the order of proceedings with special guests, pop-up shows and unusually random venues that play host to any number of new music acts. In association with Spindle and with loyal support from BOON magazine, Brighton band Tigercub performed a fantastically energetic and well executed set to an enthusiastic crowd that completely packed out The Mesmerist bar. Their rambunctious surf-punk jams stomped along with youthful rebellion and contagious drum beats all whilst the grated vocals of singer Jamie perfectly mirrored the hacked guitar strums and fuzzy beats that infiltrated this rock infused band performance. Their humble northern twangs and understated nature merely added roguish charm to a great afternoon set.

Tigercub: Facebook


Brisbane locals Hungry Kids Of Hungary performed to a full capacity crowd at The Haunt as the first day of The Great Escape edged past the halfway mark. The lively Australian four-piece have been around for approximately five years now and in the process have garnered a huge fan base that was reflected by the impressive hoards filing into the Brighton club. With breezy indie skits and tenacious guitar interplay this band performed a brief collection of songs that were simplistic and clutter free; flitting around with formidable energy and interacting with the eager crowd enhanced their set and showcased a fun style of Australian indie-pop that was upbeat and enlivened from start to finish. 

 Hungry Kids Of Hungary: Facebook


We have always loved VV Brown here at Owl By Night. When the fresh faced soul-pop starlet burst onto the scene and wowed us with her sassy grooves and salubrious hooks we knew she had potential. After setting up her own record label and channelling her creativity into a different sound it was a privilege to bear witness to her new material within the packed confines of The Mesmerist bar. Her glowing personality was wonderfully contrasted against the music that she produces; dark, imposing and fuelled by emotion. Resonating percussion and agitated bass lines peppered her set nicely providing a dynamic balance between hooting vocal displays and overwhelming drums. The music during VV Brown's gig was highly experimental and aurally bonded pop securities with damning electro and alternative noise holes. An absolutely fascinating performance by a gifted female solo artist.

 VV Brown: Facebook


Why have we never heard of Common Tongues? It seems absolutely crazy that such a great local Brighton band should slip under our radar for so long. Thankfully we decided to follow some of the bands listed on the Alternative Escape billing and caught sight of Common Tongues playing within a small back corner of the Fiddler's Elbow pub. The five-piece have been touted and hailed for their brilliant pop melodies and dynamic instrumental compositions to which we will concur; they are outstanding. The humbling nature of the guys and their cheeky irreverent charm whittled its way through into every facet of every song; crisp vocals nestle over a guitar chord syrup that shimmers delicately with each note laid down whilst violin outpourings add another fascinating element to the soundboard. Common Tongues performed each track with enthusiasm and guile, allowing their lavish folk-pop characteristics to shine brightly. 

Common Tongues: Facebook

Be sure to check out OWL BY NIGHT via the links below too. Thursday Part 2 will follow shortly.

OWL BY NIGHT: Facebook


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