Ah the Great Escape, everyones favourite attempt at drinking as much and sleeping as little as possible over a weekend. This year I was stuck working for the festival at Audio so unfortunately pretty much all of this review will be bands that played there… but piss off…
Kicking things off on Thursday we had Video Nasties with their distorted post-punk thing who I had never heard and was reasonably impressed. I’ve since checked out album ‘On All Fours’ and while not particularly exciting, it’s certainly not the worst thing I’ve heard all year. Following them it was Mika Miko who were a female 5 piece who play bouncy riot grrrl stuff. A bit like X Ray Spex crossed with Operator Please. They were quite cool but not really my bag maaan. Next on were Scottish band Dananananaykroyd who despite their awfully gay name, were and are actually pretty good. They play arty post-hardcore but with more indie vocals which I know sounds terrible, but they have a few good songs up their sleeves. Check the album ‘Hey Everyone’ if you care…So with the crowd having been warmed up by these bands, the kings of the overrated came on – Black Lips. Its not that I think this band are shit, I just never understand how they manage to have SO many fans…They were cool though and the crowd was pretty mental. They do manage to put on a good show fo’ sho’.
Friday was by far the worst day line-up wise, but first band on To The Bones still pulled a good crowd with their skewed take on grungy rock. Chew Lips filled the venue with their hype thanks to recently signing to Kistuné and being touted by NME as “the next big thing” (although, who fucking isn’t these days?). They played their bleepy, shouty crystal castles thing with varied success. New single “Solo” was good anyway. Dinosaur Pile-Up were next but I can’t for the life of me remember what they were like since id chosen Friday to really take advantage of the free Red Stripe on offer. On record they sound a bit shit though, sound like some weird early 90’s “alternative” rock band, which isn’t the hottest look ever in my humble opinion. Last band, The Twilight Sad are some moody Scots who play “atmospheric” indie stuff and managed to clear most of the venue because its not really what you want to be hearing on a Friday night. The sound was gash as well. The highlight of the day was the singer of Twilight Sad getting into a fight with an audience member while on stage, who then turned out to be one of the sponsors…good times…After work I went to check out Metronomy at the Corn Exchange which was pretty good but again, I don’t remember much. The drummer was HAWT though. You can’t beat a fit female drummer; they make sex faces while they drum.
Music on Saturday started off with a “secret” gig on the terrace of Above Audio. Don’t think it stayed secret for very long though because there was a queue of people with Babyshambles t-shirts on queuing up outside all day…So the king of the smack heads-who-should’ve-died-a-while-ago turned up and did a 20 minute set for probably about £20,000. Opinions were mixed and while I didn’t think it was a good gig (I don’t like Babyshambles either) it was certainly surreal and enjoyable in a “Christ, this is weird” kind of way. Music downstairs started with Rogues who are an “Up and coming” band who make camp indie with 80’s pop ideas thrown in the mix. Definitely a bit of Duran Duran in there. I thought they were pretty gay really but what do I know, apparently they’re going to be massive…Only caught a few songs by Fight Like Apes but they did their Irish punky-synth thing I’m sure. I was really looking forward to next band, Soft Pack, because they had sounded great during sound check but they actually ended up being really disappointing. They have some really great guitar hooks and melodies, but his voice is just so “meh” and there’s always just something missing from their songs. Still, early days I guess. Hockey finished off the weekend with their dancey indie stuff which the huge crowd went mental for. They’re currently touring with Friendly Fires, which makes sense. I think they’re ok but the show was wicked and was a good way to end The Great Escape.
After this I went to see Erol Alkan who was obviously dope, but I fucked off pretty early to go and do too much sniff for no reason and stay awake until late into Sunday. GOTTA BE DONE YO! maybe…
If you read that, you’re a fucking loser x
Words by Hulk Rogan