Saturday @ The Great Escape

The Crooked BrothersHaving spent two days at the Great Escape mostly under a regular onslaught of aggressive guitars and drums, it was a relief to head out early and catch a marvellous set of twangy Americana, folk and country from The Crooked Brothers who were playing at the Alberta Music Week Canada Showcase – not only that but there was a mighty fine breakfast on offer too.

Highlights were the easygoing groove of opening track 17 Horses and the skittering country-funk of a new track about selling organs on the black market…

We followed it up with a trip to see Bridie Jackson & The Arbour whose gentle folk ballads and sweet harmonies further soothed the soul and suitably refreshed we were ready to tackle some of the more intense bands on our schedule.

During the first two days we had been thwarted in our attempts to see Theo Verney, but a trip to the Loft for an Alternative Escape event should have put that right. Except late running meant we saw the ferocious onslaught of three piece Get Hot (“this song’s called Drugs, this song is called Fight, this song is about smoking, it’s called Never Give Up. YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP“) who were pretty entertaining in a wholly visceral kind of way. As we waited for Theo to take the stage, we got instead P.S. I Love You who swathed their power chords in a guitar fuzz that made an indiscernible whole that was enough to send us back out into the street. Theo had eluded us for a final time.

The Great Escape - A PlaylistThe evening’s entertainment started with a brilliant set of thrilling punk rock from Tonbridge Wells duo Slaves who melded the best of Carter the USM with the Dead Kennedys interspersed with some tall tales of Big Foot in the Kent woods, loose women, and fighting girls. Highlights included Nervous Energy, Where’s Your Car Debbie? and White Knuckle Ride. Next up was one of Mr Popper’s must-sees, the experimental mix of drone, krautrock and punk of Dublin’s Girl Band who duly delivered in spades, and in Lawman provided one of the songs of the festival.

The frantic, non-stop punk from White Lung seemed to fall a bit flat, with not enough variation to keep the crowd interested and what should have been a apocalyptic event passed by with not much more than a whimper. And so it was to headliners Mazes, who by contrast slowed the pace to something that was perhaps overly pedestrian, and it was only the outstanding set-closer Skulking that brought the crowd to life and showed how good the three-piece really can be…

Then it was back out into the howling gale that has buffeted the sea-front all weekend for one final time. Happy to report the Great Escape lived up to its name and exceeded expectations – it has all the feel of a mini SXSW without the queues and admittedly without the weather. Roll on 2015.










2 thoughts on “Saturday @ The Great Escape

  1. What is it about indie lately that has me moving more towards Americana music these days. The answer must be Blowing In The Wind as they say.

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