Monday, May 21, 2007

Great Escape Festival 2007

Having spent the last few days indulging in one of my favourite hobbies - jumping up and down to live music - I am positively itching to blog about all the brilliant (and some awful) bands I've seen. But as I am off to Brazil in three days, and have a sales conference at work for the next two, it's unikely that I'll have time to write anything halfway decent. So instead, here is a photo-diary of my favourite bits of the festival...

One of the first bands we saw, ZZZ - from the Netherlands, were an eccentric mix of jazz hammond and hard rock drumming/vocals. Brilliant for stomping about to in my big green gig boots, and getting me well and truly in the festival spirit.

Wiflully kooky Icelandic songstress Hafdis Huld is produced by the delightful and hugely talented singer-songwriter Boo Hewerdine - and the influence shows in her witty lyrics and catchy melodies.

The very pretty guitarist from Californian rock band The Airborne Toxic Event. This was one of those fortuitous accidental gigs - we had expected to see someone else entirely - but they turned out to be really good. Definite shades of The Arcade Fire, but rockier and less tender.

There were various 'secret' gigs organised throughout the festival, for those subscribed to the text message info service. One of these was Foals, which kept being postponed due to weather conditions, and finally kicked off at Horatio's - a seedy karaoke bar at the end of the pier. Despite the odd choice of venue, there was a brilliantly spontaneous vibe about the gig, which complemented the youthful band's amazing energy and physicality. I spent the entire set dancing on the back of a sofa - trashing the furniture in true rock 'n roll style!

The Magic Numbers were one of the biggest names at a festival largely dedicated to 'new' and 'upcoming' bands. We hadn't actually intended to see them, but had bagged ourselves a good spot at the previous gig (Captain) in the same venue, and so decided to give them a go. Having been largely underwhelmed by both their (arguably over-produced) albums, I was pleasantly surprised and enthused by their infectiously ebullient and impressively rocking live performance.

Possibly my favourite shot of the whole festival, this shows one of the members Benni Hemm Hemm contemplating some sort of wacky home-made persussion instrument. This was at our final gig - part of an Icelandic music showcase at the Duke of York's - and a wonderfully mellow end to a rather frantic few days.

Loads more photos of The Great Escape, and other Brighton Festival happenings, are on my flickr page at:
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