Friday night saw the centre of Brighton filled with two distinct groups: Great Escape attendees, and people wearing t-shirts that said ‘Paul’s Stag Do’. As far as I can tell, the ‘regular’ residents of the city have all decamped for the weekend.
Queueing is apparently this festival’s defining characteristic, with almost everybody spending more time waiting to see bands than they do actually seeing them. Here are three of the best acts we saw inbetween standing in lines.
The Prince Albert is not Gwilyn Gold‘s natural habitat. The expertly coiffured solo artist should be playing some ornately decorated music hall, or a church perhaps. Just not the upstairs of a pub. Either way, his Rhodes-and-beats combination was one of the most exciting discoveries of the weekend. Rather like a more interesting Porcelain Raft, Gold writes songs that are simple at first glance, but which build towards beautiful, erratic crescendos. Excellent.
Paris Suit Yourself
Paris Suit Yourself are now without doubt one of the most exciting live bands in the world. Here is a list of reasons you should see them: they were, according to my scrawled notes, “sludgy as fuck”. Their drummer looks like Animal and wore a skirt around his armpits. Their vocalist stalked around the stage with his face bound up in black fabric, before jumping into the crowd, pushing audience members’ heads back and tipping vodka into their mouths. Chaotic, loud, and utterly, breathtakingly brilliant.
The Wave Pictures
I heard most of this set from outside the venue, as the room itself was fit to burst. The Wave Pictures‘ ridiculously erudite lyrics are probably their most obvious calling card, but their live show also demonstrates this band’s extraordinary levels of musicianship. Their set included what was, I think, the only guitar solos I saw all weekend – and what solos they were. Heartbreaking, yes – but also fantastically enjoyable.