Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Great Escape Festival 2017 Clashless Guide - Part Three: Saturday

Check out Thursday's Clashless Guide here
And Friday's Clashless Guide here

I realised after Thursday's post went live that I did a really terrible thing that I wanted to avoid. That  thing was leaving out any information about whose showcase is whose. But as consistency is key and also as I have literally no time to edit anything I've done, I'm just going to ignore it's a thing that happened. I wanted to highlight this, but I also wanted to sweep it under the carpet and it's ended up as a bit of rambling. Let's awkwardly scuttle on with Part Three then, eh?

Current weather report: The pictures make it look alright, just pretty cloudy, but definitely don't rule out the possibility of showers. It'll feel warm in the sun, so at least that's something. (BBC Weather literally says that, don't @ me.)

Saturday is a little thin on the ground, I don't know why, it just always seems to be that way. But when you take into consideration that the city will be busier overall anyway, and therefore getting between venues and into them is likely to take a little longer, it's probably not a bad thing. An early start again and again it's up at the Brighthelm Centre for Big Scary Monsters/Alcopop's showcase openers Happy Accidents at 12:30. They're pretty different to any other recommendations so far this week, an indie punk trio with a super summery vibe. Stick around there for Kamikaze Girls at 13:30 or grab some lunch, obviously I'd recommend Bagelman but have a stroll and go wherever the wind takes you.

Be back up at The Hope And Ruin at 14:30 for WIIHAMB favourites and Brighton natives Kudu Blue. I bet you won't believe lead singer Clementine's voice isn't a sample... because I couldn't. Then it's down to One Church at 15:30 for my favourite new artiste of the last year or two, Léks Rivers. Rivers bends and melds genres, like very few other artists at the same point in their career, to create guitar based hip hop meets RnB and jazz that just has to be witnessed live. Then hop on down to Jubilee Square to see Jerry Williams at 16:30. I won't bother explaining for the (?? what the hell.. thousand and oneth? thousand and first? bloody hell.) time why you should see her, but do, it'll be fun.

Dinner suggestion: I can't believe I've made it this far without mentioning the one and only La Choza, which is where you should definitely go if you refuse to actually follow this guide. If you are following it though, you need to be quick and a speedier Mexican option is a burrito from Tortilla on West Street.

It's gonna get real messy for Saturday night. I'm referring to this guide, but maybe I'm referring to both you and myself as well... time will tell. Providing the calm before the storm is Raheem Bakere Upstairs at Patterns at 17:45. Think Gallant-like sultry R&B. Sit (stand) back and relax before this gets manic. It's once again time for a Go Your Own Way segment, but this time so extreme we're going to need separate paragraphs.

Route One
This is a route that I am committing to for numerous reasons but mostly because you're just in one venue, The Arch. First up at 18:45 is Will Heard. I'm still a bit bitter about the time he politely asked me to remove a blog post about him because "industry", but at the same time I still can't wait to start a pit to 'I Better Love You'. I'm also intrigued as to whether he performs any of his million collaborations live. Next up at 19:45 is little talked about Norwegian popstar-to-be Julie Bergan. I personally can not wait to throw down during her 2016 banger of a single 'Arigato'. The final artiste for this run, and the one I'm most excited to see over the whole weekend, George Maple at 20:45. Maple has been making super sexy pop songs with an electronic edge since day one. She's set to release her debut album at some point this year so hopefully we'll hear some new cuts from that this weekend.

Route Two
For this route you can take a leasurely stroll up to Green Door Store (there's not much I'd recommend in between) for Joe Hertz at 19:15. Joe Hertz makes some of the best electronic/RnB crossover jams we've heard over the last few years and I can guarantee that collaborator James Vickery will be making appearance during his set, so I can only assume there may be some other guests too. What you really need afterwards is a friend on the ground, someone to let you know how busy it is down on the seafront because you really want to catch explosive Danish trio Off Bloom at Coalition at 20:15. But alternatively, staying at Green Door Store for pop duo Frank Gamble also at 20:15 is a very feasible option. Then, if you think you can make it, head to the end of the pier for  quirky as fuck indie quintet Bad Sounds at 21:00 at Horatio's.

Regardless of the route you took you'll want to head back down to the seafront and get in to Coalition early for Skott, who takes the stage at 22:15. The eretheral Swedish vocalist has just been announced as the main support for MØ on her massive headline tour at the end of the year, so catch Skott in small venues whilst you can. Afterwards, take a break, you've really earned it over the past three days but do try and make time for Midlands based rapper Stefflon Don at 23:30 at Vevo's Wagner Hall

That's all for this year. It's been a wild ride. I'll be at most things I've mentioned over the last three days so if you see me, let's have a beer. Check out @WIIHAMB on Twitter because that is probably where I will be. Peace.

Saturday Clashless Recap
12:30-13:00 - Happy Accidents - Brighthelm Centre
14:30-15:00 - Kudu Blue - The Hope and Ruin
15:30-16:00 - Leks Rivers - One Church
16:30-17:00 - Jerry Williams - Jubilee Square
17:45-18:15 - Raheem Bakere - Patterns Upstairs
18:45-21:15 - Will Heard, Julie Bergan, George Maple - The Arch (Route One)
19:15-19:45 - Joe Hertz - Green Door Store (Route Two)
20:15-20:45 - Off Bloom - Coalition / Frank Gamble - Green Door Store (Route Two)
21:00-21:30 - Bad Sounds - Horatio's (Route Two)
22:15-22:45 - Skott - Coalition
23:30-00:00 - Stefflon Don - Wagner Hall

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The Great Escape Festival 2017 Clashless Guide - Part Two: Friday

Check out WIIHAMB's Clashless Guide to Thursday here.

Welcome back. First thing today I'd like to give a serious amount of praise to is The Great Escape app which you can download here for iOS and here for Android. Not only is it the smoothest running festival app I've handled, it offers everything up on an easy to digest platter in the most seamless way. My current favourite feature is if you've linked the app to your Facebook account and then scroll down to the bottom of an artist page, it shows you whether your friends have also added that artist to their schedule. So simple yet so effective. Shout out to you The Great Escape. Also, it'll have all the details of pop up/secret sets throughout the weekend. Never forget TGE 2014 when we went to the SeaLife Centre for free.

Current Weather Report: Sunny spells and scattered showers, these sometimes heavy, prolonged and thundery. EXCELLENT! Definitely bring a cagoule. I, for one, am thrilled at any opportunity to sport my festival raincoat - see you in the pit.

Starting as early as 12:30 could be an optimistic attempt but we'll give it a shot. This lunchtime slot will be filled by London three piece Sälen at Wagner Hall. It's not quite clear what Vevo are doing this year; typically they have acoustic sets during the day and then full band sets in the evening but there's no real specification for 2017. Check Sälen out anyway, it's bound to be weird. Grab a Bagelman and then head to Queens Hotel for Paigey Cakey at 13:45. Paigey Cakey used to be in Waterloo Road a few years ago (you know, when it was on) but now she's a rapper. In fact, a couple of her latest singles include her singing as well, which offers up a pretty nice dynamic in her tracks. I'm intrigued to see how she fares live.

You then have ten minutes to make it over to Latest Music Bar for Baby Queens at 14:15. Despite a truly not good band name, the five-piece make super soulful RnB/pop crossover music with stellar harmonies. At 15:20 up at Green Door Store Harrison Brome, creator of my favourite song of 2017 with the word "pussy" in the first verse, is doing songs and for literally that reason alone we should all go and watch him. The final stop this afternoon is somebody I could not care less about but I know you all want to see, Sigrid. I would assume this is going to be busy so it's probably worth heading down to Wagner Hall long before Sigrid takes the stage at 16:30 to guarantee yourself a spot. Obviously I'll be there because I am intrigued, and friends who haven't seen her live keep telling me how great she is live, and it's not fair to have an opinion on something until you've tried it. So there we are.

Dinner Suggestion: Just an hour for dinner today so pop into Franco Manca. The London sites are always very keen to turf you out as quickly as possibly so I'd expect the Brighton contigent to do the same. Super cheap super good sourdough pizza. You can't go wrong.

Once again our evening starts back up at the Unitarian Church, today with Matt Woods at 18:00. I don't know why I thought Matt Woods was American, but he's not, he's very much originally from Cornwall now living in London. He creates this super atmospheric RnB pop that I should typically hate but I don't, so there we go. Serial TGE performers The Age Of LUNA are back again for 2017 having released their new EP Coco last week and take to the stage Upstairs at Patterns at 18:45. Don't stick around for too long though because WIIHAMB favourite Dan Caplen is on at 19:15 at Coalition. I first saw Dan live at TGE last year and he was a clear standout from the entire weekend. I'm under the impression he's performing new material at the moment, which will most likely be worth seeing. Then hang around at Coalition for Raye at 20:15. With her own EP, mixtape, and features on chart topping songs from Jax Jones and Jonas Blue, It will be busy for Raye so being in the venue early is a must.

It's Go Your Own Way round two tonight, once again between 21:00 and 22:30. Luckily all of the venues are in the same direction so if anything is at capacity darting to plan B is simple enough. I would recommend first heading straight to Wagner Hall in an attempt to catch Ider at 21:00, especially if you opted not to see them on Thursday. But as discussed, the pair and Dagny who follows them at 22:00 are very sought after so the Vevo venue is likely to reach capacity. Also bear in mind that once you're inside the Vevo area, you may still have to queue to get in to the actual Hall. Last year there was a screen outside which was really cool but also remember the whole thundery showers thing. If you can't make it inside Superfood play The East Wing just across the road at 21:30, which will be cool or you can check out Strong Asian Mothers at Sticky Mike's Frog Bar at 21:15 which will probably be sweaty.

Opting for either of the latter two bands means being able to squeeze Ama Lou into your schedule, also at Sticky Mike's, at 22:15. Ama Lou's tracks are quite heavily based on electronic elements but have a pop edge too. Afterwards it's back across town to Latest Music Bar for Alice Jemima at 23:00. Her blend of acoustic/folk and electronic/pop, and the recent release of her debut album will no doubt make for an interesting live show. If you fancy running down to Coalition afterwards to catch what you can of Shy Luv from 23:30 that's definitely an option. Hang there or find a pub you can attempt to grab a table in and get some beers in before Friday's closer Krrum at 01:30 at The Hope and Ruin, who will undoubtedly bring the late night party vibes.

Friday Clashless Recap
12:30-13:00 - Sälen - Wagner Hall
13:45-14:05 - Paigey Cakey - Queen's Hotel
14:15-14:45 - Baby Queens - Latest Music Bar
15:20-15:40 - Harrison Brome - Green Door Store
16:30-17:00 - Sigrid - Wagner Hall
18:00-18:30 - Matt Woods - Unitarian Church
18:45-19:15 - The Age of LUNA - Patterns Upstairs
19:15-19:45 - Dan Caplen - Coalition
20:15-20:45 - Raye - Coalition
21:00-21:30 - Ider - Wagner Hall --> 22:00:22:30 - Dagny - Wagner Hall
21:15-21:45 - Strong Asian Mothers - Sticky Mike's / 21:30-22:15 - Superfood - The East Wing
22:15-22:45 - Ama Lou - Sticky Mike's Frog Bar
23:00-23:30 - Alice Jemima - Latest Music Bar
23:30-00:00 - Shy Luv - Coalition
01:30-02:00 - Krrum - The Hope and Ruin

Get pumped for the final instalment this time tomorrow.

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Great Escape 2017 Clashless Guide - Part One: Thursday

It's back. The mighty Great Escape Festival, and the even mightier Clashless Guide. It's an event. This is quite possibly the least prepared I have ever been for TGE so please bear with the frantic nature of these posts over the next three days. You all know the deal by now, I give you a clash-free schedule to the three day festival in Brighton complete with spots to eat and weather reports. There is one thing that I would like to stress before we get started and that is that the clashes are relentless this year, and this is by far the most difficult guide(s) I've ever had to put together.

Current Weather Report: Occasional sunshine and showers throughout the day, with temperatures between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius. Yeah, you're probably going to need a cagoule this weekend.

Why not get things started early? Like, as early as possible. First on the agenda is fairly new kid on the block Sonny at 13:00 at One Church. Sonny puts a pop and almost country sounding spin on the whole singer/songwriter thing that's quite exciting. You can then make the swift walk over to the Brighthelm Centre for the great live Scottish pop-rock band fronted by a rapper, The LaFontaines, at 13:30. After a bit of a break, head back down to One Church for Gabrielle Aplin at 15:30. There is a misconception about Gabrielle Aplin that she still makes wispy music a la That John Lewis ad and that's not the case at all. It’s at this point that I would like to emphasise that I’ve never attended a set in a church at TGE or in my life, so two in the first afternoon is something pretty ~out there~ for me to be recommending. The final stop before dinner is Liv Dawson at Vevo’s Wagner Hall at 16:30. It's always nice to admire what Vevo do with the place every year, and seeing it in the daylight to the backdrop of Liv Dawson's dulcet tones seems like a good plan.

Dinner Suggestion: This may well be the longest dinner slot available this weekend so make the most of it. My friend and Brighton resident Emma has recommended The Prince George pub on Trafalgar Street who have the most wild all vegetarian menu with a load of Mexican inspired dishes, it looks lit.

After a refuel, take yourself back to church, the Unitarian Church to be specific, for Folly Rae at 18:30. Folly Rae describes her sound as "hippy electric", which doesn't sound overly appealing, but I promise it is. Afterwards, stroll down to the seafront to Shooshh for Australian pop artiste Betty Who at 19:30. It’s important at these events to see artists from the other side of the world because you just never know how long it’ll be before they return, and Betty Who just released her second album so it'll be nice to hear the bangers from that. Although, in contradiction to my advice, next on the agenda is UK based singer/songwriter Carys Selvey at 20:15 Upstairs at Patterns. Selvey has only released one single thus far but me ol' mate Matthew gave her a rave review from Live At Leeds, so one to get behind early, I'd say.

Welcome to the first of at least a couple Go Your Own Way segments. 21:00-22:00 on Thursday is absolute chaos and I've narrowed things down to three options. The one that makes the most logistical sense is Ider downstairs at Patterns at 21:30. There are some backstairs in Patterns that should make the journey between the two floors fairly simple and avoid any type of queueing to re-enter situation that may occur because I would hazard a guess that this show will be very busy. Another show likely to reach capacity is Finnish not-your-typical-popstar Alma at The Arch at 21:15. This is the only show Alma plays in Brighton over The Great Escape but if you want to make it inside I'd suggest darting straight to the seafront from Patterns after Carys Selvey. My final suggestion for this hour is Dublin trio Hare Squead at 21:30 at Shooshh. It's easy to get stuck watching endless pop people and indie bands at TGE and Hare Squead provide a welcome change of pace, a combination of pop and hip hop, and they'd no doubt be huge if they were based in London.

Now that Concorde2 has been omitted from the festival’s core venues, The Old Market becomes the worst venue to have to get to, which essentially means you won’t be able to get over there to see Ray Blk at 22:00 without taking a fair amount of time out of this schedule to do so. I would therefore avoid this. If you missed The LaFontaines at lunchtime, check them out at 22:15 at Latest Music Bar, otherwise go where the wind takes you for a little while but not too long. Fickle Friends play The East Wing at 23:15 and you'll want to get over there early because no doubt everybody will be trying to see the hotly tipped Brighton quintet on their home turf. The final selection for Thursday is Little Cub who I am now contractually obliged to recommend. The indie trio play The Arch at 00:30.

Thursday Clashless Recap
13:00-13:20 - Sonny - One Church
13:30-14:00 - The LaFontaines - Brighthelm Centre
15:00-15:30 - Gabrielle Aplin - One Church
16:30-17:00 - Liv Dawson - Wagner Hall
18:30-19:00 - Folly Rae - Unitarian Church
19:30-20:00 - Betty Who - Shooshh
20:15-20:45 - Carys Selvey - Patterns Upstairs
21:15-21:45 - Alma - The Arch
21:30-22:00 - Ider - Patterns Downstairs / 21:30-22:00 - Hare Squead - Shooshh
(22:15-22:45 - The LaFontaines - Latest Music Bar)
23:00-23:45 - Fickle Friends - The East Wing
00:30-01:00 - Little Cub - The Arch

Catch you back here tomorrow for your guide to Friday.