Usually I take one glance at the Rock and Indie heavy line up for The Great Escape music conference and don’t give it a second thought, However this year there were just enough little gems hiding amongst the rest to warrant a trip down to Brighton and check it out.
I’m certainly glad I did, as not only have I developed a new found love for Brighton, I bumped into plenty of friends, met a few new ones and most importantly saw some great music. Here’s a few of the highlights from Thursday, in the order I watched them.
I’ve been blogging about this Cape Town crew for about 6 years now and it was good to finally catch them live and meet them in the flesh. Down a member since the beginning and with a slightly darker, more mature sound these days, Narch & Mark Z still carry the bass weighty electronic beats and whimsical rhyming that first attracted me to them. Even though the sound system didn’t quite match up to requirements and the gig was really early in the day to a sober bunch of industry folk, I could tell that with the right sound and crowd their show would be a lot of fun.
Although not on my original list, I headed over to catch my girls Baby Queens and the venue were running an hour late so this lady from Chepstow was up on stage instead. Part of the Horizons showcase that the wonderful Bethan Elfyn has put together of up and coming Welsh talent, Violet Skies definitely had some quality material and a beautiful voice. The music was played by a live drummer and keyboardist and sat somewhere between chilled Dubstep and RNB. Slightly more comercial than the material we put out as Chrome Kids, but in that region.
Another act from Cape Town though a fairly fresh one on my radar. Good vibes music, not dissimilar to my good friend Joe Driscoll at times, especially at the beginning when he was rocking solo on the loop pedal, however he switched up his style a little as more musicians joined him on stage and my favourite moments came when rapper Motheo Moleko, who you can see in his brand new video above, joined him up on stage. The combination worked really well. From chatting to the PH Fat boys it sounds like Jeremy has been packing out gigs back home, and with a sold out show at Islington Assembly Hall last week, I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from him over the next couple of years too.
These guys are playing Crazy Calamities at BoomTown this year, however I hadn’t seen them live so popped down to make sure I hadn’t made a mistake in booking them. Thankfully they put on a great show with tons of energy.
Another band I booked for BoomTown that I saw for the first time at Great Escape this weekend. A fantastic show from them, they will be perfect on The Old Mines, especially if you’re in need of having your soul restored. The music is within the realms of Folk but such a refreshing change from many of the newer acts being championed by the industry right now, not a beige bone in their bodies. I love their new album but live they really shine.
I went to see this rapper on recommendation so didn’t know anything about him til just now, certainly didn’t expect him to be Finnish! On a Future Trap tip… yes I just said that, sorry, it’s been a long weekend / day, it’s getting late, and can’t think of anything else to call it. There’s a video above and a Soundcloud link below. You tell me what music he makes. Either way, it was just what I needed and even though it’s not something I’d book, I’d happily go see him again.
About bloody time I got to see these guys. Ever since I watched their fantastic video for What Happened surfaced over 4 years ago I’ve been waiting for them to do a show over here, even tried booking them a couple of times.
I was a little worried it might not translate so well live but I needn’t have worried, they had the venue rocking. It reminded me of 90s Horrorcore Hip-hop but with more bass in the beats. They’ve been touring with the likes of Korn and Limp Bizkit in the States so maybe they need a similar tour support here to really hit the UK audiences, but from the strength of this they’ll certainly be welcomed here, no matter how detestable they might try to be.
I was going to post the video for What Happened but as I haven’t blogged their new video with Manchester Grime veterans Virus Syndicate yet, seems like the perfect time. Plus below is a recent track with Redman, produced by Posij.
Thabo & The Real Deal
With a Gospel soaked Soul voice you can really feel and music that ranges from Jazzy Neo-Soul to 80s sounding Soul that calls to mind the likes of Luther Vandross and Alexander O’Neal, this dude was one of my favourite unexpected finds of the festival. Turns out I actually put him on with his old band Extra Curricular back in the Cardiff Arts Institute days, but that seems like a lifetime ago now so my memory of that show is pretty hazy.
Actually time probably has little to do with it, my memory of the rest of this night is pretty hazy and it was only a few days ago.
We headed off piste and checked both Ocean Wisdom and The Mouse Outfit at The Concorde II. Not part of the festival but a stand alone show that was actually a stand out show, with top class performances from the band and all the guest emcees: Dr Syntax, Sparkz, Truthos Mufasa, Verb T and Bam from the legendary Jungle Brothers (part of the Native Tongues family alongside A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul for those who don’t know). Look out for some material from Bam and The Mouse Outfit coming soon, can’t wait!
That’s me done for tonight, will try and blog the rest tomorrow!