Walking out of the train station and down towards the beach with the sun shining is a wonderful feeling. It's part of the reason we return to The Great Escape in Brighton each year. Touted as the UK equivalent of SXSW, we're here to check out the latest new bands from all over the world.
First up is Findlay and her backing band. Twenty-one-years-old and hailing from Stockport, her sound is dirty, gritty rock'n'roll at its finest. Debut single 'Your Sister' is delivered while prowling the stage and delivering her bluesy snarl, reminiscent of The Duke Spirit. What was a fairly sedate crowd on arrival is now captured by Findlay's hypnotic delivery, and finishing up with recent single and blues stomper 'Off And On' is a fitting way to end the set.
At The Great Escape it's never possible to see everything you want, and the quality of the line-up means there are plenty of clashes, but we manage to nip across to The Haunt to catch the second half of Superfood. After receiving a dose of industry hype, and just coming off a tour with fellow brummies Peace, we're intrigued to catch these young Britpoppers and see if the fuss is justified. There's no arguing that their self-titled track 'Superfood' is catchy as hell and reminds us of Supergrass in their early days; but that's about as good as it gets and we're left a little underwhelmed.
Luckily though, south London urchins Filthy Boy are playing just along the seafront at Latest Music Bar. With a set focused on recent debut 'A Smile That Won't Go Down', this unassuming four-piece confidently play their way through a bunch of songs that have elements of The Coral and Franz Ferdinand. It's hard to fault a band that pulls off playing a song called 'Jimmy Jammies'.
Finishing off proceedings is Bath band of brothers The Family Rain, taking to the stage at 1am in the packed-out Green Door Store. Their stripped-back garage rock is nothing original, but what they do, they do well. Frenetically playing their way through a short set, recent single 'Carnival' is a highlight, and leaves us keen to hear more from these brothers in the future.
It's now time for us to rest tired heads and get some much-needed sleep, so we can be up bright and early for day two of The Great Escape.
Words: Paul Melbourne
Photos: Anna Kroeger
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