The Great Escape 2014 – Day 2

Day 2: The day of the stag


Read day 1 here:

Fancy dress is an institution in Britain, and a stag do without looking like a tool is unthinkable. And so feeling fragile but still unbroken we donned our very dapper 1920’s swimsuits and headed out into the Brighton sunshine (thank god) for a full English, and to be surprisingly sexually molested on multiple occasions by women over 60.
Refueled and feeling like gods after the attention given to us by the opposite, somewhat older sex, we headed to our first destination. Kaiser Chiefs secret gig at Concorde. This wasn’t our first choice, but driven on by the infectious motivation of one of the group, and the fact that there were still loads of tickets left we took a risk, and it paid off.

Ricky wilson was better when he was fat…..

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…should have been what we were saying in a post Kaiser Chiefs secret gig interview, but we were simply too blown away by the sheer energy, vibrance and merriment of the performance to utter anything apart from “amazing”, “well good” etc.  But  Kaiser Chiefs WERE better when Wilson was still a porker. It was only really the old songs that got the people going at this one. The majority of the crowd were in the late 20’s, early 30’s region, and so it was a chance for many to re-live the mid 00’s and get all watery eyed at the “good ol’ days”.
Ricky Wilson’s energy and aggression on stage was simply mesmerizing. Unfortunately there was a dark side to this performance. The new paint by numbers attempts at hitting the deep end of the mainstream are a sorry reminder of where this band has ended up. It is saying something about where your fan base is when a band with a number 1 selling album is unable to GIVE away tickets at a festival for new music. But for 65% of the time, this was one of THE gigs of the weekend.
Sometime during the gig we also got to meet some very nice German girls, who were given honorary stag status, and decided they were feeling brave enough to accompany us on our adventures for the rest of the day. If you check out any photos from the event (NME for example) you will also be able to pick out a fair number of our merry men.
After the excitement of the chiefs we took a few hours off to whet our whistles and dandy around town in our get up, which we were politely told to remove on a number of occasions as the afternoon went on. The bouncers and bar men didn’t seem to have same enthusiasm for our outfits as the dear old Brighton ladies did. The final nail in the coffin was being rejected entry to a gig based on our attire. With a sad sigh, and subconscious gasp of relief it was time to say goodbye to our trusty companions.

Rock and Roll exchange.

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The evening started at the Corn Exchange and its sticky, full confines for Baby Strange and Darlia. My memory of these two bands is fuzzy to say the least, so we will keep it short and simple.  Baby Strange make music with a lethargic nonchalance and gritty attitude. This gig would have been perfect in one of the smaller venues, as their music was absorbed by the huge walls of the venue. A band with a lot of potential.
Darlia then consumed the stage with their Blackpool rock. This band is getting a lot of hype at the moment from all corners, and it is not without reason. Loud, sweaty, catchy tunes with plenty of ooommmffffff.

Get on your dancing shoes

After the guitar-filled, sweaty few hours in Corn Exchange we were itching to shake a tail feather or two to some music of the electronic variety. Coalition was the chosen destination without really knowing what was happening there, simply based on the good night had there on Thursday. What we got was music of the very mainstream variety, and many tail feathers, and heads were shaken.
We got in their just in time to catch the 2nd half of The Royal Concept, and get that bugger of an ear worm in our heads. You know the one. To call this lot one hit wonders would be an insult though, as the Swedes have a fair few other damn catchy little numbers in their fjallraven kanken.
Whilk and Miskey’s deep house electro kicked off the early hours with a performance which certainly got the blood and vodka flowing. The duo’s mix of classic songs and electro beats was just the ticket to give us a second wind for the evening. Although their insistence of holding instruments which they hardly used, possibly to look cool, was a little disturbing.
The music couldn’t have gone in a more different direction after this as Hawk House brought their lyrical genius and smooth, jazzy productions to the stage. Their beats refuse to let you stand still and it was hard not to like this band, even if their music isn’t your thing. They simply had something about them that made you smile.
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Our night at Coalition came to a jaw dropping end when we saw Kiesza. It felt like we had returned to the early 90’s, but the bad, mainstream part of the early 90’s which jumped on the band wagon of rave culture to make music for the watered down masses. There was choreographed dancing, topless male dancers and lots of vogue posing. We left the venue feeling slightly confused at what our eyes witnessed. Had we already passed out listening to N-trance and were n some strange 90’s inspired Inception rip off? DID THIS REALLY HAPPEN? We got the comforting answer to ease our already bruised psyche the next day while watching the video below in a cafe. She does exist, but why? And it has over 11 million views??
What happened after that is anybody’s guess, by the time we hit the sack (after finding a bed) the next day’s early birds were already out on the streets, and the realisation that another day of brilliant liver-busting, eardrum thraping action was just a few hours away.

Read day three here: