Great Escape 2013: John’s Day 2 Afternoon Roundup

By on Thursday, 30th May 2013 at 3:00 pm
 

Header photo of Mikill Pane at the Fishbowl by Hannah Saul

To shake off the cobwebs / hangover / grossness of Thursday at the Great Escape 2013, an early start and breakfast at somewhere fancy seemed appropriate. My foolish decision to choose a croissant over a delicious panini, which my colleagues indulged in, was to be the first of my folly for the day.

Feeling unfulfilled and underwhelmed by my breakfast, I headed alongside Ollie from Top Button and Hannah Saul, TGTF’s resident videographer, towards the Fishbowl for my first Alternative Escape event of The Great Escape. In front of me were five fresh-faced lads from New Desert Blues. Their set proceeded to be a short showcase of what this band are all about, with a youthful exuberance in their music, their five-piece harmonies gracefully travelling around The Fishbowl.

The intricate guitars from their lead player proved the perfect augur for frontman Josh Parker’s brilliant voice. The tunes sounded big live, of that there was no denying, but when I returned home and had a listen to them on record it became clear that these guys were immensely talented. At the Fishbowl, there was an intense nervousness it seemed, but the impeccably dressed five-some with pristine instruments in hand managed to overcome these nerves to produce a thoroughly competent set. (7/10)

Following up from that were Night Engine, a band who our Head Photographer Martin Sharman raved about after their performances at Liverpool Sound City. Not only that, but I doff my cap to any band who play four gigs in the same city in 3days. It’s not record breaking stuff, but impressive nonetheless, especially with the level of energy and dynamism the band puts into its set.

At Above Audio, Night Engine did not disappoint. Frontman Phil McDonnell is a bastion of brash confidence, and their immensely funky bass riffs provided by Dan Deacon. It’s all quite faux-romantic material, with shades of one of their heroes Bowie prevalently appearing throughout. The entire gig in fact stunk of a late ’70s, early ’80s vibe which translated to the huge crowd brilliantly as heads bobbed in sequence. The tunes weren’t entirely memorable, but as a set, they gelled well and they stuck out as a shining spark amongst the indie scene at the moment. (8/10)

After a brief detour to buy the most sour sweet I’ve ever tasted (more on them later) we ducked into the Fishbowl again for some more Alternative Escape goodness, in the form of London rapper Mikill Pane, or as I see him, the black Example. Just listen to his new single ‘Good Feeling’ and tell me you don’t think of the silver-tongued rapper.

Onto Mikill though: an imposing fella at over 6 feet tall and not really what you expect at a venue like the Fishbowl, more akin to hosting guitar bands and such. But Mr. Pane makes the most of the packed crowd, shoehorned into the constraints of the venue. His call and return style of performance works brilliantly to a novice audience, and has the punters eating from the palm of his hand from square one.

Having cycled down from London (again, more on that later) his exuberance and high-energy in performance alongside DJ Odin was admirable and saw him earn a lot of fans amongst the naysayers. In fact, by the end the choruses were being belted out by the most timid fan, to the seasoned revellers. Harley Alexander-Sule of Rizzle Kicks was one of the amassed crowd, and just showed how Mikill Pane’s pop credentials are all there:

Friends with Rizzle Kicks – CHECK
Collaboration with Ed Sheeran – CHECK
Ridiculously catchy tune about cycling – CHECK
Endless call and repeat choruses – CHECK
The backing of Example and other pop juggernauts – CHECK

Smiles were worn by all around the Fishbowl at the end of Mr. Pane’s set but none wider than Pane himself. (9/10)

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[…] that is in lead singer Joshua Parker’s ability to pull of the most pretentious of turtlenecks in Brighton sunshine at this year’s Great Escape, is yet to be […]

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