Great Escape 2013: John’s Day 2 Evening Roundup

By on Friday, 31st May 2013 at 3:00 pm
 

An American Diner hot dog and a chat with the lovely Nina Nesbitt was my treat for the interval between bands on Day 2 of the Great Escape 2013 as I ventured across the Brighton seaside for some rock and roll at Concorde 2, courtesy of Arcane Roots, Marmozets and to a far, far lesser extent, Hacktivist.

Following the release of their debut record ‘Blood and Chemistry’, Arcane Roots have built upon their already formidable stock, gained through endless touring and promotion to become a hearty prospect on any billing. The record ‘Blood and Chemistry’ itself is fantastic, and is chocka block with the kind of anthemic rock music that Arcane Roots are powering out at the moment.

Live at Concorde 2, the guitars are absolutely huge and frontman Andrew Groves and bassist Adam Burton throw themselves about the stage with such force, it’s a miracle that by the end of the 30-minute set that they haven’t collided in anger. Central to the showcase is Groves’ tremendous vocal range, with his piercing falsettos and screeches reaching the ceiling of Concorde 2 before plummeting down to meet us in the pit.

Slow is anthemic in its inception and it’s obvious that this festival season you’re going to hear a lot of it. Maybe not as much as Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’, but still, you can’t miss it. It’s huge. The entire set though proves a testament to how the band is destined for a massive 2013 and onwards. The songs are brilliantly constructed, and the three-piece pull those off with ease in the live arena, adding a beautiful bedlam to the proceedings. (9/10)

Marmozets offer up a less refined platter than Arcane Roots. Their music is very raw, with cutting riffs galore. Frontwoman Becca MacIntyre is not cut from the clichéd Hayley Williams or Florence and the Machine cloth that every female focal point is lambasted with these days, instead she hails from the relatively new school of Eva Spence. The kind of madam, who is not to be f****d with, if you get my drift?

While the rest of the band look no older than 16, they shred away through a set littered with wonky time signatures and shrieks. It’s a brilliant kind of catastrophe on stage as the band do look like they met 5 minutes before, but the music more than compensates as belting tune, after belting tune is produced by the five piece who have been garnering some more than favourable reviews from the associated rock press. (8/10)

Now after two brilliant sets of proper rock ‘n’ roll I was presented with the nu-metal sludgery of Hacktivist. A truly vile and awful band that genuinely upset me. Their cover of ‘Niggas in Paris’ by Jay-Z was frankly offensive and their nu-metal bile was aggressive and at times frankly just rude. No grace, no charm and arguably one of the worst bands I have ever seen live. Nothing more to say really, except that anyone saying nu-metal belongs in 2002-ish clearly hasn’t heard Hacktivist and realised that even Limp Bizkit had more going for them than this group. (0/10)

It didn’t get better from there sadly, as I ventured to The Loft for something a little lower key. Instead I was greeted by the tuneless aural assault that was The Weatherbirds. To give the lads credit, they are young and obviously were nervous, but it was a set of monotony, where each song blended seamlessly and regrettably, dully into the last. Luckily, it was only 15 minutes long. (3/10)

To close the night at The Loft were Nightworkers, a band who sported hairstyles from a variety of genres and generations. We had a faux Robert Smith on lead guitar and Huggy Bear’s English cousin on bass, fronted by a veritable Jim Morrison/Tom Meighan collaboration in the form of Jack Moullin. The songs are there, first and foremost, as a live outfit they are really tight regardless of whether their keyboard player Joe Haberfield is available.

Going back to the Meighan comparison though, Nightworkers have everything about them to emulate the Leicester-born, heirs to Oasis’ throne. Frontman Moullin is confidence personified and the lad-rock swagger is there in abundance throughout their short set. It’s all about boozing, broken romance and a bit more of the former and the crowd respond with a minor stage invasion, to which the band reacted well, by joining in the party on stage. (8/10)

After a break to catch my breath after the chaotic scenes at The Loft, it was off to arguably the biggest spectacle at The Great Escape 2013: the return of Klaxons. Now, I never got the fuss about Klaxons when they were first about, sure one of their members is fornicating with Keira Knightley and she’s swanning about Brighton and yeah, 2006’s ‘Myths of the Near Future’ was a top album. But 2009’s ‘Surfing the Void’ was utter bile, bar ‘Echoes’, so why the fuss? The whole ‘inspiring a genre’ is something I don’t buy into at all. However, with an opportunity to catch what the hassle was all about was one I couldn’t resist.

What I was met with was a slap in the face, as the synth-driven awesomeness of ‘Atlantis to Interzone’ hit me smack bang in the face. The set began at that pace and there were no signs of it ceasing, as the new songs which everyone was anticipating fitted seamlessly, into a set of Klaxons at their poncho wearing best.

Five new songs in total were what we were treated to, and if that is the quality that we should be expecting from their third record, then I am definitely in for a telling off. Thanks for proving me wrong, Klaxons. Now do something more awesome. I dare ya! (9/10)

To end the night, it was to somewhere a little more low-key than the Corn Exchange, the Green Door Store, where Canadian rock band The Balconies were closing the evening’s shenanigans. The sound was the opposite of low-key though, as frontwoman Jacquie Neville gyrated and gesticulated about the petit stage. The disappointment was that the band’s bass and guitar monitors were sadly far too loud and drowned out Jacquie’s voice, which on record for the Canadian outfit is the finest part.

However her energy and the sheer brutality of some of the songs were enough to limp along the set, for an extremely LOUD end to day 2 in Brighton. (5/10)

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