TGE 2017

The best things we saw at The Great Escape 2017, Day One

A round-up of the buzziest and most bizarre sights from Brighton.

Each day from The Great Escape, we’re bringing the best discoveries from Brighton. Whether it’s a seasoned fave taking over the seaside or a hyped-to-the-skies newcomer set for massive things, DIY is rounding up anything and everything happening in Brighton.

Here’s a quick guide to the best things we saw on Thursday 19th March.

The best bands of The Great Escape 2017, Day One

- Gothic Tropic is playing a whole bunch of shows this weekend (including popping up at Sløtface karaoke to take on Dolly Parton's 'Jolene'), and we manage to cram ourselves into her opening set at The Black Lion. With a band that includes Leigh Padley of TRAAMS, Cecilia Della Peruti fires her way through half an hour of sugary sweet, chart-bound oddball pop. 'Stronger' and 'How Life Works' soar high above the crammed, sweaty pub and Gothic Tropic are bound for slick, full arenas. They'll find themselves there sooner rather than later, too.

- Tucked in a side street off the seafront towards Hove, the gymnasium on Castle Street unexpectedly became one of the busiest (and ungodly stuffy) venues of the day, with barely any room to move during Our Girl's rapturously received set. The trio are delicate and brutal in equal measure, with the two states matching up perfectly. Soph Nathan roars her way through 'Being Around' and 'No Big Deal', and Our Girl really seem to be a band on a roll.

- In the surroundings of Brighton's grand, swirly-gold Paganini Ballroom, Marika Hackman is shaking the chandeliers with her new album 'I'm Not Your Man'. She's a million light years away from the lone introspective figure of her debut, sacking off quiet reflection, and wielding her guitar like a sword instead. Her lyrics cut sharply, too, and 'Boyfriend,' particularly, is already cemented as an anthem.

- In a quaint, greenery lined courtyard, only dampened slightly by the pouring rain, Sløtface make one of about a million The Great Escape performances, and this one's a stripped-back affair. It's strange to hear the likes of 'Magazine' and 'Empire Records' toned down from crashing originals to their bare bones, but given the mayhem Sløtface commandeer later on in the evening, it's probably common sense to have a bit of a breather.

- Four hours, and several pints later, Sløtface reappear; and this time they're not here to play their own music. Haley Shea, in fact, isn't even here to sing; tonight she's acting as a host, ordering deliveries of beer to the stage. Masterminding a genius event named 'Sløtface-aoke' over at Patterns, the band have meticulously learned songs by everyone from Natasha Bedingfield to Smash Mouth, and a sign-up sheet is filled in the space of about two minutes. The crowd swap places, and join Sløtface for different numbers; and along the way there's a rendition of 'Teenage Dirtbag' from Will Joseph Cook, and 'Jolene' from Gothic Tropic.

The best sights of The Great Escape, Day One

- Harry Waugh of Abattoir Blues, wearing a fetching green Tuborg poncho, and accessorising with a can of Thatchers Gold. At least someone was prepared for the rain, eh?

- Not so prepared; The Japanese House - aka. Amber Bain - who was sighted multiple times running between people's porches in a failed attempt to keep her fleece hoody dry.

- A man dressed as a banana, dancing on a roof.

- A woman who raised spirits at Wetherspoons by offering everyone a bit of stale blueberry muffin. It's the thought that counts.

Tags: Gothic Tropic, Marika Hackman, Our Girl, SLØTFACE, The Great Escape, Festivals, Reviews, Live Reviews

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