So this is the first of my posts rounding up my long weekend at The Great Escape 2008 festival, held from May 15th to May 17th. I don’t profess to be a music blogger (well, actually I do, but not in the conventional guise), so I’ll keep things short and sweet mixing up my post with a combination of twitter updates, photos and videos.
Magic Red Passes
Having heard Oh My God by this young fringed Norwegian I went in search of more using the trusted Hype Machine and was impressed with what I found. Nothing particularly new and dangerous here, just good pop choons fronted by a competent if not at times a little shy front woman. She opened the weekend’s entertainment at Audio (Downstairs).
Next up at Audio were Johnny Foreigner, a band who’d I’d liken to a cut down version of Los Campesinos! but still making as much noise, and a noise with a grittier edge. It was no surprise to find that both bands had in fact toured together. They were good, and the crowd certainly had a jostle but I fill my quota of this sort of music with the aforementioned.
The highlight by far of my Thursday night was the superb Vampire Weekend. Definitely popular with the kids, the queue outside of Concorde 2 stretched back a good 400-500 yards, and I reckon there must have been a good few hundred people waiting.
Despite the bouncers announcing that people should try and find an alternative venue for the night I walked to the front to find a an empty delegates queue. One in one out, it was just a matter of time. After a few teasers with girls leaving to go to the loo, eventually 4 people left and myself, another delegate and a couple from the standard queue made our way in. Worth every penny of its £99 price tag.
Inside MTV and Zane Lowe had jumped on the boat to film the gig, so if you find the distorted sound unbearable in the recordings below, you know where to go to find better. Some complain that Vampire Weekend are bit slow, maybe even a bit ‘plinky plonky’; I’d argue that even if they were, the atmosphere of that gig, the singing from the crowd, and the outstanding performance from the band were enough to crown this the gig of the weekend.
The Ting Tings
Sadly its at this point the tweets stop and it all gets a little bit too much for me. The Ting Tings were on at Barfly at about 2am and Vampire Weekend finished at around 11pm. Not much to do in between then other than drink…
I just about managed to catch the opener, Great DJ, and take the photo above but then I was falling asleep against a pillar. That’s no way to treat a band that would have a number one single and album in the charts the following week.