The Great Escape 2008: Day 3

Ida Maria playing on the balcony of the Theatre Royal

Day 3 threw us straight into the thick of it with a midday offering of Ida Maria semi-acoustic a top of the Theatre Royal balcony. You’re delegate pass didn’t get you far with this gig – it was a complete freeby. However, having said that you’d have not known about it had you not subscribed to TGE’s text service (which eventually worked for me a day late).

|Photos – Ida Maria|
|Video: Ida Maria – Better When You’re Naked|

Day 3: You can tell can’t you?

Not a great deal was done with our day after that, so we put it to good use eating and drinking! Hey, we were on holiday…

I did however go for a meal at our Claudio’s dad’s restaurant and very nice it was too. Angelo was a fantastic host as usual and the food was exquisite. However, I think Angelo could tell I was coming to the tail end of a three day bender and so offered me another coffee.

Cut Off Your Arms?

We slowly made our way to Barfly for our first gig of the night, Cut Off Your Hands. Pete, Willy and Richard happened to be staying in the same hotel as the band’s manager so we made the guest list :). If only there had been a big queue we could then have jumped…

There was a bit of drama at the start to say the least. Apparently the guitarist was on a train in from London where they had been doing some recordings and it was running late. So for most of the evening we saw a very nervy looking Kiwi pacing around waiting for a phone call.

In the time we waited to my surprise I heard The Whisky Cats come on the PA. I wandered my way over to the sound desk to find non-other than XFM Manchester’s very own John Kennedy spinning the choons. I had a little chat with him and even managed to get “when I interviewed them on my radio show” into the conversation.

Cut Off Your Hands did manage to get on stage in the end, and I was treated to a set a fair bit longer then the somewhat curtailed support slot they performed with The Foals in Leicester in November. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but think that they weren’t all there. The lead singer certainly seemed to be up for it and even made a little little trip into the crowd to come and dance by myself and the two Aussies I’d befriended on the grounds that we were the only people in the room that had heard of them before. However, I got the impression that the guitarist had been rattled slightly by the evenings events and so he didn’t look like he was enjoying it as much. Which was a shame really.

|Photos – Cut Off Your Hands|
|Video: Cut Off Your Hands – Closed Eyes|

The plan was then to see Pete and the Pirates at Horatio’s Bar. In all honesty Saturday’s line up was a bit thin on the round so I should imagine that this over emphasised the good gigs that were on. It just so happened to be that, despite having performed the previous night as well, Pete and the Pirates was one of those good gigs. As a consequence it was one in, one out, even with magic red passes.

The Rascals

It was almost game over for a moment on Saturday night as it slowly dawned on us that with the locals out to play we weren’t going to find the respite of a nice pint of ale in a quiet pub. So in one last ditch effort to see The Great Escape out with a bang, we headed back to the Barly, again, to wait for The Rascals.

In all honesty, although I could appreciate that The Rascals were good at what they did, what they did wasn’t really my thing. Willy and Pete seemed to like ’em, Willy especially so because the lead singer kept giving him thumbs up – obviously mistaken for A&R again.

|Photos – The Rascals|

A little bit of Manchester in Brighton

You thought my night was over? Hell no! Do you take me for some kind of ‘falling asleep against a pillar watching a gig’ type person?

Instead I was off to Audio where unfortunately my magic red pass was now redundant and the downstairs stage turned out to no longer be the venue for up and coming bands but for some down and dirty techno. It just so happened to be I wasn’t alone.

It was great to see Klara and Rowan again, and with Vanessa thrown in as well we had a sizeable representation of Oak House going on (sort of… not really, sounds good though). Add to that old boy and gel Sam and Lauren, it was like a small Mancunian reunion.

|Photos – Audio|


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