Mikey B Trippin: The Great Escape pt. 2

M for Mikey reports once more from Brighton’s Great Escape music festival, where he wins an award, gets insulted and hit in the face by L.A. hipsters and drunk Brits, witnesses some weighty talent and has a brush with music-biz greatness.

I attended some conference-y stuff ’cause my boss wanted me there, but those organized sessions make me a lil uncomfortable & I tend to sweat profusely. The majority of attendees rep desperate companies or bands, & hand out all this promotional shit that I’ll most likely throw away. I’m more the type to socialize in bars, shows or parties with random faces that I like. So after I couldn’t take it anymore, I headed out to a pub for lunch & found others like myself who were just basically pre-drinking till the next show.

That next show had a line-up the size of Barack Obama’s front lawn, including Unknown Mortal Orchestra. It looked like I wasn’t getting in until I spotted a dude named Tim Joly, a promoter who was the first dude in the U.K. to name-drop my lovely friend from Sacramento, Chelsea Wolfe. Tim was happier to see me than I thought & since it was his gig, he got my ass into the show in a heartbeat. I couldn’t see shit & only caught a couple songs, but let’s just say they are super “in” right now & it’s worth streaming a song or two to check ‘em out. I ended the night there with the rad-ass blonde chicks from Vice & Noisey U.K., shot after shot until the wizard took me to Oz.


Last thing I remember is stumbling back to my bed on a quiet street at 4 a.m. I bumped into two loud, drunk Brits & some stuck-up L.A. hipster. They asked where I’m from. “Montreal.” “Why no French accent?” they say, & I reply “I’m from Stockton, California, too.” L.A. dude had a look of distaste on his face & said, “Shitty town,” & turned his back on me. I then barked at him, “Stockton might be a shithole, but Pavement’s from Stockton, bitch.” His Brit buds perked up & jumped with joy as we ditched the L.A. prick & hopped away singing “Shady Lane” into the Brighton sunset. Hey L.A. asshole: eat it.

On my last day, I attended the YMCA awards. That’s TGE’s Yearly Music Convention Awards. I was nominated for two: Best Regional/Small Festival for M for Montreal & another for Best Networking Event/Activity for the M for Mikey Tour. I’m happy to say M picked up the award, but since M for Mikey won last year, I handed the statuette over to the MAMA event in Paris. You go girls!!

That night I went out to the Art Rocker Showcase to catch Irish metal punk band Wounds & a band I love, the only surf-rock-sounding band I know of in the U.K., Mazes. Another band that knocked me hard that night was Guards from L.A. They’re gonna rock Osheaga, so hit it up, buttercups. I left there slanted & enchanted after a Brit hit me in the face & tried to pickpocket my wallet.

Seymour Stein (left), Mikey (right) and some lady

I finished the night off @ the Queens Hotel bar by the water, where I sparked up a conversation with someone I NEVER thought I’d ever bro-down & have drinks with. None other than 71-year-old Seymour Stein, aka the ex-president of Warner Brothers Records & co-founder of Sire Records. The dude signed a butt-load of artists from my record collection, ie Madonna, Depeche Mode, the Smiths, the Ramones, Talking Heads & Ice-T, to name a few. Belle & Sebastian even wrote a song about him. T’was 3 a.m. & he was standing like the rock that he is. The dude is smart, fast & had that 30-year-old look in his eyes, asking lots of questions — usually, it’s the other way around. I woke up to an email @ 11 a.m. from the man himself saying it was nice talking to me. Really? Sharp, Seymour. Sharp.

I’ll see you next year, Brighton. ■

Read pt. 1 of Mikey’s Great Escape report here

Who is M for Mikey?


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