No sleep till Brighton. A small city on the southern coast of Britain. Home to strong winds, grey skies and Nick Cave, and known for its 1960s Mods vs. Rockers scene. This touristy town makes London look like a dud. The pebble-covered beach and pier give it a charm of its own, though it’s also reminiscent of a misty San Francisco with a lick of Venice Beach.
I’m here for the sixth time, attending the Great Escape festival, which always seems to coincide with another festival: The Lady Boys of Bangkok. Thank God I have a personal hired-friend to watch my drunk ass.
In its eighth year, TGE has become a popular gathering for the International Music Biz. You could call it a smaller-scale SXSW, without the cowboys and BBQ. It’s a hotspot for up and coming bands from all over the world, a place to be seen by international taste-makers in various Brighton clubs and venues.
TGE’s co-founder Martin Elbourne was the ex-agent of the Smiths and New Order before becoming a music programmer for England’s Glastonbury Festival. Aside from TGE, he co-founded WOMAD with Peter Gabriel & the company I rep, M for Montreal.
It’s always an honour to have breakfast or drinks with the guy who signed Madonna, and sit next to Future Islands for dinner.
The popular food in B-Town is hamburgers and fish n’ chips. And you can’t get a single slice of pizza — you’ve gotta buy the entire pie. They make up for this by letting you drink freely and legally in the streets. Respect.
Here’s some good stuff for you to drool over:
Future Islands kind of restored my faith in music. If you haven’t seen their performance on Letterman, you’re a lost cause. Prepare for your life to change. Haven’t felt this way since accepting Kurt Cobain into my heart:
Albert Hammond Jr of the Strokes is still alive & well. He’s now a gangster rapper. His new album was produced by Pharrell:
Fat White Family & Girl Band sort of remind me of that Brooklyn band Liars:
Check out Alvvays featuring Molly Rankin of the Rankin family. Garage pop, cute, surfy and perfect for the summer blues:
Doomsquad, a trio of siblings from Toronto. Think: Doldrums and Austra with some tribal and industrial smacks in the face. Heavy.
Sean Nicholas Savage played an unofficial gig uptown. His back-up band is based in Berlin & this was his first time performing solo in a while. Sean’s from another planet but still considers Montreal his home. He’s our modern day Leonard Cohen, on caffeine. He’s apparently starring in an indie film soon. Stay tuned.
Jungle. All hype, didn’t see them due to being stuck in Future Islands’ queue (that’s British for line-up):
Eyedress. Lo-fi, synths, off-key and just the way I like it:
See all of Mikey’s festival reports here.