The Great Escape Festival, Brighton, Day 3 (16/05/09)

Charlie Ashcroft | Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Great Escape Festival, Brighton, Day 3 (16/05/09)

After a day spent alternating between sunglasses and jumper, Daily Music Guide headed to Po Na Na for a performance by OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT. Their breezy variety of explosive powerpop made for an entertaining start to the evening. Intricate, high-pitched melodies were nailed on with each song that passed, while energetic renditions of 'Bloodsport' and 'The Girl From The BBC' were noticeably appreciated by the club's capacity crowd.

TELEPATHE flattered to deceive over at Digital, showing brief glimpses of lucid electronic wizardry every now and then, only to then sound samey and repetitive for minutes at a time, without so much as a glance towards the audience. The atmosphere felt rather flat for large portions of their set, as if the majority of the motionless punters were stood there desperately trying to 'get' what they were seeing. Proof that a decent album and a Brooklyn tag doesn't necessarily transform into a good live show.

A short hop into the Honeyclub pepped things up good and proper, thanks to the chaotic brilliance of JOHNNY FOREIGNER. Ripping straight into a no-holds-barred version of 'Feels Like Summer' to kick things off, Alexei, Kelly and Junior had the crowd onside from the beginning.

After announcing their state of sobriety (and voicing their displeasure at having had their 1.5 litre bottle of gin stolen earlier that evening), JoFo then clattered their way through 'Salt, Pepper and Spinderella' with great confidence. The only eventual downer was that their set seemed to reach a conclusion fairly abruptly, after about half a dozen songs or so, for reasons unknown to DMG.

Dutch band ELLE BANDITA were next on the agenda over at the Queens Hotel, to give us Brits a taste of their slightly bonkers synth-punk. Coming across as what you'd expect a bizarre hybrid of Van Halen and Le Tigre to sound like, they certainly bewildered as much as they entertained. The reality that they had a song called 'Barney the Zombie' may well speak for itself, though this title-cum-lyric will definitely need to be confirmed by some further detective work.

They were followed by FLASHGUNS, whose masterful layering of synths and strings over some powerful guitar rhythms caught the imagination to a great extent. Though the crowd could certainly have been larger, the young troupe put in a tight, polished shift. A promising future lies in wait.

On leaving the venue, DMG was made aware of a bloke in a superhero costume who was rumoured to be playing Top Trumps in exchange for shots, upstairs at the Brighton Pavilion Tavern. The discovery of said tavern revealed the rumours to be true, at the heart of a gig being put on by local bands JUSTICE FORCE FIVE and HEELS CATCH FIRE, whose off-kilter jams saw the weekend out in a haze of whiskey and rock.