Photo Gallery of The Great Escape Music Festival Day 1 in Brighton, UK ( May 16, 2013)
Green Door Store:
Big Wave Riders
The first day of a music festival usually feels like a warm up intercourse. And for someone who’s never been to Brighton nor to an UK music festival, it meant an extra learning curve. Of the three-day event, today’s programme had the most enticing acts for my craving. Due to schedule conflicts and other practical limitations, I couldn’t catch some of the choices I had picked out for The Great Escape preview (i.e. Melody’s Echo Chamber). But definitely didn’t feel short changed by the bands that played at the two venues I managed to find my way to – both of them more of a dive bar than a venue with a fancy lighting. On the downside, as a photographer, more work to get the shots; but on the upside, security is relaxed and the true meaning of indie rock can be experienced.
I started my day with a brief visit to the The Polish Party at the central hub at the Brighton Dome, where free drinks are always a good gateway to an evening of concerts. After one glass of wine, then it was time to find my way to Coalition, where I was to meet Girls Names for a portrait shoot. Situated right on the beach, the venue was not so easy for a visitor to navigate to. I had been waiting a long time to meet and hear the Belfast band that has so captivated my aural sense with their music. They turned out to be swell folks and while the festival’s 30-minute slot cruised by, the songs of The New Life enshrouded like gothic cathedral pillars. I stayed around for couple of songs to hear a young London band I had taken shine to recently: Wolf Alice. Then I had to fast my feet a mile way to the Green Door Store, which was another tricky find.
Being a sucker for Captured Tracks artists, I had to catch Beach Fossils and Mac DeMarco. It was also wise to stay in one or two venues. Before all-male bands took the stage, newcomer Diana from Canada made their European debut. Lead by a silky female vocalist, the Toronto band effortlessly blended indie rock with jazz flair. While waiting for the Beach Fossils, I stepped outside where the sunny day had ripened to gorgeous evening and did some portrait shoots with couple of Finnish bands who had played earlier in the day: Black Lizard and Big Wave Riders, both on Soliti label.
I staked my spot in front of the stage off center for the two North American acts just as the crowd was starting to seize the empty spaces. My first Beach Fossils concert experience definitely jotted a note in my brain to catch them again. Their breezy dream pop songs took on more of a punk attitude and nerve-shaking energy in a live setting. But the night belonged to Mac DeMarco. Playing his second show of the night, DeMarco admitted that he and his bandmates were hammered, and you could sense some wild times ahead. I had seen the Canadian twice before, but nothing like the show he put on tonight. The man is like a modern hero – for the indie crowd. His outrageousness is not a preconception but something innate. DeMarco imbues a feeling of liberation where anarchy can be utopia. He ended his stellar performance by hanging from the ceiling until he was carried out by the crowd. Then the question was where was his shirt? To go to any show after that would be anti-climatic so I headed back to my lodging.