Festival Mixtape: The Great Escape 2010
Various venues, Brighton, Thursday May 13th – Saturday May 15th, 2010
This year’s festival preview coverage sees a small change here aboard the good ship Fugitive Motel. We will be bringing you virtual mixtapes for every multi-day festival we choose to preview, as well as some of the one-day event and weekend preview coverage that we will run over the spring and summer.
Whilst there’s a vast supply of words in the dictionary to describe music, very often there are occasions where gushing praise simply isn’t enough – you’ve just got to hear some notes. The Motel is of course confident that its mix represents the very best of what’s on offer in Brighton this year – just in case the fresh sea air and delicious fish and chips aren’t enough to tempt you to the South Coast...
1. Wild Beasts - Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants
For those of you new to Wild Beasts, this is their undisputed signature tune. Taken from their debut album Limbo, Panto (one of a number of truly innovative 2008 debut releases), Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants serves up a heady mix of dirty blues bass, effortlessly cool woodblock (now, there’s three words that nobody ever imagined would appear in the same sentence) and Hayden Thorpe’s spine-tingling falsetto. Perennial festival favourites of many a Fugitive, they’re always spot-on live.
Click below for more...including Frankie and the Heartstrings, MAY68 (as remixed by Egyptian Hip-Hop) and Broken Social Scene...
2. The Crookes – Bloodshot Days
Another canny signing by Heist or Hit (home to perennial Motel faves and local heroes The Answering Machine, as well as the deliciously dark strains of LoveLikeFire), The Crookes’ George Waite croons likes Pete Doherty’s angelic alter-ego, whilst his three bandmates offer an upbeat backing that’s half This Charming Man by The Smiths and half early Belle & Sebastian. Expect them to single-handedly revive Sheffield’s musical fortunes in 2010. Bloodshot Days, the band’s current single, has a riff that just won’t leave your head. So step this way for guaranteed happiness (in a quintessentially British style).
Perky posters Sky Larkin are perfect for any cassette tape compendium. They’ve just started recording their second album – and the good news is that they’re sticking with the winning combination of Seattle and producer John Goodmanson. It worked for their first album The Golden Spike, so the form book suggests their second release should be a corker. In the meantime, why not enjoy Geography, one of the highlights from one of 2009’s best debut releases? It shows off what the trio do best – rollicking guitar lines, clever lyrics and some delicious vocal delivery from the inimitable Katie Harkin.
4. Summer Camp – Was It Worth It
Summer Camp - Was It Worth It by MusicSnobbery
The mystery surrounding Summer Camp’s identities has long since dissolved (charming singer-songwriter Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey, editor of madder-than-a-box-of-frogs lifestyle website Platform, for the record). Was It Worth It is a slice of 21st-century electronic beauty – but instead of being sleek and cool, it’s warm, rough around the edges, and rages with angsty lyrics warning of an imminent strop if a roving lover doesn’t buck up his or her ideas. Oh, and if the band happen to chance upon this, it’s worth adding that one of our writers has promised you a bag of pick and mix if you ever meet.
5. Cold Cave – Life Magazine
Cold Cave make sinister, urgent electronic music, but their output manages to be strangely upbeat. Life Magazine is the kind of song the synthesizer was invented for – its monumental riff grabs your attention from the very start, and it’s a natural choice for the lead UK single from their first album Love Comes Close.
6. MAY68 – The Duke Is Dead (Egyptian Hip-Hop remix)
Fugitive Motel Review of the Year 2009 co-stars MAY68 are pretty damn good at the art of remixing, but they’ve entrusted The Duke Is Dead to a safe pair of hands in the form of Egyptian Hip-Hop. Both acts will be flying the flag for Manchester at TGE this year, and for good reason; MAY68’s infectious disco beats have got even those with four left feet (at the last count) throwing their best shapes up and down the land, whereas Egyptian Hip-Hop plunder Prince, Depeche Mode and all the usual eighties influences, then wrap them up with a healthy dose of funk, thus ensuring optimum suitability for parties in decrepit warehouses. Both have lots of festivals lined up over the summer, but don’t be shy, now - surely you’ll want to say you saw them first?
MAY68 "The Duke Is Dead (Egyptian Hip Hop Remix)" by MAY68
7. Broken Social Scene – All To All
Back in 2006, when The Fugitive Motel was but a gleam in various collective members’ eyes, a number of Fugitives went to see Broken Social Scene plain Manchester on Valentine’s Day. However, your editor instead went to see Shout Out Louds. Whilst I still don't regret it, I might make a different decision if the same unfortunate soundclash happened next year. All To All casts the Canadian collective in a brand new light – it’s a beautiful, instantly memorable electronic beast, and it could well be the song of the summer into the bargain.
8. Tunng – Bullets (Rassmus Tangerine Remix)
As the height of spring finally looks set to make a late arrival on these fair shores, Tunng have got the perfect soundtrack. Whether it’s reinventing Bloc Party’s shouty early hit The Pioneers as a work of quiet contemplation, or collaborating with Tinariwen to immense critical acclaim, they have a remarkable knack for turning out first-rate experimental folk music full of influences from across the globe. Their bandstand set at Bestival in 2007 ranks high amongst my personal festival highlights. This reinvention of Bullets (labelled ‘soft house’, but don’t let that put you off) offers a fresh perspective on the band without losing the ethereal edge of the original.
Bullets - Tunng (Rassmus Tangerine Remix) by AUTODIDACTIC
9. Alessi’s Ark – Hands In The Sink
Alessi's Ark - Hands In The Sink by Stayloose
A new decade may be upon us, but 19 year-old Alessi Laurent-Marke still bewitches the folky corner of the Motel in much the same way as she did in the last one. Bella Union have recently snapped her up to release a new EP, Soul Proprietor, and a support slot with Laura Marling certainly won’t do her reputation any harm. This playful little number, from a fine Communion Records compilation released earlier this year, is simply divine, with Alessi enunciating like the secret lovechild of Joanna Newsom and Bjork (if such a thing were indeed biologically possible).
10. Frankie and the Heartstrings – Fragile
Frankie and the Heartstrings - Fragile from Carol Lynn on Vimeo.
Frankie and the Heartstrings are everything that Glasvegas should have been but weren’t – timeless, chilling, reassuringly old-fashioned songs driven by jangling, trebly guitars, lamenting vocals and that expansive manner of production that makes the finished product sound like it should be crackling out of an AM radio, not your shiny new DAB. The Sunderland group have been tipped by all and sundry in recent weeks and months – including a coveted Radio 1 daytime play thanks to Huw Stephens. You should at least pop your head around the door to see if all the fuss is justified by their live performances.
11. The Walkmen – If Only It Were True
The Walkmen really don’t visit the UK often enough, but when they do, it’s a joy to behold. Their latest album You & Me was a welcome return to form after 2006’s slightly disappointing third effort, A Hundred Miles Off. If Only It Were True is You & Me’s closing shot – a classic end-of-the-night lament which just oozes with regret and frustration, and a welcome contrast to their better-known tracks like The Rat and Little House of Savages.
mixtape and pics (MAY68, Sky Larkin, Tunng) by: Kate Goodacre
Evening tickets for The Great Escape are prices as follows: 3-day saver (gigs only): £55, day passes £22.50 (Thurs 13), £27.50 (Fri 14), £30 (Sat 15). See http://www.escapegreat.com/buyTickets/ for a full tariff including delegate pass rates. Regular trains (from London Victoria) and coaches (from London Victoria, Heathrow and Gatwick Airports) serve the city.