The Great Escape 2013: Day 1

This year I could ease myself into the Great Escape experience as none of my most anticipated acts were performing on the first day, but I still saw some exciting new talent.

During the day I attended several talks on the theme of Data and Discovery at The Old Courthouse. The most interesting people were the founders of Songkick, Eventbrite and Who Sampled, all sites I use and approve. Later on I went to the Digital Pitch Party, where new music startups explained their products, and this was the most fun part of the convention so far. I was impressed with Songdrop, where you can compile playlists from YouTube, Soundcloud and other sites, and MPme, which recommends online radio stations from around the world based on your music taste.

An unexpected trend this year, which I haven’t noticed in the past, is for speakers to get shirty about awkward questions. If you’re not prepared for an interrogation from the music industry, you shouldn’t sign up to give them a presentation!

After enjoying the Brighton tradition of chips on the beach with the We7 team, the music began. I started with old friends (and regular This Must Be Pop Live attendees!) Ruen Brothers, who were well received in the huge St Bartholomew’s Church. I then headed to Blind Tiger for another retro rocker, female singer Findlay. I loved her high energy performance but did feel she was missing a more subtle moment amongst the rocking out. Overall she definitely showed star quality and from the packed venue I’d says she’s one to watch.

Next, I returned to the giant church to see a band I recently reviewed not so positively, London Grammar. I still wouldn’t buy their music but appreciated their musicianship and there were a few songs with potential. However, my final act of the night reminded me exactly why I don’t bother with indie music. American rapper Brooke Candy bitched her way through a raucous set at the Noisey night at Audio. The venue was split – the Tumblr teens at the front loved it, the grumps at the back said it was “a showcase of the worst things about humanity.” I was with the teens.

Follow me on Twitter for more updates and photos during the rest of the festival.

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