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The Great Escape Review

Arriving to a cloudy Brighton is a new one on Team Gen but we were never going to let a little rain put us off. Our day was brightened by the silvery goodness of The Tipping Point and Killing Moon compilation and once we tore ourselves away from the mirrored cover, we got plenty of networking in at the thriving convention venues. You never know who you’re going to bump into at The Great Escape and this year’s encounters with contortionists and an Alan Carr impersonator set the tone for what is always a random first evening.

Generator’s contribution to this year’s convention helped to shake the hangover, with entertaining debate on today’s approach to artist management from Ryan Lofthouse, Russ Tannen, Ellie Giles, Colin Roberts and Radio 1’s Jen Long.

The Tipping Point showcase was of course a great success, with Bridie Jackson and The Arbour opening proceedings with “note perfect renditions of songs such as We Talked Again and Prolong.” Breaking More Waves

After a rammed show at Green Door Store the night before, it was inevitable that Gallery Circus would attract an industry crowd to Komedia and they didn’t disappoint, putting in the best performance we saw all weekend. Tipping Point faves weren’t messing around either. Playing 4 shows in 24 hours, these grafters brought groovy bass vibes, dual lead-vocal catchiness and backing singers the Fé-ettes with them.

Komedia was packed for our final artist, Sheffield dream-pop five-piece Blessa. Upcoming EP tracks ‘Unfurl’ and ‘Open Fields’ were a personal highlight and Noisey went so far as deeming them “a band whose songs make me want to hug people.” Not bad for a Saturday afternoon!

Having just announced dates for their 10th event in 2015, The Great Escape feels massive now. The festival has always achieved the balance between fans and industry even if there were one too many A&Rs catching bands everyone already knows.

A victim of its own success, it’s perhaps harder than it should be to catch some artists. But luckily we caught uber-buzz artists like Jungle at Sound City, freeing us up to check out some newer artists like Jack Garratt who ruled the Blog Up stage at the Mesmerist, plus Fickle Friends, Spring King and Belfast’s UNKNWN. Other highlights include squeezing in to The Agency Group’s showcase to catch Fickle Friends and Eliza and the Bear, Spring King at The Prince Albert, Lizzo’s fierce Hip Hop set at the Brighthelm, Rhodes’ intimate set for Amazing Radio, Royal Blood slaying The Corn Exchange with their riff-laden set, and steering clear of Frankie Corcoza at Marmozet’s sweaty set on the windy sea-front.

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