"It's got a dull origin," claims Stephen Brett, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist with the band, "but at the time Jeff Buckley's 'Grace' was everywhere, and there's a track on there called Mojo Pin. His music caught the imagination of many people, and at the time I was obsessed by who he was and his music."
Stephen has just become a father, and inevitably the conversation takes a detour down that route as it is obviously something that now demands much of his time… "He's adorable, I love it, and I feel a complete addiction to him," he beams.
Since 2006 The Great Escape has established itself as Europe's leading showcase festival and music industry convention, featuring over 350 artists from around the globe over three days. About 35 venues are used including unusual locations such as museums, the beach shop fronts and hidden spaces. In all there are 650 live performances, attracting 13000 music fans and 3000 music industry delegates. The City is alive with the Sound of Music!
Running alongside The Great Escape is The Alternative Escape, which features even more bands and artists representing labels, agencies, promoters and management companies from Brighton and around the UK. Some of the acts play more than once, on both the main Great Escape and the Alternative Escape bills over three days.
Since 2006 the likes of Adele, Mumford & Sons, Haim, Jake Bugg, Tini Tempah, The Maccabees, Foals, Friendly Fires, Laura Marling, Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend, Kasabian, White Denim, The xx, Chase & Status, Warpaint, Ed Sheeran, [Alt-J] and Disclosure have performed at the festival. This year expect to see the likes of Kaiser Chiefs (playing a secret show), Kelis, Wild Beasts, Little Dragon, Dry The River, Future Islands, Clean Bandit and Jon Hopkins performing, spanning almost all genres of music known to man. Just as importantly the Great Escape presents a fantastic amount of new and up and coming acts, all of whom are considered 'ready' to take a further step up.
Not only that, but almost uniquely amongst mainstream electronic dance acts, they tackled political, environmental and social issues, such as in ‘Halcyon’ (based on their mother's addiction to tranquillisers), ‘The Girl With the Sun in Her Head’ (recorded entirely using electricity provided by Greenpeace's mobile solar power generator) and a four minute remix ‘Criminal Justice Bill’ remix of ‘Are We Here?’ which appropriately enough consisted of four minutes of silence in response to the draconian bill that would attempt to repress so-called repetitive beats.
Their story is a brilliant one and I met up with Paul at his Brighton based studio to talk mainly about those early days, but also about the here and now and Brighton of course…
Looking for a heartening success story in the fickle world of rock and pop? Thinking it's all about instant impressions and catering for nano-second attention spans in this era of reality, instant success TV? Then look no further than Mike Rosenberg aka Passenger, who after years of patiently chipping away has suddenly seen all that perseverance, talent and passion pay off.
Name: Jared Philippo
Favourite Band: Besh O Drom
Favourite Place in the world: Gokarna, India
Favourite Artist: Ricardo Cavolo
How would you describe the Gypsy Disco ethos?
The whole idea of Gypsy Disco is that we want to bring people together and to make it something more than just a club night. We hope to create a sort of playground where people can explore and interact with the night as well as with people which is why we have created a variety of structures and areas for our audience members to immerse themselves with. Within the collective we emphasise a policy of 'no ego' whereby we are all the same regardless of what role we have, this we hope is then transgressed within the event as we show we don’t take ourselves too seriously which I think is important to make everyone feel comfortable and relaxed.
We love putting on events and any money we do make goes straight back into making the next event more special.
For those who have been living in the Brighton area this last decade you'll probably have come across British Sea Power, a quintessential INDIE band in the old fashioned sense of the word, purveyors of non-mainstream guitar based music that generally paddles its own canoe, never quite following the diktats of current fashion or flavours; where virtuosity is not a pre-requisite of authenticity or quality. Alternative is perhaps an appropriate single word summation of this band who have dabbled successfully in the sub-genres of punk, lo-fi, noise pop, post-rock and melodic rock whilst managing to stay within the general confines of what we know as pop and rock.
In their time they have re-defined what it is to be in a band, often eschewing the traditional means by which to get their music out there. They've played countless unusual venues, often at their own instigation, from the Lido in Saltdean, to the tiny Isle of Eigg (situated within the Scottish Inner Hebrides), and from Newhaven Fort to a ferry on the Mersey; have collaborated with some unlikely fellow musicians such as Sussex's first family of folk, the Copper family and The Wurzels, set up their own clubs and gigs (most famously Club Sea Power) and composed a number of film soundtracks, often performing those live.
That's not to say they haven't enjoyed commercial success. All but their first studio album, (all released on the seminal Rough Trade label) have made the top 25 in the UK charts, and even that debut, The Decline of British Sea Power, was a word-of-mouth hit, selling over 60,000 in the first two years following its release in 2003. They have even enjoyed some singles chart success in the day when that still meant something (i.e. until the very recently).
BEST OF 2013
| Kins |
| Laish |
| Flash Bang Band |
Bite your tongue
| Electric Soft Parade |
| The Beautiful World |
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| Phoria |
| Time for T |
| Us Baby Bare Bones |
What starts with a U and ends with an I
| Wild Flowers |
Wild amongst the flowers
| The Black Fields |
House on the Brooks
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| Apples & Eve |
| The Mojo Fins |
| Octopuses |
| Abi Wade |
| IYES |
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