Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Great Escape 2008 - 16th May (Day Two)

Ooooh hangover. Not good. Still time and tide (and Rosie Oddie) wait for no man. Yes, Rosie Oddie. I'm sure the poor girl is fed up of people asking if she's related to Bill Oddie. It turns out she is. He's her dad. Oh goodie. She was all accoustic today, but she's normally backed by the 'Oddsquad (hell if your name's Oddie you might as well go with it). I was actually rather taken with young Rosie. Reminding me of cross between Lily Allan and Macy Gray, she's got a nice smokey quality to her voice with a shade of cockney swagger and a fine bunch of post millenial relationship toons. And she wore a fabulous hat.

One of the great things about The Great Escape are the talks that go on as part of the music conference bit. This year I caught two of them, 20 years of Acid House with, amongst others, Dave Ball (Soft Cell / The Grid), Richard Norris (The Grid / Beyond The Wizards Sleeve) and Phil Hartnoll (Orbital), then a chat between David Quantick and Seymour Stein (Sire Records guru and one of the most important people in music...ever). They were both worth the £35 weekend ticket fee on their own. Intimate chats with people who really know their stuff and, as a huge fan of Soft Cell as well as the New York punk/new wave movement (which Seymour played a huge hand in...after signing Blondie, The Ramones, Talking Heads...oh yes...some bird called Madonna too) I was in hog heaven. Back to the music, caught Eat Sugar then off to Drums of Death. Mental. Drums of Death is a chap in black and white face paint (a bit like that dude from League of Gentleman...the 'You're my wife now Dave' dude) who plays brain melting grime techno and shouts like a headcase on day release. I Loved it. Proper bangin' I believe the term is. Braaaaaaap.

No sooner had the crowd finished asking each other what the fuck that was all about we recieved a good dollop of Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya (pictured...cheeky) around our chops. Ahhh...Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya. Bliss. The CSS for 2008...but even sexier...and with better tunes. Signed to 'considerably trendier than thou' label Kitsune they're French, bouncy and scrummy. Cool Euro dance with phat beats, weird bleeps and electric sheeps (probably...I'd had a cider or two by this stage). Drop their name at parties and you'll be the coolest kid in town.

A quick dash across town and we caught Jennifer Gentle (a band, not a lovely lady called Jennifer). A magical blend of garage (60's I'm talking here), 50's rock 'roll, surf music, art rock...oh hell the whole kitchen sink...and purveyors of the truly pant wettingly good 'I Do Dream You', they're what Syd would've sounded like if he had lived in Italy. In 2008. Just listen to Universal Daughter. See? I got a free t-shirt from them too. Result.

Nearly there, Primary 1 were next, then Nila Raja...ahhh...then Bishi. Another highlight here. Pure pop joy given extra spice with Indian rhythms, tabla and, played by Bishi herself, some awesome sitar. Never Seen Your Face deserves to be a blasted from a million rooftops on a hot summers evening whilst we're all spoon fed chicken tikka and chips. She's a surprising one our Bishi though. Just when you've got her nicely pigeon holed she plays something like Three Ravens, which is all folky. Whatever...she's a goddess. Oh yes...a goddess. Why isn't all music this great? Oh, and while I'm at it, is anyone in Birmingham doing this kind of 'fusion' stuff? Let me know...

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