Friday, 29 February 2008

The Great Escape launch party

As I may have mentioned before one of the perks of my jobs is getting invited to all sorts of dos, and last night was the launch party of the Great Escape festival. For those not in the know the Great Escape is a 3 day music festival where hundreds of bands will play in various venues across the city on the 15th,16th and 17th May. It's a great oppurtunity to see some great acts in intimate venues before they hit the big time.

When we first arrived I was surprised not to know anyone there as usually you see the same faces at these opening of an envelope events, so I assume that these people must have all been groovy music folk. Although we did meet a chap from the Ocean Rooms and I recognised a lady from Pride but that was about it.

Anyway after we had all picked up a complimentary glass of Tuscan Mule and munched on a mini chocolate brownie, one of the organisers of the event came on stage to intoduce the Festival. Unfortunately although he kept saying he was very excited about it, he didn't actually sound like he was, perhaps he wasn't used to public speaking as it was quite difficult to hear him and he was umming and erring quite a bit as well. He then brought Jay Jay Pistolet on to the stage, who will be one of the acts playing at the festival. He sang a couple of acoustic guitar tracks, although he seemed a little embarrassed as people weren't paying that much attention to him. We were particularly annoyed as there was a trio of tall guys stood in front of us who weren't even listening, they were just having a chat, surely they could have stood at the back to do that rather than blocking us and giving the poor singer the impression that no one was interested?!

All in all I was a little disappointed as the evening did not reflect the excitement of the festival. I am a big fan of the Great Escape, I had a fantastic time last year, I saw about 15 acts over the three nights, manically running across the city to catch the next band. One of the best gigs I've ever been to was seeing the Pigeon Detectives during last year's festival, just before they became really popular and getting to see them in a small venue, soaking up the atmosphere and everyone bouncing around like idiots - great stuff. Clearly they did not need to sell the event to me, as I am already a fan, I've got my ticket and am raring to go. However for the uninitiated I doubt last night would have ignited their fire. Perhaps a more charasmatic and enthusiastic speaker would have helped, they could have also had a slideshow of images from previous years or better yet a montage of video clips. And while I really liked Jay Jay Pistolet's music it probably would have been better to have a more energetic act on to get the crowd jumping around and to start to generate a buzz of excitement about the festival.

Anyway as I said I still can't wait to go and there is still time to get your Early Bird 3 day passes to see if you can spot who will be the next big thing. So come on you know you want to!


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