The Great Escape Festival: Day 3 Round-Up Review

Day Three (Saturday) of The Great Escape passed quickly with the annual new music festival going out with a bang despite its attendees’ exhaustion.

My final day started late after missing Welsh rockers The Vestals’ performance. I headed straight to the Old Ship hotel’s Paganini Ballroom instead where I spent the remainder of the day. I missed the majority of France’s Archipel’s gig too but I was there long enough to know that they were positively received by those in attendance – even if the crowd were looking weary. It was obvious that this was the festival’s final day with the audience resting their tired limbs by slumping to the floor as soon as Archipel exited the stage. However, the crowd still politely rose when Canadian Blue Hawaii took to the microphone to gush about their excitement to play TGE. Sadly, their enthusiasm wasn’t reciprocated by all as some returned to their nap-time before the applause was even over.

Despite the sleepy atmosphere (and a few technical issues), the room was soon awoken by up-and-coming teenager Chlöe Howl. With her strong London accent and frank lyrics, it’s easy to compare Howl to Lily Allen. However, with her well-crafted pop songs, she’s far better than a copycat. Her imminent success doesn’t signal a revival of 00s female Brit-pop, but it certainly points towards a reinvention. A new Allen for the 2k13 generation, perhaps.

After Howl’s set was over, the audience were swiftly ushered away from the venue as they daytime shows came to an end. Before returning to the ballroom for its evening line-up, I enjoyed the experimental folk of Norwegian artist Farao at the Festival Hub stage and had a brief break from festival frolics to talk shop with The 1975’s Matt Healy (the full interview will be available to read here very soon).

The queue for the Paganini Ballroom’s evening showcase was impressively long and, as expected with all popular TGE performances, many were left disappointed when the venue reached its capacity. However, those who were lucky enough to squeeze in were treated to a fantastic line-up. China Rats gave the day a much-needed liven up with their rock and roll approach to indie while Young Kato delivered a burst of happiness with their alt-pop. Both acts were very impressive, but neither could compete with The 1975. ‘Chocolate’ and ‘The City’ were both greeted with mass sing-a-long reactions and not even a fight breaking out during ‘Sex’ could divert the audience’s attention from the future starson stage. Tribes played a show soon after and the music carried on through the early hours across the city, but The 1975’s performance was the perfect way to end the festival.

Same again next year, anyone?

Were you at The Great Escape Festival; who was your highlight?