Thursday, 28 May 2015

What I Did At The (Radio 1 Big) Weekend - Yes, I Got Tickets for Both Days!!!

Once in a while something so huge, so iconic and so unmissable comes along that you know that life itself depends on you being able to be there. If you live in Norwich this last weekend was one of those occasions. Not only had our lovely football team taken themselves off to Wembley Stadium and, in front of 34,000 die-hard Canary fans, had seen off the threat from the Teesiders to win a place in next season's Premier League, but BBC Radio 1 had descended on Earlham Park and brought everyone from Foo Fighters to Taylor Swift with them for two days of pop-partying.

It was a time for families and friends to unite in a determined spirit of ticket acquisition in order to attend at least one of these momentous events. When the SeeTickets website went live for Big Weekend at 8.00am on that Tuesday morning back at the end of March I must admit I thought I was in for another one of those frustrating 'refresh' sessions, a repeat of  previous unsuccessful attempts to get through for Glastonbury tickets, and that was in competition with folk with £200 to spare. These tickets were free, albeit with a nominal £3.50 handling fee.

Fortunately for me, The Daughter was home for a few days, completing her university dissertation over the Easter holidays. Roping her in to help was my salvation. Whilst I wrestled with desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile phone, she calmly and persistently hammered her refresh button using the same technique used to get through to her university medical centre for an appointment on a Monday moning and, what do you know, not only did she get through, but she did it twice, gaining me a pair of tickets for both days! It therefore seemed only fair for me to sort out tickets for The Son to attend Norwich v Ipswich in the play-off semi-finals, thereby paving the way for Wembley tickets should the Canaries make it through to the final. Which they did!

Coming as it did at the end of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, I was already running on half-empty from doing too many volunteer shifts by the time The Big Weekend came around. I certainly didn't relish the prospect of queuing for a bus ride back into Norwich at the end of each eleven hour session at Earlham Park, so I had scoped out a small dog-walkers' car park at the University end of North Park Avenue, just a few minutes walk from the entrance to the park. By using my motorbike I was able to avoid the parking problems caused by road closures, permit parking and park-and-rides, and had a perfect spot for a quick getaway at the end of each evening. Remember that one for the next Big Weekend in Norwich!

The gates did not open one minute before the advertised time of 12 noon, but that didn't stop a considerable crowd gathering on the grass in front of the gates. 50,000 free bags of Kettle Chips were being distributed from the back of a huge trailer by an army of helpers. Ironically, Kettle Chips had been one of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival sponsors, so we had already been munching our way through endless packets for the past two weeks. Still love them, though.

Programme sellers were asking £7 for a small booklet attached to a Radio 1 lanyard. Seemed a bit steep, especially as it only included details of one day's performances. 'SOME OF US HAVE TICKETS FOR BOTH DAYS, YOU KNOW', I thought, selfishly. Without one, though, you could easily miss your favourite band, as the running order was different to that on the Radio 1 website, and the times were not posted anywhere else on site. Sneaky.

Security was tight, which slowed down our progress through the gates. Some ticket holders clearly had not read the small print, and so were parted not only from their food and drink, but some were forced to abandon their folding chairs as well. I was subjected to both bag search and body search, being made to empty my pockets as well. I still saw plenty of discarded laughing gas canisters and spotted lots of discrete decanting of spirits into Sunny Delight pouches, so some people's ingenuity obviously paid off.

First stop for me was the 'In Music We Trust' Arena, the vast circus tent at the top of the hill. New punk pair from Kent, 'Slaves', were due to open so, on the basis that 'The Vaccines' were playing Latitude in July, I cast my vote accordingly. Although this Kent pair look a bit like escapees from an EDL rally, they have a wonderful humour to their punchy pop tunes that makes them totally lovable. Song titles like 'Cheer Up London', 'Where's Your Car Debbie' and 'Feed The Mantaray' have sing-a-long addiction that persists way beyond the end of their set.

Curiosity dictates that I hold position at the front just in order to see the legend that is bad-boy and just so superstar Snoop Dogg. Every one else seems to want to catch a glimpse as well, and it is only a few minutes before 'Tent Full' notices are being carried to the entrances. When the man himself emerges wearing a Norwich City football shirt, complete with 'DOGG 20' emblazoned on the back, the place goes mental. Say what you like about the man's music, but he is undoubtedly a legend.

Back out into daylight, and it is time to start my assault on the main arena. The plan is to end up as close to the front as is possible before Muse come on stage at around ten o'clock. This, therefore, involves foregoing food, drink and toilets for the best part of eight hours. Hope you appreciate the effort, Mr Bellamy.

Charlie XCX makes a lot of noise and in spite of her monochrome outfit, puts a lot of colour into her performance, including a confetti-cannon blast finale of pink and purple. We all sing along with 'I Love It' and 'Famous', before being left to pick out the confetti from our hair. Her giant inflatable guitar brings back memories of an infamous night out in Nerja a few years back.

Ben Howard restores a semblance of piece and calm with a set that draws heavily from the new album, although he indulges us with 'The Wolves', the first single to be released from 'Every Kingdom'. Not a lot of animation or movement from Howard, although there is some unusual guitar work employed. At least he doesn't tell us all to Fuck Off this time round in Norwich.

Fall Out Boy are the first act out of the blocks today that really act and look like a festival band. Unfortunately, the random allocation of free tickets to the good folk of Norfolk mean that a lot of the audience are a little bemused by their Fine City being compared to Pete Wentz' home town of Wilmette, Illinois as 'another small town that no one has ever heard of '. What he was trying to say was, 'your dream of fame and fortune can and will happen, wherever you come from'. Just didn't quite come out right. Those that do know know and love Fall Out Boy try desperately to get a mosh going, but are heavily outnumbered by those who stand back and tut. 'All that pushing and shoving should be stopped before someone gets hurt'. FFS.

Gallic superstar DJ David Guetta is the very man needed to kick some ass into the Big Weekend crowd and get us all moving. I have always been slightly sceptical of disc jockeys headlining festivals, but sometimes it needs a few good choons to really get things going. Monsieur Guetta sure knows how to push the right buttons, and it is time for me to break out my arthritic joints into a euphoric spate of wild jumping, bouncing and arm-flailing. I know I'm going to regret this in the morning, but who gives a shit? Lots of pyrotechnics, and paper streamers, and this time orange confetti are shot into the audience. The streamers mostly drift in the wind and entangle themselves into the left hand speaker stack, meaning that the riggers have to scale the dizzying heights to remove the before Florence and The Machine can play. We pick the orange confetti out of our teeth, but at least we are all smiling.

The lovely Florence Welch hobbles onto stage, apologises for having broken her third metatarsal, and asks us if it is OK if she sits on a stool for the duration of her set. Florence, you can do the whole thing reclined on a La-Z-Boy armchair if you wish. We are just so pleased that you are here, and did not cancel. At least you have an excuse to sit still. We don't, and so she instructs us to jump and bounce. We jump and bounce. She almost gets herself into trouble with her younger brother JJ, who is a student at the next-door UEA. Not only does she set about trying to find him a girlfriend, but she lets the cat out of the bag and discloses that he is having a party later back at halls, and she will be going along. Got to love her.


And finally, the moment I have been building up to, and edging forwards for. I have managed to get within five rows of the front, and Muse are due on stage any minute. To say that their set is an assault on the senses is an understatement. Huge video projections at times threaten to overshadow the band themselves, but the music is undeniably Muse. Over the next fifty minutes we are blasted by a set that includes 'Supermassive Black Hole', 'Time Is Running Out', 'Knights of Cydonia', as well as four tracks from the new album, 'Drones'. Magical and awesome. By the time they finish we are totally shell-shocked. So much so that when the PA starts to play out with Greg James' amended version of 'I live in Norwich, and I'm Going Home!', that's exactly what we obediently do.


I am on my motorbike and safely home within forty-five minutes of Muse leaving the stage. A few hours sleep, and then back on Sunday to do it all again.

Sunday is going to prove an even bigger challenge for stomach and bladder, for I desperately want to be as close to the front as possible for the Foo Fighters, but I have an army of Taylor Swift fans to get past first. In spite of the rain, and the thought of having to stand and watch Olly Murs, I head straight to the main stage, armed only with a 500ml bottle of water, and a packet of mints. This could be a long ten hours.

Say what you like about Olly, but he sure as hell is one great entertainer. Even I am grooving along with his funk medley, and love it when Ella Eyre comes on to duet with him on 'Up', and squirm only slightly at Grimmy's appearance on 'Wrapped Up'.

Clean Bandit have become massive since I first saw them on the tiny Lake Stage at Latitude a few years ago. This year they play to a massive crowd, despite the rain, and even bring on dance diva legend Elisabeth Troy to help out on vocals for 'Stronger'. Later Rae Morris appears to sing 'Up Again'. The inevitable 'Rather Be' closes the set for a crowd who have been whipping their waterproofs on and off, but have lapped up every minute.


Catfish and The Bottlemen are a buzz-band at the moment, and I have been waiting to see them for some time. The Welshmen turn in a credible set, confounding those who are expecting some kind of quirky folk band. The name apparently comes from a Sydney street busker who plays an improvised glockenspiel constructed out of beer bottles strung from a wire. All their tracks played are from their debut album 'The Balcony', but I don't care as it is the first time I've seen them perform live.


Rita Ora appears in a leather jacket and matching Gladiator-style skirt, her straight blonde hair contrasting against the black. I still don't believe she had the qualifications to replace Kylie on the voice, and to be brutally honest would still rather be watching diminutive Ms Minogue this afternoon, but beggars can't be choosers. There's lots of deep bass, plenty of jumping about, and some acrobatic moves by the troupe of dancers, but I guess this probably just isn't my cup of PG Tips. There's orange and blue confetti spewn from the cannons to accompany the closing number 'Hot Right Now'. It completely coats the stage which is already wet from the rain. They are going to have a job getting rid of all that before Taylor Swift is due to play.

Imagine Dragons are my big surprise of The Big Weekend. Hailing from Las Vegas, they have just released their second album, 'Smoke + Mirrors', which duly topped the album charts over here. I guess they just missed my radar, but their personable and honest lyrics, and enthusiasm for embracing the crowd wins me over. Put that one on my shopping list for next time I'm in HMV.


I love George Ezra's voice, but there is just something that I don't quite like about the guy. I saw him last year at the Waterfront Studio in Norwich, and I remember some misogynistic comment he made about dumping a girlfriend, and admitting that he wrote the song Budapest even though he never actually made it that far on his InterRail ticket. Not that you should damn a man and his entire career over two throwaway comments, but that is my prerogative. He doesn't bother saying much to the Big Weekend crowd. Perhaps it's just as well.

The stage has still not been cleared of all Rita Ora's confetti, so there is a bit more frantic sweeping and heel scraping to get rid of the last of it before the perfectly packaged form of Taylor Swift hits Earlham Park. From the sparkly bling of her outfit to the perfectly coiffured hair and bright red lipstick, this is one amazing show-business phenomena to witness in the flesh. Every pose and pout, every flick of the hair, and every strut and turn is choreographed to within a whisker's breadth of impeccability. Whatever you think of her records (and I don't think that they are that bad), you cannot help be impressed by her consummate professionalism on stage. Even the way she holds each pose for a second makes it virtually impossible to take a bad photograph of the woman. Respect.


As Taylor Swift finishes her set I witness an extraordinary scrummage at the front of the stage. As her fans turn to leave (they don't want to see Dave Grohl?) they are met by a wave of Foo Fans surging forwards to take their place. One man, who has been standing in front of me for the last nine hours without moving (if he had been lying down, I would have checked for a pulse hours ago), stood motionless throughout Taylor's set, but was obviously one of her biggest Norwich fans, now turns to attempt to leave. He appears slightly concerned for his own safety. What are his prospects of  escape before the first chords of the Foos opening number claim him as one of the Devil's own.

No such worries for me. I end up in the second row, directly in front of centre stage. Just far enough back to avoid my ugly mug from photo-bombing the television coverage.


What can you say about Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, apart from the fact that Grohl once played here at the Norwich Arts Centre with his previous band, Nirvana? The man is a rock and roll god, who knows and loves music so much that he really deserves his own show on Future Radio. Once their set is under way I keep having to pinch myself to believe that at times I am less than twelve feet away from one of everybody's rock and roll heroes.

The set is amazing, albeit, I'm told, about two hours shorter than he will sometimes play for. Four days later, and after just one hour, my neck muscles were still aching with all the violent head-shaking. He mockingly, but with endearing good-humour, thanks his support band for warming us up, and dedicates virtually every track after that to Taylor Swift. He goads us into embracing the Foo Fighters' mission (to play rock and roll), teases those of us that have never seen the Foo Fighters before, and invites all Foo Fighter virgins to attend a proper Foo Fighters show at some point.

There are fireworks at the end, but this was not about the special effects. It was all about the music. Foo Fighters, we salute you.

So, there you have it. Two days of the greatest musical event to visit Norwich in recent memory. When I was a kid we used to follow the Radio 1 Roadshow, with the likes of Tony Blackburn, Peter Powell, Gary Davies and others doing their bit for Won-der-ful Radio One. Then, it was all about the presenters, and far less about the music. This time around, almost forty years later, the DJ's were still around - Grimmy, Scott Mills, Greg James and Annie Mac (surely the most desirable record player since the Bang & Olufsen Beogram 4004), but this time it was definitely all about the music. The way it should be.


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Mammal Hands' Sunday Night Beat Club at Norwich Arts Centre

As this year's Norfolk & Norwich Festival approaches the end of its middle weekend we have already been treated to some wonderful performances, Wolf's Child continues to wow audiences over at Felbrigg Hall, and we still have a whole week of treats in store. As well as welcoming artists of world renown, and having companies like WildWorks coming to Norfolk and involving the local community in their production, it is gratifying to see local bands and performers appearing in the programme. Tonight, at Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich's acclaimed contemporary jazz trio, 'Mammal Hands', are headlining the second meeting of the Festival's Sunday Night Beat Club.

This is something of a homecoming gig for 'Mammal Hands', having last appeared at the Norwich Arts Centre in September 2014 to launch their debut album, 'Animalia', released on Godswana Records. On that night we were also incredibly privileged to have had Mercury Music Award nominees, and label mates, 'GoGo Penguin' play support. Tonight the Norwich trio return, suppported by prog-folkers 'Fishclaw' from Colchester, and also our own 'Horo Quartet' from Norwich. Later, in the bar, will be spoken word from four of the leading performance poets from our own Norwich Writers Cente. 

Horo Quartet

Tonight's openers, 'Horo Quartet', are a new name to many. Some may have already seen them perform in Norwich at The Reindeer or Jurnets Bar. For others, myself included, it was a first experience of their East European influenced folk music - no lead vocals, but an enthralling mix of fiddle (Will Glenn) , flute and sax (Jordan Smart) propelled with drums (Alex Elliot) and layered with piano accordion Peter O'Brien) to contribute the Balkan vibe. Looking forward to their forthcoming return gig in Norwich at the 'Dirty Stop Outs' night at The Murderers on June 19th.


'Fishclaw' from Colchester may also have been a new name to Norwich audiences. Formed from members of 'Three Beards', 'Ghost Train Porters' and 'Secret Jane', this prog-folk outfit form the perfect bridge between 'Horo Quartet' and our headliners. Playing tonight as a five piece, the line up of electric bass, fiddle, drums, guitars and (once again) piano accordion, takes folk to a slightly darker place with tunes that use guitar to follow the path originally trodden by the likes of Jethro Tull and String Driven Ting. 

Also, for those of you who spotted the funny little wooden box to front of stage, their set ends with a bizarre performance on a tiny xylophonic keyboard that produces a sound not unlike a Fisher Price piano. In what could be mistaken as a Spinal tap styled homage to Keith Emerson, the final number concludes with an enthusiastic hammering of this tiny instrument by Simon Keep, the band's accordion player. Quite extraordinary.

Nick Smart of 'Mammal Hands'

So,  having two folk bands precede a contemporary jazz headliner may at first have seemed a strange choice, but Mammal Hands originally started off busking on the streets, and their music still captures the essence of local culture as well as ethnic rhythms from around the world, incorporating these elements into their compositions alongside their love of electronica, classical and, of course jazz.

 The audience is spontaneously enthusiastic, obviously a high number of regular fans, and appears to be made up equally of those to want to dance, those who just want to lend vocal support, and a number that are happy to adopt a cross-legged yoga position on the floor. Nick Smart seems delighted, and bemused, by the warmth of the band's reception, the dulcet tones of the Art Centre's grand piano provide sonorous enhancement to Nick's minimalist style and rich texturing of  jazz harmonies. Brother Jordan's sax carries us on a sublime journey with twists of dance riff woven in, whilst Jesse Barrett's unique playing and drumkit incorporates the sounds of Africa and Indian cultures into a homespun mix.

It is definitely a case of 'onwards and upwards' for Mammal Hands.

And that is where most gigs would end, but no, this is Sunday Night Beat Club, and even though it's a school day in the morning, there is still more entertainment, and the bar is still open. 

The Writers Centre in Unthank Road is home to many of Norwich's literary community of writers and poets, and provides a stimulating and supportive environment in which to allow the creative juices to flow. The Norwich Arts Centre throughout the year provides a platform and a stage for their writers to stand up and present their works. Luke Wright and Molly Naylor are just two well-known names that I have seen here, either performing or in the audience supporting fellow writers. They are both in the bar tonight, and together with Helen Ivory and Martin Figura (the husband and wife team behind Café Writers) we are treated to a sparring match of poetry reading from these four locally based talents. 

Luke Wright and Molly Naylor

Helen Ivory and Martin Figura

The contrast of style and delivery, and the richness of the prose in dealing with topics covering everything from Ted Heath in the 1980's to riding the night bus home, serves as an eye-opener to those that think that writing poetry is easy, and a master class to those of us that have tried, and are still trying. Nothing beats the intimate nature of four contemporary writers alternately rising from their table of drinks to deliver a sample of their prose to a relaxed after-gig audience. It was a privilege to sup a pint in their presence, and a perfect end to a Sunday Night Beat Club at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

The Norfolk & Norwich Festival runs until May 24th. Programme and tickets from their website

Mammal Hands have a website at

Hear more of Fishclaw through Soundcloud

Come and see Horo Quartet at The Murderers on June 19th, or visit Soundcloud at

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Ólafur Arnalds at the Theatre Royal - Iceland Delivers

When the teaser announcements for this year's Norfolk & Norwich Festival came out, there was only one ticket that I simply had to buy, and that was to see Icelandic neoclassical composer Ólafur Arnalds. Better known to most as the creator of the stunning music accompanying ITV's 'Broadchurch', Ólafur actually started his musical career as a death metal drummer with Icelandic band 'Fighting Shit'. We should be therefore eternally grateful that his grandmother introduced him to the piano and the music of Chopin.

First on stage, and taking his place at the grand piano, was Frederico Albanbese, an Italian composer from Milan, who also plays clarinet, guitar and bass, but tonight restricts himself to the keyboard. Tonight was a solo performance of beautiful piano music from his solo album 'The Houseboat and The Moon', delicate, floating and, as my grandmother used to say, 'not spoilt by too many notes'. Only at one point, when the drum loops initially came in on 'Queen and Wonder', did the sound balance threaten to destroy the peace and tranquility of his playing.

Ólafur took the stage after the interval, complete with string quartet, two horn players and trombone player (who doubled on drum pads and effects). The band were dressed all in black, and with a minimally lit stage, all eyes were on the pianist as he started his set.

The first track was almost indistinguishable from Albanese's previous set, so well matched was the support act to Arnald's delicate compositions. Gradually the strings were introduced, followed by the horns, and the sound swelled to a muted crescendo as the smoke machine and green lighting produced a stage effect not unlike an ambient version of  'Fungus The Bogeyman'.

Ólafur, it appears, is suffering badly with the 'flu. We later learn that this gig was almost called off, as he was finding it hard to concentrate, let alone play piano with both hands and simultaneously deal with a running nose. Vocal interludes are therefore kept to a minimum, at least until vocalist and collaborator Arnór Dan is introduced in the second half of the set to contribute beautifully floating alto tones to songs, including the under-appreciated 'So Far' from Broadchurch. Used for the closing credits of the television series, it appears that Arnór never got to hear his own vocal part broadcast, as the ITV continuity announcer would cut in every week to give details of programmes 'coming next'. Tonight we get to hear his voice in all its beauty.

An encore is demanded by the standing audience at the end, and duly delivered. The full band returns for a rendition of 'Near Light' , followed by 'Lag Fyrir Ömmu'.  the heartfelt solo tribute to Arnald's late grandmother.

Now, perhaps, Arnald can put Broadchurch to bed for a while. Whilst the television series has undoubtedly widened his audience, and garnered recognition for this talented player and composer, hopefully the other projects, for example his band Kiasmos which is appearing at Latitude later this summer, and his 'Chopin Project', a collaboration with German-Japanese pianaist Alice Sara Ott, will allow to him to be known as more than just 'The Broadchurch Man from Iceland'.

For full details of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, and to buy tickets, visit

For Frederico Albanese's website, visit

For news of Ólafur Arnalds' other projects visit

Thursday, 14 May 2015

My Introduction to BBC Introducing - Real Life Charm, Daisy Victoria, and The Bohicas

A bonus of securing Radio 1's Big Weekend this year for Norwich has been the week of Radio 1 Academy sessions at Open in the city centre, a chance for youngsters to learn about a career in the music and media business. Whilst I just (!) miss the upper age cut-off for attending seminars with illustrious speakers like Greg James and Jake Humphries, or sneaking into live Lounge sessions with the likes of Ella Eyre, Jessie Ware, or The Maccabees, I was able to blag a ticket for last night's BBC Introducing gig, hosted by BBC Radio Norfolk's Sophie Little and Radio 1's Huw Stephens.

Tickets are applied for through the Radio 1 website. After a confirmatory e-mail to reassure you that the application has been received, the bar-coded e-tickets hopefully arrive in your in-box a few hours later. As with all BBC shows, they tend to over-ticket to ensure a full house, so do not take this as a guarantee that you will actually get in. Remember what happened when The Maccabees played Norwich Arts Centre to celebrate their winning the NME Best Small Venue last year. NME sent out free tickets to 400 'prizewinners'. Unfortunately, most of them turned up at the 290 capacity venue to claim their prize.

Last night's patient were finally admitted to Open almost forty five minutes after the advertised 'Doors' time of 19.00pm. An earlier evacuation of the building caused by smoke effects setting off the fire alarms was blamed, but any seasoned gig-goer will know that delays can be, and often are, due to all sorts of reasons.

The honour of opening tonight's show falls on Norwich eight piece, 'Real Life Charm'. who I recently saw support 'Wooden Arms' at Epic. It is always going to be difficult to organise and balance the sound well on stage for a band that has eight members, including two keyboards and two percussionists, but the technical team nailed it tonight. I am really warming to this band. Their percussive electronica contributes, but never overpowers, the vocals and the guitars, and frontman Tim Hyland has the range to sound at one moment like Wild Beasts or Alt-J, then drop down when the song calls for deeper power and projection. No wonder they are picking up radio play from national stations, and you can still get a free download of their single 'Desire' if you are quick. Standout track for me, though, remains the sensual sadness of 'Freud'.

The second local act is the wonderful, amazing Daisy Victoria. Don't make the mistake of drawing comparisons with PJ Harvey or Kate Bush. You might come close vocally with Emilie Simon, but Daisy is a self-contained individual talent that will soon have everyone speaking her name. Give credit too to her brother Sam, who co-writes and produces, and proud Mum and Dad who I believe I spot in the audience with i-Pad and mobile held aloft. Huw Stephens gets a mention for playing her first single 'Heart Full of Beef' on his show, and we all get thanked for coming to see her. The pleasure, Daisy, is ours. 

Headliners tonight are Essex based 'The Bohicas' a four-piece rock band that evolved out of 'Swanton Bombs'. The sound desk really crank up the volume for this one, maximising the blisteringly seedy rock and roll, pumping guitar and ground-shaking drums. Add in punchy vocals and alpha-male posturing and you have rock and roll on a plate. Signed to my favourite label in the world, Domino, these boys provide a fitting climax to this first BBC Introducing gig from Open.

Huw Stephens takes over on the wheels of steel for a DJ set, whilst I sneak off home for a Pot Noodle. For those lucky enough to have tickets for the second show tonight, you are in for another triage of treats with local bands 'Teen Brains' and 'Montagues and Capulets' (both excellent), and 'Sundara Karma' from Reading. Have a good one!

Real Life Charm's Facebook page is at , where you will find a link to the free download.

Daisy Victoria has Facebook, including tour dates, at

The Bohicas have their own page on Domino Records' website at 
Like Daisy, they will be playing the incredibly fun and cool Great Escape at Brighton later this month