With D/R/U/G/S, The Vaccines...

With the sun still shining and hangovers still looming it was time to tackle day three of the Great Escape Festival 2011. One of the beauties of this festival is that everywhere you wander there is something interesting going on; so whilst en route to our next gig we stumbled upon Brighton based garage rock four piece Gentleman Starkey. The first thing you notice about these guys is front man Joel Wells’ range of vocals which dice between a soft toned croon to a raw powered yowl. Overall their sound strikes a cinematic 50’s vain, combining frantic passion with a melodic beat which immediately evokes references to being fit for a Tarantino style film.

Next up was electronic act, 22 year old Calumn Wright aka D/R/U/G/S playing to a packed venue at Audio. Beginning his musical life in a punk band, rumour has it this chap decided to go it alone as an electronic producer after finding it too hard to work with other people. Producing a mix of progressive soundscapes with a textured, canorous sound that comes well suited to the come down after a rebellious rave. The whole set manages to mix the dark ambient sounds with post-dubstep success.

Skipping off on an electronic high we then headed over to listen to Parisian favourites Team Ghost. Team Ghost is a collaboration between Nicolas Fromageau, multi instrumentalist compose Christophe Guerin and producer Jen-Philippe Talaga. It is here Team Ghost performs a masterstroke in applying a new direction to the currently overcrowded shoegaze revival. On stage they also manage to add a “rock” element with the guitar and drums parts heard on most of the tracks. Standout tracks was the opener Lonely, Lonely, Lonely which neatly encompassed lovelorn electro pulses as well as the towering, shoe-gazed paced guitar sound on A Glorious Time.

Making a speedy exit we headed over to see The Vaccines, getting closer to the largest venue at the festival we could see the crowds building a fair way back from the main entrance and there was definitely a buzz of excitement in the air. It was clear that Vaccines fever had swept the town…sorry….possibly because this band are igniting the most fundamental elements of rock and roll, whilst delivering them with passion, snarl and jubilance.

The Ramones –esque “If You Wanna” encourages gang-chanting choruses with its surf punk melodies. What seems to make The Vaccines so accessible is the fact that they manage to tap into lots of genres through the likes of ‘Blow It Up’ with its Velvet Underground style combined with a pop charmed coating. The rather moving and elegantly performed ‘Wetsuit’ seems to get the biggest cheer of the night. All in all a great performance from this young British guitar heavy band, who for some see them as a guilty pleasure.. this is new indie rock at it best!

Once again it seems the lovely people at The Great Escape once again managed to pull off a fantastic festival, securing some of the most talked about new artists around. Am already counting down the days until next years… Team Great Escape I salute you!

Words by Bee Adamic

Follow Clash: