Blasting away festival hangovers
Friends - Live At The Shipwrights Sessions, The Great Escape 2012

After a barnstorming Thursday night at The Great Escape, any little kitten could be forgiven for a sore head and a grizzly disposition on the Friday morning, yet with a line-up of the likes that Republic of Music and Clash put on there was to be no moping; this was a one stop shop to catch the choicest bobby dazzlers of the whole festival. Set in the Shipwright’s Yard just off the seafront the vibe was old school block party: the beer was warm, the music was loud, and everyone was getting their rocks off.

Like Alka-Seltzer for the ears, first on the billing came in form of Brighton's own homeboy, Thomas White. Known for his work with a whole bunch of bands but notably the Soft Parade, he played a selection of his truly lovely tunes, making sure those first few ales went down smooth with a brace of songs from his latest solo release 'Yalla!'

Hangovers finally shaken off it was time for a bit of Aussie gold. Perth's Pond rocked up, pitched in, and went hard, HARD I tell you. Their funked up, progressive psychedelia had the crowd gurning with appreciative grimaces. Singer Nick utterly lost himself on stage setting a precedent for showmanship for the whole damn day and left the crowd wondering if this could be the band of the festival. With four albums out and one in the oven and a line up that's half of Tame Impala we’re not sure how they've managed to keep such a low profile in the Northern hemisphere; they've clearly honed their live act into something spectacular.

A quick pop round the corner to the shop to get some ales and a packet of pickled Monster Munch could have cost us missing all of Michael Lovett's NZCA/Lines, yet even elbowing back through the crowd we still caught a glimpse of him and electrysexy it certainly was. Pant stiffening, you could say.

Toronto's genre defying Doldrums have been gaining momentum and the buzz declares they are Canada's next due-to-drop big thing. Fresh from supporting the rather awesome Bear in Heaven on the North American leg of their tour and with burgeoning critical acclaim interest was piqued. Expectations were high but deliver they did.

The queues grew round the block for Kitsuné's recent signing Citizens! It’s true the “stage” couldn't be seen for shit but, hot damn, they set off the beginnings of an elctro-disco melt down with a super smash-up of 'Reptile'.

So judging by the gridlock out front it was an ill-kept secret that one of the Escape's hottest tips Friends were the special guests and they played a short but sweet set; for the rest of the day 'I'm His Girl' was sticky-stuck in t'brain, goddamn, but surely a sign of a winning hit. It helps that they are beautiful to look at as well, shallow but true.

As the evening drew nearer, anticipation was rife for the last two acts, the show devolving into a full-tilt party vibe. We Have Band have become big hitters of adroit electro over the past few years with tunes to get down to and get down we did, with a select few tracks from their new record. Winding it up was the seasoned Slow Club rounding out deliciously what was a terrific day of astute music programming that showcased exactly what the festival is about, a celebration of great new music. Oh and drinking. That too.

Words by Hannah Lanfear
Photo by Andy Sturmey

Click here for a photo gallery of the gig.

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