The Great Escape 2013 - Saturday

The Orwells excite with their first UK performances...

Another bright and sunny day in Brighton and our first port of call is to see Deap Vally playing an outdoor show at the festival hub. Unfortunately, when we get there, we find they've pulled out. Stepping in to replace them is singer-songwriter Jake Isaac. Probably not the best person to fill the spot in front of a crowd wanting to hear some of Deap Vally's all-out blues rock, but Jake gives it his all and his haunting melodies and soulful vocals win the crowd over. 

Next up is Teleman at a free party hosted by One Inch Badge, who have managed to get some of the hottest artists of the weekend to play second gigs at a venue called Smack. It's a dark and dirty basement that struggles to get 100 people in to witness the electronic delights of Teleman.  

You might recognise these well-pressed young men from former outfit Pete And The Pirates. However, former drummer Jonny Sanders has now turned his hand to the keys. Whilst singer and brother Tommy has a distinctive softly spoken voice, it would be hard to completely move away from the sound that defined their former band. The keys-led delivery of recent single 'Cristina' lends itself more to contempories like Django Django and Alt-J. 

The band we've been most excited about are young Illinois punks The Orwells. This is their first time in the UK, but already the third time we've seen them this week, and we can't get enough. With an average age of just 18 they're clearly enjoying being in a country where they are of legal drinking age. Shaggy-locked frontman Mario Cuomo says: "I'm pissed man... I'm not angry, I'm just really drunk!"

Opening with 'Other Voices', which has just been made available as a free download on their website, their sound is like 'Is This It'-era strokes. That's no bad thing; there's a hole to fill now Casablancas and company have ditched the garage rock for synths and effects. Careering through an eight-song set which sees Cuomo scaling the speakers and singing 'Mallrats (La La La)' whilst writhing around in the crowd, The Orwells aren't afraid to show their influences and play like their lives depend on it. Apparently they're back in the country in August. We can't wait. 

We then head across to see another young band who have been causing a stir, being praised by everyone from Noel Gallagher to Dave Grohl: The Strypes.  It seems half of Brighton have the same idea as we only just make it in before these Cavan teens take to the stage. Keen to shy away from just being known as a teen covers band, they drop in original singles 'Blue Collar Jane' and 'Hometown Girls' early into the set, and whilst not being especially original these boys sure can play, and they definitely look the part, all suited and booted.

Read Thursday's coverage

Read Friday's coverage

Words: Paul Melbourne

Photos: Anna Kroeger

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