Updated: Apr 12, 2020
Pier Kiya to Darna Kaya: We got gigging from Day-4 to Day-6 at the Great Escape Festival with so many cool bands.
The Great Escape Festival is one of Europe’s largest new music festivals. In fact with the exception of a few really big bands (Kasabian, The Maccabees) who were indie to begin with, the festival is NOT about huge bands or big draws. It’s all about those bubbling under, bands with tremendous potential that are just starting to make waves. The city of Brighton turns out in numbers to host the festival and those that come to see it. In fact practically every watering hole becomes a venue for the festival. It felt really good to be a part of this, to amble along the streets, where every third person was in a band – with 300 bands in 50 venues it had to be true!
The Great Escape was also about the business of music, with industry professionals of all
kinds coming together to see what they could do together. Jishnu along with Vijay Nair of OML were part of the panel discussion titled “India Focus” where the issues covered ranged from how the indie scene in India is different from the UK and the role Bollywood plays. It was quite an eye-opener for those present – and as for the rest of us back home, suffice it to say that there’s a surge of interest in music from India that is independent!
[Photo] The All-Access Wrist-Band
The first gig was at a club called The Arc on the sea front – and we were a little jittery. The first real show in the UK! It went off pretty well – we were the first act on the bill, and the crowds hadn’t come in then. But those that were there really got off. We loved it, and couldn’t believe it – we were PLAYING in the UK! And people stood and listened!
The next day’s gig was at Horatios – a lovely place bang on Brighton Pier itself. With producer John Leckie in the crowd we had another reason to perform! Surprisingly the gig went off super. We sold about 20 CDs, something that shocked us. There were people grooving, and even moving. One blogger describes us as “resplendent looking, hypnotic charming psych band” – quite a mouthful!
The third day at Brighton was a day off – after two gigs on two days and before another four. We met up with a band from Brighton called Long Tomb and jammed with a couple of them on the beach. BodhiTree guitar player Bharat who lives in the UK joined in as well – it was magic on that pebble beach.
Text: Jishnu Dasgupta
Images: Pavan Kumar