Affordable Art Fair and the Great Escape

From Exeter I make a mad dash (via the Affordable Art Fair in Bristol) to the Great Escape in Brighton. Its a music industry event and its the first time I’ve been to it. My ambitious (and impossible) list of bands to see features 19 names, I manage 5. Despite featuring as ‘rising star’ in Observer Music Monthly I find Speech Debelle mildly disappointing. Liam Finn is engaging without ever seeming to get out of third gear (but he does boasts a mighty fine beard) whilst the Swedish Sad Day for Puppets features a dainty singer against a wall of guitar sound. I cant quite put my finger on why but I really enjoyed their set. I only get a brief glimpse of Northern Exposures mix of soul and hip hop but it certainly left me wanting more. The evening kicks off with Skint and Demoralised – a hugely entertaining combination of poetry and rock with a lead singer who has more than a passing resemblance to John Cooper Clarke.

En route to the Kilmanjiro Jazz Ensemble (who started creating sound tracks to old silent films) we get distracted by a tasty burger bar (every burger in a veggie and beef option) and then can’t find the venue. Its then that lack of sleep catches up on me – and as pathetic as it might sound I insist on calling it a night.

On Sunday I grab half an hour for some last minute arrangements for the Bloody Brits performance on Wednesday. I’ve booked us into the Great Central Hotel which should be fun!Then its back to London where we catch the Annette Messenger exhibition at the Hayward. I’m a little bemused by it to be honest and don’t take much from it. From there its a short bus ride to CARGO for another hub project – Fertilizer (good shit from Poland). But first its a quick meeting with Paul Jepson about a potential new project .

Back at the gig, the venue is rammed full and goes down really well but by now I’m so tired any critical faculty I might once have had has dribbled away. By the end of the evening I feel like little more than a sack of spuds. Its a relief to collapse into my hotel room.

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