The final day of The Great Escape Festival was all about the pop girls, as I got the chance to see some of the exciting new female artists I have featured in Future Pop live for the first time.
I only attended two seminars on Saturday but both were interesting. The first was about music and politics, which covered subjects ranging from protest songs to filesharing laws, and the second was the annual Heroes and Villains panel. Five music industry veterans shared their stories about the heroes and villains they’ve met in their careers, which involved some brilliant gossip about Beyoncé, Morrissey and others. But I can’t tell you any more because we were sworn to secrecy!
I also saw a few live acts in the afternoon. First was Rainy Milo, a singer I’ve been following for about two years but never seen live before. She’s very cool and has a great voice but I didn’t hear any tracks with hit potential in her set, which was quite a let-down. She performed just before The Midnight Beast, and the teen girl audience showed little interest, which is a worry when Rainy is a teenage girl herself so should appeal to this crowd. I also caught two acts I’ve seen before, attractive but dull singer-songwriter James Bay and Brighton electro-pop duo IYES.
I began my final evening at The Great Escape with another girl singer I’ve been desperate to see live, Ella Eyre. Ella features on Rudimental’s no. 1 hit Waiting All Night, and I’ve heard she’s been working with big name producers on her debut album. The hard work has paid off as she performed a really strong set of new songs, with my favourites including That’s Just Me and Young Forever. I now think she has much better chance of success than fellow Brit School alumnus Rainy.
I spent the rest of the evening at Digital, where MØ and Chvrches performed. MØ’s captivating live performance (including her unique style of dancing) brought her music to life and I no longer feel she is so over-hyped. Chvrches, who I have seen twice before, I found a little disappointing. Their three singles, Lies, The Mother We Share and Recover, all sounded brilliant, but I was ambivalent towards everything else in their set. I can’t imagine what they will release next. My hopes for their album aren’t very high but they’re still one of my favourite new acts of the year thanks to those three singles alone.
And there my fifth Great Escape came to an end. I’m on the way back to London as I write this. Now I’m looking forward to finding out which of the acts I saw will be huge by next year. At the 2012 festival I saw Bastille, Jake Bugg, AlunaGeorge and Haim, all among the most talked about acts of 2013, and I hope next year I’ll be proudly saying I saw artists such as Ella Eyre, Iggy Azalea and John Newman before they took over the charts.