Thursday to Sunday – 13-16 May 2010
Fed up with this new posh boy coalition politics I’m down in Brighton looking for evidence of the Green revolution. Caroline Lucas and her 1252 majority is a refreshing contrast to my new MP, Zac Goldsmith, with his floppy blonde hair, perfect teeth, roll-ups and numerous indentikit staff. I’m just thankful he never scooped a government job as well. I’m also here to visit friends, go and see some of the bands playing The Great Escape and attend a mate’s stag do. (Yet another Paul – I know a lot of Pauls.) Not much time for walking there then but it would be a waste to be here and not do just a little promenading.
Well I got some walking in early just in case. After picking up my wrist band, enjoying a couple beers with an old friend we walked back along the splendid prom towards Hove. She headed home and I turned inland at some brightly coloured beach huts. Apparently Hove resident Nick Cave owns one and you can see him and his family here often – being dark, deep and satanic no doubt. Personally I wasn’t that impressed with the bands I saw Thursday night. I ended up seeing the Cribs who were decidedly average. Was stalked by Mika though – well he seemed to be at every gig I was at. Perhaps I was stalking him.
Started early on the music (and the beer) the next day. Saw Fionn Regan and then The Chakras in a small room upstairs at the Prince Albert. Bit wasted on The Chakras who’ve worked hard on that stadium sound. My ‘girlfriends’ tell me that the lead singer is well fit innit though. Took a short break for a walk round Brighton followed by sit on the sea front with Everything, Everything hauntingly playing in the background – couldn’t get in the venue though ‘cos it was packed. Considering it was mid-afternoon it was crowded – doesn’t anyone work in Brighton? Perhaps this is the reality we’ll all be looking forward to and I’ve just got here a little earlier. The evening was the Goldhawks, Delphic and Reverend and the Sound System – all good stuff – and then a cab home.
The Great Escape continued the next day but I had other plans. I cut my non-transferable wrist band from my wrist and transferred it to another friend. Reuse – isn’t that part of the Green revolution? Took a head clearing stroll on a beautiful early summer morning, headed for a pub just after lunchtime and settled in to watch the mighty Chelsea double-up by soundly beating Portsmouth in the FA Cup Final. Moved off the lager briefly to drink some of Arundel’s very pleasant Sussex Gold. Great way to start a stag night!
Quite an untraditional stag it was too – well except for the alcohol. We stocked up at the local Co-op, drove in convoy past the in-construction Brighton and Hove Albion stadium,headed for Stanmer Organics in Stanmer Park and a yurt that ‘s part of Brighton’s alternative culture. No strippers, no fancy dress costumes – just fresh air and bar-b-q’d food. A yurt (in case you didn’t know) is a portable, canvas or felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by nomads in the steppes of central Asia. Bit like a spacious tee-pee or wigwam if you ask me but then again I might be making a fundamental error there. Up the path was The Brighton Earth Ship and all around were dotted organic allotments. Aah here it was – the real Brighton Green revolution. And you know what – I liked it.
Well sorry there wasn’t much about walking in this blog but it’s not too much of a stretch to say that The Great Escape really works as a festival because you can walk easily between the 30+ venues on offer.