05 May 2017
Last Thursday, London’s own night music hostess, Peggy, made her way down to Brighton for The Great Escape weekend at the Seven Stars. Here's what we made of it.
The first band on was Brighton’s Uncle Fox, a neo soul/RnB five piece. The audience was up for it straight away, however Uncle Fox seemed strangely subdued. Maybe it was the occasion that got to them, but the band behind the singer looked like they wanted to be anywhere else rather than playing in the moment. Vocalist and frontman Tahn was much more relaxed, exuding enough charisma to be the group's saving grace.
Next on was singer/songwriter Nico Cara, another Brighton-based musician who was joined by his talented backing band. Nico has a fantastic bluesy folk vibe with a soulful twist, which makes for great illustrative lyrics that come straight from the heart. Not only that, but he possesses a charming onstage disposition - not polished stage banter but witty, off the cuff ramblings. His backing band played tightly and picked up where the first band lacked, allowing Nico and the whole group to shine.
If glittery boobs and belting voices are your thing then Tilda Allie’s performance on Thursday would have blown your mind. Getting a heartfelt introduction from Peggy and a huge cheer from the crowd, her band kicked in and the crowd was rocked by Tilda’s soulful, melodic vocals. The set was full of jazz chords, soulful melodies, and electro-fused pop hooks. With influences such as Björk, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Lianne La Havas, there were plenty of ambient, quirky moments combined with big choruses.
Odd tempo breaks brought out an interesting feel to the standard even tempo music on offer that night. Tilda also possesses a great stage presence making it easy for the audience to connect with her and the music. She has the artistic bravery and confidence to strip half naked and covered in glitter to add a visual aspect to her performance, which was met with part shock and great excitement by everyone that evening.
Taking to the stage half way through Peggy’s Great Escape was Lydia Kitto bringing a chilled vibe to events. Fusing jazz and hip hop, the Essex singer and her backing band would fill the room with ambient vibes, funky grooves, and soothing sounds provided by the brass section. It was a welcoming contrast to the previous act, allowing everyone to catch their breath and enjoy a very classy set.
Is that Amy Winehouse somehow crooning in the Seven Stars? Can’t be. Nope, it’s young Brighton jazz songbird Elaina Bel. Her passion and emotive vocal style made for a thoroughly enjoyable and spine tingling performance.
The most incredibly energetic, talented, and funky band around Brighton, One Eyed Jacks, hit the stage with an excited buzz fevering around the venue as to what was about to happen. The band exude so much swagger and confidence- but rightly so, as the band is comprised of the most outrageously talented musicians. They have such a great onstage chemistry together that everyone watching and dancing felt the connection in the room.
Karl Benjamin’s frontman personality shone throughout the night as well as his fantastic vocal range. The backing singers added lush harmonies and moves that took us all back to Motown’s glory days. Add to that grooving drums, pulsating bass lines, and screaming blues-infused guitar solos and you get an idea of what a great show they put on.
Headliners Kioko unleashed a Caribbean flavour to events. Making it to Brighton via Birmingham, they gave us a musical performance full of excitement and energy. Kioko’s songs had the bounce and groove of reggae but with plenty of modern pop hooks to push their music to people all of tastes. The crowd had no choice but bop their heads, sway their bodies to the beat, and throw their hands up for the entire set. The evocative sounds of the brass section and chiming guitar tones blended with the hypnotic rhythm section to give a fun filled and smile inducing listener experience. The singing was exceptional, full of soul and the perfect tone - all of which brought Peggy’s Great Escape to an incredible conclusion.