Idlewild, Babyshambles, Bang! Bang! Eche - Great Escape blog- Part 3

Laura Prior 25/05/2009

The last day of The Great Escape involved a scum-ridden junky and Scottish nearly-men dear to my heart.

In Horatios, among 'disguised' old people sipping their 7th Abbot Ale of the day, Bang! Bang! Eche!, another band of hyperactive six year-olds in the Be your own PET/Bombay Bicycle Club moud, played a matinee set to the packed pierside venue.

"4 To The Floor", mercifully, was not a Starsailor cover, but frenetic, funky ish backed by synths and generous hooks that went faster than the band could play it. They got so excited they stepped off the stage took their excitable party ever so slightly into the crowd, which you could tell they thought was pretty bad-ass, and I suppose it was. Bless their ADD hearts.

"A Secret Gig by Babyshambles sponsored by Levis" is not something you hear every day, so with Babyshambles at Audio selling out within minutes, driven by my bit Paul's common boy-like fascination with naughty child Pete, we dutifully headed to the venue anyway to see if we could catch a glimpse of the yella fella. But, ha ha ha, it was on the public deck above Audio, so everyone could watch it anyway - suckers!! Despite the 'Karma Police'-described 'Hitler Hairdo'd', health and safety type trying to stop a bunch of harmless lads and ladies sitting on a tiny wall, the atmosphere was one of surreal anticipation, partly due to an actual Libertines re-formation in the wee small hours of the night before. Would this be their grand return? No, an hour later than the billed time and 3 canned g&ts in the rain later, the mere Babyshambles. came on and did their thing. It was OK, but just more of a spectacle, like watching street drinkers or the howler monkeys at the zoo.

My last band of the festival worth-mentioning was Idlewild.. Idlewild, Idlewild, Idlewild - how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Not many now, because your output for the last five years has been atrocious. But this band and I go way back. "100 Broken Windows" was the first CD I ever bought - and I didn't even have a CD player. The wildies have soundtracked my teenage years, relationship pitfalls and more, which makes their recent decline into a, ahem "modern folk band" (Idlewild are a modern folk band in the same way Mr. Blobby is a modern physical comedian) more depressing. And I met Roddy once at a Sons and Daughters instore a few years ago, and he was a right cocked fucking snoot when I fangirlishly asked to shake his tiny, elfin-like hand.

It's like an abusive relationship I just can't seem to shake. Especially when they butter me up by doing things like starting their set with "I Don't Have the Map". The distinct non-reaction tonight between classics and new songs is almost laughable - joyous singalongs like "Roseability" and "A Modern Way of Letting Go" are paired alongside post Remote Part duds like "Make Another World" and "Love Steals us From Loneliness", during which the devoted audience either keels over or bursts into tears.

Idlewild are currently in the process of releasing an album they asked fans to purchase before they'd even made it, so it might be delivered to their doors before anyone else's. I have a horrible feeling this will be as welcome as being posted a bow-wrapped lump of shit. God, though, they finished with a double-encore of "Low Light" and "Everyone says You're so Fragile". They're just the best...

The Great Escape is over for another year. I came, I saw, I wrote a varying-quality blog on the subject. A multi-national buffet of brilliant and not-so-brilliant music from the UK's San Francisco.Too many bands, too little time. Roll on 2010!