Five Things Great Escape 2013 Taught Us
“Vinegar? Never heard of it, mate.”
With The Great Escape festival over for another year, here’s five lessons learned in Brighton this weekend…
1. TV interviews are awkward.
We got to use the media room at the Great Escape. It was nice. The internet was a bit slow, but there was free coffee. It was a quiet space with natural light and ergonomic seating. Basically, it was Apple’s head office delivered on a budget, reduced to the dimensions of a sixth-form common room. Not bad.
Then, a TV network started using it to conduct filmed interviews with musicians. Imagine the scene: a medium-sized room, one half taken up by silent tappy-tappy laptop-users grunting indignantly to themselves that it’s taking 80 minutes to upload a 3mb file, the other half a blinding borealis of studio lighting, at the centre of which sit two hot, awkward and hungover interviewees, peering through the celestial beams to the hinterland of tutting Grazia journalists beyond.
Worse still, the line of questioning from the producer was so unutterably anodyne that even he – initially an obnoxiously super-confident and clear-voiced go-getter – began to mumble apologetically into his chest. Each question was met with puzzlement from an increasingly confused Deap Vally, who, to their credit, didn’t get up and walk out. Instead, they stayed and stuck it out, a decision that led them to speak at length about Pastrami.
Meanwhile, everyone in the room (including the producer, I suspect), silently reached the same conclusion: TV interviews are crap.
We all left with a newfound respect for Graham Norton.
2. You can fashion a makeshift duvet out of towels.
You will need three: one isn’t big enough on its own; a pair falls short of providing the requisite insulation necessary for enjoyable slumber; four is a crazy amount that makes you feel like a tempura-battered prawn, ready to be dipped. Three is somewhere in the middle.
4. Underneath Brighton pier smells of wee-wee.
Even though it’s nowhere near a pub, really, the underneath of Brighton pier smells like it hosts a never-ending procession of bladder-emptiers. Perhaps it’s a “thing” tourists do? Like the way British holidaymakers use their index fingers to prop up the tower of Pisa? Or when doughy Americans gawp at Buck House?
Maybe unleashing a massive torrent of piss under Brighton pier is a rite of passage for Europeans? (A rite of pissage?)
5. Nobody cares about this picture of Ed Sheeran, aged 5, dressed as a clown (not even Ed Sheeran).
We were sitting in a Brighton pub waiting to shoot Mac DeMarco, when, apropos of nothing, our videographer showed us this photograph of this small boy dressed as a clown.
We were confused.
“It’s Ed Sheeran!” he said.
We were more confused. How did he come by it? And shouldn’t he be on some sort of register?
“I went to primary school with him,” came the matter-of-fact reply.
“But you’re from Halifax, Phil,” we pointed out, troubled and agog. “Ed Sheeran isn’t from Halifax.”
“He moved when he was small,” said Phil.
Believing the above image to be internet gold-dust, we posted it immediately to Twitter, coupled with a witticism.
It only got two retweets (one of them was Phil).
Ed, to be honest, couldn’t give a flying one.