Delta Rae @ The Great Escape ’15

In a tiny pub at the end of Brighton pier on a hazy summery afternoon, an intimate crowd is gathering, clutching cans of Red Stripe. Feeling dazed from the unprecedented hot weather on the Saturday afternoon of the yearly Great Escape Festival, we’re waiting for six-piece rock band Delta Rae. They’ve headed over to Blighty from Durham in North Carolina, after being asked to play at the festival off the back of momentous critical acclaim from their recently released second album ‘After It All’. Their brand of gospel-tinged folk rock is in full force tonight as the band step onto the stage and launch into ‘Run’. What makes them stand out the most is the two female vocalists and their impressive vocal ranges. One minute they reach operatic heights and the next a soft Southern drawl. After a start that impresses but doesn’t entirely enthral the crowd, we are soon won over by ‘Bottom of the River’ and ‘Scared’. It is within these tracks where the drummer comes into his own, banging around with insane passion in his eyes. The crowd loosens up and we start to feel the beat, surrendering ourselves to Delta Rae’s musical charms. Towards the end of the set they announce a cover, and Fleetwood Mac immediately springs to mind; there’s something about this band that draws easy comparisons to the sixties group. Sure enough, they launch into indisputable classic ‘The Chain’, to which the band gives full justice, with front woman Brittany Hölljes easily echoing the impressive carefree vocal style of Stevie Nicks. They may not be the most cutting edge band in the world, but looking around at the crowd in Brighton after today’s gig, every single one of us had a smile. Seeing Delta Rae is an uplifting experience that puts some bluegrass joy into your soul.

By Hana Barten

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