The Wave has gone on a limb to catch the best of the new acts at this year’s Great Escape Festival. As part of our round-up, Jordan Emery braves the whirlwind which is the irrepressible Girli and experiences left-field Fins K-X-P
It’s no secret that the Great Escape festival is an abundance of talent. Many artists over the course of the three days show they have what it takes to succeed in this cutthroat business we call the music industry.
So how does anyone stand out in this talented crowd? Do you, for example, wear an entire outfit dedicated to the colour pink? Partake in a fake wedding at the beginning of your set? Command a stage like no one else at the festival?
Insert Girli here – a hot flash of colour on a grey weekend. Her stage presence was unmatched and she stood out from the talented crowd at Great Escape.
Over the course of her five-song set, the London singer completely captivated the audience. She performed with a reckless abandon that most punk stars can only aspire to and although she is a pop performer, the aftermath of her set does leave you with a fierce attitude. Her music is abrasive and it combines rigid electronic beats with cutting lyrics and she isn’t afraid to be controversial, even calling out society’s disgust with periods as she throws tampons and bloody underwear into the crowd.
Simply put – Girli is mesmerising, even off stage attracting attention as a beacon in pink.
Meanwhile, in the basement of the Queen’s Hotel on Friday afternoon, the atmosphere was …darker. Three men with hooded cloaks made their way to the stage to perform one of the weirdest 30 minutes of the weekend. Every aspect of the set can only really be described as odd, from the occasional strobe light that was out of time with the music to the animalistic noises coming out of the muffled mic. Even the structure of the band with its two drummers playing relentlessly was strange. And it all comes together in a way that is… well, weird.
K-X-P have changed over the years, the Finnish group began with more pop sensibilities but now their sound is far heavier in electronica with no slither of pop left. Live, the music is intentionally repetitive, allowing each small change made to be impactful and memorable. Its repetitiveness is almost similar to how most EDM is made, if you removed the build up, hook and vocal feature. This sounds mundane, yet K-X-P manage to make the mundane interesting with talented people and an almost metal aesthetic.
In conclusion, you have prog rock group with a theatrical metal visual and extremely repetitive music performing in the basement of a four-star hotel.
It’s weird, but in a hypnotizing way.