Rain supreme: Day 1 of The Great Escape 2017

Rain supreme: Day 1 of The Great Escape 2017

The Great Escape begins with the familiar pitter patter of rain on the window as Music Week's train pulls out of London Bridge. Upon arrival in Brighton, there's a queue of industry types mingling with bands laden down with instruments. Everyone's trying to get to Jubilee Square to exchange tickets for wristbands. The queues snake for miles and, initially, there's a strong sense that we'd all rather be inside.

Thankfully, come 6pm Starcrawler get things off to a noisy start at The Haunt. There's no phone signal and no wifi - shock horror - which leads everyone to focus on the music: an uncompromising barrage of guitars, drums and vocals from hyperactive singer Arrow De Wilde. The teenage vocalist spits fake blood over the front rows, and it's a welcome wake up call.

Music Week bumps into the team behind Dice outside, who are braving the rain to head in search of Superfood to hear songs from their upcoming second record.

Afterwards, we catch Ill, also playing The Haunt, before heading to see Rough Trade signings Goat Girl. Theirs is a pleasant racket against the lush carpets of the Paganini Ballroom, but still the rain lashes down outside. That's not to say that the crowds diminish however, the TGE lot are used to the drizzle. Without making a meal of it - it always seems to rain at The Great Escape.

From there we follow the droves towards Komedia, where Pixx - aka Hannah Rodgers and her band - are faced with the prospect of warming up a room full of people wearing practical jackets betraying the effects of the elements. The band's heady concoction of indie pop soothes, Rodgers' voice gluing things together as it pitches from a deep rasp to almost falsetto.

Afterwards, the vast majority of those present decamp en masse back to Paganini Ballroom. New Zealand singer and new 4AD signing Aldous Harding is closing BBC Radio 6 Music's stage, and with her debut for the hallowed indie label due out this week, she treats the crowd by playing the majority of its songs, with guitarist/keyboardist H Hawkline in tow. As her voice peals across the audience - with those in the back rows passionately 'shhh-ing' anyone nattering by the bar - the set slowly morphs into a rich, sedative end to day one of The Great Escape. Penultimate song Horizon lands with a bang that brings a lump to the throat.

With a long day at the convention stretching ahead - including Music Week's panels with Music Glue and Urban Development - a satisfied crowd retires to bed. No one says so, but we're all hoping for clearer skies on Friday.

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