The Great Escape is now a fixture in the Brighton early summer calendar. Multi venues across three days with band playing multiple sets, all having the feel of an industry showcase as well as a good gig-fest. Extending across a wide expanse of Brighton there is most definitely a need for planning. I was able only to attend one day (and had to depart mid evening) but managed to catch a number of great bands.

An inexpensive all-dayer (£17 per ticket) featuring 18 bands. As the name suggests, mostly noisy guitar outfits so a full on day. The event was held in Southsea’s Wedgewood Rooms, with acts alternating between the main venue and the smaller ‘Edge Of The Wedge’ which was curated by local DJ and event organisers Calamity Cratediggers.

The festival carried Pistonhead Beer as a named sponsor but sadly this was only available to the bands. The Wedge is however a good supporter of punters looking for interesting beer and had some good bitters on from polypins in both bars. We had to come up for air a couple of times during the day but still managed to catch 15 bands.

Sandra and I booked ourselves into a Monday departure from Austin which allowed us to enjoy the city and some favourite spots on Sunday. After a lunch at Craft Pride (which featured some fantastic beer and local jazz bands) we set off to roam a quieter downtown area We happened upon yet another Craft Beer bar and couldn't help but drop by to check it out and have a rather great conversation with the young guys that ran the bar.

It's the end of the official festival, it's a glorious day, and our plan is to combine 2 of our favourite things...craft beer bars and lovely bands 'Music For Listeners' (a radio program based in San Antonio, Texas) is putting on an afternoon of music at Lazarus Brewing Co..and we wander over to catch a couple of bands...and drink some fine craft ale. Lovely venue for bands, a large outside stage, plenty of room..easily a new favourite in Austin.

After another good rest and a full buffet breakfast (essential for a successful day!) Sandra and I are off for what annually turns out to be our favourite day party. Current.org is a public community radio station based in Minnesota and never fails to attract a wide assortment of talented performers to their showcase and this year, we tick off a lot of boxes by joining them at the Barracuda

After a good sleep and a big buffet breakfast we are ready to take on a full Thursday schedule. Today is one of those get settled and enjoy the sun and kick back and enjoy days.  The Aussie BBQ features a lot of Aussie bands today, 2 stages, free food and some free drinks.

It's Wednesday and we are feeling good. It's sunny and warm and it's time to check out some bands on a patio We are off to Cheer up Charlie's It's another 2 stage Venue. First up is Control Top on the inside stage. They are an intense 3 piece ..polished and loud led by yet another dynamic young woman. She screams as much as sings but it's rather tasty. Frenetic guitar work and feedback make sure you pay attention but it's a lot this early.

Today we venture east to a venue we have never checked out before, the new renovated Scoot Inn. a large outdoor stage area, a comfortable inside stage, it is well suited to a day of rock n roll. There are a few showcases today but this one featured one band I was particularly interested in so we commit to this spot

Another year, another SXSW completed. It doesn't get any easier, but with age comes wisdom, and after over 15 years of attending, we are starting to figure it out. How many more years we will be attending has yet to be determined but for now, here is our SXSW 2019 .......

The annual Tradfest took place in Dublin last month. Always a treat to have some great concerts at the bleakest time of year and this year's edition was better than ever. The event that started as the Temple Bar Tradfest in 2005 has moved more and more out of Temple Bar and has expanded to include all kinds of roots music.

An inexpensive festival across just five venues along Albert Street, Southsea featuring under-the-radar bands, many from the locality with a small number from further afield. This year’s event had a charitable heart, all proceeds going to Mental Health causes.

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