Festival Frolics: The Great Escape 2012.

The South Coast's equivalent to SXSW, queues aside, last weekend's The Great Escape down beside the seaside was as jubilant as any Jubilee hyperbole. What of those snaking lines? Well, that for Claire Boucher may most probably have been spotted somewhere off the coast of Normandy whilst that for Friends was washed a little more literally out to sea as they played the decadently delightful Horatio's Bar atop Brighton Pier. Here's who we saw and what we thunk in fortunately concise format...

I Ching
Lovably gawky, the Finsbury Park pairing fall a little heftily on the old ears down in the grubby doldrums of Sticky Mike's Frog Bar. Hot & heady however on Suuns-indebted should-be-smash It's Me.

La Femme
Surfing against the tide toward a futuro-splattered pseudo-reality, La Femme continue to cleanse with their Para One-backwashed-in-time schtick. Here at least geographically well beyond "la plage" and "le sable", reduced to 'Femme singulière and with a hapless racaille at the back thwacking things inessentially this is far from their finest configuration.

Please don't give this kinda Peace a chance, nor even a second thought.

The foxy ladies (it's the ears) and bedraggled blokes of Brooklyn inspire moves dodgier than the jolt of the ubiquitous claw cranes that line the pier with their grubby funk hybrids. Inconceivably better than they may be on Manifest!, the debut that'll indubitably disappoint you.

Cloud Nothings
With a clamouring throng spewing out onto the nippy streets like chish 'n' fips hocked up after a round on an ill-advisedly ludicrous seafront ride, Cloud Nothings were tonight elevated up to another all-new altitude.

My Best Fiend
Laddier than an insurmountable ladder of Carling cans, M here seems to stand more appositely pour Manchester than Montréal. Ultimately, a Wonderbore.

Half Moon Run
A bizarre and utterly bemusing half-hour, Half Moon Run come across as Maroon 5 snarled through the sweat-drizzled locks of Simon Neil one moment; then like reconstituted Foals diced up over yonder, beyond la Manche; then like Two Door Cinema Club tinged with the symphonic splendour of something Bachian. As disquieting as an unforeseen lunar eclipse.

The genderless hype-monger all eyes – or at least lenses – tonight converge upon panders to the ocular spectacular as zombified, completely anti-choreographed backing dancers distract from her lamentably sludgy womp. Ears meanwhile are veritably bludgeoned by thumps of bass clangerous enough to bulldoze down the house that David Guetta built: Visions' every intricacy shaken loose like crumbled brick, the impression of what could and should've been the set of the weekend is shattered by this reality constructed around recalcitrant gear and precarious reconstructions of the likes of Be A Body, Genesis and Oblivion.

Like a Boy lost in time having never made it II his fellow Men, he of Manchester and miraculous hairdo seems to have the right 'Voice'; it's perhaps purely caught in the wrong mouth.

Lianne La Havas
Equivalent to a credible Corinne Bailey-Rae or a contemporary songbird of Eva Cassidy's ilk penning paeans to older men, however she may be branded she's irrefutably impeccable whilst backed by nothing more than her weathered electroacoustic. Personable? Certainly, although personally her irksomely mawkish badinage reeks all too much of cretinous CBBC presenter.

Jethro Fox
Tonight's first show in the resplendent St Mary's Church is entirely usurped by the morally dubious airing of Poker Face and Pass Out prior to. Eloquent, if infuriating Scouser Jethro Fox then does little to differentiate himself beyond the monotony of interminable evensong, or indeed silence itself.

Karima Francis
Remember Alanis Morisette? No? Well, there ain't owt to intimate any remembrance of excruciatingly reticent Blackpool singer-snoozewriter Karima Francis either. Her attitude may be suitably deferential in these sublime environs although her sensational eyebrows look as though they may shoulder more artistic weight than anything here accomplished.

Loney, Dear
Whether cycling down the aisle or stuffing as much humble, fleecy warmth into thirty minutes as possible Emil Svanängen's is like a drawer filled to overflow with your most favouritest sweaters. Unmistakably homely, his tones are gloriously human despite the inextricable pedalboard processing involved whilst he extracts innumerable effects – both emotive and aural – outta just twelve strings. He then turns choirmaster to lead we, his initially apprehensive disciples through a quietly overwhelming Young Hearts before we together cobble a celestial surround sound to the lonesome majesty of Largo. Genuinely exciting and periodically ingenious, it's surely for this sort of thing that we're all here congregated in the first instance...

Perfume Genius
Blissful, blissful rapture. Still teary of eye and bereft of speech, Michael Hadreas' St Marys Church showing was not only the weekend's saving grace but something to savour for ever and ever; Amen.