The Great Escape Festival

The Great Escape Festival
Band 'DIY or Die' Moments: Part I — At The Great Escape, Europe's largest new music showcase, we're asking bands to share their 'DIY or Die' moments.

Bands know better than most those moments when you’ve got to put together what you have to keep the show on the road. It could be trying to turn a dime into a dollar to record a demo or trying to fix an equipment meltdown mid-show. At The Great Escape festival — Europe’s biggest music showcase festival, which runs through to Saturday May 10 in Brighton — we’ve been asking bands: What was your biggest DIY or die moment?   

Eyes & No Eyes, London

Tom Heather, drummer: We did a show when we studying at art school here in Brighton. There’s an old market around the back of the art school that they let us have for a couple of weeks — I don’t think they’d let you do it now. We played at the school private view. That was drums cello and guitar and no electricity at all — that was pretty cool. The 12 people in a ring around us were probably the only people who could hear anything. It was very quiet, lots of reverb.

We were just-about a band and ready to play a show with none of the pleasures of being able to put things through a sound system or even having a PA. It’s better sometimes doing stuff like that. It’s better not having any electrics, no power or anything that can go wrong. It was just a nice experience of playing without any pressure.

Check out Eyes, No Eyes.


Hollie Cook, London

Hollie: Fortunately thus far, nothing’s really gone terribly wrong or broken down. We were once in France in a dressing room full of toy instruments. There were a bunch of toys and we picked them up and made a song. It was pretty cool. It’s on YouTube. It’s pretty DIY. (Laughs) It was a spontaneous toy jam.

Stay locked for a Huck.TV short film with Hollie Cook, coming soon. Or check out her website.

Big Ups, New York City

Joe, vocalist: The first show we ever played.

Carlos, Bassist: We strung a 50 foot extension cord from Joe’s loft apartment.

Joe: It was a big old warehouse building in Brooklyn.

Carlos: It’s something you’d see in a TV show.

Joe: So we put an extension cord from my kitchen, out the window onto the roof and put a PA and brought all of our amps up there. We had just started as a band and the NY music scene is really saturated so we couldn’t even get booked at some shitty bar because we didn’t have recordings. We had the most basic recordings ever. So with our friends Flagland we just played on my roof in October and invited everyone we knew. All our friends came. It was pretty big, there were like 60 people.

Carlos: It was fun, it was just like a party.

Joe: And that was our first show ever. Maybe four years ago.

Hit up Big Ups at Bandcamp.

Huck is hosting a showcase The Great Escape on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at Komedia Studio Bar. Come join us.

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