The Ting Tings ‘attacked by Madonna’ at The Great Escape

Duo close the first day of the Brighton festival

The Ting Tings closed the first day of musical action at the Brighton Great Escape festival in the early hours of this morning (May 16) at Club NME in the Barfly.

The biggest queues of the festival so far had formed for the show, with hundreds of fans waiting on the pavement for a chance to get inside.

Inside the duo took the stage at 2am (BST) – half-an-hour later than planned after technical issues with a guitar forced a delay – and played a slew of songs from their forthcoming debut album, ‘We Started Nothing’.


Anticipation was high for Katie White and Jules De Martino‘s set, with their current single, ‘That’s Not My Name’ in the running for this week’s UK Number One slot this weekend (May 18) after topping the midweek charts.

White made reference to the chart after playing the song, saying, “That could be Number One this week – but it’s being attacked by Madonna.”

The duo opened their set with ‘Great DJ’, then followed it with ‘Fruit Machine’, ‘Keep Your Head’ and ‘Shut Up And Let Me Go’. During the latter song White picked up an enormous drumstick and began hitting a large bass drum on stage.

The Ting Tings‘ set was the last of hundreds of gigs all over Brighton that had taken place as part of the festival.

Earlier in the evening, at 6:45pm, Eugene McGuinness kicked off the musical action at the Digital venue, taking requests from fans to comprise his set list.

“I like it when fans ask for certain songs,” he told NME.COM after his show, before saying he was looking forward to checking out Lightspeed Champion, The Futureheads and the aforementioned The Ting Tings at the festival.


On the seafront, Fryars – aka electro-tinged singer-songwriter Ben Garrett – launched MTV2‘s showcase gig at the Concorde 2 venue at 8pm.

The venue was packed, although Fryars himself jokingly acknowledged why the venue may have been so busy. “Thank you for coming – even if you have come to see Vampire Weekend,” he laughed midway through his set, which included the heavily ’80s-influenced ‘Olive Eyes’.

Over in the Audio venue on the seafront Johnny Foreigner played probably the sweatiest show of the day, with energetic frontman Alexei Berrow ending up so covered in perspiration he looked as if he’d been doused in water.

Punk-funk newcomers Official Secrets Act were more subdued at the Water Margin, staying at the bar to hang out with new fans after their tuneful half-hour set.

Back at Concorde 2, members of Sunderland‘s Field Music performed as School Of Language, book-ending their set with two versions of their single, ‘Rockist’.

Ungdomskulen, meanwhile, strode onto the Barfly stage at 8:15pm sporting fetching football shorts and sunglasses. The band delighted the crowd with a high-energy set including ‘Modern Drummer’ and ‘Glory Hole’.

Into the early hours, before The Ting Tings played their headline set, Yeasayer performed a 12:30am show at Club NME at the Barfly.

The Brooklyn band’s set went down extremely well with the crowd, prompting them to attempt to extend their set, only to be told by venue staff that they unfortunately had to keep their schedule. “We’re visitors in your country,” said singer Chris Keating after playing ‘2080’. “We have to play by your rules”.

The Great Escape festival action continues tonight with performances from the likes of The Wombats, Crystal Castles, The Hold Steady and Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong. Check NME.COM to keep up with events.