We’ve all fallen out. Some of us want to head along to Kemptown and St George’s Church to see an old favourite.

Others want the discordant sounds of the young back in town.

We’re at The Great Escape, the festival for the new and not so new music spread across scores of venues in Brighton.

And of course the multitude of choices has exposed fault lines in friendships cemented years before by work, play, and primarily by musical snobbery.

Now a lot older we’ve lost a lot of the dogmatic discipline of youth when anything that didn’t have a direct bloodline to The Velvet Underground was sniffily dismissed.

But disproportionate earnestness about three chords or synths still rears its head from time to time.

After heated discussion in the garden of one of many pubs visited we actually split up. It’s unheard of and in truth there’s a bit of pale ale-induced rancour.

Some of us head to see Supergrass leader and Britpop stalwart Gaz Coombes showcase his astonishing renaissance in the beautiful light-filled confines of the church while others, claiming to have maintained their cutting-edge sensibilities, head for the Dome and new punk duo Slaves.

Out on the streets all is sun-drenched chaos.

Festival goers mingle with gig goers, tourists, hens, hawkers and, hell, even the occasional local out for their groceries.

It’s our city at its finest, something fresh and surprising happening on every street corner. Monday is years away.

I bump into a music promoter I knew from Belfast who tells me the audiences here are like nothing he’s ever experienced and he’s right.

A lunchtime Spiegeltent gig by a London folk/rockabilly band CC _Smugglers had 150 of us whooping and hollering as if it were the last day before Armageddon.

Later we reconvene, intent on reminding the rival faction what they had missed.

The best new band we had heard (Say Yes Dog from Luxembourg at the Hope and Ruin seeing as you didn’t ask) and agreeing to come again next year. We even find our old common ground again with our mystification that Paul Weller’s latter-day meat-and-potatoes music gets critics and punters drooling.

He may be playing a “secret” gig somewhere in town but if he were to come into this pub now and get his guitar out we’d all flee.

As some of our newly reunited group are unlucky enough not to live here we head for the station reasonably early to say our goodbyes.

Brighton appears not to have noticed our absence and is partying on.

You don’t have to have voted either Labour or Green at the last election to take a little bit of humorous pride in the People’s Republic of Brighton Facebook site that popped up after the election.

This was complete with suggestions for a city passport.

The fact that the city voted blue, red and green proves yet again what a wonderfully diverse and unpredictable place this is.

With the resurgence of a multi-hued (and not always nice) nationalism in Scotland the debate has already begun about what it means to be English.

In the past that topic has been fraught with dangers not least that the far right version, all bulldogs and belligerence, would hold sway.

Most middle grounders have always shied away from it but that may no longer be possible.

The Englishness of tolerance and decency set against a backdrop of pride in our environment and rooted in an understanding of our history beyond the Empire and war will need to reassert itself at some point if, in the face of new confidence north of the border, we are not to become merely resentful and inward-looking.

Perhaps those seeking clues for new definition of Englishness could do worse than take a walk through our streets. The evidence will be diffuse, difficult to grasp, contradictory and inspirational all at once but the answer will be there.