The first full day of Great Escape music festival promised a lot – and it certainly delivered.

Brighton’s own alt-rock duo Arxx were on fine form at Amazon’s seafront stage in the city yesterday afternoon as the sun beat down on the pebbles.

Guitarist and singer Hanni Pidduck and Clara Townsend have an unbeatable stage presence and an almost electric chemistry between them. It’s a delight to watch.

The set itself became thicker, heavier and grungier as it progressed – as did our day trawling through Brighton’s myriad venues.

The Argus: ArxxArxx (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

We also popped by Coach Party who were playing on the Beach Stage nearby. What we heard was brash and blissful and we’d have loved to have seen more if not for the stage time clashes. But that’s part of the fun.

The Argus: Coach PartyCoach Party (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Our next show was at Brighton’s One Church, a beautiful space for a gig though the queue for the pop-up bar really does need sorting out as it stretched through the crowd. Then again, how often are people lined up for a pint in a church? We can manage for a few days.

We were here to see aggro electro punk outfit Benefits, led by frontman Kingsley Hall to take on all that is wrong with Britain today be that racism, sexism, classism, violence, hatred.

Kingsley is intense. He lives and breathes it and he genuinely believes every word he screams out into the crowd. Spine-tinglingly good.

The Argus: Kingsley of Benefits, One ChurchKingsley of Benefits, One Church (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

It’s a sea of mixers, synths and ballistic drumming that complete the picture, one which paints an image of the grim underbelly of this country.

Next, we headed to Hove’s Old Market, the perfect setting for Marika Hackman. The dark, high ceilings lit red created a cosy atmosphere and it was full but not too crowded.

Ever humble, Marika opened her set by mentioning she hadn’t performed in a while. But there was no sense of her being at all rusty.

There was an awestruck silence as she sang Claude’s Girl, an exquisite lullaby. As the audience absorbed her beautiful voice and tuneful guitar there was not a phone in sight.

The half-hour set was the perfect amount of time for Marika to sing some fan favourites and introduce a couple of new tracks too, all of which were well received.

The Argus: Marika HackmanMarika Hackman (Image: The Argus)

Perhaps the biggest name on the bill yesterday was The Big Moon, who really need no introduction.

They’re now well versed in playing sold-out international shows so to hear their signature brand of beautiful, swirling, inspiring pop music played to a crowd of just a few hundred in Chalk was a dream.

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They rattled through all the hits with frontwoman Juliette Jackson committing and getting down into the front rows of the crowd to join in the bedlam. Love it.

The Argus: The Big Moon, ChalkThe Big Moon, Chalk (Image: Mike Burnell)

Ending on perhaps their biggest track, Your Light, it was a brilliant way to round off the day.

But it is a shame we had to end the night there, because we had not intended to, though as venues on the Palace Pier and the beach were at capacity and with long queues to enter we called it a day.

Our advice would be that if you’re really looking forward to seeing a particular band, get there early to avoid being left outside.