It’s back again and on its 10th anniversary, The Great Escape festival is running stronger than ever. Held in multiple venues across Brighton, this is Europe’s leading festival for new music, attracting musicians and audiences alike from all over the world.
The festival has been host some big names over the years, including Kelis in 2014 and this year Alabama Shakes are set to headline the Friday at the Dome. One of the real charms of this event, however, is the discovery of the vast array of new music there is out there – the access to music you wouldn’t necessarily have been previously exposed to yourself. Along with witnessing some incredible sets by artists I was already following such as Rhodes, Alice Boman and Hudson Taylor, I discovered the likes of Sivu and Jon Hopkins (whose set was, for the record, one of the best things I have seen live).
If you are lucky enough have a very coveted ticket to the now sold out festival (for those who haven’t, you can join me in mourning), be sure to check out as much new music as you can but if you don’t know where to start, here are my top 5 to watch:
When: Thursday 14th May, 22:15 – 23:00
Little bit obsessed with these guys at the moment. An ambient, dreamy electronic duo with heart wrenching vocals hailing from the Lake District, expect to see things blow up for these two in the near future.
Check out: I Gave It All
When: Thursday 14th May, 20:30 – 21:00
Where: Patterns – Upstairs
I actually saw Tenterhook late last year supporting Ásgeir on his European tour and was really taken aback by the captivating melodies and falsetto vocal. A really nice guy as well, which is always a plus.
Check out: Stereo
3. Clarence Clarity
When: Thursday 14th May, 23:45 – 0:15
Where: Sticky Mikes Frog Bar
If you’re still up at this point (which you definitely should be, you’re at a festival in Brighton!) be sure to head down to catch Clarence Clarity’s set for some late night jams. The Guardian described his music as “…reminiscent of 1970s and 80s funk jams, half-absorbed in a stupor, while suspended upside down in treacle”. Intrigued? You should be.
Check out: Alive in the Septic Tank
4. Monica Heldal
When: Friday 15th May, 21:00 – 21:30
Where: Unitarian Church
A Norwegian based in Ireland, her mix of the Scandinavian musical charm with Folk and Blues is a winner. I was first brought to her attention when she featured on Ben Howard’s EP, though her debut album stands out in its own right.
Check out: Conman Coming
When: Saturday 16th May, 20:15 – 20:45
Where: Patterns – Downstairs
“Lost practices, hidden worlds, secret topics – Landshapes shift around the dark, magical borders of alternative culture, soaking up poetry and peccadillos, high art and low desires” is all their TGE bio gives away. Armed with experimental guitars and a penchant for change, I guess you’ll have to go to find out the rest.
Check out: Stay