Much like the English Channel, the Great Escape’s artists have been arriving in waves over the past few months. There are now over 400 of them; surely only a fool would attempt to listen to them all? Ahem, well to help you separate the wheat from the chaff (and let’s face it, there’s a lot of chaff), here’s my “ones to watch” playlist. Highlighter pens at the ready…
(By the way, I’ve also done a Spotify mix. Click here to listen)
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Not a live band, but a DJ set spawned by a blog showcasing curios picked up in African markets. For lovers of Ye Ye Fever, we reckon. How could this not be a winner?
Dome Studio Theatre, Sat 16th, 11.30pm-1.00am
This Cardiff songwriter’s LP was produced by the majestic Cate le Bon, and her influence is splashed all over it. In fact, it’s almost like playing an undiscovered Cate le Bon LP at the wrong speed. And this is a good thing.
Dome Studio Theatre: Fri 15th, 9.15-9.45pm
If you’re into Swedish/Latino garage punk (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) then look no further. From what I’ve heard of them, I’m expecting a smashed-open pinata of fuzz and bongos. For fans of Goat and Thee Oh Sees.
The Hope and Ruin: Thu 14th, 9.00-9.30pm
The Brighton-based synth abusers’ debut LP came out this year. Oscillating within a similar spectrum to Add N to (X), Holy Fuck and Battles, they should make a few waves (sorry) when they hit The Hope on Friday’s prime-time slot.
The Hope and Ruin: Fri 15th, 9.45-10.15pm
By the time Saturday rolls around, you might be in the mood for some laid-back flow. Hip-hop crew The Lytics’ samples glow with old-school, West Coast sunshine; even though they’re actually from Canada.
Komedia Studio Bar: Thu 14th, 8.45-9.15pm
Green Door Store: Sat 16th, 2.30-3pm
Jack & Eliza
Their name sounds like something from Christopher Guest’s folk spoof A Mighty Wind, but these guys’ harmonies are sweet enough to mark them out from the crowd of indie-folk also-rans. Hold the Line and Secrets, in particular, resonate with a warmth reminiscent of Real Estate.
Patterns — Upstairs: Thu 14th, 10.00-10.30pm
The witching-hour slot upstairs at Komedia should suit Electronica bod James Greenwood, aka Ghost Culture, whose bassy, 808-driven cuts evoke the more downbeat side of LCD Soundsystem.
Komedia Studio Bar: Sat 16th, 12.30-1.00am
The Magic Gang
Watch out for rousing slacker-rock choruses, crowd surfing and teenage hormones as these local kids play to their home crowd. Also expect not to get in, unless you turn up early.
The Green Door Store: Fri 15th, 9.15-9.45pm
There can’t be too many Russian bands taking their cues from Cocteau Twins and Slowdive. Pinkshinyultrablast do, and they do it well. Despite their daft name.
Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Sat 16th, 9.30-10.15pm
Here’s a dark horse for you. Forever Pavot are the soundtrack to a never-made French 1960s spy thriller. Think Lalo Shifrin, dulcimers and white-masked assassins in bowler hats.
The Hope and Ruin: Thu 14th, 7.30-8.00pm
The Hub: Fri 15th, 12.30-1.00pm
If you’re adventurous enough to veer onto the fringes of the Great Escape path, you’ll find some fine bands on the Alternative Escape. Saturday’s Fire Records showcase, for example, looks ace. Virginia Wing are on the bill. They sound like Broadcast. They’ve also played with Hookworms and Soft Walls. You shouldn’t need any more info than that.
The Basement: Sat 16th, time TBC
It might be held in a church, but this won’t be like any sort of mass you might have heard before. This will be a pulsating, synapse-caressing drone piloted by Benjamin John Power — aka one of the blokes from Fuck Buttons. It could be among the festival highlights. Or it could leave you so spaced out you want to go home and have a cup of herbal tea and a lie down. Of course, these two alternatives are not mutually exclusive.
St George’s Church: Fri 15th, 10:30-11:00pm
First published on the Brighton Source