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The Great Escape Festival is a proud staple in the Brighton calendar and a must for music fans in the South East. Not only is it the biggest festival for new music, but it’s also the greatest and the best value for money. Every year music fans flock to one of the best cities in the country to see some of the most exciting up and coming bands from around the world in some of the most innovative and loveliest of venues . Here are the ten you have to check out of you’re lucky enough to be going.


When? Thursday

Where? Concorde 2, 22:15-23:00

Why? Anyone that knows me will know my love for this Stockport quintet. Throughout their short two year career as a band they’ve been likened to everyone from The Doors, to Abba, to The Stone Roses – but they manage to capture a sound that no other band has managed with anthems such as Charlemagne and At Most a Kiss and poppier numbers such as Blown Rose and Getaway. They’re the best new band in the country and you’d be a fool to miss them before they properly blow up after their massive shows this summer at Glastonbury and supporting The Last Shadow Puppets, as well as countless festival slots here and in Europe.

The Big Moon

When? Saturday

Where? The Corn Exchange, 19:15-19:45

Why? I stumbled across The Big Moon’s first released song Eureka Moment on Soundcloud by chance and loved its punky vibe. Since then, they’ve proved they’re the real deal with singles The Road and Cupid, as well as massive shows supporting The Maccabees, The Vaccines and Ezra Furman. Their music is fun, uplifting and beautifully written – and they’re the nicest girls you could hope to meet. They’ll smash their slot at the massive Corn Exchange just before the Mystery Jets and you should be there to witness it.


When? Thursday

Where? Patterns, 20:30-21:00

Why? VANT have been destroying venues across the country for the last year now and they’ve collated a sizeable fanbase of teens that absolutely love them. More importantly though, they’re getting teens to dance, mosh and generally enjoy themselves to politically fuelled lyrics about important things such as the environment, world politics and religion. That’s pretty rad.

Black Honey

When? Friday

Where? Wagner Hall, 18:30-19:00

Why? They’re a hometown band, they’ve just released their Headspin EP – which is easily the best stuff they’ve done – and live they’re absolutely electric. On top of this, frontlady Izzy Baxter is Nancy Sinatra if her father was Johnny Rotten instead of Frank. Dark, twisted and beautiful, Black Honey will have you reeling.

Hidden Charms

When? Thursday

Where? The Hope and Ruin, 19:30-20:00

Why? I caught Hidden Charms supporting The Vryll Society in Bristol back in April and they truly captivated me. Their music sounds like it’s been plucked straight from the Jim Jarmusch western, Dead Man. So much so that you can almost taste the warm beer and feel the hot sun on your back. They’ve got swagger in abundance and they play old school bluesy rock and roll. What’s not to like?

Mystery Jets

When? Saturday

Where? Corn Exchange, 20:15-21:00

Why? Arguably the biggest band on the core programme and hot off their amazing new album, Curve of the Earth, Mystery Jets bring their outstanding live show to The Corn Exchange on the final day of the festival. With hits like Young Love, Radland and Two Doors Down, as well as Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd new songs, they’re bound to be the perfect band on the final day.


When? Friday

Where? Brighthelm, 3:30-4:00

Why? The mid-afternoon slot from the Glaswegian funk-rockers might put some off so let me sell it to you. They’re like Sister Sledge and The Commodores if David Bowie or Iggy Pop was their frontman. They’re fresh, exciting and they’re so inviting to me. Check out Blush, it is an absolute banger and one of the best songs I’ve heard in some time. 

Spring King

When? Thursday

Where? Patterns, 21:30-22:00

Why? Earning my unofficial ‘Nicest Band in Music’ award are Spring King, the indie quartet from Manchester led by singer/drummer Tarek Musa. With hits such as City, Mumma and Who Are You? under their belts, plus their new Beach Boys-esque single, The Summer, they’re going to be heaps of fun on the opening day. 


When? Friday

Where? Horatios, 23:00-12:45

Why? Eagulls. Brighton Pier. Together, it could we be the most exciting and bizarre set of the festival. Their punky hits Possessed, Nerve Endings and Tough Luck will make Brighton Pier shake to its very frame. Throwing their fantastic and very different, almost Cure like album in the mix and it could be a belting way to end your Friday.


When? Friday

Where? The Green Door Store, 21:00-21:30

Why? INHEAVEN are a band that wear their influences on their chest. Bands such as Pixies, Sonic Youth and Nirvana were clearly an influence on them; Pixies especially in banger Baby’s Alright, which is by far the best song they’ve put out and reason enough to go and check them out at Green Door Store. Oh, and Julian Casablancas is a fan. Sold?

The Great Escape takes place May 19 – May 21, 2016. For more information click here.

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