The Great Escape, now in its tenth year, is becoming part of the furniture down on the south coast. For ten years it’s been attracting some of the best up and coming bands from all around the world, and this year is arguably its strongest line up. Here are ten bands that you have to see if you’re heading down to sunny Brighton this week.
The Cribs have been around for ages now and most people have probably seen them perform their greatest hits Men’s Needs, Mirror Kisses and I’m a Realist, but they haven’t been to Brighton yet with their recent top ten album, For All My Sisters. It’s a new direction for the brothers from Wakefield and it’s absolutely excellent. They’re playing twice – so make sure you check out at least one of their shows. Saturday night at The Concorde 2 is bound to be raucous fun.
With their most recent singles Swarm and Where You At blowing people away and a couple of support slots for Royal Blood, The Bohicas are going from strength to strength. They’re fantastic live with their raging, bass-heavy indie garage rock carrying energetic riffs and a fast performance. Make sure you see them before their debut album comes out and they properly blow up.
H. Hawkline, or Huw Evans, is one of the most exciting singer-songwriters I’ve heard in a long time. His debut album, In The Pink Condition, has some beautiful melodies and choruses, but the lyrics are deeply odd, the guitars tend to fly off on tangents and you never know what’s coming next. He was born to be in front of a crowd.
I’ve been lucky enough to see The Big Moon twice in the space of two weeks and both times they’ve blown me away. Recently they’ve released debut single Sucker, which is one of the very best singles of the year; it rattles, it rolls and it’s so beautifully out of control that it’s in control. The band’s chemistry is remarkable for a new band on the scene.
Seeing PINS live is like seeing a circus show. It’s loud and it’s crazy. The drums hit hard, like they’re trying to escape from a concrete cell, the frenetic guitars wail and slash with increased malevolence, and Holgate’s howls seem even more raw and unfettered than they do on the album. They’re playing The Great Escape twice, so there’s no excuse to miss out on them.
Local band Black Honey have the busiest summer out of every band on this list, but I can assure you that their slot at The Great Escape will be one of the best of the lot. The Brightonians play an evening show at the Green Door Store and it’s bound to be heavy, frantic and angry. Black Honey’s latest single, Spinning Wheel, is their best yet. Make sure you check them out.
4. Yak – 16 May
I saw Yak in Bristol a couple of days ago and it was the best gig I’ve been to all year. The south London trio certainly know how to put on a live show and with Plastic People, Hungry Heart and Smile already under their belt, they’re sure to blow the roof off The Haunt. Yak are one of the most exciting live bands around at the moment and you’d be a fool to miss them.
Swim Deep’s new direction is really exciting and going on their latest singles, To My Brother and Hotel California, their new album is going to be massive. The Birmingham group’s “psychedelic sex music” is sure to go down a treat at The Great Escape.
Slaves are proof that punk is not dead. The devastating twosome from Kent are outstanding live and, with their second album almost upon us, this be a chance for them to play their new material such as the hard-hitting Cheer Up London and The Hunter. They’re sure to be brutal and loud, just get down to Coalition to get your face blown off by Isaac and Laurie.
I stumbled upon Blossoms when I saw them support The Courteeners in Bristol and they were one of the best support acts I’d seen in years. Their blend of psychedelic rock and fantastic lyrics makes them a cross between The Doors and ABBA (if that doesn’t entice you to see them, I don’t know what will). Now with support slots from everybody from The Charlatans to Inspiral Carpets and their own headline tour, the band are about to hit the big time. Make sure you seem them on their first festival slot before they go onto bigger and better things with Reading & Leeds, T in the Park and Kendall Calling.
The Great Escape runs from 14-16 May. You can find ticket and line-up information here.