With Europe’s largest festival for emerging and unsigned music just a few days away, I have decided to update my list of tips for this years Great Escape! This time last year I myself was trotting down to Brighton, and if there is one thing I learned, it’s that preparation is key. With so many brilliant and diverse acts to enjoy, it’s good to have some sort of an idea of who you want to see (although, half the fun of TGE is stumbling upon artists you never planned to see at all, and being completely blown away.) However, for those of you who like to be prepared, here are just some of the acts I would aim to see if I was able to get down to Brighton this year.
If you’re a fan of a modern day take on the blues, and of a robust, soulful sound, then definitely get yourself down to see Hozier on Thursday. The viral success of the stunning Take Me To Church EP have made him a fixture on the festival circuit this year, and with such a unique and powerful sound I doubt he will stay an emerging artist for very long.
When? 8th May @ 10.15PM
Having seen her support City & Colour in a big venue like Hammersmith Apollo, I would recommend you go and see her in a smaller venue. If you’re into smart, cute, Feist-like pop then she is the girl for you. It’s toned down, earthy synth-pop which feels pleasantly intimate, and is one to aim for for those keen to bring their heartbreak to the dance floor.
I can imagine this one is going to be very busy. Phantogram are unique in the fact that they have achieved much of their success off their own accord; recording and spreading their compelling sound and mysterious aesthetic to an ever expanding audience. They have been evolving their sound in near-isolation since 2010, helping make Phantogram be whatever Phantogram wants to be without sacrificing the bands integrity. They have everything you could ever ask for; combining indie rock, shoegaze and hip hop for an entirely unique sound. Get there early!
When? 9th May @ 9.45PM
For your completely intoxicating ambient electro, look no further than Greco Roman’s own TCTS. After a full day of festival-ing, TCTS will be the perfect way to end your night off the right. Remixing the likes of Jakwob and Snakehips, plus gaining the support of all relevant Radio 1 DJs (Annie Mac, Huw Stephens) and 6Music, I really have nothing more to say other than go and see him, I assure you, you won’t regret it.
Where? BRIGHTON COALITION
When? 10th May @ 2AM
About LE1F: LE1F is a Manhattan native who studied ballet and modern dance, and eventually earned a degree in dance from Wesleyan before returning to the city to become a rapper. He’s an out and proud gay MC whose style is rooted in Tunnel bangers from a less socially enlightened era of hip-hop(x). As you can see, LE1F is one hell of a complicated, fascinating character; a new and intriguing face for a genre which historically is rooted in hyper-masculinity and homophobia. It is artists like LE1f, Angel Haze, Zebra Katz and many more who are shifting this discourse for the better. He can also spit faster than the best of them, and I dare you not to dance to those beats.
When? 9th May @ 1.30AM
I have also written extensively(ish) about how brilliant Tove Lo already is. Her sound is utterly captivating, partly due to her completely raw lyricism, and partly for the effortlessly catchy, crystal clear melodies which will make for a powerful but completely immersive live experience.
When? 8th May @ 8.30PM