From the 18th – 20th May 2017 music types from all over will flock to Brighton for the 12th Great Escape Festival. Once described by Steve Lamacq as “the Cannes of the music world”, the festival showcasing over 450 artists at more than 30 venues across the city is a must for any new music lover. Tickets are available on the TGE website, or if you want to save a few quid and get involved, sign up to be a TGE volunteer (you normally get a Dr Martens sponsored t-shirt and lots of free Pop Chips… plus free gigs). As ever, The Alternative Escape is also happening around the city, you can find out more here.
With so many artists, it’s difficult to know where to start, so we've saved you some time and put together an A-Z of artists that you should go and see (in our humble opinion).
Check the Smashed Vinyl playlist here (and below) featuring must-see acts from the whole Smashed Vinyl team.
PRINCE ALBERT – 11.30PM THURSDAY
It’s likely that if you’ve heard anything about these guys, it’s that their shows sell out for good reason. Their monstrously melodic guitars, smooth vocals and urgent drums are sure to sound at home to their fullest extent upstairs in Prince Albert. You’ll be sorry to have missed them.
For fans of: The Strokes, Car Seat Headrest, The National, The Raconteurs
RAY BLK THE OLD MARKET – 10:00PM THURSDAY BRIGHTON DOME CONCERT HALL – 7:45PM SATURDAY
Rita Ekwere AKA RAY BLK was named BBC’s Sound of 2017 in January this year for her brashly honest soulful take on UK grime and hip-hop. Her 2016 self-released debut mini album Durt features collaborations with Stormzy, Wretch 32 and SG Lewis and last week she appeared on a Gorillaz bonus track alongside Rag’n’Bone Man and Zebra Katz. You don’t need me to tell you how good she is, but what I will say is get down early to The Old Market; there’s gonna be a queue.
For fans of: Loyle Carner, AJ Tracey, Flava D, Lady Leshurr
SLØTFACE WAGNER HALL – 6:30PM THURSDAY WAGNER HALL – 8:00PM THURSDAY HORATIO’S – 9:15PM FRIDAY
Remember when Lindsay Lohan’s character in Freaky Friday was in an angsty punk band? Well, Sløtface (formerly known as, and still pronounced as, Slutface) are the real-life version of that band producing sweet, fantastically energised indie funk-punk.
For fans of: Honeyblood, Diet Cig, Black Honey
STEAMING SATELLITES PRINCE ALBERT – 3:00PM THURSDAY LATEST MUSIC BAR – 11:30PM SATURDAY
Hailing from Austria, the synth-rock sounds Steaming Satellites is something I’m very excited about seeing at this year’s TGE. The raspy vocals of Max Borchardt echo over an inventive indie backdrop that the band have perfected over the past ten years.
For fans of: Wild Beasts, The Horrors, Everything Everything, Arcade Fire.
SWIMMING TAPES COALITION – 7:00PM THURSDAY
The Great Escape never has a shortage of charming indie pop, but London based band Swimming Tapes are something else. Without being overcomplicated or self-indulgent, their EP Souvenirs is beautifully nostalgic. They manage to sound like all my teenage summers rolled into one, yet there’s also something about their hazy melodies that ache of the reality of adulthood. Take a trip down to the seafront and check them out at Coalition.