Ones To Watch: The Great Escape, Brighton
With over 300 band sprawled across the coastal beauty’s venues is neigh on impossible for even the most ardent blog watcher to keep track of who is playing, where and when.
They key is to resign yourself to missing most of the bands and deciding on who really must be seen, which off course this will include the buzzbands of the moment.
But while Niki and the Dove, Grimes, and Friends will put on magnificent shows, everyone will be heading there, so unless you want to queue for an hour only to watch them through someone else’s camera-phone, they’re best to avoid.
Instead head for the bands whose quality is assured but the crowds aren’t, this is what The Great Escape excels at. The names which in a year’s time you can casually drop, saying you were there first. Our ones to watch gives five such bands, the highlights among an astonishingly good weekend line up.
With only a handful of shows to their name Savages have already become the biggest name in the blogosphere. Their creeping nu-noir has the femme fatale chic of Siouxsie and the Banshees with the teetering urgency of Joy Division, yet avoids post-punk’s lo-fi dogma. Singer Jehn (aka French actress Camille Berthomier),formerly of lo-fi duo John and Jehn, is a JG Ballard novel personified.
It’s taken a while, but sprightly synth pop no longer obliges inevitable 80s comparisons. To lump modern melodic electronic pop with 30-year-old Magic FM classics is to dismiss the beautiful dynamics I Ching are able to orchestrate. Their ethereal vocals, nuzzled between blanketsof electro tinkles, are like falling asleep while counting stars. These Londoners make pop music simple again.
Wallis Earl Beal
Listening to Wallis Earl Beal is as though a depression era porch-swinging singer was transported to inner-city Chicago. His dustbowl gospel voice can be backed with a tin pot guitar, a ghetto blaster beat or even a click of the fingers to create a gracious humility. Whether he’s a poet, an artist or one man band hasn’t been decided, either way he’s a rare talent.
Michael Lovett’s self-titled debut album as NZCA/Lines is 2012’most inspirational electro-pop record and his live shows are more akin to an art house rumpus than static pout. Hearing Base45 Love makes formatting hard drives damn sexy while Atoms and Axes captures the sound of a Korg powered Airwolf. You could be watching an electro Jarvis Cockers as Lovett leans back and thrusts a finger among his wonderful beats.
Manchester bands, yeah we know the kind. Swagger geezers, dad rockers and miserable buggers the lot of them. Well, one listen to this dreamy quartet shatters the illusion, sending you dream class to Brooklyn. These four girls’ fuzzy drones and echo bunker vocals, weave a hazy C86 mist leaving a hypnotic feeling of delight.
The Great Escape takes place across various venues in Brighton, May 10-12Tagged in: bands, Brighton, festival, music, rock, The Great Escape
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter