With Brighton’s Great Escape Festival now only a single day away GIGsoup have selected 15 artists we feel you simply shouldn’t miss.

Today we chat to Paris-based folk artist Isabelle Casier (aka Pollyanna) about her Festival expectations. This isn’t conventional folk music though – the artist sometimes strips back production to a minimum and has also covered artists such as the Jesus and Mary Chain. This is folk music with a delightful twist, offering bluesy strings and deep base ensuring her audience are given a quite varied set.

Casier is one of many French artists appearing at this years festival (see the equally impressive Jain and Blick Bassy). We spoke to her on the eve of this years event…

How does it feel to be playing at The Great Escape 2016?

Exciting of course. What else can I tell? I’m curious to see whether we’ll be swallowed by the vortex over there.

How has your 2016 been so far?

Hectic. I’ve played a bunch of shows in France, Belgium and the UK, but I have a lot to do on the German side, as my album “The Mainland” has just been released there on Solaris Empire.

Describe yourself in 1 word


What’s your essential go-to beach accessory? (Spade, towel, beers, Game Boy Colour etc)

Actually, I don’t really like going to the beach, especially when it’s sunny and crowdy. I’ve spent ten years in Marseille and got enough beach and sun there for a lifetime. Though, I really love to stroll by the sea, so let’s say a pair of hiking boots!

“The Great Escape” is also the name of the bonafide Gwen Stefani classic, aside from that what is your Gwen Stefani tune of choice?

No idea. For me “The Great Escape” mostly evokes the title of Blur’s 1995 album. And that takes me closer to Brighton than Gwen Stefani 😉

If you weren’t a musician, what you be?

A journalist, which has been my other job for over 12 years.

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If you could have your dream festival (dead or alive), who would be the three headliners and why?

Edith Piaf, The Cure as in 1981 and Laura Veirs, that would cover a wide range of what I like and be pretty intense, even though a bit too white to be perfect. So Add Jimi Hendrix or the Alabama Shakes and we are there.

What can we expect from your set at The Great Escape?

A mix of folk and indie rock with a funny percussionist who stands somewhere between Kenny Butrey (Neil Young’s drummer on “Harvest”) and Einstürzende Neubauten. I also do hope my voice has something special, a medium tone that is quite folky and down to earth with bitter-sweet melodies and a heavy guitar thud. I play on a 1972 Guild that has a rich bassy tone, i love to use it in a duo with drums and try to cover as much of the spectrum as i can.

If you could recommend 3 other acts to check out at this year’s festival, who would they be?

Jain, Rozi Plain, Tiny Ruins

If you could be playing anywhere in the world in 12 months time, where would it be?

I was almost proposed playing for the “Fête de la musique” last year in Astana, Kazakhstan. I wasn’t available so I didn’t follow up but really, a crazy place like this would be lovely.

The Great Escape

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