GIGsoup’s guide to the 15 artists destined to take over the Great Escape Festival for some landmark moments, and the most exciting names on the lineup that you’ll have to catch throughout the summer and beyond
Oh how it comes to this time of year again, when the summer is now in full swing, the scents of summer are riding high and The Great Escape once again pulls into view for another year of phenomenal live music and an unprecedented array of future superstars taking to the stage across the Brighton seafront. The latest and greatest have all started on these cobbled streets and this year proves no exception, with yet another staggering lineup of acts not to be missed.
And while, over the last two weeks, we’ve been giving you an insight into a few of the less well-known acts we think you should be looking out for today we’ve decided to break down for you the Top 15 destined to take over the festival for some landmark moments, and the most exciting names on the lineup that you’ll have to catch throughout the summer and beyond.
The Mancunion garage-rock upstarts have gone from strength to strength over the past 12 months, with indisputable anthem “City” standing as one of the songs of the year and stopping the honour of being the very first track ever played on Apple’s Beats 1 radio station. Tearing apart stages around the world with an unmissable live show and with their debut album “Tell Me If You Like To” due to drop on June 10th, The Great Escape is set to witness a band on the brink of something truly great.
Unpredictable, in-your-face and defiant – GIRLI sits as a true punk force in modern music. Combining the electro-pomp of PC Music with her distinctly 21st century rhymes drawing comparisons to The Streets in their own distinct British style. If the Spice Girls version of girl power was a groundbreaking movement, then GIRLI could be set for a full-on earthquake, with a reputation for truly unique and fevered live performances. Expect flying tampons, glitter and a whole heap of pink tinted hype.
Jean-Phillip Grobler aka St Lucia has a lot in common with his country namesake. Trading in tropical vibes drenched in sunshine pop and neon-soaked glory, he’s gone on to release numerous summer soundtracks across two studio albums. His latest Matter, is a euphoric and polished affair, so even if the sunshine doesn’t fall on Brighton, we’re guaranteed an elevating summer night at The Great Escape this year. One not to be missed for synth-pop fans.
Over the past few years, the emergence of an entirely new wave of British punk faces has been the talk of the town, and the latest band on the radar may in fact be the best yet. Brixton hell-raisers Shame have been laying claim to the South London streets over the past 12 months, with their defiant youthful refrains and a frontman who manages to blend the unpredictable presence of Shane McGowan together with the sounds of early Nick Cave. A set that could go either way, it’ll definitely be one you’ll won’t forget in a hurry.
Heartfelt electro-soul doesn’t come any greater than Liverpool’s very own Shura, who has spent the last few years teasing fans with select cuts from her highly anticipated debut album. Titled Nothing’s Real, it’s finally set for release this year, and is set to be a truly hypnotic journey into love, fear and everything in-between. Triggering emotion and an aura like no other, her live performances are staggering and are destined for far greater stages. Be sure to catch her while you can in the intimate surroundings of The Great Escape this year.
Chilling by the seafront may be the most apt place to witness these melodic indie soothers, building a name for themselves with a string of acclaimed releases that manage to merge a garage-rock edge with blissful Beach Boys choruses. The ultimate sun-kissed remedy to long days down at the seafront, their array of swoon-ready anthems is sure to invade the iTunes collections of many over the next few months, so catch them in their prime down at The Great Escape this year.
The modern pop band the world has been waiting for, Transviolet are pure electro-tinged goodness full of decadent beats and reverberating anthems. Living within that neo-pop realm that inhibits The 1975 and Halsey amongst others, there’s a sense of darkness to every track they put out, and it’s merely a matter of time before they take off into a fevered fanbase world. Favourite “New Bohemia” has already sparked interest around the globe, and their appearance at The Great Escape will be yet another insight into the future of modern pop.
There’s something incessantly pure about JONES, whether it’s the towering vocals etched over menacing and intriguing synths on “Hoops” or the fact she’s worked with the likes of XL Recordings, XO and Josh Record on a range of her releases. A particularly vulnerable yet potent voice, her stripped back sound has drawn plaudits across the musical spectrum, and with a debut album set to drop over the next few months expect a mesmerising and magical showcase at The Great Escape.
There’s not much to say about Stockport’s favourite sons that hasn’t been said already. From BBC Sound Of listings, to euphoric shows across the country and enough radio airplay to make Chris Moyles redundant, Blossoms truly are here to claim the summer. Their infectious synth-led indie-rock has sent shockwaves around the country, their knack for melody and charm all too obvious and in turn eliciting euphoric scenes wherever they go. If there’s one band who are set to go stratospheric this year, then Blossoms are that band.
Clean Cut Kid
GIGsoup favourites and all round nice guys, Clean Cut Kid are truly getting their moment in the sun. Fusing scuzzy garage rock with a penchant for sugary pop goodness, they’ve become a live sensation after performances at SXSW and around the UK (including a fevered appearance at London’s 100 Club earlier this year). Guaranteed good times are abound, and arguably the best harmonies to be seen across the festival are in-store with Clean Cut Kid taking to the stage.
There’s not many vital names in modern music at the moment, but MONEY truly sit as one of those. Breathtakingly honest and raw, frontman Jamie Lee has continued to enchant and bewitch listeners across two stunning records, most recently this year’s “Suicide Songs”, that provided an incredibly deep and powerful insight into the modern mind. Exquisitely brutal, their performance at The Great Escape is sure to be a defining moment, one full of indisputable beauty and a showcase into the mind of a modern day genius.
Whilst grime continues to rise and influcene popular culture, Loyle Carner has taken a more intricate and devastating route, ushering in a refreshing new wave of British hip-hop. Named across numerous 2016 tip lists, his hard-hitting and soul-crushing tales of everyday life has connected with a vast audience. Devastating and powerful in equal measure, his rhymes are a not to be missed moment and one that could influence and open the door for generations to come.
The Big Moon
After a huge appearance at last year’s festivals, The Big Moon have gone from strength to strength with a raft of revered live appearances that have caused scenes of pandemonium and ecstasy in qual measure. With a firm fix on harmonies and infectious garage-rock, the London all-girl four piece have received praise from NME, DIY and Huw Stephens amongst others and with latest track “Cupid” sounding as succinct and catchy as ever, The Great Escape is set to bare witness to the next great rock sensation.
If tropical-pop and the influences of Michael Jackson and Madonna are your thing, then VITAMIN may be your perfect evening entertainment. Distinctly 80s yet all so 21st century in sound, there’s a refreshing edge to this four piece from Leeds, who have their very own club night in addition to their phenomenal pop sound. Pristine, electric and celebratory all in equal measure, you’re guaranteed a phenomenal night with VITAMIN at the wheel.
Something more local, this Brighton hard-hitting four piece are very much in their infancy yet are all so potent in a live environment. Taking the propulsions of Black Sabbath with an uncanny resemblance to Royal Blood’s catchy soul, they’re lead by the no-nonsense Theresa Jarvis, whose vocals are a piercing dagger to the current rock world. Pure balls to the wall, their appearance at The Great Escape will be a hometown show like no other, and a true wildcard look at the next stage of that rock revolution Royal Blood left behind.
And that’s just a scratch on the surface, with plenty of bands, DJs and everything in-between taking to the south coast seafront this year, alongside The Alternative Escape, Street Parties and the new Late Escape bringing electronica and dance fully into the experience it’s a weekend set to define the next 12 months of music.
The Great Escape runs from 19th-21st May. For more information and final tickets, head to greatescapefestival.com