The Great Escape is fast approaching, taking place from May 17th-19th in Brighton’s city centre. My calendar already has four, five, and sixway clashes, and I’ve got a place to stay in that comes with its very own adorable cavapoo, so what could possibly left to do to prepare other than looking at some of the best people performing over the weekend?
Who? The Magic Gang
Where? Beach House
When? Saturday, 8.30pm
Why? Featuring in a whole host of places over the last year, from our List of 2018 to being nominated for Best New Artist at the NME Awards, they’ve recently released their self-titled debut album and oh boy, it’s gorgeous. So what better time to see them than just following the release of this, in an intimate venue before they’re off selling out all the O2’s this country has to offer? Their music is THE sound of summer, with each song bouncier and summery than the last, and having them play at the Beach House really is perfect.
Who? Pale Waves
Where? Wagner Hall, Horatios
When? Thursday, 7pm; Thursday, 11pm
Why? Back when NME print issues were a thing still, Pale Waves graced their cover after three releases – THAT’S how big they’re going to be. Signed to Dirty Hit, their indie rock sound has proved popular, with debut EP All the Things I Never Said reaching number one in the UK charts. They’ve toured with friends The 1975, were listed by the BBC for their ‘Sound of 2018’ list, and also ended up on our List of 2018 (we know how to pick ’em!). Their Joiners gig at the end of last year showed so much potential, and I’m convinced that they’re going to be big.
When? Friday, 10.45pm
Why? Not only is he fascinating to talk to, evidenced by our chat with him at the tail end of last year, but he’s extraordinarily talented. 25-year-old Garett Clark Borns has worked with Dagny and Lana Del Ray, and over the last three years has accompanied some of the biggest people in pop on their tours, from Charli XCX and Halsey to The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons. His sophomore album Blue Madonna was released in January of this year through Interscope Records, three years after his debut Dopamine which put him firmly in the indie pop scene. On Blue Madonna, he told us its influence was “Supernatural phenomena and also the feeling of being mortal” – he talked with us on how he wants his songs to “Inspire open thoughts and a freeing feeling, rather than feeling weighed down.” He really is fantastic, and very much worth checking out either in person or online.
Who? Le Boom
Where? The Hope and Ruin
When? Thursday, 2.30pm
Why? This Dublin duo are my new favourite thing, and I’m a little bit obsessed with them. They list Jamie xx and LCD Soundsystem as influences which means their electro-indie-house-pop is basically guaranteed to be good! They formed in 2016, and have toured the world in a very short time – they’ve gigged in Reykjavik, New York, and all across Ireland. They say that their fans “Dance like no other fans in the world“, and they’ve had radio airplay both in Ireland in across the US – an impressive feat considering the short time they’ve been together. Their set at The Great Escape marks the end of their UK and Ireland tour – I highly recommend checking them out, because they’re inevitably going to blow up very soon.
Where? The Old Market
When? Friday, 10.15pm
Why? Our most recent cover stars (all eight of them) live in one big house together and make the most ridiculous and incredible music. They have over one million monthly listeners (again, another example of forming very recently and blowing up) and somehow everything they make is golden, from like ‘Everybody Wants To Be Famous’ which has received a huge amount of radio play since its January release and 2017 release ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D.’. I’m a little blown away at the quality of their album (who makes an album after a year of being together?! These guys.) but they’re showing no signs of slowing down as their plans are to just keep growing – as they said, “We’re constantly expanding, like the universe itself”.