who to see at the great escape

Three days of new music from around the globe with a variety of genres to suit everyone’s taste. Loads of different venues to explore, including a site on the beach. Probably glorious sunshine mixed in with torrential rain and a bucket load of fun. Yes, it must be time for The Great Escape! A Brighton institution since its incarnation way back in 2006, the festival is treating us to 500 emerging artists in over 30 venues across the city this year. That’s a lot to get through unless you’ve got some kind of hot tub time machine.

So in case you’ve not already planned your gig itinerary to the nth degree, we’ve done (some) of the hard work for you and picked out our favourites below. We also grabbed the guys over at The Old Market and Komedia to find out what they’re most excited about.

So let’s brave the queues, drink some beer (optional of course), make some new friends and enjoy some of the finest new music out there!

Gaz from Team BOTI’s top three picks:

Girl In Red
Hailing from Norway, but writing in English, Marie Ulven, aka Girl In Red, has enchanted us with her poppy upbeat sounds juxtaposed with serious lyrics covering everything from teenage depression to sexuality. Landing in Brighton fresh from completing a US tour, we reckon this girl has definitely got a bright future.
See her on Thursday at 6.15pm (The Deep End – Beach Site) and Friday at 8.15pm (Komedia)

This 18-year-old rapper from Manchester is taking the UK music scene by storm. Mixing attitude with clever lyrics and infectious beats, catch him here at a small venue before he explodes into the big time.
See him on Friday at 9.45pm (Patterns Downstairs) and Saturday at 8.30pm (Paganini Ballroom)

Prateek Kuhad
An Indian singer-songwriter, Prateek’s 2015 debut album In tokens and Charms gained international recognition with accolades from the likes of MTV and iTunes. Probably best described as indie folk, his melodious tunes and soulful lyrics should be ideally suited to a church setting.
See him on Thursday at 6.30pm (Unitarian Church)

Andy from The Old Market’s top three picks:

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (that’s Pigs x 7!)
Hailing from Newcastle, these guys are going to be absolutely incredible as they bring “a rancorous riffage and unholy abjection” for a set that you’ll be lucky to leave with your face unmelted. It’s like Black Sabbath and Motorhead joined the house band in hell. Oink Oink.
See them on Friday at 8.15pm (The Old Market)

Our Girl
Our Girl (featured image) are an effortlessly cool local trio known for their fuzzy guitars and harmonies fronted by singer and guitarist Soph Nathan (also of The Big Moon). We’d let their unique brand of heavy-shoegaze wash over you.
See them on Saturday at 9.15pm (The Old Market)

Black Peaks
Black Peaks build epic soundscapes through jagged guitars and gargling bass, all driven by tight and angular drumming. If you like Tool or A Perfect Circle, then you’ll love this.
See them on Friday at 9.15pm (The Old Market)

“We’re host to the Fender Stage this year and while it goes without saying that the big names like Anna Calvi and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes will be amazing, we’re really excited to be hosting these incredible up-and-comers, too,” Team TOM’s Andy told us.

Tom from Komedia’s top three picks:

Pregoblin are south London duo (Alex Sebley and Jessica Winter) and, interestingly, that curious band name was inspired by epilepsy drug Pregabalin, which Sebley used to come off heroin. ‘Combustion’ is my favourite track of the year. I’m looking forward to their show in the Komedia Main Space.
See them on Thursday at 9.30pm (Komedia)

Little Simz
This 25-year-old rapper was called “the illest doing it right now” by Kendrick Lamar when she was 21 and she’s been blazing a trail ever since. Her latest album (Grey Area) is absolutely mint and I can’t wait see her live.
See her on Thursday at 10.15pm (The Deep End – Beach Site)

Squid met and formed in Brighton; they’re known for their incredibly energetic live shows and I’m excited to finally get to see them live. In Horatio’s Bar at the end of the pier. Krautrock themes and a pitcher of Fosters? Yes, please.
See them on Friday at 1.45pm (Hideout) and 9.15pm (Horatio’s)