Next month sees the return of The Great Escape – Europe’s leading festival for new music. From Thursday 19th – Saturday 21st May, Brighton city centre will be taken over by over 450 artists. The multi-venue event has something for everyone, from the established and exciting to the upcoming you haven’t yet heard.
We’ve put together the only companion you need over the course of the festival weekend. Our top picks will ensure you see bands that will go on to be future headliners, before they’ve made it big.
London-based foursome, Beach Baby are taking over Horatio’s Bar at the Pier on the opening day of the festival with their post-punk jangle. The band have previously been described as “two parts Britpop and three parts lumberjack-wearing all-American indie” and you can bet they will prove their worth on the night. Be sure to catch Beach Baby’s melodic blend of catchy guitars and dreamy synths in action.
Northeast Party House
Australian five-piece, Northeast Party House know what’s good. Formed in Melbourne six years ago, they’ve been busy blending electro rock and pop sensibilities into a growling Frankenstein, transcending genres with their thundering masala of riotous bass and slick soundscapes.
A self-titled EP in 2012 caught the attention of renowned Australian radio station Triple J, with the bombtastic ‘Dusk’ encapsulating their euphoria; tense, tetchy, it builds into a tempestuous chorus brimming with fiery passion. Their debut album, ‘Any Given Weekend’ dropped in 2014 and contains more of the same hooks, drive, riffs dangerously juxtaposed to drops. Opening song ‘The Haunted’ is testament to their rich versatility; “We all stand too long on the wrong side” states singer Hamilton-Reeves over a synth crescendo, the song exploding into life with a sea of distorted keys.
Crafted to be consumed live, Northeast Party House will gladly bring their infectious beats to life at The Great Escape.
Black Honey are on an unstoppable rise at the moment and it’s one that doesn’t look set to slow down anytime soon. The band belong to Brighton and are set to thrill at the buzziest festival around with their winning combination of hook-filled grunge guitar lines. They’re fast becoming one of the best new bands in the country.
Singer songwriter Fenne Lily is enjoying a rather spectacular 2016. Currently supporting Marlon Williams on tour, she has notched up plays on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show and with indie darlings, Radio 6 and she is booked for a festival in Amsterdam this coming September.
With a critically acclaimed debut single, ‘Toe To toe’ under her belt and a second on its way. Fenne is reeling through the indicators of success; with such ethereal vocals and soulful guitar, it’s no wonder.
“It’s the golden boy. Lewisham High Street’s golden boy.” Get ready to start repeating those words, cause the first time you hear Elf Kid’s debut single ‘Golden Boy’ won’t be the last. Loling’s inspired sample of Amerie’s ‘1 Thing’ is far from easy to flow over, but the 19 year old South-East London MC doesn’t bother messing around, spitting bars quick enough to grab the attention of everyone from NME to Noisey.
A stand off member of grime crew, The Square (which he founded alongside DeeJillz, Lolingo and Novelist) Elf has been perfecting his art, and looks set to make 2016 and beyond his own. The Square’s Lewisham McDeez, released through No Hats Records, captures the tight, tongue-in-cheek wordplay that defines post-modern grime, and with such a memorable video it seems mad that the outfit didn’t go viral. Elf’s ready to change that, and if ‘Golden Boy’ is anything to go by, it won’t be long before he hits the big time.
Lauren Wade & Glenn Houlihan