GUIDE & PLAYLIST: The Great Escape 2018

The Great Escape Festival kicks off in just 7 days time (17th-19th May), and we’re ready to tread Brighton’s pebble beach, chomp on some chips, and trek around town trying to catch the best new music acts.

The prolific 3-day event is renowned for championing new music from all genres, and their female-friendly line-up (which Mari celebrated in her recent article about women & festival lineups for Trash) features some of our all time favourite bands. Dream Wife, Queen Zee, REWS, Pillow Queens & Amaroun will all be strutting their stuff by the seaside over the course of the weekend, but we’re excited to discover some brand new talent too.

In alphabetical order, these are the artists we’re keen to catch at 2018’s Great Escape Festival. Scroll down to our Spotify playlist to get better acquainted with them, and make a note of their stage times too…

Playing at: HORATIOS – 3:30pm Friday 18th

Art School Girlfriend
Playing at: THE WALRUS – 8:15pm Friday 18th

Playing at: THE WALRUS – 8:15pm, Thursday 17th

Amyl & The Sniffers
Playing at: PRINCE ALBERT 11:10pm – Friday 18th & BEACH HOUSE 12:50pm – Saturday 19th

Benin City
Playing at: PAGANINI BALLROOM (THE OLD SHIP) – 11:15pm Saturday 19th

Brooke Bentham
Playing at: PATTERNS (UPSTAIRS) – 6:15pm Friday 18th

Playing at: LATEST MUSIC BAR – 12:45pm Thursday 17th

Deep Throat Choir
Playing at: SALLIS BENNEY THEATRE – 10:15pm Saturday 19th

Dream Wife
Playing at: BEACH CLUB – 8:45pm Thursday 17th

Elsa Hewitt
Playing at: KOMEDIA STUDIO BAR – 11:45pm Saturday 19th

Playing at: EAST WING (BRIGHTON CENTRE) – 6:15pm Thursday 17th
KOMEDIA STUDIO BAR – 3:30pm Saturday 19th
SHOOSHH – 9:30pm Saturday 19th

Playing at: DR. MARTENS STAGE – 12:45pm Thursday 17th
THE HAUNT – 7:30pm Thursday 17th

Goat Girl
Playing at: THE ARCH – 9:15pm Thursday 17th

Playing at: KOMEDIA – 12:50pm Thursday 17th
HORATIOS – 1:00pm Friday 18th
THE ARCH – 6:00pm Friday 18th

Hero Fisher
Playing at: QUEENS HOTEL – 1:30pm Saturday 18th

Japanese Breakfast
Playing at: KOMEDIA – 11:15pm Thursday 17th

Jealous Of The Birds
Playing at: BAU WOW – 9:15pm Thursday 17th
JUBILEE SQUARE – 2:00pm Friday 18th

Men I Trust
Playing at: KOMEDIA – 7:15pm Thursday 17th

Playing at: BEACH CLUB – 10:00pm Friday 18th

Nelson Can
Playing at: DR. MARTENS STAGE – 1:00pm Friday 18th
STICKY MIKE’S FROG BAR – 10:30pm Saturday 19th

The Orielles
Playing at: BEACH HOUSE – 2:30pm Thursday 17th
HORATIOS – 9:00pm Thursday 17th

Phoebe Bridgers
Playing at: KOMEDIA – 9:15pm Friday 18th

Pillow Queens
Playing at: PRINCE ALBERT – 1:00pm Thursday 17th

Playing at: GREEN DOOR STORE – 1:30pm Thursday 17th
GREEN DOOR STORE – 7:15pm Thursday 17th
THE WALRUS – 2:15pm Saturday 18th

Queen Zee
Playing at: THE HOPE AND RUIN – 10:45pm Thursday 17th

Playing at: BEACH HOUSE – 9:15pm Friday 18th

The Regrettes
Playing at: HORATIOS 11:15pm Saturday

Soccer Mommy
Playing at: BEACH CLUB – 7:30pm Thursday 17th

Snail Mail
Playing at: BEACH CLUB – 6:30pm Thursday 17th

Stella Donnelly
Playing at: KOMEDIA – 8:15pm Thursday 17th
UNITARIAN CHURCH – 7:45pm Friday 18th
DR. MARTENS STAGE – 1:20pm Saturday 19th

The Ninth Wave
Playing at: HORATIOS – 3:30pm Thursday 17th
THE HAUNT – 9:30pm Friday 18th
MARINE ROOM (HARBOUR HOTEL) – 10:15pm Saturday 19th

The Vegan Leather
Playing at: HORATIOS – 1:45pm Thursday 17th
STICKY MIKE’S FROG BAR – 8:15pm Friday 18th


Get your tickets for The Great Escape here.

Kate Crudgington

LIVE: Japanese Breakfast @ EBGBS, 31.10.17

Of all the gigs on the roster at Liverpool Music Week this year, Japanese Breakfast‘s was the one that stood out. So, on Halloween night, with the place festooned with cobwebs and a bloke on the door dressed as a zombie, we ventured downstairs to the underground cave that is EBGBs to find out more, with more than a little trepidation.

But we needn’t have worried. The first performer we caught was singer-songwriter Mary Miller, armed with an electric guitar, a sequencer and a laptop. As that setup suggests, the initial few songs are chill-wave numbers, very much in the vein of The XX. Melancholic and echoey waves of guitar are picked out over synthetic clicks and hums, with Mary’s soulful voice over the top. But later, the set is stripped back to leave just the guitar and voice, as a folksy and bluesy sound comes through. It’s startlingly good.

St. Jude the Obscure are rather better known than their name would suggest, so there’s already a substantial crowd for their appearance. Officially a duo – Adele Emmas on vocals and keyboards and Christian Sandford on guitar and keyboards – the pair play live with additional musicians to flesh out their sound. In so doing, they manage to create layers of cinematic, shimmering layers of dream pop. With strands of effect-laden guitar building around Adele’s voice, the sound has aspects of Arcade Fire’s tunesmithery and Kate Bush’s vocal style.

And so to Japanese Breakfast. The solo sideline of Little Big League’s Michelle Zauner, the name designed to conjure up images of “Asian exoticism and American culture”. The above may offer the daunting prospect of something pretentious and conceptual, but in truth Japanese Breakfast are the the most fun act of the night – and many other nights. A bouncy, ’90s pop-rock vibe, as psychy sounds dominate the early portion of the set, reminiscent of Echobelly.

Zauner is a livewire on stage, almost constantly pogoing and, at one stage, balancing on the bass drum to play a guitar solo. Her stage-presence makes the venue feel twice the size and her jokes about “goats that sound like Oprah” keep the crowd as entertained as her music. Later songs in the set veer towards Sugarcubes-era Björk and The Cure. They’re almost like prom night ballads in their flinty pop sound, but are also haunting and brittle, even as they sparkle. Halloween night ends on a high, with all our fears abated.

John McGovern