The Great Escape: Our Top Gigs 8th-10th May 2014
The Great Escape festival returns to Brighton for its 8th year, bringing over 400 bands to 35 venues across the city. Attended by the music industry on the hunt for the next big thing, this new music festival showcases emerging artists from all over the world. It’s the first place to see your new favourite band in an intimate setting before they go on to headline major festival stages. Here’s our top 5 picks for each day.
Thursday 8th May
Stylo G- Audio- 14:45
Jamaican-born, London-based dancehall star Stylo G has had an incredible time since his single ‘Call Me A Yardie’ broke through in 2012. His follow up ‘Soundbwoy’ was a huge summer hit in 2013. He has performed at festivals all over, from Wireless to Glastonbury, and shared the stage with the likes of Major Lazer and Rita Ora. He’s also been in the studio collaborating with reggae royalty – Damian Marley. He looks set to confirm his status as London’s dancehall don.
Jaakko Eino Kalevi- Brighton Coalition- 19:30
Already something of a cult figure in Helsinki, where he lives and works part-time as a tram driver, Jaakko’s debut release for Weird World records is an alluring introduction to a charismatic artist whose softly psychedelic pop blends funk and folk in an intriguing and highly satisfying manner. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist who is happiest behind the drums, Jaakko plays, sings and produces all his own material.
Hudson Taylor- Spiegeltent- 19:45
Having honed their craft at an early age busking in Dublin, these brothers – still only 18 and 20, have become a word-of-mouth favourite with their energetic live shows. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, Hudson Taylor fuse classic and contemporary influences to create raw, folk-infused melodic pop. At times stomping and spirited, at others stripped back, Hudson Taylor possess that rare talent to combine energy and intimacy in their performances.
Shift K3Y- Brighton Dome- 22:45
Shift K3y’s new single ‘Touch’ has shades of Craig David’s garage-pop but after the catchy chorus gets started, over fizzing synths and go-faster beats, the comparisons slide away. Having remixed the likes of Tinie Tempah, Aluna George and Bastille, and supported Skrillex as a DJ, Shift K3y’s true calling is as a pop star, his voice flitting between soft and sultry to fit-to-burst falsetto. Shift K3y makes the kind of music you can only dance to, and when you’re done, you’ll want to do it all over again.
East India Youth- Green Door Store- 00:00
East India Youth is made up of one young man- William Doyle, a 22-year-old multi-instrumentalist from Bournemouth. The music he creates is an original mixture of dark Detroit techno, lo-fi psychedelic noise rock, deeply romantic Pet Shop Boys-esque synth pop and ramshackle avant-electronica. Expect circus tricks for the ears.
Friday 9th May
Amber Run- Above Audio- 14:30
When a band’s fourth and fifth ever gigs are playing at Reading and Leeds Festival, something special is going on. The Nottingham five-piece are determined to take their music as far as it can go, with debut single Noah having earned airplay from Zane Lowe on Radio 1. “I’d rather be timeless than cool,” says Joe from the band. “We’re not writing edgy music that sounds like 2014 – it’s music for the whole decade, not just for now.”
Sivu- Brighthelm- 20:30
Sivu’s stunning debut video showed him being filmed singing live from inside an MRI scanner. As befits that unique stage-name (Sivu is his surname in Finnish), this artist is bigger than the solitary “singer-songwriter” tag might usually suggest. Sivu’s long-standing collaborator is Charlie Andrew; the Mercury-Award-winning producer behind Alt-J’s ‘An Awesome Wave’. Sivu’s sound is a polite middle ground between idiosyncratic indie and neo-operatic pop.
Kyan- Komedia Studio Bar- 21:15
Kyan, a singer/songwriter from Cambridge, echoes Jamie Cullum and Frank Ocean, with an effortlessly soulful voice and experimental yet thoughtful production. He recently supported London Grammar on their UK tour, and has an album forthcoming. He aims to throw out the rule book and create beautifully timeless RnB.
Lonely The Brave- Concorde 2- 20:45
Lonely The Brave hit the ground running in 2013. After a well received demo (Dan P Carter gave them a live session on Radio 1 as a result of hearing it), they holed themselves away immediately to work on perfecting a debut album. Lonely The Brave don’t want to be, and shouldn’t be considered, just another British rock band – if they continue the trajectory they’re currently on, they have everything they need to soon be many people’s favourite.
Wild Beasts- Brighton Dome- 21:45
Wild Beasts are more of a band than most bands. They’ve spent their career thus far deconstructing exactly what it is to be a band, and more so than ever on their deliberately synthetic, instrument-swapping album ‘Present Tense’. Now they are four albums down and more than eight years since they first played together in this lineup, still feeling like a gang, like a band as it is supposed to be, with a single clear vision and sound.
Saturday 10th May
Taro & Jiro- Queens Hotel- 13:00
In 2009 the incredible rock brothers Taro & Jiro moved to London where they spent a year tempering and honing their skills in writing and performing. In 2013 they entered Emergenza, the world’s largest battle-of-the-bands competition, and won 1st place in the Japanese division with their energetic and contagious performance. They landed 2nd place for best guitarists in the Emergenza World Final. Taro & Jiro are a must-see for their awe-inspiring rock guitar-playing talent.
Von Hertzen Brothers- Dome Studio- 14:30
Rarely does a progressive and challenging rock album top the national charts but Von Hertzen Brothers have done that four times. All of their albums have been certified gold in their native Finland. Musically the Von Hertzen Brothers are impossible to pigeonhole because although their music embraces so many unique rhythms and abstract scales, traditional rock instruments makes it all approachable and intriguing. There are elements of classic rock, yet it always feels fresh and modern.
Ella Eyre- Brighton Dome- 20:45
Ella Eyre has an extraordinary voice that belies her young years and a skill for songwriting that manages to be mature but not precocious. The 20-year-old is an intriguing and enigmatic new talent. Having reached number one when she was 19 featuring on Rudimental’s ‘Waiting All Night’, she is set to break away from being a featured artist with a solo album coming out later this year. Ella’s music represents the here and now; hers is music by a young person for young people.
Sin Cos Tan- Digital- 20:00
Synth-pop duo Sin Cos Tan have two albums, a host of packed-out festival appearances and a big dose of musical experience. From their debut album in 2012 onwards, Juho Paalosmaa and Jori Hulkkonen have established a classic partnership with the duo-format and songwriting. With two critically acclaimed albums and a third album on the way, The Great Escape meets Sin Cos Tan at the peak of their creative powers. No shortage of drama, intensity nor sheer pop perfection – this pair delivers, tenfold.
Marmozets- Bermuda Triangle- 22:00
Marmozets are not what you would call shy. This explosive, dynamic family quintet from Bingley in Yorkshire are tearing up the rock music rule book and rewriting it from the ground up. Inspired by the technical ferocity of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Mars Volta and The Chariot, Marmozets blend this with their own chaotic live show and epic melodies to create a truly inimitable blend of math rock, hardcore and post-punk.