Saturday, 13 May 2017

The Great Escape 2017: Artists To Watch

From Thursday 18th May through to Saturday 21st May, Brighton will be playing host to The Great Escape, a music festival that for fans of new music offers a smorgasbord of great live acts.Over 30 venues across Brighton will play host to hundreds of acts over the three days from 12 in the afternoon to well after midnight, with even more venues opening their doors for free events as part of the Alternative Escape. We attended the festival for the first time in 2014, and again in 2016, and this year, your humble captain is once again heading over to soak up the sun, atmosphere, and most importantly, the bands, for those three days.

With so many bands playing, it can be hard to decide who to go to see. From experience, we love going to a venue at random without any forethought and discovering a new favourite band that we'd never heard of before. This happened with us with Alvvays when we saw them at our first festival in 2014, and has a surprising knack of happening whenever I'm queuing up to get the free hot-dog that the Australian showcase puts on every year - third time lucky this year? However, it's always worth picking out a few artists beforehand that we'd like to check out, either because it gives us an opportunity to see some new and emerging bands for the first time (especially given our location, as Belfast isn't usually a first port of call for artists at the start of their career), or to see some bands we've enjoyed in the past in a completely different environment. 

So to give you a taster of what to expect, here's a couple of artists that The Metaphorical Boat are intending to see at The Great Escape, and very much hope that you hope to see as well. We should also note that although Ten Fé, Anteros and INHEAVEN are playing this year and I hope to see again this year, they were included in last year's preview, so am not including them again.

All aboard for The Great Escape. and if you see me at the festival, please be sure to say hello. I am usually to be found wearing my captain's hat, and I promise you I'm friendly! - 

Beauty Sleep

Venue - (1) The Hope & Ruin
(2) Jubilee Square

Date/Time - (1) Friday, May 19th 2017 - 2:30pm
(2) Friday, May 19th 2017 - 10:30pm

Why do I care?

The Belfast dream-pop trio have given us such sumptuous gems like "The Dark" & "Living Right", so if you want some chilled-out guitar pop, then these are the guys for you.


Venue - Queens Hotel

Date/Time - Saturday, May 20th 2017 - 1:30pm

Why do I care?
The 'tropical indie' band got us excited with their song "Better at Getting Worse", and if they've got a few other songs of that caliber in them, then we'll be in for a real treat.


Venue: Queens Hotel

Date/Time - Saturday, May 20th 2017 - 3:30pm

Why do I care?
They've given us one of the best songs of the year so far in "Kiss?", and having supported Bastille recently, the band are clearly being marked for big things, so it may be your last chance to see them in such a small venue. 

Confidence Man

Venue - (1) Komedia
(2) Sticky Mike's Frog Bar
(3) Horatio's

Date/Time - (1) Thursday, May 18th 2017 - 12:10pm
(2) Thursday, May 18th 2017 - 11:30pm
(3) Saturday, May 20th 2017 - 1:30pm

Why do I care?
The Australian band have been firmly on our radar since we fell head over heels with their earworm-y pop number "Bubblegum" a few months back. The videos of them performing live show a group that put on an amazing yet barmy performance, although how well it'll go down in the sort of venues we're used to at The Great Escape is anyone's guess. Might be an idea to see them at one of the larger venues they're playing at.

Drones Club

Venue - Green Door Store

Date/Time - Saturday, May 20th 2017 - 11:15pm

Why do I care?
Drones Club appear to be a mixture between an electronic music collective and a cult - their live performances are described as "devotions". With their visually arresting image, their choreographed dance moves, and irresistibly catchy tunes, Drones Club feel like an act that are going to be important, way beyond their music. 

Ibibio Sound Machine

Venue - Paganini Ballroom

Date/Time - Thursday, May 18th 2017 - 9:15pm 

Why do I care?
Fronted by Eno Williams, Ibibio Sound Machine fuse West-African funk with electronic elements to create something quite special. We've been an admirer of their unique sound for some time, so we're really relishing the prospect of seeing them live at last, particularly when they've got such great songs like "Give Me A Reason", which sounds like it could be the theme tune for a Ghostbusters remake set in Nigeria.

Isobel Anderson

Venue - (1) The Hope & Ruin
(2) Unitarian Church

Date/Time - (1) Friday, May 19th 2017 - 12:00pm 
(2) Friday, May 19th 2017 - 7:30pm

Why do I care?
The first time we saw Isobel Anderson, when she was playing alongside fellow blog favourites Lauren Bird & Ciara O'Neill, she had injured her hand, so was performed entirely acapella, yet completely captivated ourselves and everyone in the room. She's likely to have a bit more backing playing in Brighton, but with several critically acclaimed albums under her belt, as well recent attention for her most recent alt-folk single "Flint Shingle", then you'll be in for a real treat at the festival.

*Update 16/5/17 - Isobel Anderson has pulled out of  The Great Escape due to illness*


Venue - The Hope & Ruin

Date/Time - Thursday, May 18th 2017 - 8:30pm 

Why do I care?
One of our favourite  performances at The Great Escape 2014 came from the band Port Isla. They've now gone their separate ways, but three members of the band are now going under the name Outlya. They've taking a poppier direction than their previous incarnation, but they've already delivered a few great songs, so will be worth a listen.

Parekh & Singh

Venue - Patterns (Upstairs)

Date/Time - Saturday, May 20th 2017 - 9:45pm 

Why do I care?
The dapper duo from Kolkata have been creating a stir with their dreamy-pop numbers, so if you want a heap of pure georgeousness fed into your ears, these guys seem to be the ones to provide it.


Venue - Hotel Pelirocco

Date/Time - Thursday, May 18th 2017 - 4:30pm (part of the Alternative Escape).

Why do I care?
Northern Irish musician Jules Shawe went solo this year after being involved in several local bands over the past few years with her new project PATHS, and after winning over blogs with her cool, electronic sound, she is now playing her first gig outside Northern Ireland at the Great Escape. She's got a heap of great songs in her arsenal, and with a pretty sweet live visual setup, it would be a shame to miss out on it. 

Swimming Tapes

Venue - Coalition

Date/Time - Thursday, May 18th 2017 - 7:00pm 

Why do I care?
Because I said so.

Plus, they've got some lovely jangle-pop songs like "Tides",  and members of the band used to be members of other much loved NI bands like Kowalski & CODA. 

The Rhythm Method

Venue - (1) Brighthelm Centre
(2) Komedia

Date/Time - (1) Thursday, May 18th 2017 - 1:30am 
(2) Saturday, May 20th 2017 - 2:45pm

Why do I care?
Whether you think of them as a disco-infused version of The Street, or the Sleaford Mods with some actual melodies in them, the cheekily-named duo have some really enjoyable tunes infused with pop-culture references.

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