As we begin to plot our way through the defining festival for emerging artists, Faux Real, Alien Chicks, Kaeto and Bishopskin are among the names catching our attention.
Image: Faux Real | Words: Lloyd Bolton
It’s that time of year again, folks… time to start plotting your course through festival season. While the call on which of the big outdoor summer festivals can perhaps wait for one or two more waves of announcements, one that demands your immediate attention is The Great Escape, at least if you’re going to try and find somewhere to stay in Brighton (or need to lay some groundwork of sweet-talking friends with appealingly convenient sofas…).
The UK’s leading showcase-style festival lives up to the demand. Curated along the lines of South by Southwest, with one eye on the industry, it draws several hundred emerging acts from across genres and nationalities. Audiences get to see these artists vying to become the next big buzz band, often packing several sets into a few days at all hours. It is designed for you to stumble upon your new obsession for the year, as happened to us last year catching cumgirl8 at 1am in the tiny Fiddlers Elbow and Alice Low in the beautiful One Church.
Alice Low at last year’s festival.
Among the 100 new names added to the festival’s lineup (which already starred The New Eves, Picture Parlour and Babymorroco) are Alien Chicks, who were brilliant at our own showcase last year, Bishopskin, whose live antics and debut album ‘Babble’ we have charted with fervour and Ebbb, an exciting new name group making waves at The Windmill recently. We’re also incredibly excited to see the return of Faux Real, who were the indisputable champions of SXSW 2021 (ok apart from Wet Leg). They bring their flawlessly choreographed, all-out party of a set to the UK for the first time in two years, you must see them if at all possible. Similarly keeping the energy up will be Kaeto, whose string of early singles have aligned her with all manner of greats from Talking Heads to St. Vincent.
The festival also devotes ‘Spotlight Shows’ to standalone gigs, separate to the festival, with this year’s first slot taken by Faye Webster.
One more thing! To get into the spirit of it, you can also get along to catch a few featured acts at a new showcase night at The Old Blue Last. Flat Party will be joined by Saloon Dion and Velvetine on 22nd February for a free entry show.
You heard us, get planning, get listening and get booking! Do what you’ve got to do to prepare yourself for the country’s most densely packed festival and get ready to fall in love with your new favourite artist.
Tickets and more info at https://greatescapefestival.com/