Festival Preview: Ten Acts To See At The Great Escape 2014

on Wednesday, May 07, 2014
The Great Escape Festival (8-10 May '14, Brighton) // Words: Saam Das

We're huge fans of Brighton's new music fest The Great Escape and we're always excited to run around and catch as many bands as humanly possible - albeit inevitably losing steam. It'd be easy to pick literally dozens of bands we'd like to catch (especially if we counted the Alternative Escape too) but instead, we're offering a refined list of ten musical performers to catch at the festival.


This lot have crept up on us but each new track we've heard from them has made us even more excited for the next one. A mix of styles, they're perhaps most characterised by the soothing vocals of Olivia Neller. Turns out steel and the snooker's aren't the only good things to come out of Sheffield. (Saturday, 3.30pm, Komedia + Saturday, 9.30pm, Komedia Studio Bar)


We've been intrigued by Laura Bettinson for a number of years now, and her new guise looks like her most flamboyant yet. Sassy singalongs all but guaranteed. (Friday, 8pm, Digital)

Fickle Friends

Having selected them as one of our choices for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition 2014 on perceived strength of their live performance, it seems only right to again suggest the group as ones to watch. Especially as they're locals. (Friday, 9.15pm, Green Door Store)


We're still a bit on the fence in terms of this band's recorded material but we enjoyed their bouncy set at Southsea Festival last year. They're obviously impressing some important people though, having signed to Island Records toward the end of 2013. (Friday, 10pm, Above Audio)

George Ezra

Another act to impress us at Southsea Festival 2014, Ezra's charm shone through both his tender music and his on-stage chat. While there were only about a dozen of us watching there, we suspect that he'll be significantly more popular in Brighton. And rightfully so. (Thursday, 9.30pm, The Warren)

Marika Hackman

We caught an unassuming Hackman battling against an overly chatty audience at last year's Bushstock Festival. She's taken a steadily darker turn since then, and it'll be intriguing to see how her live act has evolved since then. (Friday, 7.45pm, The East Wing)

Paul Thomas Saunders

We briefly saw Paul Thomas Saunders in 2012 at Bushstock, although admittedly we got a bit annoyed with his dilly-dallying before coming on with the rest of his band, we appreciated his dream pop aspirations. Those aspirations have since been solidified by recent album, 'Beautiful Desolation' - probably an apt description of what to expect. (Thursday, 8.30pm, St Mary's Church)

Rae Morris

Another Bushstock alum and one who has seem her stock rise considerably since we caught her and her piano in a crowded pub back in 2012. Now working with the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club and hotshot producer Ariel Rechtshaid, she may well be worth the elongated trip along the seafront. (Thursday, 7.45pm, Concorde 2)

The Royal Concept

We're not quite sure what "Scandi-pop" is anymore but these Swedes can do great pop, as evidenced by the storming 'On Our Way', which was definitely one of our favourite tracks we heard last year. (Friday, 9.45pm, Coalition)

These New Puritans

Probably the most well known of our list but arguably one of the most vital. Their post-punk beginnings have given away to more a more ambitious and experimental fare and their pairing with Wild Beasts for a Brighton Dome show should be well worth the small top up fee. (Friday, 8.45, Dome)

Find more info at greatescapefestival.com.

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