Preview: The Great Escape 2014

By on Monday, 24th February 2014 at 9:00 am

It’s a quintessential English experience, walking along the Brighton seafront: eating Harry Ramsden fish and chips and contemplating risking your life/limbs on the suspect fairground rides on the pier. Add to that a veritable buffet of quirky seaside music venues and masses of emerging talent, and you have the ingredients for arguably the most exciting music festival in the UK.

The Great Escape pulls together a collection of music industry big wigs, PR’s, A and R’s and a host of bloggers (myself included) to scurry around the city, in search of the bands which people want to be first in on, just to say “I saw them first, in a 50-capacity venue”.

To name but a bands, who have in their infancy played at the festival – Bombay Bicycle Club in 2008 and 2009, who’re doing stupendously well at the moment, White Lies in their doom rock filled glory in 2008, drum’ n’ bass titans Chase and Status in 2010 alongside darling of the Brits, Ellie Goulding. Add to those names Frank Turner, Friendly Fires, The Vaccines and The Temper Trap, and let’s be honest, it’s looking like the obvious hotbed for breakthrough talent in the past 8 years.

This year it’s no different, with the festival from the 8th to 10th of May showcasing some of the best talent that is breaking out worldwide. Twenty-year old Charli XCX is the next in the line of take no shit-divas breaking into the music scene, following in the footsteps of musicians like Jessie J and, to a lesser extent, Lana Del Rey. While she may not be my cup of tea much like Tom Odell last year, I expect the venue she plays at to have snailling queues reaching onto the seafront, brimming with industry bods doing their level best to get in on the act.

Fresh from the release of EP ‘Devils Rope’ – Hampshire quintet New Desert Blues will be returning to The Great Escape to tell some more of their brilliant noir-indie stories. Last year at The Fishbowl, alongside about forty other Great Escape-ers I was lucky enough to stumble onto these boys – since then, they’ve matured and really nailed down their sound – 2014 is sure to be a huge year stateside and in the UK for New Desert Blues, with The Great Escape and their shows there will be a huge moment for them.

Brisbane three-piece Dune Rats have been causing the equivalent of an internet shitstorm, with catchy tunes like ‘Fuck It’ and ‘Red Light Green Light’ – I mean, who wouldn’t want to go get drunk in Brighton and watch three sweaty Aussies play a song called ‘Fuck It’. They’ll be appearing at the weekend too, but my personal recommendation are a band I’ve been a little bit pant-wettingly excited about lately, for good reason, is Royal Blood: a two-piece with shades of The White Stripes, flecks of Band of Skulls with some less than subtle Queens of the Stone Age and early Muse vibes. Simply unmissable.

Alongside the less established bands, The Great Escape always does it’s best to revisit bands who have done well after the festival – last year we saw the rebirth of Klaxons in all their nu-rave glory. This time around, we have Pulled Apart By Horses are doing the round; since Dinosaur Pile-Up played last year, effectively it’s like an upgrade: the grown up and far more tuneful rockers from Leeds are at the festival to bring some serious carnage to the seaside.

It’s a clichéd level of rhetoric, but in honesty – if you want a taste of everything the industry will be drooling over in the next twelve months and can’t afford the plane fare to South By Southwest, then The Great Escape is, quite simply, the place to be.

To buy tickets and get more information on the Great Escape 2014, visit their official Web site.

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[…] To buy tickets and get more information on the Great Escape 2014, visit their official Web site. You can also read John’s original festival announcement here. […]

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