It's now just a fortnight until The Great Escape, I'm already excited, I said in my review last year that 2011 was the best yet (I've been to four) and 2012 has the potential to be even better with more venues, more lunch time shows and more bands than ever before, over 30 venues with over 300 bands crammed into three days in the wonderful city of Brighton.
Sounds fun right? It is. Running from Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th of May there are so many incredible acts that I've decided to preview in three parts, split by day, I'll pick what I think is the best of what The Great Escape and the Alternative Escape has to offer.I was going to limit myself to six a day but in the end I couldn't narrow it down so I've gone with seven a day, which still misses out a few bands I'd like to catch... So much choice for one weekend.
Komedia (Studio Bar), Thursday 10th May 13.30
Komedia (Studio Bar), Thursday 10th May 21.15
The Hub, Jubilee Square, Friday 11th May 16.00
This French/London trio will be the perfect way to get your Great Escape weekend going in fine fashion, with hopefully beautiful sunshine providing the platform for their bright and breezy male/female harmonies and tropical synth/ukulele/glockenspiel melodies. Cute and bouncy for sure, We Were Evergreen are here to bring some their fun-filled, infectious songcraft to your weekend, one that will be all the better for it.
The Hydrant, Thursday 10th May 16.00 (Alt-Escape)
Queens Hotel, Friday 11th May 20.30
I'll be tipping a few Manchester bands in my previews, there is an undeniably excitement around numerous bands coming out of the North-West at the minute, more so than in recent memory. One of the reasons are Shinies who've been caught up in a whirlwind of acclaim since they released debut demo "Spent Youth" six months or so, with distorted noise-pop guitars, fast-paced drums and echoed vocals "Spent Youth" and its b-side "Shola" are good enough to make sure you spend your Thursday afternoon mingling with numerous A&R guys seeing if this trio are as good in the flesh.
Ren Harvieu - Facebook
The Loft, Thursday 10th May 18.30
An unusual timing for one of the days must-see acts, Ren Harvieu first featured on this blog exactly one year ago today and now a few weeks away from the release of her debut album she is ready to finally dominate the stereos of household around the world.
Armed with a voice to die for her melodramatic ballads soaked in sweeping string orchestration and nostalgia are simply sublime.I've said this before but Ren's cover of The Rolling Stone's "Sister Morphine" is spine-tingling good. A queen will be crowned, make sure you're in the audience.
Deaf Club - Facebook
Green Door Store, Thursday 10th May 20.00
Wales/London five piece Deaf Club are a bit different to the acts I've covered so far, their beautifully expansive guitar led sound is something I'm very much looking forward to catching over the weekend, I've flirted with seeing them before but this will be the moment I finally do.
Their sold-out tape via Kissability (who host their show at The Great Escape) highlights their beautiful soundscapes, soaring, shimmering guitars interwoven with forlorn drum melodies and the brooding vocals of Polly Mackey. Gorgeous.
Cut Ribbons - Facebook
Green Door Store, Thursday 10th May 20.45
Sticking at the same venue, the next band up are Llanelli ;based Cut Ribbons, whose punchy stadium-sized indie-rock will fill the small(ish) Brighton venue with glistening guitars and dual vocal harmonies.
Their pretty, melodious hooks are polished and will surely result in a few pints of lager being spilled as people bounce around with joy.
Hannah Cohen - Facebook
Unitarian Church, Thursday 10th May 22.00
Another of Thursday's not to be missed acts is Hannah Cohen, this will only be her second ever UK show (after playing in London the night before) from (as I said just a couple of days ago) one of 2012's best new voices.
Guaranteed to something quite spectacular, just like her album 'Child Bride', her sensational voice and elegant instrumentation will leave many hearts aflutter. A truly beautiful venue too. Can't wait for this one.
Toy - Facebook
Pavilion Theatre, Thursday 10th May 22.45
I've not got too much to add to what I've said a couple of times about Toy in the month or so, displaying almost as much hair as talent, the London five piece summed up the buzz with "Left Myself Behind", an eight minute runaway rollercoaster that combines the best bits of psyche, krautrock and shoegaze in one glorious track, gorgeous shimmering guitars duel with the korg keys and consistent drum beats, to keep it simple, it's one of the essential tracks of the last six months from one of the UK's hottest new properties. Truly superb, hard, dense, melodic, brilliant.