Once upon a time, alongside the main Great Escape there was the Alt Escape. More local bands would play, but you’d also get surprise sets from some of the bigger artists too. It looks like this year the Alt Escape is just an add on to the Great Escape – I didn’t recognise any of the artists, and there weren’t any slots just marked “Special Guest” where you’d keep your fingers crossed that the guest would be someone quite special. As well as that though, I heard that to be an “official” Alt Escape gig, you had to pay for the pleasure.
This year there’s a third tier of gigs, wholly unaffiliated with the main festival, that just coincidentally happen to be happening at the same time. These gigs are brilliant for those who haven’t got a weekend ticket who want to join in the fun, of for those who do have a ticket but find there’s a big queue for whoever they wanted to see. Keep your ears to the ground / social media, though, and there might be a few sets tucked in there which are more exciting than the main event.
Anyway, here’s a list as comprehensive as possible. If I hear about more I’ll add them over the next few days:
In just over a week, hundreds of bands from across the world will descend on Brighton and play gigs as part of what is arguably Brighton’s best weekend for music. In previous years the number of local bands on the bill hasn’t been quite as high as it could have been, but this year seems to have quite impressive representation.
On top of all this there’s also all the unofficial gigs going on around town, which I’ll cover in a separate post, which is where you find a lot more local bands playing who might not be on the main bill. Watch this space for that post coming up later this week.
Anyway, here’s all the Brighton bands that I’ve spotted in the line up, along with their stages and set times. See you down the front
15:30 / ARXX / The Hope And Ruin
18:15 / Keg / Jubilee Square
20:00 / Porchlight / Waterbear
20:30 / Youth Sector / Paganini Ballroom (The Old Ship)
22:30 / Isabelle Brown / Coalition
14:15 / LibraLibra / The MVT Stage
15:00 / Lets Swim Get Swimming / Waterbear
15:15 / Opus Kink / The MVT Stage
19:30 / Ciel / Paganini Ballroom (The Old Ship)
19:30 / Projector / The Tempest Inn
20:00 / The Famous People / Waterbear
20:15 / Heights / Komedia Studio
21:00 / Beach Riot / Waterbear
21:15 / Keg / TGE Beach Stage
22:00 / Laundromat / Prince Albert
22:15 / Lime Garden / TGE Beach Stage
22:30 / Opus Kink / Paganini Ballroom (The Old Ship)
23:15 / Lucy Gooch / Fabrica
Hi! We’re back! We didn’t mean to go away to be honest, but January is always really quiet and then Covid finally hit, and then we were away for a bit, and all in all for no particular reason it’s not been until this week that we’ve taken any decent photos of any Brighton bands. But what a week it’s been – Last Saturday we saw Kayla Painter at the Rosehill, ably supported by Ruunes, AKA Ed Chivers, better known as half of AK/DK and quarter of Fujiya & Miyagi. Then Monday night saw the live debut of New German Cinema, supporting Kip Berman (formerly the front man of Pains of Being Pure at Heart) at the Prince Albert. New German Cinema is the side project of Fear of Men‘s Jess Weiss, who’s worked with Kip Berman in the past, so it made sense that she would be supporting when he was in town. She’s going to be playing an Alternative Escape gig too, so watch this space and we’ll keep you updated. And then on Tuesday night we went to a packed out Hope & Ruin to catch Hanya supported by Collect Call. They’re both playing the same unofficial Alt Escape gig on the Thursday of Great Escape weekend at Presuming Eds. We’ll be doing a writeup of all the local acts playing at the Great Escape and Alt Escape (and unofficial) gigs, and already it looks like more Brighton bands than ever are playing, so expect a bumper post soon
So, there’s a reason that the blog hasn’t been so active over the last few years, and I don’t really need to say what it is. Times have been hard on artists, on venues and on promoters. Outside of the music world though, it’s been harder than anyone else on NHS workers. In the early days of the pandemic we all stood outside and clapped, but that was just a gesture – as far back as April 2020, which feels like a lifetime ago now, Fatboy Slim put his money where his mouth is and announced a free Brighton party for NHS workers. Fast forward 18 months and Norman Cook was finally playing gigs again, and the party for the NHS took place on 11th November at the Brighton Centre. There was another gig the previous night which anyone could have bought tickets to, which was easily my gig of the year. Thanks Fatboy, and thanks NHS.
Hanya were one of the first casualties of lockdown – they were meant to be playing a gig at the 26th March 2020 at the Rosehill, but the whole country went into lockdown only days before. After rescheduling several times the band finally hit the road in October this year. In the interim they buckled down and came up with a few singles which got beefed up into a full scale maxi-EP called 100 Metre Sprint which they released on the eve of their tour
Most of ĠENN have been playing together for years in their native Malta, but a move to Brighton prompted a reboot – a new name, a new drummer and a more developed sound. In March they put out their EP / Mini LP Liminal and have spend most of the second half of 2021 playing as many gigs as they can
In the distant past Rachel Bor was a third of punk trio Dolly Mixture, noted for working with Captain Sensible on some of his hits. Rachel has been involved in many projects in the intervening years and back at the start of 2021, now residing in Brighton and recording under the name Rachel Love she released Primrose Hill, the first single from her album Picture in Mind. The album came out at the end of October and is filled with beautiful pastoral pop
After a couple of years break, in which frontman Jamie Hall used wisely with solo project Nancy, making this post a double header, Tigercub returned with their third album As Blue as Indigo. Not content with writing, recording and producing the record themselves they also started their own label – Blame Recordings – to put it out too
Beach Riot released their debut album of punk pop bangers back in September. The band have been touring Sub Atomic Party Cool for weeks now, wrapping things up with a hometown gig at the Prince Albert this Thursday
AA sessions aren’t really a band. Or maybe they are, because AA Sessions put out AA Sessions Volume 2 a few weeks ago, and they’ve been putting a song out every month this year. Perhaps it’s better to say that there’s no definitive line up to AA Sessions. Across the release there’s input from members of Blood Red Shoes, Tigercub, AK/DK, Nancy, CLT DRP, Laundromat, Our Girl, Marcus Hamblett, Ben Hillier, and anyone who’s anyone in the Brighton scene