In case you hadn’t realised, this weekend is The Great Escape festival, probably the most important musical event in the local calendar. There’s a few Brighton bands tucked in the main festival, but the bulk of the homegrown talent features in the line-up of the Alternative Escape – a sister festival that runs side by side where for most events you won’t need a wrist band, or have to shell out any money to see some fantastic live acts. There are literally hundreds of bands playing over dozens of events so to help guide you through the weekend here’s our pick of some of the BN postcode-based performers you can catch.
The fun begins on Wednesday night with Late Night Lingerie vs The Great Escape at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, where can catch the first of Demob Happy‘s many sets of the festival as well as Skirts last ever gig. Inspired Artists Agency who represent quite a few Brighton bands are taking over Latest Music Bar on Thursday, and we’re hoping to pop in for The Slytones at 2.55pm and Moulettes who play at 6.30pm. There are 20 bands over 28 sets on at The Mesmerist on thursday, on the stages put together by Liberty Music PR, amongst others. If we had to pick one it would be Phantom Runners who are on at 9.40pm. Bleach is being taken over by Strong Island Recordings and Pic & Vinyl on thursday, where Brighton Music Blog favourites Curxes take to the stage at 5.40pm. Over at London Road’s newest cafe Presuming Ed, Cate Ferris tops their line up. Miamigo play their debut show at Patterns (formerly Audio) at 6.45pm.
Brightonsfinest are in charge at Latest on Friday, and they’ve got a cracking line up. You could pop in at any time and see a great local band, but we’ll be popping in for GAPS at 2.45pm and Spit Shake Sisters at 7.45pm. The Mesmerist also has a pretty good line up, with Black Honey and Oslo Parks catching our eye. One of Brighton’s most written about bands at the moment are The Magic Gang, and they head up the DIY / Echochamp showcase at Bleach, playing at 10pm.
Moving on to Saturday, Earworm events and Northbrook college are hosting proceedings at Bar Rogue where we’re tipping Flash Bang Band at 6pm and newcomers Bloom at 6.50pm. The Fiddlers Elbow are having a street party, which is a great idea since I couldn’t get in to see the bands I wanted to last year. If I were you, I’d be down there for Yumi & The Weather at 4pm and Tigercub at 5pm. Marwoods Cafe are hosting some more gentle gigs over Friday and Saturday, but expect things to get a bit more riotous when Black Rooster Black Shag take to the stage at 8.10pm on Saturday night. Tyrannosaurus Dead play their last ever gig in Brighton at Fitzherbert’s a part of Cupboard Music’s line up. They’re only playing one more gig after that, and that’s in London, so expect it to be rammed. Hotel Pelirocco also have an all Brighton line-up – Time for T headline at 10pm, but get down there for 3pm to catch grasshopper who are fantastic. Bleeding Hearts are putting on a gig on Saturday afternoon at the Rialto theatre, which will be the first opportunity to buy headliner Clowwns debut album. It’s not an official Great Escape gig, but it would be churlish not to give them a shoutout. Finally, one of the very last gigs of the weekend is KLDSCP’s party at Sticky Mike’s which doesn’t even kick off until 1am. Mount Bank, who’ve put out one of favourite EPs of the year so far are playing, so hopefully we’ll still be standing by the time they’re on.