The Great Escape 2016: My Picks

The Great Escape Festival 2016, Brighton    19th – 21st May

The Great Escape is a small music festival held annually in Brighton. It features great new bands and artists playing in several intimate venues, all within walking distance. Dubbed by Radio 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq as ‘the Cannes of the music world’. It’s also prone to a few secret gigs, spontaneous collaborations and club nights.


Unless you’re the crazy spontaneous type, you’ll want to plan your weekend to make sure you don’t miss the best shows. Out of all the great new music on offer, here’s just a few of my picks…



This Stockport powerhouse is going to a have a massive year. If you’re a fan of indie or rock ‘n’ roll music then you absolutely must see them at The Great Escape. They’re gaining popularity fast and it may one of their last shows in a small venue.


Catholic Action

This Glasweigan four-piece has been praised for its tantalising blend of pop songwriting and art rock sound. A hot pick for The Great Escape.



Declan McKenna

Glastonbury 2015’s Emerging Talent winner and only 17 years old. This young songwriter uses electronics and loop pedals to create a psychedelic indie sound.



Drones Club

With a couple of killer EPs under their belt and providing unique live ‘experiences’, this experimental London band is not one to miss.




Leeds post-punk five-piece Eagulls captured the alternative scene’s attention with their melancholy debut in 2014. New album ‘Ullages’ is on the way and singles ‘Lemontrees’ and ‘Skipping’ suggest a new, more rounded indie rock approach.



Singing, rapping and producing Londoner Girli has earnt fans at NME and DIY with her quirky and rebellious tunes. She also made her debut TV appearance this year, popping up behind Ant and Dec at the Brit Awards.




This quartet provide a dose of heavily 80s-influenced indie rock with audible similarities to Echo & The Bunnymen. They’re also Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas’ favourite band.inheaven_bitter_town_band.png


Lady Leshurr

This Birmingham rapper went viral last year with her ‘Queen’s Speech’ series of freestyles, earning her significant Radio 1 airtime. Liable to get a crowd seriously hyped up.




A far cry from the gnarly garge punk of compatriots Iceage, this bunch of Danish teenagers make soulful pop music. They’ve been called Denmark’s most promising new musical talents.



Spring King

Lively garage rockers from Manchester led by drummer, singer and producer Tarek Musa. Their single city was the first track to be played on Apple’s Beats One and have gathered hoards of fans after touring with all the best bands on the UK indie circuit.


Here are some artists that never made my top picks but are still definitely worth seeing…

  • Izzy Bizu
  • Anne Marie
  • Banners
  • Beach Baby
  • The Amazons
  • Black Honey
  • Fews
  • Rejjie Snow
  • Diet Cig
  • Clean Cut Kid
  • Mystery Jets
  • Milk Teeth
  • Shura
  • Vant