The Great Escape 2017
The Great Escape isn’t just the first big UK festival of the summer; it’s arguably one of the world’s greatest showcases for new music. From 18th to 20th May, 30+ venues across Brighton will be bustling with more than 450 emerging artists, and we’ll be careering between them to catch the best of them. Check out our must-watch list, and delve deeper into that impressive line-up below.
Catford’s Rita Ekwere recently became the first unsigned artist ever to top the BBC’s Sound Of poll, impressing industry-tastemakers with her streetwise soul. Judging by superb new material like ‘Patience (Freestyle)’, plus collaborations with Tinie Tempah and Gorillaz, a big commercial breakthrough looks imminent. Catch Ray Blizzy in an intimate venue while you still can.
If a brutal combo of snarled vocals and scuzzy guitars sounds appealing to you, South Londoners Shame could well be your new favourite band. Having cut their teeth on tour with Fat White Family, these Mica Levi-approved punks are picking up widespread acclaim for their visceral live shows and Ramones-meets-Mark E Smith attitude. Be sure to head to the front for Thursday's gig.
Poised to release her exquisite debut for 4AD on May 19th, New Zealander Hannah “Aldous” Harding is already renowned for the hypnotic intensity of her live performances. Expect sinister, seductive folk songwriting and a spellbinding vocal range which extends from a Linda Perhacs-worthy vibrato to a smoky, Billie Holiday-esque croon.
More from the line-up
- I put too much pressure on myself, spending 10 hours a day for many months just forcing songs out.
- I’m such a champion of people following their gut... It sounds like such a cliché, but staying true to yourself really is important.
- It was one of those moments where I couldn’t believe anything around me anymore. I didn’t know who to trust.
- I want to look back on this album in five years time as something that represented that chapter of my life.
- This industry is such a machine, just churning out stuff... I think we need artists to be allowed time.