This coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday many a new music fan in the UK will be decamping to Brighton, Sussex for the 10th birthday of the Great Escape Festival.
You can see our explanation of why we love the event so much on this link here.
Plus you can see 20 acts that we recommend from the official programme in our 5 blog post preview here, although line up clashes preclude anyone seeing all of those acts.
Today we’re turning our attention to the Great Escape’s kid brother event, the Alt-Escape, which just like its bigger sibling has grown beyond all recognition from its early days. The Alt-Escape is, in the words of the festival organisers, an “official series of showcases that take place alongside the core festival programme at The Great Escape.”
The Alt-Escape offers over 200 additional artists performing in over 15 venues, and unlike the Great Escape itself most of these shows are open to any member of the public who is over the age of 18 irrespective of if they have a Great Escape wristband or not. Some of these gigs are free admission for anyone, whilst others are free for Great Escape attendees and accessed for a small charge for those without a wristband.
A number of bands who are playing the Great Escape also take the opportunity whilst they are in Brighton to play one of more Alt-Escape shows. So even if you’re not going to the Great Escape (tickets are now sold out) it’s still possible to enjoy 3 (or even 4 if you count the couple of gigs that are held for early arrivals on Wednesday night) glorious days in Brighton watching plenty of live music at little to no cost.
Here are 5 bands / artists playing at Alt-Escape that we recommend (programme clashes permitting).
Arctic Lake – The Joker 1.45pm. Thursday 14th May
They might be playing a pub called The Joker, but there’s no joke about the band’s music. Beautiful minimal instrumentation coupled with Emma Foster’s haunting vocal, it’s no wonder that their song Limits found itself on daytime Radio 1 via the BBC Introducing playlist slot.
Curxes – Bleach 17.40pm. Thursday 14th May
Having just released their debut album proper via Strong Island Recordings and fresh from an album launch party the night before, electronic duo turned trio Curxes will be bashing all hell out Bleach (previously known as The Hydrant) in the north of Brighton just before you have your tea. Expect dramatic poses and an even more dramatic sound from the self-confessed blitz poppers.
Kassassin Street – Sticky Mike's Frog Bar 12.00pm. Friday 15th May
Arguably the finest band to come out of Breaking More Waves home city of Portsmouth for some time, Kassassin Street’s groovy blend of rock and electronics has found them being compared to everyone from Primal Scream to MGMT to Kasabian. The group have begun to find favour with the online press, particularly blogs, with their most recent track To Be Young entering the Hype Machine chart and being featured on the likes of Indie Shuffle, Ear Milk, Acid Stag and of course Breaking More Waves. Get out of bed early to catch them.
Syron – Horatios 17.00pm. Friday 15th May
Three days in Brighton wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the pier, maybe some fish and chips and then to a bar called Horatios which is set next to the funfair. It captures the essence of faded seaside glamour rather well and there you can get a dose of dance pop bangers from south London’s Syron as part of a showcase presented by Spindle and Firetrap.
Alice Jemima – 2.30pm The Monty. Saturday 16th May
Having featured heavily on Breaking More Waves as far back as 2011, Alice Jemima self-released her All The Boyfriends EP in 2012, appeared on a Radio 1 late night session and picked up over 2 million plays on Soundcloud for her cover version of No Diggity. However, in terms of new material there has been very little in the last couple of years. That's all changing now though as 2015 sees the slow return of Alice Jemima with a few gigs, and now a release of sorts, with Alice cropping up on Laura Doggett’s Into The Glass EP singing on Night Girl, a tune she co-wrote with Laura. At Great Escape Alice will be playing a show for Rob Da Bank’s Sunday Best record label, which no doubt will include plenty of new songs. Keep an eye out for further news about Alice, her music and releases as the year goes on.
We'll be publishing daily reviews of this years Great Escape on the blog and tweeting about some of the action live from Brighton as it happens.