The Great Escape is upon us. The music festival takes over our town this week, bringing an astounding array of wannabe talent to Brighton, along with a swarm of eager music fans.
However, astute locals know that the wristbanded TGE festival is nowadays accompanied by a locally-sourced unofficial little sister supplying a daunting array of brilliant local artistes and visiting musicians, most of whom would be ready for the main stages of the festival (and a few who are already appearing there). As a result, the town’s littlest venues will be awash with amazing talent on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, all for free.
To help you, we’ve picked a few of our favourites:
Love Thy Neighbour’s Showcases
Hope & Ruin, 11-12 Queens Road, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 2-9pm
Love Thy Neighbour play a strong hand every year, and this year is no exception, with some amazing bands like Penelope Isles, Creatures and Beach Riot along with a number of slots saved for ‘secret bands’. On the Thursday Source favourites Porridge Radio are sneaking in a warm-up for their TGE show. More info.
QUID Productions ‘The Escaped’
Hare & Hounds, 75 London Road, Friday and Saturday from 3pm
Quid Productions have pulled off an absolute stormer with this outrageously talented line-up of Brighton bands. There’s a great line-up on both Friday and Saturday, but miss Bright Orange Spectacle & The Slaughter House Band on Saturday at your peril. More info.
Back in the Woods
St Nicholas Church, Dyke Road – Friday 2-10pm
Back in the Woods are running a single day event this year but it’s going to be a beauty in the oldest church in town, featuring the likes of Night House, Yumi & the Weather, Ebony Grace and a full band performance from Ellie Ford. Info
HANYA & Plaisir present Foggy Notion
The Black Dove, 74 St James’s Street – Friday 3-11pm
A day of vicious riffs and melancholic melodies, featuring hosts Hanya with their brand of P J Harvey-esque rockery and the gothic soul of Plaisir amongst others. There are DJs after the bands until 3am. Info.
Village, 129 Islingword Road – Friday 4-11pm
We’re really looking forward to this one, in this charming and intimate community pub at the bottom of Hanover hill, featuring the astounding Greenness (pictured) alongside the likes of the Wreks (ex-80s Matchbox), the Elliot Smith-influenced Seadog, dark country folk from M Butterfly and a lot of other brilliant acts. Info here.
Escape To Presuming Ed
Presuming Ed coffeehouse, 114-115 London Road – Saturday 2-11pm
Formerly Escape to Pelirocco this annual institution (now in its 6th year) has moved to the hip Presuming Ed to bring its usual vibe of manic, crackling excellent music in a range of styles. Highlights include two female-fronted Norwegian bands – the alt-punk furore of Blomst and the has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed space-pop of Moviestar. Earlier in the day there’s the excellent Hilang Child and Bloom. More info.
The Fake Escape
The Rose Hill Arts Club, 70 -71 Rosehill Terrace – Saturday 3-12pm
This year the Rose Hill is curating 12 acts across two floors in collaboration with Ceremonial Laptop and the creators of Fort Process. Expect a host of strange and experimental musical goings-on in one of the hippest hostelries in town Info
Brighton Noise Presents…The Main Escape
Sidewinder, 65 St James’s Street – Friday and Saturday 5-11pm
The Friday event is likely to be full of grungy noisy rock music with the likes of Emperors of Ice Cream and a new band called Lobby headlining. The Saturday is being jointly run by Fat Dog Party and Memorials of Distinction who are putting out some very fine oddball indie rock with a punky edge, and should be a lot of fun. There’s info here and here.
Small Pond & ROM Showcase, Loading Brighton, 11 Lower Promenade, Madiera Drive – Thursday 12-7pm link
Beyond Retro Takeover, 42 Vine Street – all 3 days link
Folklore Weekend All-Dayer, the White Rabbit, 13-14 Kensington Gardens – Saturday link
1BTN WKND, Fortune of war 156-157 Kings Road Arches – Friday and Saturday 1pm – 3am link
Crown’s Brighton, 9-10 Cranbourne St – all 3 days 12noon-2am More info
There are other Alt-musical events events all around town, and also ‘official’ Alternative Escape events listed on The Great Escape’s website. So much music, so little time.