Preview: The Great Escape 2009, Brighton.
So I’m off to The Great Escape in Brighton this weekend. Europe’s answer to SXSW does seem to get bigger and better each year and while nothing on its Texan counterpart there are a huge number of top quality up n coming acts playing again this year. So below is my festival preview split into Will Kill For, Will Queue For, Will Quicken Pace For and er.. The Best of the Rest.
There are still some tickets available here.
Look out for my posts on the Festival over the coming days.
Will Kill For
Beth Jeans Houghton – 18 year old Newcastle based singer/songwriter who has garnered a reputation as an antidote to the current crop of acoustic songstresses. An alternative blend of experimental folk with a gorgeous voice that gives her tunes a sometimes pop feel. For Fans Of: Vashti Bunyan, Four Tet, Love. mp3: Beth Jeans Houghton – Golden
The Hundred In The Hands is composed of The Boggs’ Jason Friedman and his gorgeous voiced touring band-mate Eleanore Everdell, they make the kind of hypnotic, tribal disco that you can bug out to! A must see for me. For Fans Of: Television, The Golden Filter, The Rapture. mp3: The Hundred In The Hands – Undressed In Dresden
The Leisure Society of London/Brighton play beautiful string laden, poppy folk tunes with the wonderful, soothing voice of Nick Flemming. They’ve released one of my albums of the year so far, their debut ‘The Sleeper’. For Fans Of: Fleet Foxes, Bonnie Prince Billy, Nick Drake, John Martn, Folk Music. mp3: The Leisure Society – Come To Your Senses
The Mae Shi from LA were the first band I saw at SXSW and very nearly the best. Raw punk energy, playful electro tinged power pop tunes with shouty sing-along vocals aplenty. They even covered the crowd in a parachute and came underneath to perform.For Fans Of: And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Future Of The Left, Titus Andronicus. mp3: The Mae Shi – Lamb & Lion
Post War Years Another my favourite new bands after seeing them in New York en route to SXSW. They are set to release their debut album ‘The Greats And The Happenings’ through Wealth Records on May 18th. You really need to check these guys out soon. For Fans Of: Foals, Beta Band, Holy Fuck. mp3: Post War Years – Death March
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are the New York band of the moment, They play beautiful, blissful, distorted guitar pop gems. They were great supporting Vivian Girls back in December last year and since then they’ve released what is set to be one of the albums of the year. For Fans Of: Belle & Sebastian, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Vivian Girls, The Manhattan Love Suicides. mp3: TPOBPAH – This Love Is Fucking Right!
Rogues sound like they’re destined for the big time. Hugely catchy guitar riffs, dancey beats and big vocal hooks. Doesn’t sound original when you break it down but believe me it sounds fresh. Be warned though that from their press shots they look like they’re trying to be a bit too cool for school. For Fans Of: The Temper Trap, Klaxons, Radio 4, Friendly Fires. mp3: Rogues – Not So Pretty
The Temper Trap are an Australian band with big riffs, lots of percussion and one of the most soulful new front men about. For Fans Of: TV On The Radio, Radiohead, U2, The Rapture. Believe! mp3: The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition
We Have Band are a London boy-girl-boy 3-piece that play glorious 8os tinged, percussive, electro pop anthems. I practically stalked them across America while there recently. Great songs and great fun live. For Fans Of: Hot Chip, Neon Neon, Friendly Fires. mp3: We Have Band – Hear It In The Cans (DIY Version)
White Denim from Austin, Texas are one of the best live bands around. They’re awesome on record too but the live experience is something you should catch at least once in a lifetime. A 3-piece playing danceable, bluesy, garage rock jams served with a healthy dose of the wondrous voice of front man James Petralli. For Fans Of: Hendrix, The Soft Pack, The White Stripes. mp3: White Denim – Migration Wind
Will Queue For
Abe Vigoda – L.A. punk rock meets art rock with a big sunny sound like only Californian bands know how to make. For Fans Of: Here We Go Magic, Animal Collective, Cause Co-Motion. mp3: Abe Vigoda – Don’t Lie
An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump – Gothic post punk form 3-curvaceous London based girls. Big riffs, big vocals and a lot of black. For Fans Of: The Kills, The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Shangri-Las. mp3: AEOABITAP – 100 Percent
Bang Bang Eche are from New Zealand and play glorious post punk meets indie disco. Pounding drums, scratchy guitars, relentless, groovy bass lines and big vocals. I’ve heard great things about this band’s live shows from SXSW too. For Fans Of: The Rapture, Radio 4, The Ghost Frequency. mp3: Bang Bang Eche – Dirt In The Water
Bombay Bicycle Club are a young London four-piece who won a prize to play at V 2006 before they’d even finished school. Now they’re done and turning heads all over with their catchy and intelligent indie anthems. Achingly talented for their age, they even impressed me with a stripped down acoustic set at Camden crawl. Indie with a backbone. For Fans Of: Bright Eyes, Hot Hot Heat, Cajun Dance Party. mp3: Bombay Bicycle Club – Lamplight
Django Django have been on my stereo a lot since discovering them on MySpace and catching them at Camden Crawl. The vibe is electro tinged folk freak-outs. For Fans Of: The Earlies, Archie Bronson Outfit, Animal Collective. mp3: Django Django – Love’s Dart
Everything Everything of Manchester impressed me recently with their upfront, harmony heavy, math rock meets infectious guitar pop style. On further inspection the songs stand up just as well on record. A potential highlight. For Fans Of: Foals, Talking Heads, Animal Collective, Radiohead. mp3: Everything Everything – Photoshop Handsome
Evan Dando of The Lemonheads fame is one of my favourite ever songwriters. Simple chords used to pop/rock perfection with Evans trademark rich vocals. He’s dubbed as a grunge king but there’s just as much pop to him under it all. For Fans Of: The Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jnr, Teenage Fanclub. mp3: The Lemonheads – Confetti
Esser is a young Londoner with a hell of a head of hair. He’s signed to Transgressive Records, on of the best UK indie labels about and has been causing a stir with his new album ‘Braveface’. Synths, laptops and a rib-tickling lyric here and there. This kind of music is either catchy or irritating. Thankfully it’s the former by a long way. For Fans Of: Blur, Golden Silvers, Micachu. mp3: Esser – Headlock (clip)
Fan Death are a female duo from Christmas Island, USA. More 80s synth pop it is but hell does it sound like it’d be fun live. Better than La Roux I’m willing to bet. For Fans Of: La Roux, Chromeo, Empire Of The Sun. mp3: Fan Death – Veronica’s Veil (Demo)Geoffrey
Gurrumul Yunupingu is from the Indigenous Gumatj Nation in Australia where he was born blind. There they consider him to have the voice of an angel. They’re not far off either I imagine. Beautiful, haunting vocals and simple acoustic guitar. Powerful stuff. For Fans Of: Antony Hegarty, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes. mp3: Gurrumul – DJarimmiri
The Invisible are hot property right now. They were great at Camden Crawl and their debut album backs it up with the goods. A fresh blend of unconventional, funky, wonky pop jams. For Fans Of: TV On The Radio, Post War Years, Telepathe. mp3: The Invisible – London Girl
Little Comets are set to become everyone’s new favourite cheeky Northern band. Incredibly catchy reggae tinged rock songs with Vampire Weekend style guitar lines, big vocal hooks and a lot of energy. I loved them at Swn fest’ last year. For Fans Of: Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, Mystery Jets. mp3: Little Comets – One Night in October
The Low Anthem – this young Boston 3-piece are one of the buzz bands of the year so far. I just saw them last night at EA Club and they’re a special band. Heartbreaking Americana one minute, bar room stompers the next. Ben Miller has one of the best and varied voices I’ve heard. For Fans Of: Dylan, Tom Waits, Nick Drake, Neil Young. mp3: The Low Anthem – The Horizon Is a Beltway
Ohbijou from Canada have just supported The Acorn and The Low Anthem which is where I saw them and they were special. Sisters Casey and Jennifer Mecija have remarkable voces and the other four band members help create a rich folk atmosphere. For Fans Of: The Acorn, The Low Anthem. mp3: Ohbijou – Steep
The Soft Pack (formerly The Muslims) haven’t even released their second EP and they’re already up their with my favourite new bands. I’ve seen them live twice and have loved both occassions. Catchy, danceable rock’n’roll. For Fans Of: The Stooges, The Strokes, The Rolling Stones. mp3: The Soft Pack – Nightlife
Telepathe are one of mine and David Sitek’s (TV On The Radio) favourite bands. He loves this Brooklyn girl duo so much so that he produced their latest album, the brilliant Dance Mother. Their sound is tripped out, hypnotic dance music with lush synths, electronic beats and mesmerising female vocals.For fans of: TV On The Radio, School Of Seven Bells, The Deer Tracks. mp3: Telepathe – So Fine review: 93 Feet East
Vivian Girls are a 3-piece girl rock band from, you guessed it – Brooklyn. They’ve caused a big splash both sides of the pond with their debut LP Vivian Girls. Lo-fi distorted guitar pop gems with sweet vocal harmonies. For Fans Of: Jesus And Mary Chain, Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Kim Gordon. mp3: Vivian Girls – Tell The World
Will Quicken Pace For
The Acorn are from Ottawa, Canada and you’ve probably come across the name before as they’ve been everywhere over the past few months from NME to supporting Elbow across the UK. Beautiful indie meets folk. For Fans Of: Woodpigeon, Sufjan Stevens, Jose Gonzalez. mp3: The Acorn – Crooked Legs
The Alexandria Quartet from East London via Bergen, Norway. They’ve just released their debut which is full of bluesy, indie guitar soundscapes with a tip of the cap to Mersey beat. For Fans Of: The Beatles, Soundtrack of Our Lives, Supergrass. mp3: The Alexandria Quartet – Tonight
Amazing Baby – Like a more glam rock MGMT, coincidentally or not they also hail from Brooklyn. A buzz band so expect their shows to be busy. I caught them at Swn and wasn’t blown away but the sound was crap so time to give them another shot. For Fans Of: MGMT, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Bowie. mp3: Amazing Baby – Narwhal
The Boy Who Trapped The Sun is singer/songwriter Colin David Macleod from Isle of Lewis who plays beautiful pop tinged acoustic guitar numbers with a sweet Evan Dando like vocal style. For Fans Of: Evan Dando, Belle & Sebastian, Iron & Wine. mp3: The Boy Who Trapped The Sun – Lying Get On Your Good Side
Casio Kids of Norway play gorgeous electro tinged indie dance jams with hypnotising pop melodies and vocal harmonies in both Norwegian and English. For Fans Of: Paul Simon, Cornelius, New Order. mp3: Casiokids – Togens Hule
Chairlift of Brooklyn play mesmeric synth pop/rock tunes with 80s undertones. Front lady Caroline has the voice of an angel. Oh and yes that excellent ‘Bruises’ track from the ipod advert, yawn. For fans Of: Portishead, Bat For Lashes, Roisin Murphy.
Chew Lips – One of the hottest new indie/elctro acts around. Like DFA fronted by Moloko. I love them. For Fans Of: DFA, Moloko innit!
Colourmusic are led by song-writer Roy G Biv (false name actually taken from the childhood method of remembering the colours of a rainbow) who is protecting his identity due to his descendency from Isaac Newton or some tosh like that! A big sound that I haven’t quite pinned down yet but maybe this is close, For Fans Of: The Beta Band, Polyphonic Spree.
Citadels are a London band only a year old but already writing some very polished sounding songs. Big unashamedly heart on their sleeve lyrics, melodies soar above electro and rock riffs. For Fans Of: Deastro, New Order, Empire Of The Sun. mp3: Citadels – Golden Islands (Demo)
Dan Mangan is a 23 year old Canadian troubadour Dan Mangan described by NME as sounding like if Woody Guthrie listened to Godspeed You Black Emperor. I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of his set at The Great Escape a couple of years back and from his new material it sounds like he has gone from strength to strength. For Fans Of: Willy Mason, Bon Iver, Micah P Hinson. mp3: Dan Mangan – Robots
Ex Lovers are a London 5-piece playing beautiful, melodious indie pop gems. Recently championed by Pure Groove Records. The soundtrack to your summer? For Fans Of: Belle & Sebastian, The Rosebuds, Joy Zipper. mp3: Ex Lovers – Photobooth
Gold Teeth I’ve been singing the praises of for ages now and thankfully people are starting to take note including the BBC, Telegraph and Dazed and Confused. Their sound is a really fresh one, a kind of wonky global pop/rock combining elements of calypso, prog, ska, electro and rock. Maybe not as political but sonically I think they’re a better version of The King Blues. For Fans Of: Gorillaz, The King Blues, Blur, The XX Teens. mp3: Gold Teeth – Confused Blue
Golden Silvers play danceable keyboard led indie pop gems with the soon to be familiar voice of Gwilym Gold. For Fans Of: New Order, Fryars, The Smiths. mp3: Golden Silvers – True Romance (True No9 Blues)
The Joy Formidable One of my favourite new British bands, epic, melancholic, electro tinged rock music with a feisty female front lady. For Fans Of: Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, School Of Seven Bells. mp3: The Joy Formidable – Whirring
Liam Finn is a New Zealander with an impressive songwriting ability. Son of TimmFinn of Crowded House fame (yikes!). A big voice, big guitar hooks and impressive live percussion. For Fans Of: Patrick Watson, Tom Petty, Cut Off Your Hands. mp3: Liam Finn – Second Chance
School Of Seven Bells are the Brooklyn shoe gaze/dream rock band of the moment featuring Benjamin Curtis the ex Secret Machines guitarist and the beautiful harmonies of twin sisters Deheza.I love their debut album but have had mixed reports on their live show so perhaps worth a go to solve this riddle once and for all For fans of: My Bloody Valentine, Chairlift, Maps, Caribou. mp3: School Of Seven Bells – Wired For Light
Woodpigeon are a Canadian folk band led by nice guy Mark Hamilton. They craft intricate folk tales as beautiful as the landscape of their native country. There’s a poppy edge to some of the tunes too which means these songs stay in your head for days. For Fans Of: Sufjan Stevens, The Leisure Society, The Acorn. mp3: Woodpigeon – Knock Knock
The Best Of The Rest
A Grave With No Name # The Answering Machine # Benga # Black Lips # Bleech # Blind Pilot # Blue Roses # Brakes # British Sea Power # Broken Records # Crystal Antlers # Crystal Fighters # Dan Auerbach # Datarock # Dinosaur Pile-Up # The Deer Tracks # General Fiasco # The Gay Blades # Holy Fuck # James Yuill # Jesca Hoop # Little Boots # The Last Republic # Marina and the Diamonds # Metronomy # Micachu and the Shapes # Mumford And Sons # Mystery Jets # The Miserable Rich # The Moody Boyz # Ou Est Le Swimming Pool # Peter Bjorn & John # The Phantom Band # Plugs # Race Horses # Sky Larkin # Slow Club Teitur # Titus Andronicus # Three Trapped Tigers # The Veils # The Voluntary Butler Scheme # V V Brown # The Week That Was # The XX