Live Review: The Great Escape Festival (May 2017)


Every May, thousands flock to Brighton, and its not for the beaches and sunshine like you might think. It is in fact for the musical extravaganza that is Great Escape Festival.

We were there all weekend, and despite the mixed weather we managed to come out of alive. And on top of that we also caught loads of amazing bands.

Anteros - Bleach - 18.05.2017

Our first stop of the weekend is an adventure as we hiked to Bleach, with is half way out of Brighton away from the usual venues, which in the rain you can imagine was the opposite of delightful. However Anteros brought their high energy performance in full force as our first band of the weekend. Their unique take on pop-music brought the crowd in early.

Anteros - Great Escape Festival 2017

Howl - Sallis Benney Theatre - 18.05.2017

Having recently supported the Kaiser Chiefs, Howl were our next stop. A combination of the old and new styles of indie that can help but make your feet shuffle along.

Howl - Great Escape Festival 2017

Yonaka - Patterns - 18.05.2017

When you get a weeks worth of rain in a couple of hours, it can take quite a lot to put you in a good mood... Or, you could simply go and see Yonaka live and all your problems appear to vanish! A brilliant set from a hometown band with head bouncing drum beats, heavy guitar riffs and a whole heap of girl power. ...

Yonaka - The Great Escape(2)

MOSES - Green Store Door - 18.05.2017

The busiest venue turn out we have seen all day comes from London band MOSES, the power that comes out of their music is intense. As soon as they hit the stage, the temperature of the room soars as lead singer Victor commands it like his own world. The crowd left roaring the lines "On the River Thames", the chorus of their new up and coming single.

MOSES - The Great Escape Festival - May 2017

Asylums - Shipwrights Yard - 19.05.2017

Our second day hangover was kicked out by the chaotic set from Asylums, which as the name states, these guys are mental. Angry, indie punk with the shit load of guitar fuzz.
Asylums - The Great Escape Festival - May 2017

Meadowlark - The Fountain Head - 19.05.2017

After that performance, we caught a more chilled out set from Meadowlark, the melodic two piece remind us of early Oh Wonder, and having seen them previous support Amber Run, we see them going on to much bigger things this year. Their sound is intensely graceful and you can't help but smile continuously throughout their set.

Meadowlark - Great Escape Festival - May 2017

Age of Luna - Patterns - 19.05.2017

Old school meets the new when it comes to The Age Of Luna, the three piece mix retro nineties hip hop and throw it into a blender with modern day cool. There is something very raw about these guys that you find brilliantly infectious. From their unique on stage quirks to how they get the whole room pumped up. Certainly one of our top acts of the festival.
Age Of Luna - Great Escape Festival - May 2017

Abattoir Blues - Horatio's - 19.05.2017

There's a lot of talk about these guys so it seemed only right I go and check them out for myself. They did not disappoint! A rucuss of diverse tracks made for one of the most eye catching sets of the festival. ...

Abattoir Blues - The Great Escape 2017

Eat Fast - Horatio's - 19.05.2017

Another band I hadn't seen before TGE but one I had heard good things about. Travelling 7 hours by car to get to the festival on the day, you would have forgiven Eat Fast for being a bit on the tired side. But tired they were not! A great energetic set filled with my personal favourite track "Scrambled Egg". ...
Eat Fast - The Great Escape 2017

Sløtface - Horatio's - 19.05.2017

Whenever these guys are in town, you have to go see them. You'd be mad not too! I've caught them 3 times now and they get better every time. Boy did they bring a crowd in too. Horatio's went nuts for the band and I've got a feeling they're only going to keep getting bigger and better. ...

Sløtface - The Great Escape 2017

Husky Loops - Horatio's - 19.05.2017

I once saw Husky Loops play in front of around 10 people in a tiny bar in London. At TGE they played to over 150 and had every single one of them in the palm of their hands! Jack White meets QOTSA with a hint of Italian mixed in for good measure. ...

Husky Loops - The Great Escape 2017

Happy Accidents - Brighthelm Centre - 20.05.2017

Happy Accidents are quite simply one of the most polite bands we have seen this weekend, with the trio being surprised that this many people would come see this this early on a Saturday. But clearly there was a reason for that, with their bouncy indie vibes helping everyone wake up on the last day of the festival.

Happy Accidents - Great Escape Festival - May 2017

Kamikaze Girls - Brighthelm Centre - 20.05.2017

Kamikaze Girls as a band never seem to stand still, taking a small afternoon break from touring with Gnarwolves. The band create a wall of fuzz and pack a punch as a two piece while sounding like a huge guitar orchestra.

Kamikaze Girls - Great Escape Festival - May 2017

Childcare - Queens Hotel - 20.05.2017

One of my favourite bands around right now. I planned on keeping this unbiased but if you've heard Childcare's new EP "Made Simple" you'll understand why. So much potential in this band, I hope they get to show it off to the world. ...

Childcare - The Great Escape 2017

MarthaGunn - Old Market - 20.05.2017

MarthaGunn are another local act that made it onto my "Ones To Watch" list for TGE. Playing infront of a packed out Old Market they made full use of huge stage delivering a performance Florence Welch would have been proud of. Now signed to Communion Records the future is looking very exciting indeed for MarthaGunn! ...

MarthaGunn - The Great Escape 2017

SKIES - Beyond Retro - 20.05.2017

I've never been to a gig in a vintage clothing store before, however Scruff of the Neck took over Beyond Retro all weekend as part of this year's Alternative Escape. And a band we have much love for SKIES was part of their line up. After a sold out home show and a mental tour with Slow Readers Club this Spring, the band are clearly making a name for themselves. And their performance oozes that, as despite the small stage, SKIES took it off with their big sounding songs made for arenas.

SKIES - Great Escape Festival - May 2017

Raketkanon - Old Market - 20.05.2017

Simply put: If you haven't seen Raketkanon, then you haven't lived If you have seen Raketkanon, you're probably no longer alive. Need I say anymore?! ...

Raketkanon - The Great Escape 2017

Tigercub - Old Market - 20.05.2017

If you know the Brighton Music Scene, then you know Tigercub. The trio have been basically bossing it for the past few years and this performance was no exception. Their debut album was released last year and it was by far one of my favourites of 2016. Go grab yourself a copy of "Abstract Figures" and make space in your room to air guitar yourself to death. ...

Tigercub - The Great Escape 2017

So that was our Great Escape this year over done with, but there was something different about this year. The amount of creativity coming out of the line ups and community at the festival was unreal. If you didn't leave Brighton this year without the urges to go out and do something or form a band. Then clearly you did something wrong.

Great Escape Festival thank you as always and we shall see you again next year. Drinks of the beach again yeah?

Words and Photography by Ant Adams and Daniel Hills

Photos by Ant Adams - Anteros, Howl, MOSES, Asylums, Meadowlark, The Age of Luna, Happy Accidents, Kamikaze Girls and SKIES

Photos by Daniel Hills - Yonaka, Abattoir Blues, Eat Fast, Slotface, Husky Loops, Childcare, MarthaGunn, Raketkanon and Tigercub

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