The Great Escape 2012 - 10 acts you need to see

The Great Escape 2012 – 10 acts you need to see

The Great Escape hits Brighton for the seventh year, and if like us, you’re heading down there to officially open the festival season, you might be interested in checking out our pretty list for the 10 unmissable acts at this year’s Great Escape.
If you have to miss them though, fear not as they also happen to be the acts we will kidnap for you at the festival and soon their acoustic session will grace the pages of

Despite being well known as the european South By Southwest AKA the leading festival to discover the new talents who will soon break into the scene, there are of course the beloved big names, which we don’t include in the detailed list, but you want to remember, such as The Temper Trap (whose second album is just around the corner) We Were Promised Jetpacks, Dry The River, Maximo Park, Reverend & The Makers and the ones who someone (tastemakers, gatekeepers, call them what you want) have already decided will enter the Olympus of music with the likes of Django Django, Alabama Shakes, Foxes and Friends.

Now, beside all of these names, and in the mixture of 300 and more bands playing during the 3 days extravaganza around (a little under than) 30 venues around Brighton, we did the dirty work for you: we went and listened carefully to every single band in the line-up to come up with a list of what you don’t want (we definitely won’t!) miss this year.
Please remember this list is in no way a chart and the numbers are therefore random, no 1-to-10 grade, so to speak.

TGE 2012 #1 – Filthy Boy

I don’t think I have stressed enough how good Filthy Boy are, even though in the last couple of months they are at the top of my listening playlist. I was introduced to them as they have quality written all over, guaranteed by the fact that the newly formed management agency by James Endeacott (the man we owe The Strokes and The Libertines to) signed them while still in school. Pestered with style, they have been kidnapped for already and their session will soon be out, but darn! I have never seen them play live yet, although I have heard wonderful things. So when I heard they were part of the latest band brought to The Great Escape line-up, their only gig in Brighton is a hard-limit: I won’t miss them.

Filthy Boy are playing at The Great Escape in Brighton on Thursday 10th of May at 16.00, The Loft (check map here)

TGE 2012 #2 – Alt-J ∆

If you have to catch just one gig in the 3 days of TGE (why would you go to TGE then?!) I must urge you to go and see Alt-J to be proven that “everything (you think) you know about electronic music is wrong”.
Honestly, by now you must be able to tell, if the melodies weren’t infectious and the music was not towering over the means of release, Alt-J wouldn’t have made it to be my favourite band of 2012. But they are indeed.
And not just because Korda Marshall trusted them enough to sign them to Infectious Records (even if that helped me to discover them)
On a trivia note, they taught me a lot about production as on their soundcloud there are all the single tracks that were recorded for each instrument for their single Breezeblocks.
And you haven’t even heard Dissolve Me yet.

Alt-J ∆ debut album “An Awesome Wave” will be released on the 28th of May 2012

Alt-J ∆ will play The Great Escape in Brighton on Friday 11th of May at 21.15, Blind Tiger.

TGE2012 #3 – Bwani Junction

The day we started going through every single band on the Great Escape line-up our ears were bleeding. Either our tastes shifted or this year the diamonds are definitely in the rough. And despite my personal struggle with the sound of the name (you would not believe the psychological block I have in listening to bands having a K in the name, to name one of my bizarre thing about band names) thankfully I did not skip even one, so I did not miss the great sound Bwani Junction are bringing to Brighton. I would’ve compared them to the infectious yet clever tunes of Little Comets if I had not found out they actually supported them, so quality pretty much speaks for itself.
God save the Queen and the British Guitar Bands indeed!

Their debut album “Fully Cocked” was released on 14th November 2012 

Bwani Junction are playing at The Great Escape in Brighton on:
Thursday 10th May at 23.30,  Psychosocial Ground Floor
Saturday 12th May at 13.30, Horatio
(check out map here)

TGE 2012 #4 – Kids In Glass Houses

A few years ago I remember fighting with one of my fellow writers to review a gig by Kids In Glass Houses, which I did not attend in the end. I have silently coveted justice until I discovered Kids In Glass Houses were playing TGE this year, so pestering their PR for a session was a duty I diligently obliged. The thing that struck me then and still defines KIGH to me to this days is the mix of their sound which puts them in between classifications and in a league of their own so to speak: they’re not commercial enough to be pop, but they’re not lost in experiments of sound to be defined indie. Bottom line, they’re just very easy and pleasant to listen to. And a delight to kidnap for a session.

Their latest album “In Gold Blood” was released on 12th August 2012 

 Kids In Glass Houses are playing at The Great Escape in Brighton on Thursday 10th of may at 21.45, Concorde 2. (check out map here)

TGE 2012 #5 – BOY

As the male-band from the US called GIRLS, this swiss-german duo of ladies are called BOY. Confusing? Well challenging at least in terms of common names and difficulties to track them down. But it’s worth it. A few months ago the chance of a session with them slipped through my hands and I have been chasing them since, till finally I discovered they will bring their soft yet tantalising melodies to Brighton for TGE 2012. They have adopted the yellowish-so-70s photography to their image, which is probably the main thing that brings up the association, but I cannot help but be reminded of Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura when I listen to them.
Their single “Little Numbers” was released on 5th March 2012 

BOY will play at The Great Escape in Brighton on Saturday 12th of May at 21.00, Unitarian Church (check map here)

TGE 2012 #6 – French Films

Despite their name, French Films are actually from Finland, and way too much of a rarity in the UK, so that every excuse to hear them play should be jumped on! If there was a word to call the umbrella under which all those indie rock bands inspired by the “sha-la-la” tunes of the 50s and 60s are, it would feature French Films nearly at the top, between The Heartbreaks and The Pains Of Being Pure At heart. I discovered the latter at a Great Escape years ago, and French Films would only deserve the same welcoming treatement.

French Films debut album “Imaginary Future” was released on 21st September 2011.

French Films will play The Great Escape in Brighton on
Friday 11th of May at 19.45, Blind Tiger
Saturday 12th of May, 14.30, Komedia (downstairs)

TGE 2012 #7 – Savoir Adore

I first fell for Savoir Adore a couple of years ago at the Wimbledon Calling supporting British Sea Power. And what a discovery they were! I have kept track of them and their dreamy tunes since then, until I saw they were on this year’s TGE line-up, and as usual, I kept bothering them until they indulged me and promised to play an acoustic set for us.

Savoir Adore latest EP “Dreamers” was released on 23rd february 2012

Savoir Adore will play at The Great Escape in Brighton on
Thursday 10th of May at 15.30, Volks
Friday 11th of May at 18.30, Psychosocial Basement
(check map here)

TGE 2012 #8 – Hey Sholay

Hey Sholay are the most recent addiction to my personal schedule for this years’ Great Escape. Their sound had already intrigued me to find out if they’d like to session for us before I realised about their presence at the festival. After that, only it took was a bit conviction for kidnapping, which they were kind enough to allow. As per usual for my soft ears, their sound is mellifluous and persuasive enough to become easily favourite by the brain’s love for repetitive patterns.

Hey Sholay new single “Burning” will be released on the 11th of June.

Hey Sholay will play The Great Escape in Brighton on Saturday 12th of May at 14.00, The Hope (check map here)

TGE 2012 #9 – We Barbarians

Don’t be fooled by their name, because their songs have nothing harsh or gruesome about them. Au contraire they’re melodic enough to sound epic in certain moments. Coming to the UK in support of Foster The People (one of the rare occasions where I understand why some good music is appreciated by the masses) they stop by Brighton, and gracious enough not to escape our tentative kidnapping for a session.

We Barbarians’ latest EP “Headspace” will be released in UK on the 4th of June 2012 

We Barbarians will play The Great Escape in Brighton on Saturday 12th of May at 21.30, Psychosocial Basement. (check map here)

TGE2012 – #10 – Dear Prudence

Another fine finding from the quality roster of Wasted Youth PR (from whom we’re trying to kidnap so many artists latey), the sound of Dear Prudence took less than 15 seconds to strike both Fred and I. It is what I define “pleasant to the hears” in an almost popular way, but where Marina (and the Diamonds) and Florence (and the Machine) went wrong, Dear Prudence are still doing fine, with the engulfing voice of front-woman Madeleine Poncia and an extremely careful production which aims to please. And succeeds.
Their debut single “Valentine” is out on May 6th:

Dear Prudence are playing at The Great Escape in Brighton on Thursday, 10th of May at 15.15, Above Audio. (check out map here)

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