THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL returns to Brighton next week for three days of live music and thrilling discovery. Showcasing exciting new acts from all over the UK and beyond, the festival has established itself as one of the leading music industry events in the world; a rite of passage for any burgeoning musician wishing to take their career to the next level.
It feels remarkably fitting then that this year’s line-up will once again boast a strong Scottish contingent. With our nation’s music scene producing some of the best talent it has seen in years, The Great Escape will hopefully provide the stepping stone for some of our finest artists to go onto fulfil their massive potential.
Alongside their own individual gigs, the Scottish class of 2017 will also appear at two very special Showcasing Scotland events supported by Creative Scotland on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th May. Not only will the gigs shine a light on the impressive range of styles and genres currently coming out of Scotland’s music scene, but they will also provide each act with the invaluable opportunity of reaching out to new fans and influential musos alike.
So as thousands of music fans and industry professionals prepare to flock to the seaside town in search of the next big thing, TTV has taken an in-depth look at the acts who will be representing Scotland this year as they prepare to make the pilgrimage down south.
With their beautifully soulful vocals and pared back bluesy rock, Emme Woods have proven themselves to be an entirely unique and refreshing addition the Glasgow music scene. With sultry swagger and raw talent in abundance, the outfit led by the enigmatic Morgan Woods are every inch the real deal. Effortlessly seizing the hearts and minds of the local scene with a series of impressive releases and live shows, the Great Escape will give this talented band a brilliant opportunity to shine.
Show times: Thursday 18th May – 12.30pm, Showcasing Scotland, Brighthelm and 7pm, Marine Room – Brighton Harbour Hotel & Spa
THE VAN T’S
Following the exciting news that they will be joining the roster at respected Manchester-based indie label LAB Records, it seems that the only way is up for The Van T’s. Armed with an envious amount of electrifying guitar licks, irresistible dual vocals and sunny pop riffs, their contemporary scuzz-filled sound has already made a lasting impression on the Glasgow music scene; and a timely appearance at The Great Escape will ensure that their star continues to rise. Sweet, sultry, and powerfully charged, it is time for the rest of the world to fall in love with this band.
Show times: Thursday 18th May 2.30pm, Showcasing Scotland, Brighthelm and 7pm, Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, 9-12 Middle St
It is testament to Be Charlotte’s massive potential that it is becoming difficult to find new words to sum up her refreshingly original talent. The young pop sensation has already made waves around the world with appearances at SXSW and Eurosonic so it seems inevitable that she will win over new fans and industry musos alike at The Great Escape. With a unique creative vision and innovative approach to songwriting, her impressive pop compositions have stood her apart as a force to be reckoned with in Scotland’s thriving music scene.
Show times: Thursday 18th May, 3.30pm, Showcasing Scotland, Brighthelm and 7pm, The Hope & Ruin, 11-12 Queens Rd
Saturday 20th May, 1:15pm, Komedia Studio, 44-47 Gardner St
Born and raised in Edinburgh, singer-songwriter Callum Beattie has gained plaudits for his natural ability for songcraft and strikingly honest lyricism. Making his second visit to the festival after the triumphant release of his debut EP ‘We Are Stars’, his approach is remarkably assured for someone so young; his sophisticated pop compositions are almost palpable with emotion thanks to his virtuous lyrics, soft vocals and stirring atmospherics.
Show time: Thursday 18th May, 12pm, One Church Brighton, Gloucester Pl
RODDY HART & THE LONESOME FIRE
Often referred to as one of the country’s best kept secrets, Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire are known for their deeply affecting and inventive approach to folk music. With a catalogue that stretches across more than a decade, the superb songwriter continues to capture audiences with the help of his six-piece band. Drawing from a galleon of influences, their latest album ‘Swithering’ wandered around pleasing indie-rock, subtle Americana and anthemic Arcade Fire moments. They will arrive in Brighton as part of the Alternative Escape line-up.
Show time: Thursday 18th May, 10pm Marlborough Pub and Theatre, 4 Prince’s St – THE ALTERNATIVE ESCAPE
Making waves around the Scottish music scene and beyond, Indigo Velvet are very much a band on the rise. The four-piece will bring their tropical indie-pop to the sunny seaside resort of Brighton as part of the Alternative Escape – an official series of showcases that take place alongside the core festival programme. Latest single ‘Mona’ marked another huge step for the band and every indication appears to suggest that they are primed to become one of Scotland’s most exciting prospects over the duration of the year.
Show time: Friday 19th May, 5.10pm, Beyond Retro, 42 Vine Street – THE ALTERNATIVE ESCAPE
In their short existence, The LaFontaines have risen from Motherwell pub circuit veterans to revered cult heroes. Two years on from the release of their debut album Class, the band are now preparing for the release of its follow-up and an appearance at The Great Escape may be an opportunity to test some new material. With an indomitable spirit and visceral alt-rock sound, the four-piece are one of the more established names in this year’s Scottish line-up but they come armed with a thrilling live show to match their reputation.
Show times: Thursday 18th May, 1.30pm, Showcasing Scotland, Brighthelm and 10.15pm, Latest Music Bar, 14-17 Manchester St
Shogun thrust the Scottish grime scene into the mainstream consciousness last year when his ‘Vulcan’ video went viral all over the internet. With over 2 million hits online, the Paisley MC has since gone onto make a number of live appearances around Glasgow; winning over crowds with his clever lyricism and rhythmic flow. Shining a light on an area of Scottish music that was previously under the radar, his set is sure to generate plenty of interest.
Show times: Friday 19th May, 2.15pm, Showcasing Scotland, Brighthelm and 6.15pm, Patterns – Downstairs, 10 Marine Parade
Spinning Coin are no stranger to industry events having made the journey across the Atlantic to perform at SXSW back in March. The band have already generated the interest of the alt-rock aficionados at Domino Records via their Geographic imprint; and they will hope to make a significant impression on the crowds in Brighton ahead of their debut album coming out later this year. Crafting gloriously affecting pop melodies over fuzzy and off-kilter arrangements, the band have maintained the irrepressible work rate and DIY ethic that first brought them to our attention.
Show times: Friday 19th May, 2.15pm, Showcasing Scotland, Brighthelm and 9:30pm Jubilee Square, Jubilee St
Following the release of their new EP ‘Sirens’ last month, TeenCanteen continue to captivate fans with their sugary indie-pop anthems and angelic harmonies. Passionate, infectious, dynamic and innovative; the four-piece continue to push boundaries in their songcraft and have gained a reputation as a formidable live act. With two gigs lined up in Brighton, they will look to spread their appeal far beyond the reaches of their hometown.
Show times: Friday 19th May 12.15pm, Showcasing Scotland, Brighthelm and Saturday 20th May, 2.30pm Jubilee Square, Jubilee St
In the short time they’ve been together, Saint PHNX have certainly garnered a significant amount of attention for their anthemic brand of rock. Drawing influence from massive stadium rock bands like Kasabian and Imagine Dragons, the two brothers are able to conjure some epic soundscapes between them with enough hook-laden choruses thrown in for good measure. With a driving ambition and thirst for success, it seems inevitable that the duo will conquer their showcase at The Great Escape.
Show time: Friday 19th May, 1.15pm, Showcasing Scotland, Brighthelm