The Great Escape 2015
To Brighton, friends, where a ridiculous number of amazing acts will be filling over 30 venues with all manner of wonderful sounds from 14th to 16th May. Dome headliners Alabama Shakes and Kate Tempest will doubtless be brilliant, but it’s still the opportunity to catch future stars first that makes The Great Escape one of our favourite British festivals. Check out our top picks below.
Offering an intriguingly lo-fi fusion of disco, funk, soul and R&B, Shamir Bailey’s Northtown EP was one of our favourite debuts of 2014. Less than a year on, the Las Vegas-born singer is signed to the same label as Adele, and is poised to share his first full-length release, Ratchet. Head to Coalition on Thursday or to The Haunt on Saturday to hear the highlights, and to witness his incredible falsetto for yourself. If you’re lucky, you might even get a free hug too.
Skepta & JME
By bringing Skepta, JME, Novelist and the rest on stage at this year’s BRITs, Kanye West delivered a clear message to the millions watching: UK grime is one of the most exciting musical movements in the world right now. Don’t miss your chance to see the brothers and Boy Better Know-founders in action on Saturday, where they’ll be dropping material from Integrity and Skepta’s forthcoming full-length, Konnichiwa.
If having every sense bludgeoned into submission sounds like your idea of fun, get yourself down to Girl Band’s gig at the Corn Exchange on Saturday evening. Signed to Rough Trade at the start of the year, the Dublin-formed four-piece specialise in brutal noise-rock, driven by dissonant guitar sounds and sawn-off sub-bass, and topped off with strangulated, part-drawled, part-bellowed vocals. Bring your earplugs, and we’ll see you down the front.