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The Great Escape 2012 – Sounds To See And Do

Brighton isn’t all sticks of rock and Leslie Ash being fucked in an alleyway y’know… nah, it’s got loads of music venues that outshine London’s finest, the dandiest of piers, and if you’re really looking out for it – the odd chance of being fucked in THAT alleyway. Enough!

Once a year the people of Brighton throw up some bunting, wash the elderly day trippers off the benches, and plaster a smile on as hundreds of bands descend upon the town – accompanied by most of the music industry. The result is a three day long, guilt free piss-up unmatched by anything else in Britain for the rest of the year. Between all the late night drinking, hotel room fondling, expense accounts, sleeping on the beach, being sick as you find your way out of the Lanes, and hunting down poor quality narcotics… there is indeed some live music. Not that one can plan in too great detail how their evening will end up – just ask the person who lost a finger in my hotel room in 2007 – here are just some of the bands I’m looking forward to this year.

Alabama Shakes | Komedia (Sat, 10pm)

If you’ve turned on your radio in the last two weeks you’ve heard this lot doing their Aretha Franklin fronting Fleet Foxes thing.

Bastille | Green Door Store (Thurs, 11:15pm)

Absolute highlight – beautiful and dancey, Dan Smith and co are intelligent, but keep it simple.

Citizens! | Corn Exchange (Fri, 9:45pm)

There’s an exclamation mark in their name, so you know they’re good. They actually really are as well.

College | Prince Albert (Thurs, 3:15pm)

I almost didn’t want to write this one down in case anybody else tries to see them. Fuck you if you don’t, and fuck you if you don’t.

Django Django | Pavillion Theatre (Thurs, 11:45pm)

Everybody’s going to see these guys anyway, so I might as well plug them and their rather angular boredom-stalking tunes.

Dry The River | Corn Exchange (Fri, 11:45pm)

Big and ballsy – this is how I’m known in parts of Brighton – but also how I like my stadium folk to sound.

Friends | Horatios (Thurs, 9:15pm)

They’re kinda like a sexy, female version of Foster The People.

Grimes | Digital (Fri, 8:45pm)

All those things that weird kids like about Little Dragon and Bjork is up for grabs from this affecting young legend in waiting.

King Charles | The Loft (Thurs, 7:45pm)

Feel like I’ve been going on about this guy for years – maybe ‘cause I have. Radio and telly are starting to agree, and after watching him once, you’ll see why. Ridiculous and regal.

Laurel | Komedia Studio (Fri, 8:30pm)

She’s only 17 years old, but what she lacks in years, she makes up in almost everything else. Seriously one to watch this girl.

Niki and the Dove | Horatios (Thurs, 10:15pm)

Anybody who thinks The Diner is a good place to eat will be there, but don’t let that put you off – it’s way cooler than even the cool kids think it is.

NZCA/Lines | Queens Hotel (Fri, 7:30pm)

Catchy name isn’t it. Don’t worry about remembering it – just look for the flames of people burning their Metronomy records.

Reverend And The Makers | Dome (Sat, 8:30pm)

Their new stuff is really good, and this is going to be one of the biggest surprises of the weekend.

Slow Club | Republic of Music (Fri, 4:40pm)

They’re still good, and that’s not surprising.

Spector | Corn Exchange (Fri, 10:45pm)

Blah blah blah… Nick Cave fronting the Killers… blah blah blah… best thing to happen to guitars and nice suits since Roxy Music… blah blah blah. This is what Notion’s editor hears every time I corner him in a dank Shoreditch pub. Believe the hype.

Theme Park | Coalition (Sat, 9pm)

You simply won’t believe how sexy a bunch of guys can make music sound. Wear rubber trousers and squeeze in if you can.

Toy | Pavillion (Thurs, 10:45pm)

A bit like the REM tracks VH1 never touch, these guys are fun, weird and infinitely better than most things you’ll hear this year.

Tribes | The Loft (Thurs, 9pm)

Because I’m probably the first person to mention them since they flopped at the end of last year. Still good for getting off your face to if there’s not an indie disco going somewhere, but there probably is.

∆ (alt-J) | Blind Tiger (Fri, 9:15pm)

The man is a triangle… let’s all seriously fucking appreciate that. Then let’s appreciate how inexplicably alluring his oddball ramblings are. Genius – or in need of a good nurse – I can’t wait to find out which.

This epic event is set to take place 10-12 May. For more information and to purchase tickets visit: http://escapegreat.com/

-Alex Lee Thomson

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