In our series of Great Escape festival previews, Little Indie's Neil Cole, Linn Branson and Leah Raymond cast an eye and ear over what will be happening on the stages next week in Brighton, and who they think are worth catching.
Linn Branson is second in line with some of her must-sees.
Every year it's the same: I look down the early line-up announcements and think, no, no one there I feel I really have to see. But you can be sure as eggs is eggs, by the week before it is due to get up and running, I am sitting pulling my hair out over all the incredible artists that I want to see, but know not all will be possible.
As most of you will by now have gathered, my love of Australia and New Zealand as a hot smokin' bed of music, is unparalleled. If I had my way, there'd be one special Oz/Kiwi all-day event at The Great Escape!
Two bands that will definitely be calling for my presence are YUKON ERA and BAKERS EDDY. The former, a bunch of post-punk New Zealanders, I will bypass here as we have covered them in a separate Q+A feature on, but they play the same venue - The Black Lion -and on stage immediately prior to the latter, so worth settling in for an hour or so with a cool beer. We only came across Bakers Eddy fairly recently, but the Public Access T.V.-sounding Kiwi ex-pats now enconsed in Melbourne, Australia, really caught our attention. New single ‘Good Decisions’ is released in the UK on June 1.
(The Black Lion 2.10pm Friday)
And if you want a less rambunctious style, DIDIRRI could be your man. Slow-burning, indie-folk artist has a way with vocal and instrumental simplicity and honest, meaningful lyricism. (Komedia Studio Bar 3:00pm Thursday; The Old Courtroom 10:15pm Friday)
HOCKEY DAD are another Oz bet. The surf-rock duo, Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming, from New South Wales are perhaps a slightly better known name in the UK than the aforementioned. Latest album 'Blend Inn' was released February.(Volks 8:15pm Thursday; Dr. Martens Stage 2:00pm Saturday)
STELLA DONNELLY is here too. The singer-songwriter hailing from Perth, Western Australia, released her debut EP, ‘Thrush Metal’, of brutally honest and witty observations of people and relationships, transformed into blissful poems and lyrical punch lines, last year to critical acclaim. (Komedia 8:15pm Thursday; Unitarian Church 7:45pm Friday; Dr. Martens Stage 1:20pm Saturday)
SEA GIRLS have been a Little Indie favourite for a good while - even though they're not from Down Under! - and with a name like that, what could be a better fit for this beside-the-sea festival. (The Arch 7:15pm Thursday)
PALE WAVES are obviously going to have queues around the block for their appearances. If you're lucky - and probably been camping out in the queue from Wednesday - you might just make it in through the doors. It'll be worth it if you do. (Wagner Hall 7:00pm Thursday;
Horatios 11:00pm Thursday)
The Great Escape takes place at various venues across Brighton between May 17 - 19. Click here for further information.