So that was The Great Escape 2017...
Was it just us, or did it feel like a vintage year? The event has never been bigger, and - coupled with the explosive group of The Alternative Escape - it's not easily the most important showcase event on this side of the Atlantic.
Sure, we could live without torrential rain but when the sun shone Brighton has rarely seemed more vibrant, more searingly exciting.
As the team gradually re-adjust to office life, here's a few more Great Escape picks from our writers...
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King Nun (As picked by Shannon Cotton)
Bringing back jumping in the air whilst playing guitar, like Busted circa 2004 but way cooler, obviously, King Nun's distorted and fuzzy sonic offerings caught our ears at the So Young showcase.
Effortlessly cool and nonchalant the London-based quartet throw themselves around on stage while delivering an exceptional performance. Tulips connote delicacy and grace but their track 'Tulip' is nothing of the sort as it rattles through The Haunt and new cut 'Sponge' has absorbed a glorious scuzzy grunge concoction which seeps out throughout the song. Definitely ones to keep your eye on.
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Dead Pretties (As picked by Shannon Cotton)
Stalking the stage and conveying their musicality in a menacing style London's Dead Pretties on stage aura is beyond captivating. The bass is thumping, making our fingertips vibrate, the guitar riffs snake around the venue getting lodged in our consciousness and the drums are palpable becoming trapped in our chests.
Before introducing 'Social Experiment' vocalist and guitarist Jacob Slater quips, "This is our single...it's just a fucking song," grimacing as he sings. Their attitude is punk, and their music follows a similar suit with rock, grunge and metal strands all thrown into the mix too.
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Superfood (As picked by Aurora Henni Krogh)
With sweet falsetto and mischievous samples, Superfood balance the golden line between fastidious and chaotic. The Birmingham outfit has gone through quite a change from its original line-up and the progression is traceable throughout their set. Ryan Malcom’s slick guitar riffs ooze of confidence, and bouncing of that energy, lead vocal, Dom Ganderton can barely contain his bliss as he propels the set forward. It’s hard to pick a highlight as the groove from ‘Double Dutch’ melts into the infectious ‘Where’s The Bass Amp?’, with the sass from ‘Natural Superstar’ boiling under the surface. Though all for new treats, in the end we always come around to the deliciously saturating sound of self-indulgent ‘Superfood’.
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HMLTD (As picked by Alex Thomson)
HMLTD are the apocalyptic rave aftershow to punk’s curtain call, but their much-hyped shows at The Great Escape were met with equally as valid calls from both sides of the fence. Some arguing it’s highly curated art-pop gimmickry, with others happy it’s the genuine punk article. For arguments sake it's between the two. Their flamboyant peculiarity might be staged, but that doesn’t make it any less special, or any less fierce.
It’s carnival in pure quintessence. The black parade. Like if Sink The Pink presented Fat White Family, or if David Lynch directed Nick Cave in a skittles advert. Live they’re colour and noise spiralling around a diehard dancefloor sound, and you can wither be swept up into it like a cow in a tornado or run for your life. They’re like re-discovering Hunter S Thompson, when you dad took you on the waltzers when you were just a bit too young, or if Rowans Bowling in Finsbury Park came to life and tried to fuck epilepsy into you. Anything could happen next for this band and isn’t that just a bit interesting.
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Anteros (As picked by Aurora Henni Krogh)
With their seductive pop tunes, Anteros stunned a crowded Bleach. Opening with energetic, ‘Cherry Drop’, frontlady, Laura Hayden quickly establish her stand as one of the most lively leads out there. Frolicking across the stage whilst delivering line upon line of strikingly relatable lyrics, Hayden easily captures the audience.
Dominated by their latest offering 'Drunk' EP, the set flows with a vivid coherency, much helped by punching percussion and glazing vocal harmonies. By the time they round off with signature anthem, ‘Anteros’, there is little doubt that this quartet has something immense going for them.
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Sløtface (As picked by Aurora Henni Krogh)
Straight from supporting The Cribs on tour, Sløtface takes on The Great Escape to spread their hard-hitting message, nicely wrapped in vigorous guitar riffs. The energetic pop-punk quartet lace old classics like ‘Angst’ with sneak peaks from their forthcoming debut, 'Try Not To Freak Out'. ‘Magazine’, is an absolute blast of energy, punctuated with a savvy confidence and smashing drumbeat. Singer Haley Shea lashes out against bad body image: “Patti Smith would never put up with this shit”. The euphoric hooks and strumming basslines adds in an infectious catchiness, that lures the listener into the industrious melodies.
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White Room (As picked by Shannon Cotton)
Revelling in an onslaught of psychedelic, indie tinged rock, Brighton natives White Room stand out on the last day of this year’s Great Escape. ‘Think Too Much’ is blistering as it tears through the Hope And Ruin and the overenthusiastic crowd response is lapped up by tambourine-wielding singer Jake Smallwood.
New cuts follow suit with a nod to the 90s still present in lingering basslines courtesy of Josie McNamara, and ‘Stole The IV’ is just one of many sing-a-long moments of the set. There’s no doubt the band already have a strong hometown following, but it’s an ascent which is guaranteed to grow as the quartet grace the rest of festival season this summer.
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Catch you next year Great Escape!