10 Acts You Simply Cannot Miss At The Great Escape 2019
The Great Escape is one of Europe's key showcase events, a labyrinth of new music from every genre under the sun.
This year's festival is bigger than ever, with just about every single spare room in Brighton set to be turned into an ad hoc venue.
Clash will be there for the duration, hosting two stages and reporting on the latest action as it unfolds.
As The Great Escape 2019 swings into action here are 10 artists you simply cannot afford to miss...
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All experiencing those dull, glum days which seem like the hardest thing to get through, at some point we seek happy encouragement and luckily these new cool kids are spreading the love. Creating music that draws from the environment around them, Leicester’s Easy Life mix genre-spanning sounds with a laid-back charm.
From hip-hop to indie, the group set out to capture the very essence of simplicity through grooves and a glorious enticement. If you’re looking for a good time, this charismatic group will undoubtably lift your spirits. - Lauren McDermott
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Brisbane electro pop band Confidence Man favour sugary, crisp and wacky versions of joy. Producing profoundly uplifting patchworks of dance music with gleeful moments, the group create different shades of personas. Having the impressive ability to be fun yet offer discerning musical reference points, it’s hard to fight the resistance of getting pulled in.
Known for their must-see ridiculously entertaining live shows, rumour has it there are some thrills to be had. Juxtaposing the warm breeze synth lines with space-age sound effects, they aren’t ones to be missed. - Lauren McDermott
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It’s going to be a tight squeeze at Brighton’s Concord 2 venue, as Foals kick off their UK festival season in style. It’s been a solid 12 years since these boys tore apart The Great Escape back in 2007. This year they are returning to TGE to celebrate 15 years of Transgressive, supported by label mates Boniface and Blaenovan.
It’s going to be a big one for sure. Expect anthemic bangers galore, Yannis launching himself all over the shop and indomitable mosh pits. It’ll be an unforgettable experience for a lucky few, as they take in one of indie’s biggest bands, in the intimacy of a 350-capacity venue.
This is one gig you’d probably want to sell your soul for. - Yasmin Cowan
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Talk Show are somewhat of a rolling thunder, percolating its way through the South London scene and building up quite the momentum. These guys have supported the likes of Shame, Crows, Yak and Fontaines DC.
Their menacingly demented debut EP, ‘Fast and Loud’, is perhaps the most apt description for the Peckham dwellers’ demeanour, and their post-punk pastiche. Harrison Swann’s doom ridden, Mancunion twang combined with the mordant guitar riffs and rumbling drums, can only be a recipe for a beautiful disaster.
If you’re up to their propensity for unravelling chaos, then you’d best dive down The Deep End on Saturday evening to catch this London four-piece. - Yasmin Cowan
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Rising producer Tourist appears on our very own stage this year. Having a musical repertoire that’s an eclectic mixture of smooth synth textures and instrumental hooks, alongside emotive, powerful lyrics, his music has a habit of making you feel oddly good inside.
The appetite for experimentation and love for all things melodic is reflected in his musical catalogue to date. Stretching itself creatively to some of the darkest corners, make sure to go and be your own judge of his personal wonders. - Lauren McDermott
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If singing your heart out and dance induced euphoria is your kind of thing, then hit up the Radio X stage at 6:15pm on Friday (May 10th). John Kennedy has curated a showcase of emerging talent to celebrate 20 years of X-posure, and Whenyoung are a real hot ticket for the evening.
The Irish trio ooze graceful cool, tapping into their time-honoured Dublin roots whilst adopting morsels of mordant London spirit. They have the undeniable aroma of the Cranberries, with their own fresh spin. The intangibly airy vocals and whirling synths, flow stunningly alongside the soaring guitars, and propels you into another dimension of infectious indie pop bliss. - Yasmin Cowan
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The producer spearheading the UKG revival is a must-see this weekend. Bristol-born and West London-based, Conducta was raised on grime, watching Channel U and MTV Bass, and Sidewinder tape packs (nicked off his godbrother) featuring the likes of Slimzee, Gods Gift and Wiley.
It was through this he discovered UK garage, and now his music reflects that – drawing on grime, hip-hop, soundsystem culture and more. Conducta is at home sampling old Aaliyah vocals, or remixing new artists like Jorja Smith, making music as inspired by Skepta as it is by So Solid Crew.
Never a dull moment. - Emma Finamore
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Donna Missal has a rich and powerful voice which cannot be ignored, both musically and societally speaking. She is fast approaching icon status as a beacon of hope for her community of fans. Missal confidently obliterates societal standards of beauty, and breaks down barriers in sexuality with a stanch ferocity.
The New Jersey native’s visceral vocals are potent and dynamic as she sashays across various genres from R&B to pop and soul. Her particular brand of heartbreak, intimacy and romance speaks to all, whether you’re head over heels or spiralling out of control. She can elicit an inimitable sense of empowerment leaving you ready to take on the world. So go on, embrace it and catch those feelings 7:30pm at One Church on the Thursday (May 9th). - Yasmin Cowan
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Greentea Peng melds soul vocals with MC-like flows, bare-bones honest lyricism with a killer beat selection, woozy production with hazy harmonies.
Born in South East London, she’s been influenced by all the places she holds most dear, and her debut EP ‘Sensi’ shows off the versatility of this sound. Produced in its entirety by Earbuds (the slowthai collaborators on ‘T N Biscuits’), it demonstrates Peng’s keen ear for stretching the parameters of soul music.
The vulnerable lyrics of ‘Loving Kind’, for example, are flanked by waterfall-like samples and wonky electronic R&B sounds, while the synths of ‘Moonchild’ create a sort of slowed down drum ‘n’ bass beat, and ‘Medicine’ switches up dub reggae with a broken boom bap beat. Catch her live while you still can. - Emma Finamore
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Kayla Painter is a producer making atmospheric, sub-aquatic dance music, coloured by her academic adventures into sound design. She’s influenced by music that, in her words, “is challenging to listen to: walls of sound, electronic wonky beats or unusual production”, and she makes work that’s part evolutionary, part exploratory, using field recordings, stop motion animation, installation and film.
All this has got her noticed, getting props from the likes of Gilles Peterson, hosting an NTS show and recording a a Brownswood Basement session. If you want to see something truly experimental this weekend, get to her set. - Emma Finamore
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The Great Escape runs between May 9th - 11th.
Join us on Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.