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NME Blogs - Festivals Blog

20 Bands You Have To See At The Great Escape

By NME Blog

Posted on 11 May 11

 
 

Roll up, roll up, have a go on the coconut shy, take a spin on the bumper cars, go for a paddle and grab a 99 - it's time for The Great Escape 2011, music's weekend by the sea. There are loads of brilliant bands playing this year's event, so many in fact, we had to have a little sit down and a rest halfway through reading the line-up. You lot are lucky, however. We've compiled a list of the 20 acts you have to see, along with where and when you can see them and a link to a free MP3/stream so you can swot up on their music before you head to Brighton. Enjoy!

White Denim




Why: The Austin foursome are back with a new album 'D' and if their SXSW gigs are anything to go by - they shouldn't be missed at Great Escape. Fast paced, dance-inducing, psychedelic rock.
Where and when: Brighton Coalition on Saturday.
Key download/stream: Download new album track 'Drug' here.

Planningtorock



Why: Chaotic, orchestral, electro brilliance. Signed to DFA, Planningtorock are well and truly doing the festival circuit this summer. Catch them before all of your mates by seeing the band at one of their first dates - Great Escape.
Where and when: The Green Door Store on Friday.
Key download/stream: Download 'Doorway' on our very own MP3s and Streams blog.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Why: In 2009 Ed played 312 gigs in a year, because he wanted to beat James Morrison's record of 200 - we like his style. Having worked with the likes of Wiley, JME and Devlin, he's now signed to Atlantic and is releasing his debut album in September.
Where and when: On Friday at Concorde 2.
Key download/stream: Get an entire EP for free, including 'UNI' and 'You Need Me', by signing up to his mailing list here.

Mazes

Why: With a storming set at Camden Crawl under their belts, Mazes are ready to hit the festival circuit hard. The London group are a Radar favourite for their distorted, summery indie-pop.
Where and when: The Green Door Store on Saturday.
Key download/stream: Get 'Bowie Knives' here for free.

EMA



Why: The goth-grunge songstress is set to make her live UK debut - be one of the first to see her this summer. Her debut 'Past Life Martyred Saints' was made to be performed live and she's sure to leave her stamp on our fair isle.
Where and when: On Saturday on the NME Radar Stage at Horatio's.
Key download/stream: Download 'Milkman' from Soundcloud now.

Foster The People



Why: There are certain acts that just work at festivals, MGMT, Phoenix, the sorts of bands that leave a smile on your face. NME Radar favourite Foster The People can now be counted as one of those dreamy, atmospheric indie acts that sound best in a field.
Where and when: Coalition on Saturday.
Key download/stream: The RAC Remix of 'Houdini' on our MP3s And Streams blog.

Gang Gang Dance

Gang Gang Dance

Why: The New Yorkers don't hit our shores that often, but they're here this week. Make sure you catch their noisy mix of synths, electro and Lizzi Bougatsos's stunning voice.
Where and when: The Pavilion Theatre on Thursday.
Key download/stream: Stream their album 'Eye Contact' in full on NME.COM.

Fiction

Why: Jaimie Hodgson described NME Radar favourite Fiction as, "London's percussive jam-gang". For a post-punk set that's good for your soul and great at warming up your dancing shoes - watch Fiction this weekend.
Where and when: The Hope on Saturday.
Key download/stream: Get a free download of 'Phyllis' by signing up to their mailing list here.

Oh Land



Why: Danish noise-maker Nanna Øland Fabricius, AKA Oh Land, makes perfect pop music that sits well alongside the likes of Lykke Li and Bjork.
Where and when: At Digital on Friday.
Key download/stream: Stream 'Sun Of A Gun' (Jacob Plant Remix) on our MP3s And Streams blog.

SBTRKT

sbtrkt

Why: The anonymous masked-producer has released music on legendary labels Brainmath, Ramp Recordings and Young Turks.
Where and when: On Friday at the Corn Exchange.
Key download/stream: 'Hide Or Seek' from our very own MP3s And Streams blog.

The History Of Apple Pie

History Of Apple Pie

Why: Gentle, female vocals and gorgeous shoegaze guitars - the Emerge NME Radar Tour stars play live in Brighton this weekend and shouldn't be missed if you haven't managed to make it to the tour.
Where and when: On the NME Radar Live stage at Horatio's on Thursday.
Key download/stream: Download a track from the band along with songs from all of the artists on the Emerge NME Radar Tour bill with our free mixtape.

Deep Sea Arcade

Why: The Australian band are being tipped for big things this summer with their guitar-based vintage rock. Be one of the first in the UK to watch them live.
Where and when: At Digital on Saturday.
Key download/stream: Download 'Lonely In Your Arms' (Aeons Remix) from Soundcloud.

Alpines



Why: The South London duo features Catherine Pockson on vocals and Bob Matthews on keys and are being slotted into the same dreamy genre as the likes of Zola Jesus et al.
Where and when: Thursday at 9.20pm at Komedia.
Key download/stream: Get 'Drive' (Skream's 'I Ain't Got A License' Remix) on Soundcloud.

Big Deal

Big Deal

Why: On the Emerge NME Radar Tour with Anna Calvi and Grouplove, the shoegaze duo are simply beautiful live. Their stripped back, lo-fi set is going to be a definite highlight of the weekend by the seaside.
Where and when: On Thursday at 7.45pm at Horatio's.
Key download/stream: Download a track from the band along with songs from all of the artists on the Emerge NME Radar Tour bill with our free mixtape.

Tall Ships

Tall Ships

Why: The multi-instrumentalist Falmouth three piece are signed to Big Scary Monsters who've housed the likes of Pulled Apart By Horses and Talons. Known for bands that put on phenomenal live shows - Tall Ships are no different.
Where and when: On Thursday at 7.30 at The Hydrant (free entry) and on Friday at 5.35 at The Pav Tav.
Key download/stream: The dog-bark themed 'Beanie And Dodger' from NME.COM.

Dry The River

Why: Fans of Mumford And Sons and Fleet Foxes will love the new folksters on the scene Dry The River. Radar picks of the weekend, they produce beautiful music from their East London lair.
Where and when: On Saturday at Concorde 2.
Key download/stream: Get 'New Ceremony' for free from our MP3s And Streams blog now.

Wolf Gang



Why: Wolf Gang is heading to Brighton this weekend to bring a blend of electro pop and indie chants reminiscent of Bowie and the like.
Where and when: Friday at The Loft.
Key download/stream: Download 'Dancing With The Devil' (The Shoes Remix) from our MP3s And Streams blog.

Art Brut

Art Brut

Why: With their new album 'Brilliant… Tragic!’ out this month, this is your chance to see Eddie Argos and co perform the new tracks live as well as the likes of 'My Little Brother' and 'Modern Art'.
Where and when: Headlining The Haunt on Saturday.
Key download/stream: Get 'Unprofessional Wrestling' for free here.

Anna Calvi



Why: Top of the bill on our Emerge NME Radar Tour, Anna's growling vocals and smooth delivery will be a certain highlight of the Brighton weekend.
Where and when: Headlining Komedia on Friday.
Key download/stream: Download a track from Anna along with songs from all of the artists on the Emerge NME Radar Tour bill with our free mixtape.

Still Corners

Why: Often using a projector to make sure their live shows are a visual as well as aural experience - Still Corner's beautiful, dreamy indie is perfect for a summery evening near the sea.
Where and when: At Audio on Friday.
Key download/stream: Download 'Endless Summer' here.

Who are you looking forward to seeing at Great Escape? Let us know by commenting below...

 
 
 
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