“Oh, it's a very short, ridiculous story. Me versus the rest of the band.” You might think that statement, made by Sunflower Bean vocalist/guitarist Nick Kivlen about their new single ‘I Hear Voices’ could be the kind of thing that would annoy the rest of the band. Not so. Julia Cumming (vocals/bass): “He’s right. It’s about a fight we have in the car all the time.” Jacob Faber (drums): “What will happen is we'll quote a really straightforward fact, something that cannot be disputed in any way.
Psych, punk and arguing in the car: Why Sunflower Bean aced it at The Great Escape. Interview by Matt Wilkinson In the recent past, The Great Escape has been the festival that’s put Warpaint, Parquet Courts, Mac DeMarco and practically anybody from across the pond who genuinely means it (maaaaan) on the map; the place where ‘could be legendary’ newcomers get one chance to go from being merely buzz-worthy to outright contenders. Mess it up and you're done for, basically. Here's the skinny: Sunflower Bean made that leap this past weekend.
A surprise set from The Vaccines last night (May 15) topped a bonkers bill at the NME Radar stage of The Great Escape. Set at the Brighton festival’s The Haunt venue, the night saw rare UK shows from stateside newbies everyone will be shouting about come Autumn (The Garden, Bully, Wand) along with NME faves Yung, The Big Moon and Rat Boy, before Justin Young and his West London crew took over to defend the throne. Proceedings burst into action with California duo The Garden, who played an electrifying set of nonstop strobes and battering beats with the manic intensity of the Prodigy.
The Great Escape takes over Brighton for three days from Thursday (May 14), with hundreds of bands descending on the south coast seaside town to get wrecked and play a few shows by the famous pier. Celebrating it’s 10th birthday this year, TGE has become known as the UK’s answer to SXSW, and rightly so – if you want an early chance to see which bands are likely to own the upcoming festival season, this is it. With that in mind, we’ve combed through the line-up to bring you the 10 new(ish) bands you can’t afford to miss.
Before becoming the UK’s most promising pop innovator, 21-year-old Georgia Barnes from Kensal Rise in north London was gunning for an England cap. “Between 13 and 16, I played for QPR and Arsenal’s youth teams,” she says. “I probably shouldn’t say this because of where I’m from, but I support Man United...” Football’s loss is music’s gain: last year Georgia released ‘Come In’, one of 2014’s most original EPs.