15 acts you can’t afford to miss at The Great Escape

It's time for SXSW by the sea!

If you’re heading down to Brighton for The Great Escape this May, then you’ll probably know the agony of trawling through the endless list of enticing acts descending on the city picking who to see and working out if it’s humanly possible.

But never worry, if it’s all getting bit much – we’ve handpicked these 13 new artists that you cannot afford to miss. They’re all pretty hot prospects, so you will no doubt have to lie, cheat and steal to get into these shows. But it’ll be oh so worth it…


Who: Norwegian pop prospect whose inspiring debut EP ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ could inspire a revolution.


Essential track: ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’

Where: Coalition 8:00pm, Thursday / Wagner Hall, 4:30pm, Friday


Who: Stormzy and Skepta are already big fans of this rising London rapper, having featured on his electrifying single ‘Energy’.

Essential track: ‘Energy’

Where: The Old Market, 9:00pm, Thursday



Who: Scandipop prospect who’ll be back on these shores to air cuts from her debut EP ‘Ultraviolet’ and a couple of new bangers.

Essential track: ‘Fools Gold’

Where: Wagner Hall, 2:30pm, 10:00pm Friday

Eat Fast

Who: Lo-fi indie from Geordie lads whose new EP, ‘Mortal Kombat’, is full of fury and scuzz – just like the arcade game of the same name was.

Essential track: ‘Scrambled Eggs’

Where: Horatio’s, 8:15pm, Friday / Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, 7:15pm, Saturday


Who: Perhaps the most thrilling new live band on the circuit right now. These Welsh indie-punks have the world at their feet.

Essential track: ‘Strobe Lights’

Where: Bleach, 3:15pm, Friday / Green Door Store, 11:15pm, Friday


Who: Signed to Chess Club Records (Wolf Alice, The 1975), the Welsh singer pulls elements from traditional pop to swampy electronics for her mind-melting mix.

Essential track: ‘The Beast’

Where: Coalition, 9:15pm, Saturday

Hare Squead

Who: Irish hip-hop trio who show their love for the old-school with lush beats and throwback aesthetic.

Essential track: ‘Herside Story’

Where: Shoosh, 9:30pm, Thursday


Jay Som

Who: Project of the immensely talented Melina Duterte, whose second album ‘Everybody Works’ was a delightful slice of West-Coast indie magic.

Essential track: ‘1 Billion Dogs’

Where: Green Door Store, 8:15pm Friday

Lao Ra

Who: Bombastic and visceral pop with a Latin twist from Colombia’s finest. Think MIA with even more swagger.

Essential track: ‘Bang Boom’

Where: Komedia, 7:15pm, Thursday

Nilufer Yanya

Who: London singer/songwriter who excels in intimacy and wickedly catchy melodies.

Essential track: ‘The Florist’

Where: Brighthelm Center, 9:30pm, Thursday

Pom Poko

Who: Norwegian four-piece who’ve been whipping up a storm with their unique take on art-rock.

Essential track: ‘Jazz Baby’

Where: Bleach, 1:15pm Friday / Komedia Studio, 12:45am, Saturday

Stefflon Don

Who: London rapper who staked her claim as one of the nation’s hottest new music projects with her ‘Real Ting’ mixtape.

Essential track: ‘16 Shots’

Where: Wagner Hall, 11:30pm, Saturday

Gothic Tropic

Who: Glossy indie from LA native Cecilia Della Peruti that takes it’s shimmering cues from the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Essential track: ‘Stronger’

Where: Green Door Store, 7:15pm, Thursday

The Japanese House

Who: Cool and emotional elctro-pop delights from 22-year-old Amber Bain.

Essential track: ‘Saw You In A Dream’

Where: Wagner Hall, 12:00am, Thursday

Matt Maltese

Who: The UK’s answer to Father John Misty. Doomy, life-questioning ballads of the highest order.

Essential track: ‘The World Caves In’

Where: One Church, 8:30pm, Friday

Stay tunes for NME’s coverage from The Great Escape 2017 

You May Like