Day One of The Great Escape kicks off with sets from LA Priest and Shamir

Neon Waltz and Domino signings The Bohicas also among first day highlights at Brighton festival

Shamir and LA Priest were among the acts who kicked off day one of Brighton festival The Great Escape last night (May 14).

The annual event takes place across various venues in Brighton over three days and continues until Saturday (May 16).

Headlining the NME Radar stage at The Haunt, LA Priest played a half hour set drawing from forthcoming debut LP ‘Inji’ to a capacity crowd. Clad in white silk pyjamas, the singer – former Late Of The Pier member Sam Eastgate – took to the stage at 10pm and played tracks including ‘Mountains’ and recent single ‘Oino’, moving between an elaborate synth set up, samplers and guitars to play everything himself. Closing with ‘Learning To Love All Over’ and an instrumental dance track, he thanked the crowd before leaving the stage.

Earlier at seafront venue Coalition, Las Vegas singer Shamir had a queue stretching down the road to see his 9pm slot. Frequently addressing the crowd, he played ‘In For The Kill’ from debut album ‘Ratchet’ before introducing breakthrough single ‘On The Regular’ by saying: “This track started as a joke, but everyone liked it so I guess the joke is on me.” Elsewhere, he introduced album track ‘Demons’ as “about how [he] became a bad boy” and climbed the floor monitors to give an arresting performance of ‘Darker’.

The rest of the day, meanwhile, saw sets from Neon Waltz and Domino signings The Bohicas among others.

The Great Escape continues today (May 15) with performances from The Cribs, Alabama Shakes, Django Django and more. The Garden, Bully, Yung, The Big Moon and Rat Boy all appear as NME Radar take over The Haunt. A special guest headline act for Friday night will also be announced shortly. Palma Violets, Fat White Family and Peace have all played secret gigs for NME at The Great Escape the slot in previous years.

Stage times for NME at The Great Escape 2015 can be seen below:

NME Radar at The Haunt – Friday (May 15)

The Garden (7.15pm)
Bully (8pm)
Wand (8.45pm)
Yung (9.30pm)
The Big Moon (10:15pm)
Rat Boy (11pm)
Very Special Guests (12am)
NME DJs (12:45am)

NME stage at Dome – Corn Exchange – Friday (May 15)

Rag N Bone Man (9:30pm)
Sunflower Bean (10:15pm)
DMA’s (11pm)
Django Django (12am)

NME Radar at The Haunt – Saturday (May 16)

Yak (7.15pm)
Heat (8pm)
Shamir (8.45pm)
Gengahr (9.45pm)

NME stage at Dome – Corn Exchange – Saturday (May 16)

Bad Breeding (6pm)
Girl Band (6.45pm)
Slaves (7.30pm)
Swim Deep (8.15pm)

NME Radar’s Matt Wilkinson has recommended which acts to catch at the festival and those that everyone will be talking about afterwards, including Tobias Jesso Jr, The Magic Gang, Novelist and Georgia. Read the full list here.

Former Jam frontman Paul Weller will play a free secret gig at the festival on Saturday (May 16), with the venue to be announced.